Could Your Fatigue and Weight Gain Be a Sign of This Overlooked Deficiency?

Hypothyroidism and iodine deficiency are two conditions that are closely related, and it can be difficult to differentiate between the two. In fact, many doctors often overlook these conditions when diagnosing patients. Fatigue, depression, weight gain, memory loss, hair loss, muscle cramps, dry skin, decreased libido, cold feet, confusion, delirium, and even heart failure can all be symptoms of hypothyroidism or iodine deficiency.

Testing for Hypothyroidism and Iodine Deficiency

It is relatively easy to test yourself for hypothyroidism or iodine deficiency. One significant sign of low thyroid function is a low basal body temperature. To check your basal body temperature, simply take your temperature under your arm for three days before you get out of bed, then calculate the average. If your average temperature is 1 degree or more below 98.6, it could indicate hypothyroidism.

You can also request an iodine-loading test from your doctor, or try a simple at-home test by rubbing food-grade iodine (Lugol’s) on a small spot on your arm. If the iodine disappears overnight, it could indicate an iodine deficiency. It’s worth noting that even if you consume too much iodine, your body will excrete the excess. Moreover, iodine has a detoxifying effect on the body.

Iodine deficiency is quite common, as the element is generally low in agricultural soils worldwide. Iodine is essential for the entire body, but it is particularly concentrated in the prostate gland, thyroid, and breast tissue.

The Importance of Iodine Supplementation

Dr. David Brownstein, the author of Iodine, Why You Need It, Why You Can’t Live Without It, emphasizes the importance of iodine supplementation for those with an iodine deficiency. He explains that using thyroid hormone supplementation without first correcting the iodine deficit can exacerbate the body’s deficiency of iodine.

Iodine and thyroid hormones are intrinsically connected, as thyroid hormones increase the body’s need for iodine. Doctors specializing in alternative medicine often recommend natural thyroid hormones, such as Armour Thyroid, which is derived from pigs and available from compounding pharmacies.

Dr. Brownstein makes several significant points about iodine and its impact on human health:

  • The World Health Organization (WHO) recognizes iodine deficiency as the leading cause of preventable mental retardation worldwide.
  • Iodine supplementation can significantly increase the excretion of fluoride and bromide in urine.
  • Over 90% of Dr. Brownstein’s patients displayed laboratory signs of iodine deficiency.
  • In the brain, iodine is concentrated in the substantia nigra, an area associated with Parkinson’s disease.
  • Iodine deficiency is an underlying cause of a range of health issues, including thyroid disorders, chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia, and cancer of the breast and prostate.
  • The thyroid gland and breast primarily use iodine, while the prostate gland concentrates it. Breast cysts have been treated with iodine for over 50 years, and iodine deficiency is believed to be a contributing factor to breast cancer and fibrocystic breast disease.
  • The relationship between hypothyroidism and breast cancer has been reported for over a century.
  • Thyroid hormone is essential for normal brain development in children, and iodine deficiency can result in mental retardation and goiter.
  • Research has found that iodine deficiency contributes to an almost 50% increase in perinatal mortality.
  • Numerous studies have shown that children living in iodine-deficient areas have lower IQs compared to those living in iodine-sufficient regions.

With such strong evidence supporting the importance of iodine for overall health, it’s crucial to ensure that you are getting enough of this essential element. If you suspect hypothyroidism or iodine deficiency, it’s vital to consult with a healthcare professional for proper testing and treatment.