If you have or are having difficulty becoming pregnant, chances are pretty good that iodine deficiency is your culprit. Your whole body needs iodine and the highest concentrations can be found in your uterus and ovaries among others. Hypothyroidism A.K.A. Iodine deficiency can cause menstrual irregularities, decreaseddrive, , failure to ovulate, premature childbirth and pre-eclampsia. Some women experience an autoimmune version of hypothyroidism in which their bodies are producing killer cells which attacks their own tissues (including their own thyroid or an embryo). If you have symptoms of hypothyroidism and have experienced a miscarriage then you definitely need to begin supplementing with the list of vitamins provided on the I'm deficient, Now what? page.Though Iodine is the number one supplement it works synergistically with other vitamins, minerals and nutrients. The consequences of not resolving your deficiencies is the likeliness that you will not be able to maintain a pregnancy without treatment.
Deficiency of iodine seems to cause more damage in developing embryos and in fact, in pregnant women iodine deficiency causes abortions and stillborns. It is not cretinism alone that holds risks from deficiency, but the very survival of the infant itself. Adequate iodine may also provide protection from infection and vaccine damage. In a study done on 617 infants between the ages of 6 weeks and six months, in an iodine deficient area, it was shown that with the addition of 100 mg of iodine oil to the diet of newborns, that the death rate of infants was markedly lower than for those without any supplementation.
Hypothyroidism is a common cause of infertility in women and incompetent sperm in men. Many childless couples have the misfortune to be hypothyroid (one or both partners) and yet not have an abnormal lab value (T3 or T4 test) to convince the doctor to prescribe thyroid replacement therapy.
Another common symptom of hypothyroidism is dysfunction of the female cycle. In children, the onset of menses may be delayed or, paradoxically, it may come years early with hypothyroidism. At the other end, menopause may happen much too early or much too late. During childbearing years the menstrual cycle may be upset in just about any pattern imaginable. The most common condition is that of irregular bleeding. The lining of the uterus, the endometrium, just like other tissues in the body, requires thyroid hormone for proper growth and function.
Iodine during pregnancy is so much more important than anything else. Severe iodine deficiency in a mother's diet during pregnancy increases the risk of miscarriage and stillbirth. If the baby survives to term, it is likely to suffer irreversible mental retardation. This is known as cretinism and is a major cause of preventable intellectual impairment in low iodine areas. Mildly iodine-deficient children have learning disabilities and poor motivation. The developing fetus, newborn and young children are most susceptible to the effects of an iodine- deficient diet, and treatment before conception or in early pregnancy is essential to prevent irreversible damage. Breast milk contains more iodine than formula milk and premature babies who are formula-fed may be at risk of deficiency. Take a look here to see the scary side of iodine deficiency during pregnancy.
In newborns, iodine deficiency causes cretinism (neonatal hypothyroidism), which is characterized by jaundice, poor appetite, constipation, a hoarse cry, outpouching of the navel (umbilical hernia), and slowed bone growth. If not diagnosed and treated within a few months of birth, iodine deficiency results in mental retardation. Iodine deficiency that begins in childhood (juvenile hypothyroidism) slows growth, sometimes resulting in disproportionately short limbs as well as delayed development of teeth.
Ideally one would achieve full body sufficiency of not just Iodine but all other vitamins and mineral prior to trying to conceive, However, if you are already pregnant (congratulations!) there is more to it than pop an iodine pill. The whole point of this site is to encourage you to be more active in your health care, and that means giving you the pros and cons so that you can make an informed decision. Because iodine pushes out heavy metals some will cross the placenta and affect your unborn baby, although it will anyways because your body naturally does this anyway, the iodine increases the amount excreted. However, the iodine your child receives is beneficial in helping their bodies excrete toxic metals as well, as you can read below, any risks are far outweighed by the benefits of iodine supplementation.
"Growth and development of 207 children (49% males; mean age 5.4 years [SD 0.2], range 4 to 7.3 years whose mothers received iodine during pregnancy, and children who received iodine first in their 2nd year, were examined in 1996; 192 children (49% males; mean age 6.5 years[SD 0.2], range 5.8 to 6.9 years) whose mothers received iodine while pregnant were seen in 1998. Children were from the southern part of China's Xinjiang Province which has the lowest levels of iodine in water and soil ever recorded. Head circumference but not height was improved for those who received iodine during pregnancy (compared with those receiving iodine at age 2) and for those supplemented before the end of the 2nd trimester (relative to those supplemented during the 3rd trimester). Iodine before the 3rd trimester predicted higher psychomotor test scores for children relative to those provided iodine later in pregnancy or at 2 years. Results from the test for cognitive development resulted in trend only differences between those children supplemented during pregnancy versus later."
"The literature search revealed that 60 million mainland Japanese consume a daily average of 13.8 mg of elemental iodine and they are one of the healthiest nations, based on overall wellbeing and cancer statistics (4). Japanese women do not stop consuming iodine-rich foods during pregnancy, and Japanese fetuses are exposed to maternal peripheral levels of iodide at concentrations of 10-5M to 10-6M (1-4). Either the Japanese are mutants, capable of striving on toxic levels of iodine or we have been grossly deceived, and the human body needs at least 100 times the RDA, which was established very recently in 1980 and confirmed in 1989!! (7)"
It affects animals in the same way!
"The results demonstrated that iodine supplementation restores fertility of sheep living in iodine deficient areas and may represent a means to achieve a silent iodine prophylaxis of local populations."
Anderson’s ‘LSD file’ holds a pile of research papers (mainly international) linking iodine, vitamin E and selenium with better immune responses and lamb survival when given pre-lambing. Research covers sheep and cows, even American buffalo and Awassi sheep.
There is also research on the benefits of selenium and iodine given pre-tuppping. For example, ewes given 50mg of selenium three weeks before mating had heavier twin lambs. The lambs also had a ‘boosted’ immune system (levels of glutathione peroxidase).
In another trial, iodine deficient ewes were given a ‘hefty’ 480mg dose of iodine pre-tupping and had a radically improved lambing percentage. In this overseas trial, the ewes achieved 100% vs only 37% for non-supplemented ewes (Ferris, 2003).
"Iodine supplementation (20 mg KI twice weekly) to ewes during the last month of pregnancy and the first 3 months of lactation increased productivity. Production traits enhanced by this treatment included the birth weight (3.9 vs 3.5 kg; P < 0.01), survival (84% vs 64 %), growth rate (P < 0.05), and mature SIP wool follicle ratio of lambs (1 4.9 ¦ 1.2 vs 10.3 ¦ 1.6). "