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Find out why iodine deficiency is on the rise and whether you may have hypothyroidism.

‘New Zealanders have about 50% of the daily requirements for iodine’

Like other countries iodine deficiency has led to health problems in New  Zealand.  In the late 1800s and early 1900s goitre was very common and in 1924.  Iodine was added to table salt to increase iodine in people diets. Yet, now iodine deficiency is re-emerging with estimations that most New Zealanders have about 50% of the daily requirements for iodine and a presence of mild iodine deficiency in 5 – 14-year-olds (28%  of children studied had low iodine levels)  Deficiency can lead to significant health-related issues from cardiovascular, neurological,  fertility and pregnancy risks to neurological, mental and emotional,  arthritis and inflammation, diabetes and obesity.

Read on to find out if iodine deficiency is affecting the health of you or your Family.

Why are more New Zealanders becoming iodine deficient?

Iodine is naturally found in fish, seaweed, shellfish and to some extent eggs,  dairy, meat and iodised salt. But iodine deficiency is on the rise due to the increased consumption of commercially prepared foods, reduced dietary salts and the reduced use of iodine in sanitizers in the dairy industry.

What is the issue with iodine deficiency?

Iodine is an essential ingredient in all thyroid hormones, and the thyroid cannot function in an iodine deficient state. The sole function of the thyroid is to make thyroid hormone. This hormone has an effect on nearly all tissues of the body where it increases cellular activity. The function of the thyroid is to regulate the body’s metabolism.

It is widely known that iodine deficiency causes goiter and may lead to hypothyroidism but because the thyroid has a major part to play in the body, and the adrenal and thyroid glands interact to regulate weight, energy, blood sugars, neurotransmitters, sex hormones, inflammation and immune functions low iodine leading to thyroid disorders may play a part in autoimmune disorders including Graves and Hashimoto’s disease, has been linked to fibrocystic breasts and breast cancer and other hormone-sensitive cancers such as ovarian and prostate cancers. Additionally, hypothyroidism can lead to increased cardiovascular and diabetes risks, fertility and pregnancy issues, neurological risks, mental and emotional problems such as anxiety and depression and an increased risk of Alzheimer’s. The decreased metabolic rate in people with hypothyroidism is associated with weight gain and obesity.

How do you know if you have Hypothyroidism?

Do you suffer from any of the following?

Rate each of the symptoms below from a scale of 0-3 (o-none, 1-mild, 2-moderate, 3-severe)

Symptom 0-none 1-mild 2- moderate 3-severe
Tiredness and sluggishness
Dry hair or skin
Sleep more than usual
Weaker Muscles
Constant feeling of cold
Frequent muscle cramps
Poorer memory
More depressed
Slower thinking
Puffier eyes
Difficulty with maths
Hoarser or deeper voice
Coarser hair/hair loss
Muscle/joint pain
Low sex drive/impotence
Puffy hands and feet
Unsteady gait
Gain weight easily
Outer third of eyebrow thin
Menses more irregular
Heavier menses
Fibrocystic breast disease
Swelling in neck

If your score is over 8 then you may have hypothyroidism

What now?

Contact Sheena Hendon on 021316677 or contact us and we can advise you what to do next. Depending on the severity of symptoms and further discussion we will be able to suggest next steps – from further tests to prescribing supportive nutrients for a healthy thyroid gland. Remember it may not be enough just to take iodine supplements as we may need to work on adrenal stress  and other health issues

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