Blame It On Iodine

If you are seriously trying to lose weight, chances are have tried several different programs. Many of you are still not getting down to your desired or ideal weight. One big reason could be that you are having problems with one little molecule.

Iodine is the basis for the extremely important Thyroid Hormone in your body. That hormone regulates everything from your metabolism to your digestion. Because it usually slowly creeps up on you, it is very common to not realize that there has been a change in your energy level, memory, mentrual periods and skin texture. You could even be losing your hair over this one.

The lack of enough Thyroid Hormone in your body is called Hypothyroidism. There are several things that Hypothyroidism will cause that make you gain weight. First of all, it decreases your basal metabolic rate and overall metabolism. That is the rate that you use up energy. Basically what that means is that the normal muscle tone is lost and your muscles tend to be much more relaxed than normal. Your internal organs that use muscles will also be affected. You will probably notice that mostly by a change in your bowel habits. You will tend to become constipated. Just what you needed!

Muscles need to remain toned to keep your joints in the proper position. So, they will always normally be a little tight. This uses calories (yeah!). Obviously, when they are more relaxed than normal, you tend to gain weight.

Secondly, lack of Thyroid Hormone will make you lazy. At least that is my excuse. hehe.

Dr. Oliver Sacks (made famous in the movie Awakenings) describes one man that had to be helped out of bed in the morning. He was then fed and led to a chair in the corner. In the evening he was led back to bed. During the day he would not even talk. This happened day after day for years! Finally, for some reason, he ended up at the doctors office and was found to be severely hypothyroid. He returned to normal with treatment, but did not even remember all those years where he was a zombie.

If you suspect that you might have hypothyroidism consider these associated symptoms: dry skin, brittle nails, constipation, irregular or heavy menstrual periods (if you are male, you probably won’t develop this one), feeling tired and weak, cold skin, coarse, retaining water or thinning hair. Any, or all of these can occur.

You have an increased chance of getting this condition if you have a swelling in the front of your neck called a goiter, diabetes, patches of light skin (not always, but there is a specific condition causing this that also affects the thyroid), iodine deficiency and some medications. Some women develop this as a complication of pregnancy.

If you always buy salt with no iodine, there is a slight chance that you could develop hypothyroidism as a result of the lack of iodine. Remember, iodine is part of the thyroid hormone molecule. Without iodine, your body cannot make the hormone.

When you think you may have hypothyroidism, you should see your medical doctor to get a blood test. One thing that most doctors won’t tell you is that you need to be otherwise feeling pretty good during the test. There is one condition called Euthyroid Sick Syndrome that will cause low Thyroid Hormone levels when you are sick. But the hormone levels can return to normal when you get well. So, it is better to get the levels checked when you get well in order to have an accurate test.

Assuming that you have guessed right, your doctor will prescribe a thyroid hormone supplement that will get you feeling better. The only problem at this point is that it is often tricky to get the right amount into your system. You will often bounce back and forth between feeling weak and tired and feeling jittery. But with your doctors help, that should diminish fairly quickly.

The good news is that once your thyroid is in control, you are going to feel much better, have more energy and be back on track with your weight control.