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Importance of Iodine in Underactive Thyroid Symptoms

Iodine is a mineral that is essential for optimal health. It is important in so many functions of the body particularly in growth and development and is known to contribute to underactive thyroid symptoms.

Unfortunately many of us in the modern world eat a diet that is incredibly low in iodine. This is leading to epidemic levels, particularly among children in Australia. A recent report suggested that as many as 1 in 3 Australian children is deficient in iodine and that this is significantly affecting their growth and development, as seen in lower IQ scores.

Several factors put you at risk of iodine deficiency such as geographical location, heredity, diet and health status.

Iodine is an essential element that you often neglect in your daily food intake. It plays a major role in your thyroid hormone production.Thyroxine (T4) and triiodothyronine (T3) the main thyroid hormones require iodine as their base. The number attached to the T, as in T4 or T3 relates to how many iodine atoms are bound to the hormone. The thyroid hormones are responsible for temperature regulation, metabolism, the balance of other hormones, growth and development and almost every action of the body.

Insufficient intake of iodine can lead to hypothyroidism or underactive thyroid. Excess intake of iodine can also have to opposite effect and result in hyperthyroidism which is a medical condition that needs prompt diagnosis and treatment.Even for those with underactive thyroid symptoms it is not advised to take iodine supplements without an understanding of how your body is using iodine. Some thyroid health experts are warning of the dangers in overdosing on iodine even with severe underactive thyroid. This is not the cure all answer it was once thought to be.

In my option it is best not to supplement with large doses of iodine until you have a complete understanding of your bodies individual needs. To determine your iodine needs you need to discuss having an iodine loading test done through your doctor or health professional.

How the iodine loading test works?

First you will need to stop taking any iodine supplements for at least 2 days prior to the test. Upon waking in the morning go to the bathroom, as normal. Than take the prescribed Iodine Loading Tablets. For the next 24 hours you will need to collect any urine passed, including the following mornings.

While there are several other methods of measuring iodine in the body, this appears to be the most accurate. It is suggested to have an accuracy reading of 99.9%. It is a simple and easy way to determine what you individual needs are for iodine intake.

The US iodine dailyrecommended allowance is 150 mcg a day. Pregnant women need 220 mcg of iodine daily, while breastfeeding mothers need 290 mcg a day. As a result of the finding in Australian children iodine has now been added to all pregnancy and breastfeeding multivitamins. Is is also interesting to note that many women develop underactive thyroid symptoms post pregnancy, including post partum thyroiditis and this may be the result of the extra iodine requirements during this stage of life.

While it may not be necessary to include iodine supplements for everyone with underactive thyroid symptoms, following the thyroid diet will ensure that you have adequate amounts of iodine for healthy thyroid function.

Sources of iodine to include in your thyroid diet are the following:

  • Eggs
  • Dairy products such as cheese, yoghurt and milk
  • Sea vegetables such as Kelp,Nori,Kambu and Wakame
  • Celtic salt (while iodinized salt also contains iodine there are better ways to get it)
  • Navy beans
  • Any fish and seafood such as cod, herring, sea bass, tuna, sardines, salmon, haddock and mackerel
  • Turkey
  • Olive oil
  • Sunflower seeds

Bromide, chlorine and fluoride can alter your body’s iodine absorption. So if you have low iodine levels it is important to look at your water source.

To find out if there are other nutrients that you may be deficient in that are preventing you from recovering from your underactive thyroid symptoms join our Thyroid Wellness video course. Enter your email below.



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