Nutrients like B-vitamins, Zinc, Vitamin D, Selenium, etc. are necessary for our bodies to perform daily and life sustaining functions every second of the day. In the absence of even just one of these nutrients, our bodies begin to lose function leading to symptoms and disease states. In the last article we discussed the importance of Magnesium. This article we will cover another important nutrient that you are most likely deficient in.
Iodine is used to make thyroid hormones. Your thyroid gland and associated hormones affect almost every function of the body. The thyroid is responsible for regulating the body’s metabolic rate, digestive function, heart function, brain development, muscle control as well as many other important functions. It has been estimated that over 70% of Americans are iodine deficient and that rates are reaching epidemic proportions here in the United States.
Despite the fact that the ocean has an abundant level of iodine, there are several reasons Americans are deficient or have insufficient levels of iodine in their bodies. The most obvious reason is the lack of seafood, seaweed, sea vegetables, etc. consumed by many Americans. In addition, depletion of iodine in our soil from poor industrialized farming practices; decreased consumption of iodized salt; use of perchlorate found in our water and food sources (perchlorate blocks the thyroids ability to absorb dietary iodine); and people who follow a vegetarian or vegan lifestyle are all responsible for decreased levels of iodine in our diet.
The most visible sign of iodine deficiency is an enlarged thyroid or Goiter. Other telltale signs of iodine deficiency include unexpected weight gain, fatigue and weakness, hair loss, dry flaky skin, changes in heart rate, feeling colder than usual, difficulty learning or remembering, irregular or heavy periods and gastrointestinal problems like constipation or diarrhea. Based upon these symptoms you can see just how important a role iodine plays in our daily functioning.
If you believe that you may have an iodine deficiency, your best resource is to get tested. However not all tests are reliable. Most physicians will run a simple urine test, while this form of testing offers some insight, there is a more reliable test described below. Other recommended tests are the skin patch test. The test involves applying a 2% tincture of iodine solution to a 2”x2” square of skin and counting the hours that it takes for the iodine to begin to fade. Anything less than 14-24 hours suggests that you have an iodine deficiency. However, this test holds no scientific backing. The most reliable test is the Iodine Loading Test. This test requires that you ingest a bolus dose of iodine (50mg) and collect your urine over a 24 hour period. You then measure your iodine levels to determine who much iodine was excreted after 24 hours. Anything less than 90% excretion is indicative of iodine deficiency. Persons with Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis may want to avoid this test as a large dose of iodine may cause symptoms.
As stated earlier, iodine rich foods include seaweed, cod, dairy, shrimp, tuna, eggs, raw cheese, sea vegetables, prunes, iodized salt and navy beans. You can also supplement with iodine. It has been estimated that an adult needs approximately 150 micrograms (mcg)/day and children 90-120 mcg daily.
Next week I will uncover the 3rd most common nutrient deficiency and what you need to do to uncover and correct it before it becomes a serious problem for you.
At Stanly Wellness Center, we are eager and ready to help you and your families achieve your best health possible. If you are looking for help with your health or you know of someone who is suffering with poor health, call the office of Stanly Wellness Center at 980-355-7600 and schedule a FREE 15-minute consultation with Dr. Patrick Ess to see how he can help. Dr. Ess will not waste your time or money. He will let you know if he can help you, and if he can’t, who in the community can.
Our office specializes in nutrition, detoxification and neurological correction. You can also refer to our website at www.AskDrPatrick.com for more information. We accept most major health insurances including BCBS, Aetna, Humana, UHC, Medicaid and Medicare.
Stanly Wellness Center is located right on Main St (24/27) in Locust and is situated next door to the Locust Post Office and the Dollar General across the street from the Wells Fargo Bank.