Are you getting enough iodine?
Iodine is essential for optimal thyroid function, and the biggest cause of hypothyroidism worldwide is iodine deficiency.
Hypothyroidism can result in:
- weight gain
- inability to lose weight
- loss of the outer third of the eyebrows
- ‘foggy’ brain
In fact, it can result in a deficiency of Follicle Stimulating Hormone (FSH), which means the follicles in your ovaries may not mature to produce an egg.
This interferes with ovulation and a regular, healthy menstrual cycle.
What do we see in PCOS? Low FSH, and immature follicles.
How can you tell if you are iodine deficient?
What are the symptoms of iodine deficiency?
All of the symptoms of iodine deficiency are related to its effect on the thyroid:
Goiter – Without adequate iodine, the thyroid progressively enlarges (develops a goiter) as it tries to keep up with demand for thyroid hormone production. Worldwide, iodine deficiency is the most common cause of thyroid enlargement and goiter (see Goiter brochure). Within a goiter, nodules can develop. Patients with a large goiter may experience symptoms of choking, especially when lying down, and difficulty swallowing and breathing.
Hypothyroidism – As the body’s iodine levels fall, hypothyroidism may develop, since iodine is essential for making thyroid hormone. While this is uncommon in the United States, iodine deficiency is the most common cause of hypothyroidism worldwide (see Hypothyroidism brochure).
Pregnancy-related problems – Iodine deficiency is especially important in women who are pregnant or nursing their infants. Severe iodine deficiency in the mother has been associated with miscarriages, stillbirth, preterm delivery, and congenital abnormalities in their babies. Children of mothers with severe iodine deficiency during pregnancy can have mental retardation and problems with growth, hearing, and speech. In the most severe form, an underactive thyroid can result in cretinism (a syndrome characterized by permanent brain damage, mental retardation, deaf mutism, spasticity, and short stature), though this is not seen in the United States. Congenital hypothyroidism due to iodine deficiency is the most common preventable cause of mental retardation in the world. Even mild iodine deficiency during pregnancy, which may be present in some women in the United States, may be associated with low intelligence in children.”
To discover more about your iodine intake and your thyroid, see chapter 9 ‘Your Thyroid – How To Boost Your Metabolism, Have Abundant Energy And Lose Weight’ from page 149 in ‘Conquer Your PCOS Naturally’.