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Iodine - The Missing Link to Many Health Issues

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Happy Spurling - Regular Font

Kayla Lanier - Bold Font   


Hey guys, today we're going to be talking about iodine. Iodine is an essential trace mineral not made by the body, so it must be obtained by food or supplements. It is found naturally in some foods and is added to supplements and some salt seasonings. Iodine is needed to make the thyroid work and to produce the right hormones, which basically assist with the creation of proteins and enzyme activity.

So, what I'm trying to say is, Iodine is very important for hormone health and for your thyroid. I'm going to get into that today.

Yeah, this is an interesting topic and I think it's often overlooked because I've had people say to me, we live in America, there's no true iodine deficiencies in our country. And if you think about the fact that iodine is added to table salt, and of course, we get plenty of table salt in our diet for most Americans, in theory, you would be getting plenty of iodine.

But one of the problems with the iodized table salt is that they actually use fluoride in the processing of table salt. So in one of the chemical processes to actually make the iodized salt. And fluoride is actually very similar in molecular structure to iodine, and so what can happen is, if you have a lot of fluoride in your diet, it can actually bind to the receptor for iodine and keep the iodine from actually getting into the cell.

So you can still be deficient in something because, again, it's that analogy of, it's like putting gas on the car instead of in the car, is because fluoride, which is in the salt that's iodized, it's a great idea except that both of those will compete for the same receptor.

Okay, wow. Are you saying that maybe iodine is not really as prevalent in our diet as we thought it was?

Yeah, it's absolutely not. And part of that problem is the health of the soil. We no longer have farmers adding to the soil in such a way so that they have iodine replaced when they have crops. And so, if soil isn't nourished and you don't have that being added in, it isn't something that's readily available, especially in our area.

You get this more with, really, properties or, or farming that happens around the coastal areas, because there is more iodine. Simply because of being coastal, they have more iodine in the soil. So the harvest from that or even the dairy that you would get from that would have a significant amount of iodine as well as people who live in the coastal regions are able to have seaweed and some of those more iodine-rich foods than we have.

It's pretty limited really. Eggs are a good source of iodine for us. It's much better if you know that's actually happening because they're pastured and you're getting good soil quality but it is kind of added into their feed so you do have it on that level, plus iodine naturally occurring a little bit in eggs.

And we used to have more of it in dairy, but again, since the farming practices have changed and most cattle never see grass, and even if they do as far as being on pasture, it's very depleted in iodine itself. So that's how we can be surrounded by iodine and actually still be deficient.

That's crazy.

So what about like foods that are fortified, like bread, cereals, stuff like that? Is that, does it still count or is, is it more of like a synthetic iodine? How does that work?

I'm not sure which, like, which group would source what, but most of the time you're looking for a cheap source that's often maybe put in, maybe not necessarily as a source.

It's synthetic, but it's void of the other trace minerals that are needed to uptake iodine. And that's another part of the conversation is if you do not have enough of the accompanying minerals like selenium and even zinc and some of those in a food, then when you just isolate iodine, it's like the body doesn't encounter it typically that way in food.

So it might recognize that, of course, use it in the receptor, but it's never going to be as effective. it in like a full trace mineral profile, or in a food that would actually contain those minerals at the same time. So it's a nice thought, and I do think that it is protective. If we didn't have that, then we probably wouldn't get enough iodine, but when you think about the fact that's estimated that 20 million people have thyroid disease in this country and 60% of people with thyroid disease are not aware of it.

So when you factor all of that in, hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism are a major problem in our country, and the thyroid uses iodine to make thyroxine, which is the thyroid hormone that's gonna convert and break down into energy in every cell of our body. So when you don't have that coming in, you're going to have a deficiency in energy.

And a lot of those symptoms of hypothyroidism are actually symptoms of iodine deficiency.

Oh, wow. So they kind of mirror each other.

They truly do. And people often think, well, you know, if you have a thyroid condition, you don't want to take iodine. And we've been actually taught that because iodine makes the thyroid work harder.

