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Relation of Hypothyroidism and Iodine

Those screen for thyroid function in USA, 90% of them are normal. 10% not normal, usually inadequate thyroid hormone. Out of that 90%, 80% do not have enough thyroid hormone and require supplementation. In order to help thyroid hormone production, Iodine is the mineral required. Despite all the focus today on the importance of vitamins and minerals in your diet, I’m often surprised how essential ones are frequently overlooked.

We should be aware of thyroid. According Michael Platt Bio-identical hormone practitioner in Rancho Mirage, California, he rely on Thyroid Stimulation (TSH) only and the figure should be 1 mIU/L, anything above 1 mIU/L indicate “pituitary in the brain is saying, not enough thyroid!”

In practice, I usually recommend sea iodine when TSH above 1.5 mIU/L.

There’s one such mineral I think you should be more aware of. It is vitally important to your optimal health.* See the table.

Why Your Body Needs Iodine*

So, why is iodine considered important to your overall well-being?*

Iodine is an essential trace mineral vital for normal growth and development and may potentially…

  • Play a key role in controlling the function of your thyroid glands*
  • Be an integral part of thyroid hormones*
  • Help support bone and brain health*
  • Contribute in helping regulate the base metabolic rate of the body*
  • Support your body’s normal detoxification processes*
  • Assist in utilizing other various minerals like calcium and silicon*
  • Help support optimal energy levels*
  • Aid in the formation of healthy skin, teeth, and hair*

All these important support functions that iodine has been so overlooked.

Reasons Why You May Be Coming Up Short

There are a number of potential reasons why your levels of iodine could be lower than they should be.

Just like everything else involving vitamins and minerals, the first place to look is within your diet. Below is an expanded chart of the potential reasons why you may be coming up short in this mineral:

Reasons for potential low iodine levels Details
Limited sources of foods rich in iodine  Iodine is a relatively sparse mineral that is found in limited quantities in certain foods.
Exposure to iodine antagonists  This is a major factor why you may have low levels of iodine. More details (below) on these antagonists and how they can interfere with iodine levels.
Soil depletion  Contamination of soils by pesticides, herbicides, and fertilizers can deplete food source soils of iodine. Mountainous areas typically have iodine-deficient soils.
Fluoridated drinking water  Fluorides are iodine antagonists and are added to many municipal water supplies.
Vegetarian diet  If you are a vegetarian, your intake of iodine may be limited due to your diet and possible iodine soil depletion.

Of all these potential reasons why you may not be optimizing iodine levels in your body, I feel that your exposure to iodine antagonists, or disruptors, is one of the most important to be aware of because of how they react with iodine. And in most cases, there are actions you can take to avoid some of these disruptors…

Iodine Antagonists

There are many things you eat, drink, and are exposed to in the environment that may affect iodine levels.

Your iodine levels can be affected by exposure to…

  • Bromine and bromides – These  are used in baking and other products (baked goods that use brominated flour, plastics, soft drinks, pesticides, and more).
  • Chlorine and chlorinated compounds – chloramines and bleaching agents may interfere with iodine utilization in your body. Chlorine bleach is added to flour and chlorine is added to many municipal water supplies.
  • Fluorides – One of the main sources of fluoride today is municipal water supplies. Certain water filtration systems can help remove this element which can affect your body’s iodine levels.
  • Soy – Soy contains goitrogens. These substances can interfere with iodine metabolism. The best way to avoid this possibility is to not consume soy. I feel the media has way over-blown the health benefits of soy protein powder and soy milk.

So, practicing healthy eating habits may go a long way to help with overall wellness and iodine levels available in your body.

How to Increase Your Iodine Levels

I’ve already talked to you (above) about avoiding certain toxins and foods like soy to help optimize your iodine levels.

Even though iodine is a relatively rare mineral, there are some foods you can eat that can help you support your iodine levels – foods like…

  • Seaweed and kelp – Both of these are good sources of iodine. A type of seaweed often recommended by herbalists is called bladderwrack and can be found in powdered form.
  • Vegetables – Garlic, lima beans, summer squash, and spinach may contain some iodine.

The issue here is whether you can add enough of these foods to your regular diet to support your iodine levels. It may not be all that easy for everyone.

Dosage Perspective

Dosage recommendations for iodine are all over the map… from very low dosages (ex. 150 micrograms/day) to very high (ex. 12.5 milligrams per day). These are very extreme differences.

Whatever You Do, Don’t Even Consider Ignoring This Essential Mineral

Here’s a convenient chart summarizing why you should ensure your diet includes sources of iodine – and if your levels are still coming up short, why you should consider a high-quality iodine supplement like my Iodine formula.

  • Is an essential trace element vital for normal growth and development*
  • Supports healthy function of your thyroid glands*
  • Helps support bone and brain development*
  • May help support healthy base metabolic rate of the body*
  • Aids your body’s normal detoxification processes*
  • May help your body utilize other minerals like calcium and silicon*
  • Helps support optimal energy levels*
  • Helps maintain healthy skin, teeth, and hair*
  • Better cholesterol profile*

How to Know If You Are Hypothyroid

Identifying hypothyroidism and its cause is tricky business. Many of the symptoms of hypothyroidism are vague and overlap with other disorders. Physicians often miss a thyroid problem since they rely on just a few traditional tests, leaving other clues undetected.

The most sensitive way to find out is to listen to your body. People with a sluggish thyroid usually experience:

  • Lethargy – Fatigue and lack of energy are typical signs of thyroid dysfunction. Depression has also been linked to the condition. If you’ve been diagnosed with depression, make it a point that your physician checks your thyroid levels.

It’s essential to note that not all tiredness or lack of energy can be blamed on a dysfunctional thyroid gland. Thyroid-related fatigue begins to appear when you cannot sustain energy long enough, especially when compared to a past level of fitness or ability. If your thyroid foundation is weak, sustaining energy output is going to be a challenge. You will notice you just don’t seem to have the energy to do the things like you used to.

Some of the obvious signs of thyroid fatigue include:

  • Feeling like you don’t have the energy to exercise, and typically not exercising on a consistent basis
  • A heavy or tired head, especially in the afternoon; your head is a very sensitive indicator of thyroid hormone status
  • Falling asleep as soon as you sit down when you don’t have anything to do
  • Weight gain – Easy weight gain or difficulty losing weight, despite an aggressive exercise program and watchful eating, is another indicator.
  • Rough and scaly skin and/or dry, course, and tangled hair – If you have perpetually dry skin that doesn’t respond well to moisturizing lotions or creams, consider hypothyroidism as a factor.
  • Hair loss – Women especially would want to pay attention to their thyroid when unexplained hair loss occurs. Fortunately, if your hair loss is due to low thyroid function, your hair will come back quickly with proper thyroid treatment.
  • Sensitivity to cold – Feeling cold all the time is also a sign of low thyroid function. Hypothyroid people are slow to warm up, even in a sauna, and don’t sweat with mild exercise.
  • Low basal temperature – Another telltale sign of hypothyroidism is a low basal body temperature (BBT), less than 97.6 degrees Fahrenheit averaged over a minimum of three days. It is best to get a BBT thermometer to assess this.

Any of these symptoms can be suggestive of an underactive thyroid. The more of these symptoms you have, the higher the likelihood that you have hypothyroidism. Furthermore, if you have someone in your family with any of these conditions, your risks of thyroid problems become higher:

Goiter Diabetes Multiple sclerosis (MS)
Prematurely gray hair Autoimmune diseases, (i.e. rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, sarcoidosis, Sjogren’s) Elevated cholesterol levels
Left-handedness Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis High or low thyroid function