Iodine is an extremely important element yet iodine deficiency is becoming increasingly prevalent because of low levels in the soil and the move away from iodised table salt. Many of us are severely deficient and dont know it. Some problems caused by iodine deficiency include
Without sufficient iodine, the thyroid gland is unable to make thyroid hormones in adequate amounts. Iodine deficiency can therefore lead to hypothyroidism and goiter formation (the thyroid enlarges in an attempt to make more thyroid hormone).
Iodine deficiency also increases the incidence of autoimmune thyroid disease such as Hashimotos disease and Graves disease. Some clinicians suspect the marked increase in the incidence of autoimmune thyroid disease is actually due to iodine deficiency. Other possible factors include subclinical infections, gluten intolerance, mercury and food allergies. Studies have shown that people who are iodine deficient have an increased incidence of antithyroid antibodies.
Fatigue iodine deficiency may lead to an abnormal pituitary-adrenal function in addition to low thyroid function.
Poor Digestion many people exhibit impaired production of stomach acid as they age which may be as a result of iodine deficiency as iodine promotes stomach acidity.
Iodine is one of a group of similar elements known as halogens also including bromine, chlorine and fluorine. Because they are all of a similar shape, they compete with iodine for binding in the body, particularly the thyroid gland. Unfortunately the other elements are toxic to the body and worsen an iodine deficient problem. They can all therefore cause hypothyroidism. Bromine is used as an antibacterial agent for pools, as a fumigant in agriculture, as a pesticide, in some pharmaceuticals (atrovent), in some bakery products, and in some carbonated drinks (check to see if they contain brominated vegetable oils). Fluoride is added to many water supplies, toothpaste and some common medications and causes more harm than good. The benefit of fluoride to teeth is now being questioned while it has been linked to behavioural disorders, hypothyroidism, hip fractures, bone cancer and kidney damage. Chlorine is added to drinking water and has been linked to heart disease and cancer. Most of us are deficient in iodine and in a constant state of toxicity from the other halogens. The good news is that if iodine is present in sufficient amounts, the other halogens cannot affect the thyroid and are excreted from the body. Iodine has also been shown to increase the secretion of other toxic heavy metals such as mercury and lead.
It appears that iodine deficiency is a risk factor for both breast cancer and fibrocystic breast disease. Fibrocystic disease often reverses with sufficient iodine replacement. Iodine is also very effective at eliminating ovarian cysts. It works for fibrocystic breast disease and ovarian cysts because of its effect on estrogens. It actually helps metabolise estrone (an estrogen which promotes breast cancer cell growth) and its dangerous metabolite 16-alpha-hydroxyoestrone to estriol which is an anti-carcinogenic estrogen.