CAROLYN'S COMPOSITIONS

March 18, 2014

Iodine Deficiency Information: Part 1


  • CAROLYN’S COMPOSITIONS

IODINE DEFICIENCY INFORMATION  Part 1 Movicon2-happy

Hug for Fran

NOTE: I first posted this but somehow it didn’t post, or it disappeared—we all know computers—so I’m reposting Part 1 on its original date, hoping some readers will return to read it. My apologies that the original is floating out there somewhere in space.

 DISCLAIMER: This article represents information I gleaned from the Internet articles (some well-referenced) on iodine deficiency in adults. It is not and should not take the place of medical advice. I encourage you to talk with your health care providers (doctor, registered dietitian, pharmacist, etc.) about your interest in, questions about, and/or use of iodine and what may be best for your overall health.

This is the first of two articles disclosing the research results of my Internet research on iodine deficiency in the adult and older population.

I preceded these articles with Iodine Deficiency: My Story.

FOCUS OF THIS POST

Iodine deficiency is described as a secret health issue: Rates of iodine deficiency have reached epidemic levels…over the past 40 years.^

This article shares the surprising information on iodine deficiency, information I discovered while doing an Internet search on the subject. I am sharing in this article. I encourage you to review the material and draw your own conclusions by reviewing the list of source material at the end of this article.

This article focuses on iodine deficiency in adults and the elderly. I found little information on this population–the vast amount of iodine deficiency studies focus on children and pregnant women.

 DOES WHAT IS GOOD FOR YOU HARM YOU?

Many guidelines exist for a healthy life. Some (my research implies) have unintended negative side effect. For example:

  • Eliminate/reduce dietary salt intake for protection against high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, hypertension, and edema.
  • Include more vegetables and less meat in our diets to reduce cholesterol.
  • Exercise more, which benefits all biological systems.

What is the damaging side effect? Each of the above depletes the body of iodine.

WHAT IS IODINE?

Iodine is a non-metal trace mineral that our bodies require in small quantities. It rarely occurs as the element, which is a gas. Instead, it occurs as a salt, referred to as iodide (not iodine). Iodide is quickly and almost completely absorbed in the stomach and duodenum.^^

WHAT IS THE FUNCTION OF IODINE IN THE BODY?

Iodine plays a large role in our mental and physical development. Without it, your body cannot make sufficient thyroid hormone.

Iodine also helps regulate levels of the stress hormone cortisol and contributes to normal immune function.

WHERE IS IODINE LOCATED IN THE HUMAN BODY?

In addition to being found in the thyroid gland, iodine is found in the mammary glands, salivary glands, thymus glands, blood vessel walls, eyes, cervix and the mucosal surface of the mouth and gastrointestinal tract. ****

WHAT IS IODINE DEFICIENCY?

Iodine deficiency is an imbalance of bodily iodine—too much or too little can cause serious bodily harm.

HOW MUCH IODINE DOES THE AVERAGE ADULT NEED DAILY?

The average adult needs only 70 micrograms per day to produce thyroid hormones. Additional iodine is required for the optimal functioning of the other body tissues and organs where it is found.****  For adults, the U. S. recommended daily dietary intake of iodine is 150-290 micrograms of iodine.**  The Food and Nutrition Board of the Institute of Medicine sets the tolerable upper limit at 1,100 mcg.^

Hypothyroidism, an effect of iodine deficiency, can occur when a person’s iodine intake falls below approximately 10–20 mcg/day. ^^

WHAT CAUSES IODINE DEFICIENCY?

There are numerous causes of iodine deficiency:

  •  Reduction/elimination of iodized salt in our diet.
  • Goitrogens. These substances interfere with the uptake of iodine in the thyroid.  Foods high in goitrogens include: Soy and cassava, Cruciferous vegetables, including broccoli and cauliflower cabbage^^
  • Chemicals, such as percholorates<, thiocynates***
  • Deficiencies of iron and/or vitamin A
  • Tobacco and alcohol intake^^
  • Persons older than 40 years have an increased risk of developing hyperthyroidism if they ingest iron-fortified food products.****

<Perchlorate ia an environmental toxin… which blocks the thyroid glands ability to absorb and utilize dietary iodine. It is used as a flavor-enhancer in certain foods. Originally developed for explosives and rocket fuel, it now pervades ground water and food supplies throughout the U. S.^

WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS OF IODINE DEFICIENCY?

