Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Please Pass the Iodized Salt, No Goitering

by Connie Cortright

Photo from Wikicommons
We don't see someone looking like the picture on the left much anymore today. This woman has a goiter on her neck. A goiter is a lump in the area of the neck caused from the swelling of the thyroid gland located at the base of the neck. Back in the early 20th century, especially in the area of the Great Lakes and the Pacific Northwest, goiters affected many people, including small children. The thyroid gland can swell to this size when there is a lack of iodine in a person's diet. The soil in those regions didn't contain enough iodine, and thus, their food didn't either.

Our country wasn't the only one with the goiter problems. During the late 1800s several scientists were doing experimental work using iodine to combat goiters. By 1915 a Swiss doctor,  Dr. Bayard, experimented with school children. He used salt, containing a small amount of iodine, in their diet to find out if it made a difference. He could see the goiters decrease the longer he used the iodized salt in their food. When he stopped using the iodized salt, the goiters would increase in size. By 1922, Switzerland passed a law requiring iodine to be used in salt throughout the entire country.

David Cowie, chairman of the Pediatrics Department at the University of Michigan, conducted a similar study in his state in 1922. When he found the same results, he urged Michigan to adopt the iodized salt solution for their goiter outbreak and developed the Iodized Salt Committee to push the same solution nationwide. On May 1, 1924 iodized salt was available on grocery shelves in Michigan.

The Morton Salt Company didn't object to this inexpensive change. They readily changed their salt formulas by adding a small amount of iodine. All of the states didn't find the necessity of doing this, but the number of goiters shrunk considerably where the iodized salt was in use. Today countries the world over used iodized salt to help with this health problem.

I remember my grandma talking about goiters when I was little. I'm glad we don't share this problem with our grandparents/great-grandparents. Now I know why it's important to choose iodized salt when I'm in the grocery store.

It has also been shown that a lack of iodine during pregnancy can influence the mental health of a baby. It has been linked to difficulty with mental processing, coordination, extreme fatigue, and depression. Maybe we could use that excuse when a doctor tells us to cut down on our salt intake.

Please pass the salt.

Information taken from Why iodine is added to salt and History of US Iodine Fortification

Sunday, November 22, 2015

The Day is Here!

In honor of my husband's birthday, I'm announcing that my book is now officially published! 

Trouble brews when a naive Lutheran school teacher meets the Roaring Twenties. Her caring, young pastor attempts to keep her out of trouble. Will he succeed?

During the Roaring Twenties, young Emma Ehlke leaves her family’s Wisconsin farm home to take up a new teaching post at a Lutheran parochial school in the city. Excited at the prospect of life in a modern city, fear of the unknown is also Emma’s companion as she steps off the train. She soon meets the dashing young Freddie who takes it upon himself to be Emma’s guide to city life in the jazz age. At the same time, the young and single minister of her new church, Pastor Neil Hannemann, also wants to take her under his wing, but not like Freddie! Emma finds herself torn between the novelties offered by Freddie and his friends and the faithful path on which Pastor Hannemann wants to lead her. Which way will she go? 

Thursday, November 19, 2015

It's Almost Here!

I received the "proof copy" of my novel today. It's quite a feeling to hold in my hands the book that I've spent countless hours working on. It will take a couple days yet to finish the process, but I should have a big announcement next week sometime!!