Woman Overdoses On Kelp Trying To Have A Boy Baby

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At some point, we've all gone online to try to diagnose ourselves. While the internet is a vast, endless source of advice, you've really got to be careful about where you're getting your information.

One woman from Wuhan, China, learned that lesson the hard way when she ended up with a thyroid problem after reading online that eating foods such as kelp and marine algae while trying to conceive can up the chances of having a boy baby, Mashable reports.

According to a Chinese publication called The People's Internet, the 36-year-old woman, who goes by the surname Liu, started eating high amounts of kelp each day for two weeks. During that time, she began experiencing discomfort, heart palpitations, and excessive sweating.

Concerned by her illness, Liu's husband took her to the hospital, where she was diagnosed with hyperthyroidism, or overactive thyroid. Kelp, as it turns out, is rich in iodine, a nutrient that is an essential component of the hormones your thyroid gland makes. These hormones are responsible for regulating your body temperature and your heart rate, among other things.

As crazy as this is, it isn't the first time kelp has been linked to throwing someone's thyroid gland into overdrive. A 2006 report from the Journal of General Internal Medicine details the case of a 39-year-old woman who developed hyperthyroidism after drinking kelp-containing tea in high doses for four weeks. An even earlier case study tells a similar story about a 27-year-old woman who ended up with a thyroid issue after taking kelp-containing supplements. The good news is that cases like these seem to be "transient," meaning once the patient cuts back on iodine and gets treated, things can return to normal.

The bad news: Not only did this cause a health issue that could have been avoided, it was all for naught. There is no evidence that diet can influence the gender of your baby, whether you're trying to conceive or are already pregnant. Add this to the long list of reasons not to believe everything you read.

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