"High levels of lithium in neuroendocrine tissues have been reported from autopsy data on both wild animals and human beings not known to have been either treated with lithium or excessively exposed to it. These high levels in the necropsy material approximate those of lithium-treated patients and suggest the influence of geographical differences in the lithium levels of local foods and water." (from "The Relation of Selected Trace Elements to Health and Disease," by U.S. National Committee for Geochemistry. Subcommittee on the Geochemical Environment in Relation to Health and Disease)
...I spent my morning pursuing the INTRIGUING idea i came upon last night -- that a heretofore ignored pathway leads straight from lithium intake to thyroid pathology ... completely unrelated to psychopharmacology! And the more i read, the more all those little ravelled threads work back to a piece of whole cloth.
The chapter on lithium in the publication i quoted above gave me all kinds of interesting information: how lithium abounds in certain types of rock; how it easily moves into soils and waters; how it is taken up and concentrated by plants, especially nightshades; how easily it absorbs in the bodies of animals and preferentially concentrates in "the thyroid, uterus, placenta -- probably the pancreas -- the midbrain, adrenals, and ovaries."
It's a happy coincidence that a lot of the evidence of high soil and water readings for lithium come straight from Arizona, where two of my nieces grew up and developed hypERthyroidism, and one of my sisters (their other aunt) was just diagnosed hypO. OBVIOUSLY, some people are ultra-sensitive to thyroid damage, and they just by-the-way happen to live where large quantities of lithium are in everything local they eat and drink....
Family predilections aside, we have some objective FACTS to consider. People can consume megadoses of lithium unknowingly, through their food and water intake. Once absorbed, this mineral can concentrate in various organs where all sorts of negative physiological affects can result. If taken for a limited period of time, these affects MAY be temporary, OR they may be irreversible.
AND NOBODY HAS EVER CONSIDERED IT IMPORTANT TO FIGURE OUT WHAT THIS STUFF DOES IN THE BODY. ...But then again, thyroid problems are overwhelmingly a woman's problem, aren't they? All we need to do is throw synthetic thyroxine at her, and she's "fine" -- or cut/burn out her thyroid, THEN dose her with Synthroid....
Or is it because most people with thyroid problems are fatties, and it's always been okay to marginalize THEM?