by Amanda Box

Iodine is a vital nutrient for good health. Not only is iodine critical  for thyroid gland function and body metabolism, it’s also essential for reproductive tissue health. Yet most doctors are NOT taught how important adequate iodine intake is for your health!

iodine deficiencyIodine is making its way into the headlines as the next great thing for weight loss and energy. The funny thing is this amazing “newsupplement has been around for over 150 years! The mineral iodine was once widely utilized as medicine, primarily to kill viruses and bacteria, as well as disinfect wounds. Soon this natural medicine was pushed aside in favor of new “drugs.”  However, these new drugs have become known for their risky side effects, unlike iodine, which is very safe.

Iodine is a necessary component for our bodies, specifically for the thyroid. With low levels of iodine, the thyroid won’t function properly. A poor functioning thyroid can have numerous symptoms, but common ones are fatigue and weight gain. Overweight and exhausted Americans have no idea they may be suffering because they lack the essential nutrient iodine.

Iodine’s Competition

What is iodine exactly? Iodine is a mineral, and part of the halogen elements on the periodic table. The 4 other common non-metallic halogens include chlorine, fluoride and bromide, which compete with iodine by blocking mineral receptors, causing iodine depletion in the body.

There used to be very little competition with iodine because these other elements were rarely consumed.  However, they are now almost unavoidable. Bromine replaced iodine as a dough conditioner several decades ago. Chlorine and fluoride are used to treat our drinking water. Now something as simple as eating bread and drinking water can cause a huge rise in iodine deficiency.

Are You Iodine Deficient?

There are a few ways to tell if you may be iodine deficient. A slow thyroid is usually a dead giveaway for low levels of iodine. Some other symptoms of iodine deficiency include:

  • Cold hands and feet
  • Dry skin
  • Low body temperature
  • Foggy brain
  • Fatigue
  • Ringing in the ears
  • Constipation
  • Dry, brittle hair that falls out
  • Weight gain
  • Depression

The list goes on, but if you have a majority of the symptoms listed above then you are most likely iodine deficient.

The “iodine patch test” can also detect levels of the mineral iodine in your body. Paint a 2 x 2 inch patch of iodine on your skin. If the iodine stays on your skin:

  • 24+ hours, then you have sufficient levels of iodine in your body.
  • 12-18 hours, then you are moderately low levels of iodine.
  • 12 hours or less, then you are considered to have a severe iodine deficiency.

Correcting Iodine Deficiency

It is quite simple and inexpensive to correct iodine deficiency. If your levels are quite low, then you will want to start on an natural iodine supplement as soon as possible.  The most common form of iodine is potassium iodide, which is readily absorbed by the thyroid.  However, breast tissue prefers molecular iodide.  There are now companies that are combining both types of iodine for greater absorbency.

Iodine Breast Cancer by Flickr AslanMediaYou can also get iodine from foods.

Kelp is rich in iodine and can either be eaten or taken in supplement form. Celtic or Himalayan salts also have naturally occurring iodine.  These forms of salt will not raise your blood pressure or cause water retention.

Remember, iodine is essential for everyone to achieve optimal wellness.

Incorporating this important nutrient can drastically change your health for the better.  If you would like to increase your energy, reduce fatiguelose weight and feel better, then try the old-fashioned medicine iodine.

Do you know someone who is getting iodine therapy? Share this with the social share buttons to reduce cancer risk of you and your beloved!

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Amanda Box, Naturopath for Barton PublishingAmanda Box is a Traditional  Naturopath and a graduate of Clayton College of Natural Health. She’s been in the health and wellness industry for over 12 years and currently practices naturopathic consulting in the Kansas City, Missouri area.  Her passion is helping others achieve wellness of the whole person – mind, body, and spirit. If you don’t have a good local naturopathic practitioner to turn to for your personal needs, Amanda does phone consultations! She can help you with weight loss, detox/cleansing, acute and chronic illnesses, skin and body care, grocery shopping, pantry overhauls, and more! Visit her blog “My Life in a Healthnut Shell” at for contact info.