Issue # 163 December 23, 2013
Welcome to KnowYourThyroid.
I want to wish everyone a Merry Christmas. I hope you enjoy your blessings and you have a wonderful holiday season.
Today, Bette Dowdell is going to cover the importance of salt in our health.
Salt’s Role in Health
Salt is an electrolyte. If you get the idea that means it has something to do with electricity, go to the head of the class.
Each of us runs on our own unique electrical frequency, and electrolytes provide the energy to keep our frequency rocking along on the beat. All day, all night, all our lives. If electrolytes sag, life slows down.
As with everything else in our bodies, electrolytes have non-negotiable rules about how things have to be. Whether we like the rules or dislike them changes nothing. Understanding the rules, though, can change a lot.
The electrolytes are sodium (salt), potassium, magnesium, calcium, chloride, hydrogen phosphate and hydrogen carbonate.
Today I want to talk about sodium and potassium, which always work together. And they have to work as a team, so one can’t be lying back, peeling a grape, while the other does all the heavy lifting.
Sodium and potassium affect every cell in the body. To oversimplify, one is inside each cell while the other is outside, both pushing like crazy against the cell wall. You don’t want either one to win that battle because it means the cell collapses.
Cells gasping their last can’t do much, so you lose energy. Allowed to continue, an electrolyte imbalance leads to disease and death. The heart and kidneys seem to be particularly vulnerable.
Some people read electrolyte problems as dehydration and guzzle water, which makes an electrolyte imbalance worse.
Athletes chug Gatorade or other electrolyte drinks to keep the energy going. Unfortunately, whilst balancing electrolytes, the high fructose corn syrup in Gatorade whacks the liver, and bromated vegetable oil (which Pepsico keeps promising to remove) stomps on the thyroid and creates inflammation in other body parts.
Coconut water contains no problem ingredients, and it balances electrolytes like nobody’s business. So much so, in fact, that Pepsico and the others are buying coconut water companies, a good sign of efficacy–if not of future quality.
A yearly peek to make sure your electrolyte levels are where they should be is a good idea. The blood test for that is the Complete Metabolic Panel (CMP), also known as a SMAC test, which tests a long list of things, not just electrolytes. (I explain the CMP in my downloadable book Understanding Blood Tests: When Your Doctor Doesn’t Have Time to Explain.)
Your doctor can order the test or you can go to an independent service, which is the path I take. A Registered Nurse takes my blood, ships it to the same lab doctors use, and I get the results, mailed to my home, in a couple of days.
Medical testing services are popping up everywhere, at least in the U.S. Use a computer search to see if there’s one near you.
However you go about it, you want to keep tabs on your electrolytes. The earlier you catch a problem, the more fixable it is. Spotting problems before they actually take hold is even better.
Until next time then.
God is good,