Before entering high school, I was always active. I ran around like crazy with my two brothers, went bike riding, ran with my father, ran track in school, took Tae Kwon Do, and enjoyed dance. After entering high school, I took leave of those activities and focused more on being a student and figuring out my place in the student body. Without those extra activities I had plenty of time to study and have fun with time to spare.
What did I do with my extra time? I sat around reading, surfing the net, and watching television. I was in the middle of some formative body development years and I wasn’t doing anything to keep it healthy. Did I mention that I was a junk food junky and I had been steadily gaining weight? Yes, by the time I turned 16, I was 40 pounds over-fat. I was unhealthy, depressed, lethargic, and I felt unattractive. Even in my active years, I had suffered from an arrhythmia, but with little activity, my heart troubles were growing steadily worse. My doctors diagnosed me with hypothyroidism, pre-diabetes, major depression, and told me that my kidneys were at risk. I was prescribed numerous medications and suffered the side effects of each of them.
It wasn’t until I started doing research and bringing my new-found information to the attention of my doctors, that I was encouraged to manage my weight through increased activity levels. I was determined to liberate myself from the health trap I had found myself in. I sought help from fitness experts and nutritionists. After eight months, I lost 40 pounds and I was off all of my prescribed medications. My doctors encouraged me to take a daily multivitamin and increase my iodine consumption to keep my thyroid in check.
Iodine is an element which is required for living organisms. In the environment, it occurs in seawater and it is found in some minerals and soils. Sea kelp, a type of seaweed is high in the element, iodine. While sea kelp is a well known source of iodine, there are other algae with a high concentration of iodine. Organic iodine compounds are also made by some marine life forms.
Iodine is an element that is essential for your body processes. It is a supports the production of the thyroid hormones, thyroxine (T4) and triiodothyroinine (T3). The thyroid gland absorbs iodide from blood and releases hormones. Thyroxine and triiodothyronine hormones are “regulated by the TSH hormone from the pituitary gland.”
Also, Iodine acts to control the basal metabolic rate. The basal metabolic rate sets a baseline for an appropriate amount of calories to be consumed daily. Deficient thyroid hormones can “reduce basal metabolic rate by up to 50%.” This reduction in the metabolism can wreak havoc on the waistline. We may unknowingly consume more calories than our bodies are capable of burning resulting in weight gain. On the other hand, overproduction of iodine can “increase basal metabolic rates by 100%.” Seventy percent of the body’s iodine is distributed to other body tissues. Iodine is distributed to the mammary glands, the eyes, the cervix and the salivary glands. It is also related to fetal and neonatal development. You can find iodine in sea kelp, iodized salt, and plants grown in iodine-rich soil. Iodine deficiency gives rise to hypothyroidism. A person with hypothyroidism may suffer from low energy, goiter development, depression, weight gain and low basal body temperatures. Are you getting enough iodine in your diet? Check with your doctor. It might be a good idea to take a daily, complete multivitamin, eat iodine rich foods, or take an sea kelp supplement. Complete multivitamins and iodine supplements can be found at your local health food store, grocery store, drugstore, or vitamin shop.