Part 4:Iodine deficiency and its’ relation to various serious diseases:
As previously mentioned iodine is concentrated in the thyroid, breast, and ovaries and is found in lesser amounts in all cells in our bodies. Hormones are regulating chemicals produced and secreted by several glands in our bodies. The master gland, the pituitary, is found deep within our heads. Slightly further down, in our necks, sits the thyroid gland. It, as its position indicates, is a very vital hormone producer. Thyroid hormones regulate our metabolism, thereby giving energy to all the bodily functions. Every cell, muscle, and organ in the body depends on adequate thyroid hormone levels for optimal functioning. Sluggish thyroid, hypothyroidism, is a consequence of low iodine intake. There are several thyroid hormones found naturally, the ones most known and tested are T4 (thyroxine), and T3 (triiodothyronine). T4 has four iodine molecules, and T3 has three iodine molecules. If we don’t intake iodine in our food, or in a supplement, and there is an insufficiency of iodine the thyroid simply is unable to make thyroid hormones in adequate amounts. A consequence of an iodine-deficient thyroid is a goiter (enlarged thyroid.) Iodine deficiencies predispose the thyroid for undergoing oxidative damage. The body defense against this oxidative stress is to attack itself by producing antibodies. Auto-immune disease of the thyroid includes Hashimoto’s and Grave’s disease. Alternative doctors reverse these conditions by reducing the oxidative stress with supplements such as iodine, B vitamins, vitamin C and magnesium. Thyroid hormone is essential for normal brain development in a newborn baby. Children born from hypothyroid mothers (with goiters) can be mentally retarded, called cretinism. Research has found an almost 50% increase in perinatal mortality due to iodine deficiency. A large study comparing children in iodine deficient areas vs. iodine sufficient areas showed a 13.5 difference in IQ score (measure of intelligence.)
Thyroid illness and iodine:
Conservative estimates reveal thyroid illness in 10% of the adult population here in America. There are medical professionals that estimate thyroid illness numbers closer to 40%, or about 50 million people. Although the causes of thyroid illness are varied, one common denominator may be iodine deficiency. Studies clearly correlate that the areas of the world with low iodine have the highest amount of people with thyroid illness. All patients with thyroid disorders should be screened for iodine deficiency. This practice had not yet filtered down from the alternative holistic medical professionals to the mainstream medical world. By supplementing with iodine and thereby reversing the iodine deficient condition thyroid disease especially hypothyroidism is improved or even cured. Many case studies show that in a patient already taking thyroid hormone adding iodine will achieve a better result in overall patient health improvement. This has been recently published in a European journal of endocrinology.
By far, the most common thyroid disorder is hypo-thyroidism, or sluggish thyroid. It is most common in women. Symptoms of hypothyroidism include: weight gain and difficulty in losing weight, aches and pains, coldness, constipation, depression, fatigue, hair loss, infertility, brain fog, muscle cramps or weakness, high blood pressure and high cholesterol, and puffy eyes. These symptoms are often misunderstood, ignored or treated or suppressed with dangerous drugs. Often the hypothyroid patient is referred to a psychiatrist and prescribed life debilitating and compromising psychotropic drugs. Unfortunately, thousands of cases of hypothyroidism, especially in women, are misdiagnosed or under diagnosed. Left untreated or improperly treated, hypothyroidism can lead to an increased risk of heart disease, high cholesterol, Alzheimer’s, arthritis, mental disease including ADHD, chronic fatigue and cancer.
How is hypothyroidism diagnosed and why is mainstream/conventional medicine “stuck in the dark ages” (according to Jonathan right, M.)
Stay tuned for more information about your iodine!