This is part 2 of our radiation blogs.
You may have heard in the news that stocks of Potassium Iodide (PI) tables have been bought up by the Japanese population in light of the radiation leak at the Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant. Why is this i hear you ask…..
Surprisingly PI is taken to protect only one part of the body. This is the Thryoid gland which is found in your neck and sits around your trachea or throat region. Just imagine a dicky-bow a little bit higher than normal around where the adam’s apple is in men. This gland controls your metabolism and takes up iodine from your diet to make thyroid hormones that speed up your metabolism.
The reason for taking this chemical is that radioactive unstable iodine is usually released from nuclear reactors if they leak. If this is taken up by the body, it can be absorbed by the Thyroid gland and potentially cause thyroid cancer. So by taking the PI tablets, we flood the body with stable normal iodine, so the thyroid gland has no reason to take up the nasty unstable iodine. Quite simple really. The PI tablets do not help prevent any other organ being damaged by radiation exposure.
However! This is a prophylaxis treatment. This means that it is preventative treatment, rather than a treatment or cure. It has to be taken as early as possible and maintained until it is safe to stop as it’s effects only last around 24 hours.
Dont forget to read part one of our radiation blogs on radiation poisoning. If you have any questions or comments, let us know in the section below (i love how that rhymes!) Dont forget a new blog every Wednesday and next weeks blog is probably going to be on an episode of House…. Dont forget to subscribe and share this blog via Facebook and twitter!