Iodine is extremely important for the thyroid gland and necessary to be able to convert tyrosine (amino acid) to the thyroid hormone thyroxine (T4). Furthermore, iodine is needed for all the cells in your body, for the production of all the body’s hormones, for the muscles and the brain. WHO reports that iodine deficiency can cause brain damage and affect the mental health of fetuses and babies. Iodine deficiency is 6 times more common in women than in men.
Iodine is an important component of thyroid hormones that controls our metabolism and thus affects our health and well-being. Too much of the thyroid hormone increases metabolism, which leads to weight loss and elevated body temperature. Excessive levels can cause overproduction (hyperthyroidism) and can lead to toxic goiter. Too little of the hormone (hypothyroidism) has a negative effect on metabolism, which leads to weight gain, low body temperature and elevated blood lipids. It is important to be aware of whether you are at risk of suffering from a deficiency in order to avoid problematic health effects.
Iodine as a supplement
For fatigue, breast lumps, ovarian and genital cysts, as well as the prevention of goiters and infections, iodine is often taken as a supplement.
A lack of iodine can arise from insufficient levels or from a deficiency in thyroid hormone. This deficiency hinders the thyroid gland from producing adequate hormones. Women, pregnant women, nursing mothers and people who eat a lot of ready-made food or eat a low-salt diet are mainly affected. The consequence is then so-called hypothyroidism, which is a sub-function of the thyroid gland. Hypothyroidism means that the thyroid gland produces too little of the hormone thyroxine (T4) and causes the thyroid gland to enlarge (form of goiter). The thyroid gland under the chin then grows in a desperate attempt to increase the capacity to increase the production of thyroid hormone. In addition to weight gain, you can suffer from:
- Elevated blood lipids
- Low body temperature
- Low metabolism
Symptoms of iodine deficiency are fatigue, chills, depression, weight gain, dry skin and hair loss. These symptoms may appear without any disease being diagnosed. Iodine deficiency and impaired thyroid function manifest themselves in the same way. Susceptibility to infection, poor circulation, cold hands and feet, PMS, constipation, muscle cramps and muscle weakness can be additional symptoms of deficiency. In children, iodine deficiency can lead to stunted growth and mental development. Taking iodine supplements without knowing for sure that you have an iodine deficiency can be harmful to the body and instead lead to the reverse condition, overproduction of the thyroid hormone, which in the worst case can lead to toxic goiter.
Iodine deficiency always manifests itself as a deficiency of thyroid hormone, but a deficiency of thyroid hormone does not necessarily mean a deficiency of iodine.
Sources of Iodine
Seafood is a primary source of iodine. In many Western countries, salt contains added iodine. However, processed foods often prefer iodine-free salt due to its baking properties. If you consume many processed foods, consider monitoring your iodine intake. It’s also wise to take an iodine test.
Obesity or depression with no connection to the thyroid gland?
The thyroid gland directly affects the metabolism and our mental well-being. However, there are other factors that may come into play. More and more studies are now showing the connection between which bacteria we have in our intestinal flora and our weight. For those of you who want to know more about this, you should take a test that looks into your gut health and for those of you who suffer from depression, we can also recommend that you measure your serotonin. Serotonin is also measured in urine, just like iodine.
How to take GetTested’s Iodine Test?
When your body has enough iodine, it expels the excess in urine. In fact, we usually excrete about 90% of the iodine we ingest. Measuring the iodine against creatinine in urine shows potential deficiencies.
This test uses a urine sample, which you collect at home. After ordering, we’ll send you a test kit. Once you send the sample to our lab, they analyze it. You’ll then get your digital results.