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Wednesday February 26th 2020


Clarification: The Nuclear Fallout from Japan

Post Published: 13 March 2011
Category: Dear Thyroid News
This post currently has 21 responses. Leave a comment

Clarification: Unfortunately, this article has stirred a lot of fear and anger. For that, I apologize, as that was never the intent. The goal of this article was to provide information, a “consider this, if you will”, kind of piece.

I believe in Dr. Gottfried, and I believe in what she wrote. That being said, I also want to clarify a few things:

  1. As Dr. G said, “the radiation was never presented as hard fact. It was presented as expert opinion of Dr. Brownstein.”
  2. Dr. Brownstein said, “I’ve read estimates that up to 750 RADS of radiation is to hit us here in the Bay Area. I’m hoping that is wrong and a huge overestimate.”

All too often, as history dictates, we find out after the fact what really happened and how deadly or dangerous something was; a drug, an incident, a whatever. In my opinion, this piece was a cautionary tale – a point for us to consider.

What I learned from this was how dedicated to research this community is, among other things. I also learned that what happened in Japan is not only far too devastating; it’s terrifying. What will happen to the country? What will happen to their lives and livelihood? What will happen to neighboring countries? What will happen to countries thousands of miles away?

Nobody knows the facts yet; they really don’t. And, even if they do, who is to say that those facts won’t be recanted a month from now, or six months from now. We simply don’t know.

My hope is that we glean from this the opportunity to continue doing research and speak with our doctors, too.

For those who felt that Dear Thyroid mislead them or instilled fear, I apologize deeply. That was never our intent. You’ve gifted us with your trust. If you feel that trust was broken, I am deeply sorry.

Thank you for taking the time to read this post.

Katie –

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21 Responses to “Clarification: The Nuclear Fallout from Japan”

  1. Paula S says:

    Not at all, thought it was superb! I love this site, and truly appreciate the forum — a lot of misunderstandings unfortunately — but I am extremely grateful —-

    How considerate for the clarification, I am even more of a fan – I feel you all did nothing wrong and the fact that you are willing to go the length to post an apology – speaks tenfold.

    Thank you again and I look forward to more posts – keep them coming!

    Kind regards,
    Paula NYC

  2. Scott Rose says:

    Maybe the people who were offended should take it up with a competent therapist? (My cousin Anastasia has her office right there on Park Avenue. Tell her I sent you to get $10 off the first visit. Her initiation consult fee, I suppose I should mention, is $3,000). The latest Times article on the truth of the radiation catastrophe in Japan makes the DT (Dear Thyroid) post that apparently gave offense look like Winnie the Pooh on a picnic with a jar of honey. Winnie, with sticky stuff on his hands; no it is not a sexual reference; get your mind out of the thyroid gutter!)

  3. Victoria says:

    No apologies needed. I think that the article was very well written.It didn’t cause panic or fear. In no way did I find it offensive.
    Thank you for all that you do!

  4. Marybeth says:

    Dear Katie,

    I have Hashimoto’s Disease (degenerative hypothyroidism) and am wondering if I should be taking the iodine for protection from the nuclear fallout. I still have a thyroid (low functioning) and I take 30 mg Armour Thyroid daily.

    I could not find potassium iodide, but did get some kelp supplements that contain 225 mcg per tablet to have on hand just in case. If I should take these, how much should I take?

    Are you able to advise?

    Many thanks,


    • Dear Thyroid says:


      First of all, I’m very sorry that you have Hashimoto’s. How are you doing?

      Second, and this is very important, please, please, please speak with your practitioner before considering any new medication and/or supplements.

      Please keep us posted and let us know how you’re doing and feeling.

      If you need anything, don’t hesitate to ask.


  5. Jim says:

    When I was diagnosed with Grave’s, I was told that because it wasn’t a ‘sexy’ disease and because primarily it is a woman’s disease, there wasn’t a lot of info on it. I have relied on the community to help me understand it. As a male with Grave’s, there is not a lot to turn to. So when this strong community publishes such a poorly written article, I have to ask myself ‘really?’ It is this kind of hogwash that causes confusion, sends people to their endocrinologist requesting unsubstantiated information and even worse, suggesting that someone take iodine without talking with their doctor. Please don’t point out that you think this is a wonderful time to go talk to your doctor- because by reading this article, people WILL take it without speaking with their doctor. Shame on you for your apology- any third grader with a grasp of reading comprehension can understand that the original article and your ‘apology’ are so far of the map you need a Sherpa and few mules to find it back. What you wrote in the apology is not, under any circumstance, what the good doctor said in her first one. I keep rereading this article, hoping to find that it’s a joke, but with the link to folks who sell iodine, I expect to find ‘DRINK MORE OVALTINE.’ This is your website and your rules. I will certainly find another community to lean on when I come across issues with my health.

