Does summer time normally involve time spent in the pool to cool off, exercise or keep the kids busy? Most of us are careful about sunscreen to protect from burns. But what are you doing to protect yourself from the damaging effects of chlorine?
When I was young, our normal practice was to rinse off when we came out of the pool in order to remove chlorine and other pool chemicals from our skin. What I have learned since then is that what our skin is exposed to for more than 20 seconds is absorbed. That means a rinse after an hour or so playing in the water didn’t really protect us. We need to work from the inside.
Remember the Periodic Table?
There is a section of the periodic table that is categorized as the halide elements, including fluoride, chloride, bromide and iodide. We encounter these elements on a daily basis. One form is as fluoride in our drinking water and toothpaste. Another is chlorine in our water and pools and cleaning products. And then there are bromine in baked goods and iodine in some produce and fish and seaweed.
The cells of your body have receptors for halide elements, but these often are filled with the element to which you have the most exposure, not the greatest need. Iodine is vital for many functions in your body, most notably the production of thyroid hormone and to sensitize estrogen receptors. When your diet and environment overload your body with chlorine, for example, your cells won’t be able to absorb iodine at appropriate levels and your thyroid won’t be able to function optimally.
Simple Adjustments to Protect From Effects of Chlorine
There are several simple changes you can make to reduce your exposure to halides that would block iodine from your cell receptors. You can reduce bromine levels by avoiding store-bought baked goods – which will reduce your glycemic load too. Reduce fluoride exposure by choosing non-fluoride toothpaste and filtering your drinking water, which can also reduce your chlorine exposure. Installing a shower filter can also protect you from the effects of chlorine.
For boosting your iodine levels, I recommend including kelp sprinkles to supplement your iodine using food. You can mix 1/4-1/2 teaspoons of kelp sprinkles into scrambled eggs, salad dressing, or a smoothie. There are lots of creative options. And if you are eating at a sushi bar, order the seaweed salad for a fresh source.
Should You Take A Supplement?
I don’t recommend taking an iodine supplement unless you have tested to verify that you are low. Are you feeling symptoms of low thyroid function (fatigue, sensitivity to cold, weight gain, dry skin or constipation for example)? I can help you explore whether you are deficient and guide you in supporting your body.
Iodine imbalance plays a part in low thyroid function and even breast or ovarian cysts. If you have had any of these, I encourage you to explore the iodine levels in your body and support better function at the cellular level. You will be amazed at the difference it will make.