So if you have an autoimmune thyroid conditions such as Hashimoto's or Graves. The thought is that we definitely don't want any iodine coming in, but the problem with that is that the thyroid requires it to convert your hormones into the usable form of energy.

There's actually a lot of research that would indicate that hypothyroidism, even Hashimoto's, patients can actually benefit from a normal amount of iodine.

So of course you don't want too much of anything because there's toxicity from too much of any mineral such as iodine. But the fact that we're so deficient and then we don't have the minerals like selenium that's so important to accompany that so that it can actually do the job in the thyroid then it's probably more common than we think.

think that most thyroid issues are actually the beginning of that is started from an iodine deficiency.

That's absolutely crazy. And also the fact that the symptoms are so similar. What would those be? Like fatigue?

Fatigue is a big one, like kind of a chronic fatigue and I have a lot of thyroid clients, you know, that have hypothyroidism and that's what they talk about is the TSH looks good. My numbers are good. The doctor says I'm fine, but I'm so tired. And that's because that conversion is completely dependent in the thyroid So if it's not being brought in, it doesn't matter how pretty your numbers look on a lab, you can have those numbers changed by just changing a dose of medication.

Your TSH can go back and forth, and honestly, keep it within a good range. But if you're still having the symptoms of thyroid issues, which, as you said, they do overlap, I mean, hair thinning, especially when you've ruled out iron deficiencies and ferritin levels that are low and thyroid is supposedly working right? That's when you're looking at, is this an iodine issue? Can you not convert what's being brought in? And that happens to so many people, and then we're told to shy away from it because it can make the thyroid. But honestly, I think in that, we've crossed over to where there isn't enough. And it really doesn't matter how much medication you change or alter for someone.

If you don't have the tools to use it, then it doesn't do you any good. So you end up with all the symptoms of Iodine deficiency, which are also the symptoms of thyroidism. And that's where you end up having people that their whole entire life have labs that are normal and quote reference range, but yet they still have all the symptoms of a thyroid problem.

Wow. So basically, iodine has been demonized for the last, what would you say, 10 to 15 years, maybe longer? And we're just, like, ignorant to what it can do for your body?

Yeah, I think we're so, you know, in America, I think the standard daily value that they suggest is 100 micrograms to 200 micrograms if someone's pregnant pregnant because they recognize the importance of iodine in fetal development. So you're talking about the cognitive function of a child in utero to be able also once they're born to be able to develop fully requires iodine. And so a lot of times you'll have brain fog when you have people that have an iodine deficiency.

And then we've kind of went over to like the pink salts and the Celtic salts, which are wonderful, but they don't have a very, they have a very small amount of iodine as a trace mineral. So we've limited that iodine source, which is really one of the only ones we have. And it's unfortunate because so that salt is, of course, abrasive in our body and can cause inflammation, so it's like we need more iodine, but how do you get it in?

If you're trying to avoid the fluoride, that's going to cause it to compete in the cell. But you know, the cognitive function that iodine makes possible is because of the ability to take the thyroid and help it to make thyroxine, which is going to convert into T4 and T3 and that cascade of hormones, which again is needed by every cell of our body.

So you could indirectly say, so is Iodine. And you know, you and I've talked about that and the small amounts we're allowed to have or promoted to have in this country. If you look at the blue zones where people live to be over a hundred is regular practice. They have 600 times the amount of Iodine that we do.

So that's definitely not prescriptive to say, you know, go out and take a bunch of Iodine because it totally doesn't work like that. But you have to think the thyroid conditions are not there either. So, you know, there's a thought that the thyroid takes up or sequesters Iodine and it totally does. And that's where people have kind of said, well, look, the thyroid is so hungry for Iodine, the more you give it, the more it wants. But actually, once your levels are sufficient, The thyroid uses iodine in other cells of the body, so it really just wants its fair share. And once it has that, it's able to cascade down.

I mean, you could definitely get too much iodine if someone went out and just thought, that's my problem with my thyroid. I'm going to need to take a bunch of iodine.