  6. Paula S says:

    Dear Jim:

    I am sorry to hear of your diagnosis, it’s not easy with Grave’s regardless of being male/female it’s really tough to deal with – I know because I have it…

    The article I think perhaps you misunderstood it, and the intent. I understand your frustration but do you really need to be that way? Ask yourself where the pent up anger is coming from…

    Mary Shomon, is a wonderful thyroid advocate and perhaps you may want to take a look at a few of her books if you are not finding the information you seek and the endocrinologists not helpful…

    Please understand Jim, that most of us are indeed sick, symptomatic etc. We come to these forums to look for understanding, support. You can speak how you feel but I believe your post not only to be hurtful, but an outlet for perhaps on how you are feeling.

    Take this energy and be the first male to post about Grave’s, how are your symptoms different to females – and help someone in your condition – take the anger and turn it into initiative to beat this – so no person needs to suffer needlessly as we have…

    I am having a thyroidectomy next week. I come here for solice, for understanding, and to participate in a community I am part of. Since friends,and even physicians on occasion don’t really understand what is happening to you. I will think of you Jim, and the many others with Graves – as we truly need to do something about it!

  7. Dear Thyroid says:

    Thank you, Paula. Very glad to hear that you felt the article was helpful; that’s really great.

  8. Dear Thyroid says:

    Ah, Scott Rose, our resident humorist. Thank you.

  9. Dear Thyroid says:

    K – I’m very sorry that you found the post and/or any comments to be rude. Thank you for expressing your feelings.

    • K says:

      I think Scott Rose telling those who had a problem with the original article that they need therapy is cruel, and totally against what was the spirit of this website.

      Furthermore, I don’t find “Scott Rose” particularily funny and he sounds to me like a schizo troll with a few screws loose, not an internet humorist.

  10. Dear Thyroid says:

    Victoria; I am very glad to hear it; that’s terrific. Thanks for posting.

  11. Dear Thyroid says:


    I am very sorry that you feel this way. Of course, I wish you didn’t.

    The article was not presented as fact. our goal at Dear Thyroid has always been to provide information and resources. And to empower our community to do research, to speak with their doctors and to choose a course of healing that works for them all under a doctor’s supervision.

    We would never suggest that anyone do anything without speaking with their doctor. If you read many of the posts and articles, you’ll see that we speak of that often.

    Again, very sorry that you feel the way you do. I’m glad that you spoke up about how you’re feeling.

    I wish you all the best,

  12. Dear Thyroid says:

    Paula – that’s a beautiful comment with a lot of great insight. Thanks for writing it.

    Good luck with your thyroidectomy. So sorry that you have to go through it. Please keep us posted and let us know how you’re doing and feeling.


  13. Paula S says:

    Will do thanks! Appreciate it!

  14. Ashley says:

    I absolutely can not understand why people were upset by your post. I am a survivor of thyroid cancer – I have had 4 surgeries (2 on my chest which has left me with permanent disabilities). If I can do anything to protect my son’s thyroid, (he is at higher risk,) I would rather do it. I certainly hope that any concern we have about receiving radiation is unfounded, but as someone who says “geez, I wish I’d known that 10 years ago” with my own health, I’d rather not do that in this case. Iodine supplementation is easy, it won’t harm in these doses, and most of us are slightly deficient anyway. What is the big deal, people!!!??? By the way, I am on a thyca survivor support group online and this article sparked an interesting discussion yesterday – why don’t they have us give our families iodine after our RAI to limit their exposure after isolation?

  15. Thanks to all of you for generating such vibrant discussion on this topic. There are a lot of unknowns regarding the situation in Japan, but there are also some knowns, even if just temporary. I’ve written and posted my own response to this and I hope you’ll check it out. Let me know what you think. http://dearthyroid.org/a-nuclear-reaction/

  16. Jeff C says:

    How long will it take prevailing winds to blow radiation to California? Hawaii? Alaska?
    Thank you for a great resource!

  17. Cog1st says:

    Md opinion’s are not the ones to ask about the “radiation travel”. What is needed to authenticate this article is a radiation EXPERT opinion. We don’t need opinion and speculation as there would be opinions on both sides to support or debunk the theory of radiation travelling overseas. We need facts. We need to know how or if radiation travels at all. I am sure it depends if the substances are lighter or heavier than air and the wind directions and dissipation rate. It is all very scientific. I do know that there are people who were within a few hundred miles of Chernobyl whom have lived normal lives since. The West Coast is over 4,500 miles away and may or may not be effected at all. Meanwhile people are panicking to an extent and buying potassium iodide off the shelves and selling out vitamin stores everywhere including online. Taking PI may not be a good idea for some immunocompromised people it is not recommended without the supervision of Md. I advise people to contact their doctor’s and see if this absolutely necessary for them. So reminiscent of the anthrax scare when everyone was trying to get Cipro.

  18. Linny says:

    Anger comes from fear. I think it’s understandable that we are all shaken by the news of this moment. Please be kind, we all are trying to understand. The expressions here are mostly by patients to patients. There is no fee. If you need personal advice pertaining to your unique health (mine also Graves) it will have to be paid for. We all know this, don’t we? This I hope makes us all slow down our thinking and remember we care about each other (I hope) allow thoughts to flow even if different than our own….that’s what we can do in the US!

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