You may have heard many friends or family talking about a variety of health problems, particularly about weight pregnancy or brain development, that has to do with a thyroid disorder. If you ever wondered what your thyroid is and why it is so important, then you’ll want to read on.
The thyroid gland is a small, butterfly-shaped gland located in the base of the neck just below the Adam's apple. Although relatively small, the thyroid gland plays a vital role in our body, influencing the function of many of the body’s most important organs, including the heart, brain, liver, kidneys and skin. Ensuring that the thyroid gland is healthy and functioning properly is vitally important to the body's overall well-being. Think of it as a car engine that sets the pace at which your body operates. 1
The ‘fuel’ in which your thyroid requires comes from Iodine. Your thyroid uses the iodine to create two hormones – Thyroxine (T4) and Triiodothyronine (T3). These hormones are essential for healthy brain and liver function. Iodine deficiency is now accepted as the most common cause of preventable brain damage in the world. Studies have shown that school children in iodine-deficient areas show poorer school performance, lower IQ and higher incidence of learning disabilities than matched groups from iodine-sufficient areas.2 This can easily be prevented with
There are 2 types of thyroid disorders: Hypo and Hyper thyroidsm
Hypothyroidism is the most common of the two. It refers to an underactive thyroid and affects about 600’000 Australians and aprroximately 30 million Americans every year. Thyroid enlargement or goiter is one of the earliest and most visible signs of iodine deficiency. Common symptoms of an underactive thyroid may include: weight gain, fluid retention, dry skin, constipation, brittle dry hair and hair loss, feeling cold, depression, poor memory/concentration, muscle pain (myalgia), loss of sexual desire or potency problems. In adults, it can also result in slower response times and impaired mental function.
For women, it can affect the menstral cycle often resulting in painful or irregular periods and infertility. Infertile women are more than twice as likely to have hypothyroidism, and those with the condition are twice as likely to suffer miscarriage and have up to seven times higher risk of experiencing stillbirth and early neonatal loss. Low levels of thyroid hormones during pregnancy and soon after birth may also have a lifelong negative impact on the child’s IQ.3
Hyperthyroidism is less common affecting 0.5% of the population. It has adverse affects including increased appetite with weight loss, heat intolerance, breathlessness, restlessness and tachycardia (irregular heartbeat).
The best way to deal with regular iodine intake is through diet. If you believe you have the symptoms mentioned, it is best to seek medical advice before taking iodine supplements. However, for a natural and safe preventative measure, an increase of seafood is recommended.
One of the richest sources of natural iodine is found in seaweed, particularly macro algae. Divinitá Source Energy and Premium are 100% organic brown seaweed algae (Ascophyllum nodosum) from the untouched shores of Scotland and Norway. Unlike the Seaweed from Japan, it is out of reach from nasty radiation or any other harmful man induced contaminants. It also contains Omega 3, 6 and 9 in a natural balance to help your body be its best. To shop, click here.
AACE Thyroid Awareness http://www.thyroidawareness.com/about-your-thyroid
Higdon, J. “An evidence based approach to Vitamins & Minerals” Thieme 2003
Edwards, M “Focus on your Thyroid.” Healthy You Magazine