Testimonial: the effects of drinking distilled water
It seems to me that most people who have thyroid disease, especially hyperthyroidism, are drinking bottled water. This is something that concerns me. I don't have any scientific studies to support my beliefs but I feel that the water we drink is very important and this topic needs to be discussed.
When I developed hyperthyroidism I was drinking distilled water. I had been drinking this for many years and thought that this should be benefiting my health because it is the purest water available. Now, however, I feel that drinking distilled water is probably one of the worst things that you can do to your health.
Once I reasoned that thyroid disease is primarily caused by mineral deficiencies, I switched from drinking distilled water to drinking bottled "drinking water", i.e. purified water with minerals still retained. I felt that this was a significant part of my recovery.
Distilled water enters the body with no minerals but leaves the body with minerals. The net result is that your body continuously loses minerals and must make up this loss with the minerals in foods and drinks. Since I was a purest, like many people, I didn't drink sodas, coffee, or tap water served in restaurants which is usually made from tap water. Most people who drink bottled water at home probably consume other (mineralized) water and this helps their mineral status. My purest beliefs probably contributed more to my loss of essential minerals.
When I was really sick I questioned the purity of the distilled water that I was drinking and bought a home water distiller. After a week of drinking this water I was so much sicker I stopped using the distiller. Because the distiller has an aluminum electrode and aluminum might be light enough to pass through the condensing pipe it's possible the water contained aluminum and this was the reason for my deterioration, but more than likely it was the lack of all minerals in this water.
I feel that drinking tap water, even with the chlorine and other purification chemicals added, is probably better for health than drinking either distilled water or bottled water which is deficient in the heavier minerals.
You may want to check the source of the water in the municipal supply where you live (and there may be valid reasons for not drinking that water), but in the Los Angeles area the water comes from the Sierra Nevada mountains. This water percolates down through the mineral rich rock of the mountains and probably contains many valuable minerals.
I used to take 10 5-gallon bottles with me to Mammoth every year and fill them up with water from our friends' artisan well. I was convinced that this water kept me healthy and I was able to drink this water about 6 months out of the year. At the time we drove a Suburban (with the three kids) and had room for all these bottles. However, when the two older kids went off to college we no longer needed a large vehicle so I abandoned the practice in 1996. In 1997 I developed hyperthyroidism after the first winter without this mountain water.
Our friends in Mammoth own the local health food store and are very knowledgeable about nutrition. Lately my research has led me to the hypothesis that the mineral tungsten is critical for copper metabolism (many reasons and long story) and that a tungsten deficiency may be involved in hyperthyroidism. When I told my friend Nick about this he was very interested and told me that all the mountains in that area above his well are very high in tungsten and there is a tungsten mine in that area. This of course really intrigued me.
Because of their position in the community owning the health food store, my friends are very familiar with the health problems in that area. They knew of only one person with hyperthyroidism there and only two people with psychiatric problems. I asked about the latter because schizophrenia also seems to be a disease caused by a breakdown of copper metabolism and is probably the result of a deficiency of some trace element involved in copper metabolism. In schizophrenics, copper builds up in the body and liver, and is not being used properly. A high percentage of schizophrenics have hyperthyroidism.
While I'm not sure about the person with hyperthyroidism, my friends told me that the two people with schizophrenia drank bottled water and not the local water (the local water has chlorine so some people don't drink it.)
While I may be off on a wild goose chase, I now have many reasons to suspect that tungsten, which is probably in the water coming from any granite mountains, may be a critical nutrient for copper metabolism and therefore needed by people with thyroid disease (both hypers and hypos).
Tungsten, unfortunately, is not a mineral which is sold as a supplement in health food stores. I am going to get my compounding pharmacist to obtain some for me for testing after I determine the best compound.
The best other sources of tungsten are probably drinking water that comes from mountains, even if this means drinking chlorinated tap water, or a good trace element supplement. You can remove much of the chlorine by either filtering or leaving the water out in a glass bowl for a week or so.
For trace elements, I always found that the one sold by New Vision (order through
worked the best for me. When I became interested in tungsten, I looked at an analysis of New Visions' trace mineral supplement and it seems to contain a fair amount. (I hope to add more information soon about trace mineral supplements under Nutrients and Toxics/Minerals/Trace Minerals on this site.)
As I learn more about the mineral content of different drinking waters I will add that information here. If the water from my friends' well proves to have benefits for those with thyroid disease (I intend to get it analyzed for mineral content), then that may be the water to drink. If we find this is true and the key ingredient is tungsten then we may be able to solve the problem by just taking a tungsten supplement (I'll be working on that also).