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Monthly Newsletter July 2011

Are you one of those people who have experienced chronic fatigue, weight gain, or "brain-fog"? Maybe you are a female that has been bothered by PMS, dry skin, hair loss, heat and/or cold intolerance, fibrocystic breast disorder, or fluid retention. Has low motivation, headaches, poor memory, decreased concentration, constipation, or Irritable Bowel Syndrome affected your life? If any of this sounds familiar you could be living with a "Functional Thyroid Issue". Millions upon millions of people are suffering with thyroid imbalances that cause the above mentioned symptoms and health conditions as well as the symptoms listed below. There is much that can be done to improve almost anyone's thyroid function in only a few short months. Treatment is safe, natural, and involves no medications.

Additional symptoms of poor thyroid function include; anxiety and panic attacks, irritability, depression brittle or unhealthy nails, low sex drive, insomnia, hives, asthma, allergies, slow healing, acne, carpal tunnel syndrome, and even heart arrhythmias.

By far most functional thyroid disorders involve a low functioning thyroid gland and therefore most of this article will address the reasons for and treatment of low thyroid function. There are times that the thyroid gland can become over active and cause a condition known as Grave's Disease (hyperthyroidism) but that is rare by comparison to the under active thyroid and is a subject for another day.

Salt and bread were once fortified with iodine in an effort to resolve goiter in America. Many people are on salt free diets and are not getting iodine supplementation from salt. Even if you do use iodized salt it has poor bioavailability (only about 10% of the iodine in salt is actually absorbed by the body). Much of the iodine fortification of bread products has been changed in recent years to bromine which is a carcinogen. Today we find lots of people with toxic and heavy metal burden—with high levels of lead, mercury, and the two toxic halides bromine and fluorine. Here's the problem. Bromine and fluorine compete with iodine for absorption and binding in the body. Too much bromine or fluorine compete with iodine for binding sites on the cell and cause an iodine deficiency. When we supplement with iodine and increase iodine levels in the body we increase the excretion of heavy metals and excretion of the two toxic halides bromine and fluorine. As these toxins are decreased the body breathes a heavy sigh of relief!

The RDA for iodine (150ug/day to 290ug/day) is far too low to maintain good health. The RDA was established for iodine in the 1930's to combat the increasing levels of goiter experienced in the mid-western states. By adding iodine to salt (iodizing) this was very effective in reducing the high numbers of people suffering from goiter. However, the amount of iodine needed to maintain a healthy thyroid gland and good health is MUCH higher than the RDA requirement.

Dr. David Brownstein, a practicing medical doctor and researcher, is one of America's most renowned authorities on iodine therapy and treatment of thyroid disorders. He states "after testing more than 1000 patients in my office I have found that over 90% of these patients tested low for iodine". Iodine consumption has fallen by 50% in the last 30 years. The bottom line is people in America are not getting adequate amounts of iodine in their diets to fully supply the rest of the body's needs for a properly functioning thyroid gland, cancer prevention, an optimal immune system, and other vital functions for the body.

All tissues of the body need iodine for proper function with the thyroid gland being the first in line to use available iodine from the diet. For women the next organs in line are breast, ovaries, and uterus. For men the prostate has a critical need for iodine. So you can see that when the diet is low in iodine intake there can be far reaching effects on the body as a whole.

So how do we test for iodine levels to determine if we have adequate levels of iodine in our bodies? The standard tests that doctors use are tests that determine thyroid function. These are tests like TSH, T-3, and T-4, but these will only test for thyroid function and won't really determine the iodine saturation levels of the body. Luckily there are two easy tests that can be done in the privacy of your own home that can reveal a lot about your iodine needs. (If you send me a self-addressed stamped envelope I will be happy to send instructions on how to perform these tests at home). My address is 820 W. New York Ave. DeLand, FL. 32720. There is also a 24 hour urine test that can be ordered called the "iodine-loading test" that is not expensive and is extremely accurate to determine iodine saturation levels and thus the need for iodine supplementation.

You may wonder about dietary sources for iodine. So let's take a look at the best sources that can be incorporated into your diet. By far the best source that you will find is Kelp or (sea vegetables) and can be easily used when making soups or can be sprinkled on salads. Other good sources include; eggs, cod fish, shrimp, yogurt, strawberries, milk, and mozzarella cheese.

If your iodine levels are very low you will probably need to supplement with iodine supplements to once again reach iodine saturation. Diet alone is usually not sufficient to raise the iodine levels to saturation point. There is no way that the use of iodized salt can ever increase your iodine to normal levels. The first step is to be properly tested to find out if you are going to need supplementation.

The Good News

If you are tested and found to be low in iodine the good news is supplementing with a quality iodine supplement is safe, easy, and extremely effective. Many patients of mine have seen positive changes within 2 to 4 weeks; however, it could take 6 to 12 months of supplementing to reach full saturation levels so as to not have symptoms return. Although this iodine saturation process is safe and effective please do not attempt to do this on your own. Your will need professional help from a health care provider that truly understands iodine treatment protocols.

If you suffer from one or more of the symptoms mentioned at the beginning of this newsletter and a low iodine level is the cause, then the only solution is to bring your iodine back to normal levels so you can once again enjoy good health.

The following recipe contains a rich source of iodine to help thyroid function.

Recipe of the Month

As always I like to include an easy to prepare nutritious organic recipe for those of you who enjoy time in the kitchen. These recipes are not difficult and I know that you will enjoy them. Try to use all organic ingredients whenever possible.

Once you begin eating organic you will really see the difference in taste. Organic foods are far more flavorful, have more nutrients, and are free of toxic chemicals.

Shitake Mushroom Seaweed Soup

Try this delicious combination of seaweed and shiitake mushrooms to add an extra boost of minerals to your Healthiest Way of Eating. Enjoy!

Prep and Cook Time: 30 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 6 whole dried medium shiitake mushrooms
  • 6 cups warm water
  • 4 medium-sized pieces wakame seaweed (also known as Kelp or Kombu)
  • 1 medium onion, quartered and sliced thin
  • 3 medium cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 TBS minced fresh ginger
  • 4 to 6 oz of vegetable stock
  • 2 TBS soy sauce
  • 1 TBS rice vinegar
  • 3 TBS minced scallion greens for garnish
  • Sea salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

    • 1.Rinse mushrooms and wakame and soak in 2 cups of warm water for about 10 minutes, or until soft. Save water.
    • 2.Heat 1 TBS mushroom-seaweed water in medium-sized soup pot. Add onion and saute' over medium heat for about 5 minutes stirring frequently. Add garlic and ginger and continue to sautĂ© for another minute.
    • 3.When mushrooms and wakame are soft, slice the mushrooms thin and chop the seaweed. Cut out stems when slicing mushrooms and discard. Add to soup pot along with soaking water, and 4 more cups of water and vegetable stock. Bring to a boil on high heat.
    • 4.Once it returns to a boil, reduce heat to medium and simmer uncovered for about 10 minutes. Season with soy sauce, rice vinegar, salt, and pepper. Add minced scallion and serve.

Serves 4

Serving Suggestions: Serve and enjoy!

Should you have any questions about the topic of "Poor Thyroid Function" please contact me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call me at 386-956-1668. I am here to help.

Vital Life Solutions

820 W. New York Ave.

DeLand, FL. 32720

Have a Healthy Day!

Dr. Stephen W. Hayman