Don't, don't do that because that's not a good idea. And you really need to test for that. I mean, there's working with a practitioner that can help you see which trace minerals are most likely deficient. Because those are so important for thyroid function and then determining, you know, could this possibly be an iodine issue? And there's actually a blood test that you can do through your primary care to check your iodine levels just to see where they are. So it's always a good place to start.

I know you and I, when you were at the house the other day, did the iodine test that you can actually do at home. Of course, that's not prescriptive either, but if you actually place a small amount of iodine on your forearm and you rub it in, and if that actually goes away, so the staining of the iodine is completely absorbed within one to three hours, then it's usually a good indication that your skin drank that right up because you needed it. If it takes six hours or more, and it's still discolored there, then you know that your iodine replete, and that's something, again, that's not meant to diagnose or treat, but it's kind of interesting, again, where the body will let you know if it needs something.

Yeah, I mean, that is so interesting. Yeah, it was kind of wild. I mean, I didn't even know you could use iodine as a supplement, and then, I've been struggling with cystic acne, and literally, like, you gave me the Povidine Iodine solution and my acne is like clearing up. It's only been a couple days and I've tried everything so.

The benefits for Cystic acne is definitely, you know, the antibacterial part of iodine Of course, we're familiar with that as far as any kind of surgery or anything You know people are kind of familiar with that betadine or the iodine top washes because they're so powerful But if that's where it's kind of drawing from then it can actually really help with the cystic acne And that's the other thing is a lot of times People who have ovarian cyst or fibrocystic breast, goiters, or like an enlarged thyroid, or actually nodules on the thyroid.

Those are often just telltale signs that there's an iodine deficiency. And you know, back in the 1920s in this country, in the Midwest, and even in the Appalachians, there was a significant problem with goiters, where people's thyroid gland was actually so swollen that they had these huge goiters on their neck.

And so, that's when it really became clear that they needed to do something to put iodine in something. So they, of course, started the iodized salt process. And because they realized that, hey, Iodine is not available in the soils here and so it was actually causing immediate issues and then a lot of, you know, as far as birth defects and things like that with brain damage and in a utero, I mean, it was a sad finding, but also you really saw how important this mineral is and how trace minerals play a part in every part of any condition that someone's dealing with.

There's a book I reference sometimes called Dead Doctors Don't Lie, and it's a book that was actually collected over years of doing post mortem exams, where they actually did in depth studies to find that no matter what disease or condition someone had, that they were declared dead. You know, this actually was the cause of death.

They actually found that every single person had deep mineral deficiencies. And whether it was in, you know, iodine or selenium or many of the trace minerals, the cause of death was indirectly, the reason that disease happened was because the minerals were not present. And that's how every cell in our body requires them as cofactors. And we no longer have a healthy profile of minerals in the soil, so we don't get it in the food that we eat now.

Many of the health issues that people have can be traced back to mineral deficiencies, and iodine being one of the most prevalent, especially in thyroid conditions. I have an in depth panel that I suggest for people to get for labs, and you want to check your iodine levels. That's something that can be checked, and it does represent well in a lab, and that way you know you have a baseline to know is this something that could be contributing to that.

And there are specific ways to dose iodine. Typically, I prefer it in a trace mineral, and it is a 200 microgram, so it's a small amount in hopes that we're also going to get it in our diet and food. And that is actually something that can help with thyroid numbers amazingly, to start someone on the right mineral profile that supports their thyroid, and then look at their numbers again three months later, and see that their conversion rate of T4 to T3, which is what the most important question of the day is, it doesn't really matter if your TSH is within reference range in your on medication, I mean that's important, but if you look at your T3 and you see that you're storing all of that med, that it actually isn't converting, then that's why you don't have a change in symptoms.

And so, these minerals can come in play and really help the thyroid to have the tools that it needs to do the job that you need it to do in order to feel good. Brain fog is a very big problem and I deal with that regularly and we can't pin everything on one thing. Of course, it's a multifaceted approach to find out why someone's energy isn't there and to actually dig deep and say what's going on in your body that you just can't convert energy.