All the symptoms of iodine deficiency are related to its effect on the thyroid. Goiter, with possible symptoms of choking, especially when lying down, and difficulty swallowing and breathing.**

In adults, mild-to-moderate iodine deficiency can cause goiter (enlargement of the thyroid), impaired mental function and impaired work productivity. Chronic iodine deficiency can lead to an increased risk of the follicular form of thyroid cancer^^

HYPOTHYROIDISM

The most common symptom of iodine deficiency is hypothyroidism. Iodine deprivation over a long period of time can produce hypothyroidism symptoms. Paradoxically, hyperthyroidism (excessive thyroid function) is a symptom of mild-to-moderate iodine deficiency in older adults, especially women. (This is the result of rapidly growing thyroid gland nodules that over-produce thyroid hormone.)

WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS OF HYPOTHYROIDISM?

Hypothyroidism symptoms are linked to:

  • Low energy
  • Depression
  • Psychiatric disorders
  • Cognitive decline: reduced concentration, impaired memory and mental abilities****
  • Fatigue and tiredness, Excessive sleepiness
  • Intolerance/increased sensitivity towards cold
  • Rise in the cholesterol levels
  • Slow heartbeats
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Constipation
  • Dry skin and hair
  • Hair loss
  • Bodily aches and pain, fibromyalgia, muscle cramps, swelling of the legs
  • Mild weight gain***
  • Enlarged tongue
  • Puffed up hands and face
  • Slow speech***
  • Fibrocystic breast disease/breast cancer<<
  • A variety of cancers
  • Hypothyroidism can trigger cardiac arrhythmias, osteoporosis, and muscle wasting.

NOTE: Taken together, these biological factors explain the well-known link between iodine deficiency and thyroid disease, thyroid cancer, and breast cancer, all of which predominate in postmenopausal women.

<< Abnormal cortisol levels and deficient immune function are significant contributors to breast cancer risks.

 WHAT IS THE CONNECTION BETWEEN IODINE DEFICIENCY AND BREAST DISEASE?

Fibrocystic breast disease (a benign condition characterized by lumpy, painful breasts and palpable fibrosis) is common in women of reproductive age, but it can also occur during menopause, especially in women taking estrogens. Women with fibrocystic breast disease may also suffer from elevated cortisol levels.

WHAT IS THE CONNECTION BETWEEN IODINE DEFICIENCY AND CARDIOVASCULAR DISEASE?

Even when no overt symptoms are evident, hypothyroidism can contribute to heart disease and stroke, increasing the risk of death from these conditions:

  • Thyroid dysfunction
  • density lipoprotein (LDL) and total cholesterol levels (raising the risk of atherosclerosis)
  • weakens the heart muscle (causing it to “squeeze” less firmly with each contraction, which can cause cardiac arrhythmias)
  • is associated with higher waist-to-hip ratios, an obesity-related risk factor for cardiovascular disease.

These effects may not be evident at rest, but become important during moderate exercise. Restoring normal thyroid function helps reverse multiple cardiovascular risk factors, most notably adverse lipid profiles.

Click on Iodine Deficiency Information: Part 2 to continue reading on iodine.

~~~~~~~~~~~~

SOURCES

*   http://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/Iodine-QuickFacts/

**   http://www.thyroid.org/wp-content/uploads/patients/brochures/IodineDeficiency_brochure.pdf

***   http://www.buzzle.com/articles/iodine-deficiency-symptoms.html

****   http://www.progressivehealth.com/iodine-deficiency.htm

^   http://www.lef.org/magazine/mag2011/oct2011_The-Silent-Epidemic-of-Iodine-Deficiency_01.htm

^^   http://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/Iodine-HealthProfessional/

^^^   http://www.womentowomen.com/thyroid-health/iodine-and-the-thyroid-worth-a-second-glance/

^^^^    http://healthwyze.org/index.php/component/content/article/54-iodine-supplementation.html

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