Spiral Chef News: Iodine deficiency is thought to be the most common cause of hypothyroidism

Iodine deficiency is thought to be the most common cause of hypothyroidism

(The following are news items and opinions. This is not medical advice.)

Once researchers realized this many decades ago, health authorities around the world began adding iodine to table salt.

Iodine deficiency we get is partly a result of toxicity from fluoride and bromine. Bread has ten times more bromine in it than it used to and the sources of fluorine are nearly ubiquitous today. So who does not need iodine? I find that nearly everyone needs more than they are getting.

Contamination from chemicals and heavy metals has cumulative effects such as weakening the immune system. When heavy metals are found on the receptor sites of the thyroid they literally invite the immune system to strike out against thyroid cells.

Studies along with clinical experience indicate that exposure to mercury and/or toxic metals appears to be the most common cause of hypothyroidism and the majority of patients treated with metal detoxification recover or significantly improve.

A typical reading from an encyclopedia suggests that iodine deficiency slows all the systems of the body: The digestive system becomes sluggish, nails grow more slowly, skin and hair become dry and dull, tendon reflexes stiffen, sensitivity to cold increases, and the pulse slows. Iodine helps form who we are to such an extent that a deficiency can lead to a dulling of the personality, deterioration of attention and memory, and an increase in irritability due to fatigue and extreme apathy.

Yet many are still confused as to whether they should supplement if they have a low or underactive thyroid, or some type of thyroid condition such as hypothyroid, hyperthyroid, elevated thyroid autoantibodies, or Hashimoto’s thyroiditis. No matter what the condition, a healthy thyroid system is crucial. A lack of iodine for the thyroid is a huge metabolic problem. How can anyone’s body make energy if it is lacking the iodine to make thyroid hormone?

Selenium is necessary for the conversion of T4 to T3. (Incomplete conversion results in high levels of reverse T3, an inactive hormone.) Selenium has also been shown to reduce autoimmunity against the thyroid (i.e. to treat the underlying cause of Hashimoto’s thyroid disease.

When we add the total ignoring of magnesium deficiency as yet another uncontrolled factor we quickly realize how careful we need to be about interpreting scientific medical conclusions. Add the fact that the thyroid is affected by widespread mercury contamination and we can see how distorted medical studies can become in their lust to study one factor at a time while remaining blind to other crucial issues.

During this past decade iodine concentrations in table salt have been slightly modified to be within the new official limits: 20-60 mg/kg salt. Previously these concentrations were in the 40-100 mg/kg range though there have been reports that salt advertised as containing iodine actually had none.

Iodine is a natural chelator of mercury, but most people consume nowhere near the amount needed for proper thyroid function and protection from mercury, fluoride and other dangerous halogens.

I have had Hashimoto’s for 10 years and started taking nascent iodine about six weeks ago. I also have started using Transdermal Magnesium. For some time now I have been using barley greens, and vitamins B, D, C and omegas. Since taking the nascent iodine and magnesium I have improved. My muscle aches and pains and anxiety, etc. are so much better.

The real truth though is that this population should not be taking just any iodine supplement and they should never be taking iodine without appropriate selenium and magnesium supplementation as well. As is usual with most minerals, organic (safe) iodine is found in much higher amounts in organic foods. The form in which we take minerals is mission critical.

Most individuals with amalgam fillings or other exposures to mercury toxicity are not consuming natural chelators such as zinc, selenium, iodine, sulfur, and silica that would bind to the free mercury to help excrete it. Mercury (usually with a +2 charge) can grab the biological spaces that should be filled by another essential mineral. As a result, there may be plenty of the mineral found in the blood, urine, hair, etc., but due to the displacement at the active sites, mercury interferes with the activity of and depletes these essential minerals.

Iodine is a mineral found in trace amounts throughout the body. Iodine is extremely important since the cells need it to regulate their metabolism. Without it, people are known to suffer from swollen glands in the throat, thyroid diseases, increased fluoride toxicity, decreased fertility rates, increased infant mortality rates, and (with severe deficiency) mental retardation. It has been theorized that iodine deficiency is a causal factor of ADHD in babies of iodine-deficient mothers.

The World Health Organization is warning that 74% of Americans are iodine deficient. Iodine deficiency is the biggest factor in mental retardation. Without iodine on the supplement shelf and limits on how much we take (240 mcgs/day on average), one in seven American women are suffering from breast cancer, as opposed to women in Japan who have the lowest levels of breast cancer (1 in 20) and take 12 MILLIGRAMS–50 TIMES the amount we consume. Iodine is necessary in every cell in your body. Even JAMA is now rethinking the “salt-free” diet, but iodized salt is not the best solution. Start with kelp tablets, and increase your iodine intake; kelp absorbs 44 trace minerals from the oceans, including iodine. You’ll see everything in your life begin to improve. Iodine prevents obesity! Take it for fat loss, if that’s your motivation, but take it! You’ll have an endless list of improvements.

To those who think they merely have hypothyroidism, beware! Over 90% of people diagnosed with hypothyroidism, actually have Hashimoto’s! However, allopathic doctors often don’t catch this, and so this auto-immune disorder goes untreated. I wish someone had warned me about this error years ago when my HMO first diagnosed me as hypothyroid. Had I known this, I’d have been spared the years of my auto-immune disorder raging, and the slow deterioration of my health that this caused—all while being continually told that my thyroid labs were “fine.”

Most people tend toward hypothyroidism, or insufficient thyroid gland production. This is attributed to the low iodine content in the average westerner’s diet. Hypothyroidism manifests with low metabolism, lower energy levels, weight gain, chronic fatigue, and depression. Many of us could use a little more iodine in our thyroid glands and bodies.

Applying iodine to the skin and allowing it to penetrate is considered a good self test for iodine deficiency. The premise is that the body will absorb iodine to satisfy its needs. So if a painted patch of iodine is quickly absorbed, in an hour or less, it may be a sign the body needs more iodine. There are naysayers for this test, but one of them concedes this can help determine thyroid iodine deficiency if applied to the neck area.

How to increase your iodine levels? Foods high in iodine are: Seaweed dishes, kelp, kale, broccoli, cabbage, peanuts, Brussels sprouts, turnips and kohlrabi.

The thyroid gland uses iodine to help create its essential hormones. But iodine could use a little help from zinc, copper, and selenium. Make sure you’re also getting those nutrients in your diet or through supplements.

Kelp supplements are very safe iodine providers, but how much is absorbed depends on how well they’re digested and how much you can consume. Potassium Iodide (KI) is useful as a radioactive blocker to protect the thyroid from radiation exposure. There was quite a run on KI after the initial Fukushima disaster.

Most health experts consider Lugol’s iodine solution a safe and effective iodine supplement. Lugol is not a brand name. It is the type of solution in which iodine is carried, named after a 19th Century French physician who created a water soluble combination of potassium and iodine crystals. It only takes a drop or two a day of Lugol’s iodine. Different brands offer a nascent iodine. Nascent, or atomic iodine, is considered more bioavailable.

To sum this up, if you have any of the symptoms of “sick” thyroid, consider increasing your iodine intake. If you need more advice on this subject check with an naturopathic doctor for assistance.

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