Have you been consistently iodine deficient and don't know why?
You're taking a supplement consistently, maybe even increased your dosage to see if that helps, but nothing seems to make your markers budge. Concern now starts to fill you, maybe even a bit of frustration as you're not seeing any changes, and you have no idea where else to look.
If you're consistently deficient, you'd be struggling with symptoms such as:
- Brittle nails
- Hair loss
- Brain fog
- Poor memory
- Muscle cramps
- Flaky/dry skin
- Cold extremities
- Low libido
- Anovulatory cycles/missing cycles (for women)
- Unexplained weight gain
Which is definitely a cause for concern because no one wants to feeling awful all the time.
Well, today, we thought we'd go over some iodine antagonists that could potentially hinder your ability to utilize iodine or absorb it at all. We actually have a blog up already mentioning iodine deficiency, so click here if you haven't checked it out first then come back here to finish us up!
First off, let's make sure we're on the same page on one thing. Iodine testing.
Many people like to rely on blood work for nutrients, but the problem with that is that iodine is a mineral that accumulates in tissue. It doesn't stay in the blood, unlike water soluble vitamins. Therefore, the best way to test for iodine is through something called the Iodine Loading Test.
The Iodine Loading Test is a method in which one takes a 50mg tablet of iodine before one starts collecting urine for the day after the FIRST urine after waking. The dosage of 50mg is quite a dose, thus will "load" the body with a certain amount that one would assume will get absorbed and provide insight to whether the iodine is grabbing onto iodine receptors or not. Once 24 hours of urine is collected, the urine is sent to a lab to calculate the percentage that was excreted. If under 90% of iodine was excreted then one is considered deficient.
However, some people also like to use something called the Iodine Patch Test. This test is when you paint about 2-3 inches of tinted liquid iodine onto one's skin, whether it be the forearm, the stomach area or even inner thigh. The reasoning behind the painting method is to see how long it takes for the skin to absorb the iodine. If deficient, it should be absorbed within a few hours, when in fact it should take a few days to go away. Therefore, if absorbed quickly, it would indicate deficiency. The test in itself isn't as accurate as the loading test however.
Once you've gotten the correct method of testing down, the next thing is to start evaluating what could potentially be blocking your ability to absorb or utilize iodine in the first place.
There are a multitude of iodine antagonists, so let's explore them one by one.
The Halogens: Bromine, Chlorine, Fluorine
Halogens are elements similar to iodine. They are still considered minerals like calcium, magnesium, potassium, etc., however the major difference between halogens and other minerals is that they have seven valence electrons and gain an electron to complete octet.
Bromine, chlorine and fluorine are all considered to be toxic and have been shown to compete with one another for absorption within the body. In times in which we have an accumulation of one, the other could be pushed out.
Bromine is typically found in baked goods as well as soft drinks.
Chlorine is predominantly found in chlorinated water such as public pools, bleaching agents, bleached food (white floor for instance), paper and cleaning agents. Please note the naturally derived chlorine that is found in trace amounts in salt is not toxic.
Fluorine is quite popular amongst rural cities as it is utilized in tap water which is directly utilized to manufacture a multitude of foods products we consume on a daily basis. Tap water is used for packaged foods, watering crops, drinking water in schools or businesses, etc. In addition, many dentists stand by utilizing fluorine in toothpaste to prevent cavities and gum recession,
Minerals such as Iron, Manganese, Copper
Iron, manganese and copper are essential minerals in the body, but when in excess can hinder absorption and utilization of iodine. In many times, the reason these minerals accumulate in the tissues is because there is an issue with detoxification-specifically liver related.
Metals like Aluminum, Nickel, Mercury and Uranium
Not all of these metals have the capacity to push iodine out if in excess, however they can all block iodine from being absorbed. Particularly uranium and mercury, Uranium and mercury can build up in the thyroid gland, which is where most of our iodine stores are.
The best thing to do in order to navigate this is to run an HTMA and check every other mineral and metal profile to see if there is anything hindering your ability to absorb it. If you're interested, click here to order your HTMA kit today to get started!
Hair Tissue Mineral Analysis Practitioner
Functional Diagnostic Nutrition Practitioner
Integrative Health Coach