Researchers have discovered that the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster has had more drastic and far-reaching health effects more than previously thought: Young children born on the West Coast are 28% more likely to develop hyperthyroidism ("overactive" thyroids).

In examining post-Fukushima conditions on the West Coast, researchers found that children were developing similar conditions that some Europeans acquired after the 1986 meltdown of the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant.

The hormones in the thyroid affect nearly every type of tissue in the body, and control the pace of all of body processes.. Some of the symptoms of hyperthyroidism may be nervousness, irritability, increased perspiration, heart racing, hand tremors, anxiety, difficulty sleeping, thinning of the skin, fine brittle hair, and muscular weakness, especially in the upper arms and thighs. It can also lead to developmental delays in fetuses and young children. 10% of people with this condition gain weight, which could be contributing to the childhood obesity epidemic.

The "cure" is often radiation of the thyroid and the subsequent taking of medications to replace its functions.

The RT website explains that just a few days after the Fukushima meltdown, radiation concentration levels in California, Hawaii, Alaska, Oregon and Washington were up to 211 times above the normal level. At the same time, the number of congenital hypothyroid cases skyrocketed, increasing by an average of 16% from March 17 to December 31, 2011. And between March 17 and June 30, shortly after the meltdown, newly born children experienced a 28% percent greater risk of acquiring the condition.

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