This is an article from GreenMedInfo posted on Aug 15, 2013. Much of the information that follows is every bit as pertinent for our animals as it is for us. Thyroid dysfunctions are way too commonplace these days.
While I completely agree there are far too many unnecessary thyroidectomies, I would caution however about taking “iodine supplements” as this article suggests at the end; i.e., know what form you are taking. The thyroid only transports iodine in its ionized form (i.e. iodide) and the body does not utilize iodine directly. The intestinal tract does not convert iodine to iodide and the ingested iodine must go thru an oxidative reaction before the thyroid can utilize it, resulting in oxidative stress (note that it is the iodine form, however, that the breasts utilize). Uncontaminated food sources, including sea veggies, are the best source of naturally occurring iodine and delivers iodine to the body in a form it “understands”.
It has been assumed that the advent of iodized table salt (added potassium iodide) in the early part of the 20th century “cured” the then iodine deficiency that apparently was causing an epidemic of goiter (swelling of the thyroid gland) in the US. To me this was actually one of the early signs of mineral depletion in our soils, which just happened to be concentrated in the central US states and which came to be known as the “goiter belt”; the central US was the first area to be heavily farmed with the advent of the industrial age and farm machinery. At that time, there were no cautions from the medical community about salt and its supposed link to high blood pressure and other cardiovascular conditions; people ate enough iodized salt to successfully reduce the rate of goiter. The fact remains, however, there is not enough iodine in common table salt to make any significant difference in the body’s iodine levels unless consumed at high levels. While those of us in the holistic health field recognize the correlation between salt and heart “disease” is a false one, eating too much (actually any IMO) refined salt can lead to many health issues: the “impurities” (other minerals) are typically removed by use of chemical treatments that may include sulfuric acid or chlorine; the water is evaporated under high compression and heat, disrupting the molecular structure of the native salt and most of the water is removed; and then conditioning and free-flowing agents are added to the salt to “make it pour when it rains”. Dextrose (refined sugar) is also used as a stabilizing agent in refined table salt to keep the iodine intact. According to Dr. Brownstein, iodized table salt is only about 10% bioavailable. Keep in mind that even some sea salt is mechanically harvested – it pays to know where your salt comes from and use only a salt that is hand-harvested from a clean area and has all its naturally occurring minerals intact. [IMO, this means either Celtic Sea Salt or Himalayan pink salt.] Unfortunately the “salt scare” from the medical profession has kept many people from even utilizing clean, natural salt.
Some of the reasons we are now seeing a resurgence of iodine deficiency include even greater levels of mineral depletion from our soils; less use of iodide in the food and agricultural industry; declining consumption of iodine-rich foods including eggs, fish, and sea veggies; fluoridated drinking water; and bromine exposure. Fluoride and bromide are halogens just like iodine is. Halogens are a group of elements that, when combined with a metallic element, form mineral halides.
Bromine is the naturally occurring element discovered in 1926; bromide is the reduced form of it and is rapidly absorbed in the intestinal tract. Bromine lies just above iodine in the periodic table and has a molecular size and weight very similar to iodine. Because of this, the two elements can compete with each other and bromine can displace iodine, causing iodine deficiency. Bromine is considered a toxic element and classified as a goitrogen (a chemical that causes thyroid goiter). Bromine’s use (especially in its reduced form of bromide) is widespread: antibacterial agent in pools and hot tubs; fumigant in agricultural use and pest control; it is found in some soft drinks and as well as some Gatorade products; brominated vegetable oil is a common ingredient in many processed foods; even though bromine has largely been phased out of medical use it can still be found in some medicines such as some prescribed for asthma (including the commonly prescribed Atrovent) and bowel/bladder dysfunction; since the 1960’s bromine is found in a wide range of bakery goods.
Fluoride is another element in the halogen family that has been shown to inhibit the uptake of iodine. Technically, fluorine is the element and fluoride is an ion or ionic compound containing fluoride; so water fluoridation is generally accomplished by adding sodium fluoride (NaF), fluorosilicic acid (H2SiF6), or sodium fluorosilicate (Na2SiF6) to drinking water. Fluoride was first reported as a goitrogen in 1854 when it was found to be a cause of goiter in canines. Fluoride can become even more toxic to the body in the presence of iodine deficiency, which fluoride itself can cause and thus one of those “disease” cycles.
Chloride is another halogen that can compete for iodine, chlorine being the oxidized form and found in many products including municipal water supplies. Perchlorate consists of one chlorine atom surrounded by four atoms of oxygen; it is found naturally as well as man made; it has also been found to displace iodine binding. Perchlorate is found in a variety of products including car air bags, leather tanning, fireworks, and rocket fuel; it has been associated with many serious health conditions.
What can we do to make sure our thyroid is working properly and we are getting enough iodine? First of all, make sure you are feeding your animals a species appropriate diet from clean sources and eating a natural, organic diet yourself. Try to include more fish and/or sea veggies in your diet. Try to avoid plastic as much as possible for yourself and your animals (which I know is very difficult nowadays). Try to make sure the bread products you consume contain no bromine. Eliminate soft drinks (including the diet type).
If you find that you are deficient in iodine, then certainly consider an appropriate supplement. Young Living has some great dietary supplements that can help: MultiGreens and Sulfurzyme are two that are recommended, along with Thyromin capsules. Myrtle essential oil is one of my favorite oils to use in balancing thyroid function – in horses, thyroid dysfunctions are generally at least secondary to other conditions (such as insulin resistance), nevertheless bringing the thyroid back into balance can make a significant difference while you continue to address other underlying issues. These protocols can be used along with any synthetic thyroid hormone you may take (and which I personally do not recommend) – but please keep your thyroid levels checked as you may find that you need decreasing amounts of the synthetic version. Synthetic thyroid hormone mimics (replaces) your body’s natural production and therefore can degenerate the thyroid as it does not “see” a need to produce hormone. Natural food products such as those from Young Living work to balance the thyroid’s own production; what the body doesn’t use as it needs will be eliminated. (Note that Thyromin is one of the very few YL products that contains glandulars and horses may not take it; they do quite well on the oils and other supplements.)
Salt Your Way to Health. David Brownstein MD, 2006