But you can overlook the mineral profile in that because that's how the mitochondria in our cell run on mineral content.

We have to be able to address that and then of course sometimes go even deeper and say okay, it's not a mineral issue, we've sured all of that up, we've ruled out the obvious, and now what else needs to happen? Why are we not converting this? And of course that leads you down another path and each time to try to find the root causes of what's going on.

Wow, there's just so much to iodine that you would never guess what basically is responsible for so many different functions in your body.

Yeah, the temperature regulation, like cold hands and feet, hair thinning, fatigue, the inability to lose weight. That's a big, big one, which we often cover all that in the term thyroid disease and we say, well, that's the problem. Maybe it isn't just that. Maybe it's. that your body wants to do those things, but you have to put in the right compound for it to do it. And I think often we expect our body to do what it's supposed to do without ever asking, do we even have the tools in there for it to do that job?

We would never ask someone to go build a home for us and just throw the wood out in front of them and say, well, make that happen. They would need tools to make that happen and so the body has the skill to do all of these things but it really requires certain things to function and I think the more we overlook that and the more we eat a diet that is deficient in minerals and nutrients the more we're going to see these kind of issues come up and the NIH study that I looked at says that 54.2 of hypothyroidism patients showed to be iodine deficient.

And that's huge, you know, it's like, wow, how many people are walking around with their medication of Synthroid or Levothyroxine for years, and nobody ever checked to see if they have the minerals to convert that into energy in the cell.

Gosh, that's such a big deal, it really makes you think, you know, there's so many people walking around with this issue of just, you know, being deficient in vitamins and minerals, such an easy fix, so simple, so affordable.

Yes, absolutely cheap, and one of the things, I prefer to use a nescent iodine drop, and we know I'm not trying to tell everybody to do that, but that's what I do personally. And the nescent iodine actually has an extra molecule added to help with the uptake or absorption of iodine, and it's literally a drop, I mean it's a very tiny amount, and again.

You need to know what levels you are and have some guidance on that before you do anything like that. But it's pretty amazing how people will often feel energy from that immediately and it's because of that conversion. And so being able to find that out and of course try to change diets so that fluoride isn't coming in.

When I think about all the sources of fluoride and you think about that one thing, that iodine, is actually, you know, not able to get into the cell fully because fluoride will compete for that receptor. And then you think about the fluoride toothpaste that we start our children on from the time that they get their first two little teeth all the way to the, you know, city water that's fluoridated and then the foods that, you know, we have in a lot of things that are actually high in fluoride because of the chemical water, everything in the composition of that and it's like....

We encounter a lot of things that compete for iodine, and again, that's one of the reasons in America we can be surrounded by food and starving, because our body just doesn't have the nutrients that it needs in what we're eating.

Exactly. Wow. Well, this is very interesting, and I feel like that anyone who might be struggling with these symptoms, you know, might have had a small epiphany after hearing this, because I know I did a couple days ago. It's really, it's changed a lot for me. I've had a lot of sustained energy since I started taking iodine drops, and I just never even thought about it until you told me about it. I would say if you have these lingering symptoms, definitely check this out.

Yeah, and that's kind of what we're all about in this, is if you don't know how to go about it, like, if you feel like your health is compromised, and you just can't figure out why.

Like, everything is normal. I'm supposed to feel good according to my labs. Just go deeper, you know, be your own advocate, find someone that can help you find the answers that you're looking for.

It's so exciting at the office when I'm able to help people put the pieces together to their own health story and then they start changing things and, and then you get labs back and not only do they look improved, but they feel better.

And so that's really what we're going for is to not treat. People or help people to where their labs are pretty. We're not in a test or a game against whose labs look the best We want to know how do you feel and then your labs will usually match that when your symptoms are changed. And you know, we're not about trying to make a blood test look good.

It's more about what does my body tell me about how I feel? And if you don't feel like you should, then going deeper to figure out why and having somebody that can help you and have the knowledge to be able to lead you through that. It's life-changing.

It truly is.

Don't, don't stop looking for the answers.


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