How your breast and thyroid fight over iodine.

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You probably have never heard of the need for Iodine, but it is vital to human life.

Ref: Brownstein D. Iodine: Why You Need It, Why You Can’t Live Without It. Medical Alternatives Press, West Bloomfield, MI; 2004. Women’s Pharmacy Newsletter.

Iodine is a trace element that is vital to human life, because iodine plays a role in all of your hormones, your immune system, your metabolic rate and yes, your breasts!

Iodine is produced by seaweed, and is a natural mineral in the soil, sand and ocean of any area of the globe that has been under the ocean or near an ocean currently. Iodine is present in most of the US except the Midwest.  Unfortunately, the glaciers of the last ice age, scraped off the topsoil, and the iodine, from the Midwest of the US and carried it to Canada.

The Midwest, where I live and practice medicine, is ground zero for the diseases secondary to iodine deficiency.  If you live by the ocean, you probably get enough iodine, however the farther away you are from the coast, or if you live in the US Midwest, the higher your chance of having iodine deficiency.

Where do we find Iodine concentrated in our body?  The thyroid gland takes 75% of the iodine, and the rest is distributed to the breasts, ovaries, muscles and blood. The breasts need iodine to be healthy and normal, and insufficient iodine causes women to develop fibro-glandular conditions that obscure masses on mammogram, and make the breasts feel “lumpy”.  There is a direct relationship between iodine deficiency and breast disease.Taking Iodine can reverse the fibrocystic condition of the breast and it can give your thyroid gland the iodine it needs to make T3 and T4, and keep your metabolism burning calories.

Hypothyroidism and fibrocystic breast disease are primarily diseases affecting women, and both conditions occur most frequently at the times in a woman’s life-cycle when breast growth is most active.  Breasts are most actively growing during the following times: puberty, pregnancy, and pre-menopause.  I noticed the occurrence of these diseases at these times in my GYN patients when I practiced OBGYN. I did a breast exam on every one of my patients and I noticed that breasts because more cystic in my patient’s early teens, during pregnancy and between 35 and 50.  However my practice is in the middle of the “goiter belt” of the Midwest and almost every woman had somewhat cystic breasts due to a lack of iodine. All the mammograms I saw were fibrocystic, which doesn’t increase their chance of getting breast cancer, but does make reading a mammogram more difficult.  Fibrocystic breasts make mammograms have a “static” like quality which decreases their accuracy.

Here is how this works…when you are a child and have enough Iodine for your thyroid function, you were thin and active, then you are less likely to have hypothyroidism as a child. About 2 years before puberty, a girl’s breasts start to form and they soak up the iodine from the blood, stealing it from the thyroid.  This makes these young girls gain fat, they become fatigues and often have all the symptoms of hypothyroidism, like hair loss, thin eyebrows and lack of motivation.   During those two years as their breasts grow, women who have plenty of iodine in their diet, don’t’ become hypothyroid and don’t develop cystic breasts.

The young women who effectively increase their iodine intake, or who have small breasts don’t require very much Iodine, escape the puberty process with a normal thyroid.  Other girls soak up more of their Iodine in their breasts and starve their thyroid.  The thyroid shuts down, they gain fat, are fatigued, get all the symptoms of low thyroid, and get lumpy breasts. This leads to a group of women who get Hypothyroidism and FCBDX (fibrocystic breast disease) at puberty.

The second time of life women get hypothyroidism is during or after pregnancy when their breasts are much larger than ever before, and are lactating, using up their iodine.  Hypothyroidism can occur at this time is unlike other times of a woman’s life that puts a woman at high risk of developing hypothyroidism, they can actually get over hypothyroidism within a year of developing it. Generally, once you have hypothyroidism, you never get over it and you must take thyroid replacement medication the rest of your life.

How can you prevent the breast changes from low Iodine intake?  You would think that the government would supplement foods with Iodine to prevent this, but in their usual manner of bad dietary advice, they took Iodine supplementation out of bread and other baked goods in the 1960s under the false assumption that iodine caused hypothyroidism, when it doesn’t!  They replaced it with Bromine, which cripples the thyroid gland and can cause hypothyroidism. In addition, they added fluoride to water and that effectively blocks the effectiveness of iodine.  It basically kicks Iodine off the thyroid hormone molecule and replaces it with Fluoride which stops thyroid function.  Why does the government not reverse its previous stand on Iodine?  Because they would have to admit they made a mistake!  That seems to be more important than the health of the American public.

 How to prevent and treat the diseases of low Iodine?  You can move out of the Midwest and buy a house on the beach where iodine is literally in the air, and every time a wave crashes on the beach, iodine is dispersed in the air and you absorb it through your skin and lungs. If that isn’t practical, you can eat a lot of sushi that has seaweed wraps or you can increase your intake of seafood to supplement your iodine.  If that is not practical, then you can take a supplement call Iodoral, ½ to 1 tablet (12.5 mg) a day. Taking iodine can literally reverse both fibrocystic breasts, and hypothyroidism….you should take iodine if you have low thyroid and are taking thyroid medicine because you still need it for your breasts and the receptors on your cells also need iodine to let thyroid hormone into the cells!

In addition to ingesting iodine as a supplement, avoid the substances that block iodine from working: Fluoride and Bromide. Don’t swallow your fluoride toothpaste, in fact, buy non-fluoride toothpaste, filter the Fluoride out of your water and only buy bread without Bromine added.   A trip to the beach every few months can load up your iodine cache because you can absorb it through your skin during a walk on the beach. My plea is that governmental agencies that produce guidelines for food production reintroduce iodine into the list of fortification that is required in food!

This Health cast was written and presented by Dr. Kathy Maupin, M.D., Bio-identical Hormone Replacement Expert and Author. • (314) 993-0963. Please subscribe to our YouTube channel and please check “ Like “.  Follow us on Facebook and Instagram at BioBalanceHealth.

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