Thyroid problems can lead to fatigue, feeling cold and flaky skin. Dr. Naomi Newman-Beinart reveals the signs of iodine deficiency, plus what can help
Iodine is an essential mineral that your body can’t make by itself, so we must depend on food or supplements to get what the levels we need.
Iodine plays an important role in producing thyroid hormones, which are essential for vital bodily processes such as metabolism.
This is why low thyroid hormone levels often lead to thyroid problems such as low energy, constipation, and weight gain, to name a few.
World Health Organisation now classifies the UK as seventh out of the ten most iodine-deficient nations in the world
Many countries, such as the US and Canada, add iodine to their table salt to reduce problems associated with iodine deficiency.
However, we don’t do this in the UK, and the World Health Organisation now classifies the UK as seventh out of the ten most iodine-deficient nations in the world.
Dr. Naomi Newman-Beinart is here to tell Healthsita readers about the signs of iodine deficiency and what you can do about it…
Sign #1 Dry, flaky skin
Did you know that thyroid hormones can actually help your skin cells to regenerate?
When people have an iodine deficiency, they often find that their skin is dry and flaky, and researchers believe that this may be due to low thyroid hormone levels.
Taking a natural seaweed supplement is a great way to improve iodine deficiency and as an added bonus, seaweed also contains antioxidants which are well-known to help protect the skin from damage and fight signs of ageing.
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Sign #2 Feeling cold all the time
Feeling cold is a common symptom of iodine deficiency. Iodine is required for the production of thyroxine, a thyroid hormone that helps to regulate your body temperature.
If you don’t have enough thyroxine, you are more likely to feel cold even when you are doing all the right things to try and stay warm.
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Sign #3 Swelling at the front of your neck
When you are deficient in iodine then your body can’t make enough thyroid hormones.
When this happens, your thyroid starts to work overtime to make these vital hormones and this can result in overgrowth of the thyroid gland, which is at the front of your neck. This is called goiter.
Luckily, if caught soon enough this can be reversed by improving iodine intake.
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Sign #4 Weight gain
Over the years, I have come across many women who struggle with unexpected weight gain and weight that is really hard to shift, even when they are doing all of the right things.
The reason iodine may be the culprit here is because thyroid hormones help to control your metabolism, helping convert what you eat into energy and heat.
When you have low thyroid hormone levels, you burn less calories from your food, so more of those calories are stored as fat.
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Sign #5 Memory troubles
Did you know that being iodine deficient can affect your IQ? Scientists collated over 20 studies looking at the relationship between iodine status and IQ, and all of the studies found that iodine deficiency was associated with lower IQ.
Research has also found that people with lower thyroid hormone levels performed less well on memory tasks than people with higher levels – fascinating stuff and an excellent reason to start thinking about adding seaweed to your daily diet.
Think you may be iodine deficient?
If you think you might be iodine deficient, you can get this check by a doctor, or an online Q&A can tell you more about your iodine status.
Certain foods, such as white fish and dairy, contain traces of iodine, but one of the richest natural plant-based food sources is seaweed.
You can enjoy seaweed in salads and with Asian food, such as sushi, or take a daily seaweed supplement. I can personally recommend Doctor Seaweed’s organic ‘Weed and Wonderful’ Hebridean Ascophyllum seaweed capsules, £20.00 for 60 days supply. They are also available to buy from Boots.
the richest natural plant-based food sources is seaweed
Each capsule contains only natural ingredients from Scottish seaweed and contains a similar amount of natural and safe iodine as you would expect to find in a portion of white fish.
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