Disclaimer: This post is not intended to be scholarly, offer medical advice, or be a substitute for your physician’s treatment. However, I’ve heard from a lot of women lately who are working out regularly, dedicated to healthy eating, and still struggling with weight loss. So here are a few thoughts and article links that may help your weight loss plan.
Iodine is one of the best ways to increase thyroid function and stimulate a sluggish thyroid.
If you are trying to do everything right and still having problems losing weight you may have an iodine deficiency which will lead to poor thyroid function. If you don’t eat fish, kelp, seaweed, or dairy regularly (and most Americans don’t), you may have an iodine deficiency. Iodine is an essential ingredient for proper thyroid function and necessary for your metabolism to function at full capacity (see link here).
I’ve been doing a lot of research on the Internet lately (FWIW!) and I’m finding a lot of physician’s sites and scholarly journal articles that are making the case for either low thyroid function or hypothroidism causing symptoms related to menopause, chronic fatigue syndrome and fibromyalgia, headaches, insomnia, constipation, brain fog and lack of concentration, hair loss, lack of energy, difficulty losing weight or maintaining weight, and even depression (see link here).
There are all kinds of products on the market these days to stimulate good thyroid function.
According to eHowHealth “The thyroid gland produces hormones that work as messages to other parts of the body, telling them how to function properly. The two major hormones are thyroxine (T4), and triiodothyronine (T3).”
When the thyroid is disrupted two main disorders occur:
hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism
Those who have hyperthyroidism may suffer with these symptoms according to the doctors in womentowomen medical forum:
- Heart palpitations; accelerated heart rate
- Chest pain
- A feeling of being too warm all the time
- Nervousness and trembling
- Insomnia despite feeling exhausted
- Diarrhea and GI upset
- Increased appetite
- Light or absent menstrual periods; infertility
- Weight loss
- Muscle deterioration
- Warm, moist skin
- Hair loss
- Bulging eyes, “spacy” gaze
- Heightened anxiety, irritability, moodiness or depression
But take a look at the symptoms for hypothyroidism this same website lists. I would venture to guess many women suffer from a lot of these symptoms.
- severe fatigue, loss of energy
- weight gain, difficulty losing weight
- depression and depressed mood
- joint and muscle pain, headaches
- dry skin, brittle nails
- brittle hair, itchy scalp, hair loss
- irregular periods, PMS symptoms
- breast milk formation
- calcium metabolism difficulties
- difficulty tolerating cold and lower body temperature
- sleeping more than average
- diminished sex drive
- puffiness in face and extremities
- bruising/clotting problems
- elevated levels of LDL (the “bad” cholesterol)
- heightened risk of heart disease
- allergies that suddenly appear or get worse
- persistent cold sores, boils, or breakouts
- tingling sensation in wrists and hands that mimics carpal tunnel syndrome
- memory loss, fuzzy thinking, difficulty following conversation or train of thought
- slowness or slurring of speech
- appearance of a goiter, an enlargement of the thyroid that is externally visible
Doctors who have been researching iodine and thyroid deficiency over the past couple of decades (including Dr. Donald W. Johnson, Jr.) note the connection between lack of iodine in the diet (which stimulates the thyroid) and breast cancer (see this link.) Dr. Marcelle Pick notes that because salt has been demonized over the past few decades, most people skip salt resulting in a lack of iodine in the diet (see this link).
Dr. David Brownstein who is the pioneer in research on the topic claims that iodine deficiency is a cause of breast, ovarian, uterine, prostate cancer, and fibroid tumors (see link here). Another article believes Iodine deficiency is implicated in stomach, pancreatic, colon and lung cancer, multiple sclerosis, diabetes, lupus, lymes disease, and Sjogren’s Syndrome–or it can be used to relieve the symptoms (see link here). In one of Dr. Guy Abraham’s clinical trials he indicates that most Americans are so deficient in iodine that they need “100 times the RDA to achieve sufficiency” (see link here).
Studies of the health of the Japanese show they eat massive, daily amounts of sea weed which has astronomical amounts of iodine and suffer no ill effects from too much iodine in the diet (see link here and page 188). Abraham offers this refutation of Dr. Gaby and his paper regarding the propensity for higher supplementation of iodine to cause problems:
“Safety: Dr. Gaby claims that the relatively high doses of iodine/iodide used in orthoiodosupplementation may lead to hypothyroidism, goiter, or autoimmune thyroid problems. This just is not the case. A review of the literature revealed that the organic forms of iodine were involved in most of these complications. Iodine intake has fallen over 50% in the US over the last 30 years. During this same time, increases in diabetes, hypertension, obesity, breast and thyroid cancer, and other thyroid disorders have been reported. It appears to us that iodine deficiency, not iodine excess may be responsible for the increase of these conditions” (see link here).
Iodine has been shown to help remove toxic chemicals such as aluminum, fluoride, bromide, lead, and mercury from the body (see link here).
In case you haven’t made the connection yet between iodine (what your thyroid needs for proper metabolism) and weight loss, I leave you this quote:
“If you have too little iodine in your diet, hypothyroidism and weight gain will occur. “I believe that an insufficient intake of organic iodine in today’s modern diet has led to a serious and chronic form of low-grade hypothyroidism,” writes Donald R. Yance, Jr. in Herbal Medicine, Healing and Cancer. Increasing your iodine level will allow your thyroid function and metabolic rate to return to normal” (see link for this quote here).
If you’re struggling with weight loss you may want to consider checking out some of these web sites. (Most of them are hawking their own products which I do not recommend). The recommended doses from many of the doctors is a combination of iodine/iodide of 12.5 mg (not mcg) daily, available in most whole foods or vitamin stores.
Iodine deficiency may be the culprit for sluggish metabolism and the inability to lose weight for those who are exercising diligently, eating carefully, and still having little success with weight loss. It is worth checking out for yourself.
NOTE: As an addendum, be careful of all the quack sites on the web for quick weight loss. Most of them are bogus.
Here are some more products that stimulate metabolism and thyroid function.