Thoughts on Better Aging

Can Iodine Supplements Help Support Thyroid Function?

August 14th, 2017

Learn why hormone therapy—not iodine supplementation—is the best treatment for low thyroid

Low thyroid is a common problem for many menopausal women. When estrogen and other hormones get unbalanced, thyroid, the “traffic control hormone,” will work hard to compensate. However, since thyroid production slows with age, often the thyroid gland simply can’t keep up. Another issue is that aging decreases the body’s ability to convert the thyroid hormone T4 into T3 free, which is the form of the hormone your body can actually use. When you’re low on T3, it can worsen other menopause symptoms like:

  • Fatigue
  • Weight gain
  • Irritability
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Insomnia
  • Brain fog

You Need More than an Iodine Supplement

Many nutritional supplements claim to improve thyroid function by giving you more iodine. While it is true that iodine is an essential nutrient required for the production of thyroid hormones, most Americans don’t really need to take an iodine supplement because they aren’t low on iodine.

Historically, iodine deficiency has been rare in the US because in most parts of the country, there is enough iodine in the soil to ensure that we get ample iodine through our diet. The use of iodized salt also helps prevent iodine deficiency. Nonetheless, iodine deficiency is on the rise in the US, perhaps due to depletion of the soil and reduced use of salt in the diet. From 1978 to 1998, the percentage of Americans with low iodine intake increased by more than 400 percent to about 12 percent of the population.

If you test low for iodine, you may want to consider eating more iodine-rich foods like seaweed or taking a supplement, though this probably won’t be enough to correct low thyroid entirely. And if you test normal for iodine, a supplement isn’t going to help you at all.

What You Really Need is Hormone Therapy

At Renew Youth, we provide safe and effective thyroid replacement therapy using bioidentical T4 and T3. This means our therapy does more than just correct low thyroid on paper—as many doctors do by simply boosting T4 so that your numbers will look right. We understand that T4 is just part of the equation. If your body can’t convert T4 into T3, you can have all the T4 in the world and it won’t relieve your symptoms. We always test for both T4 and T3 levels and then make sure you get enough of each hormone to bring your body chemistry into a healthy balance.

If you would like to learn more about the role that low thyroid may be playing in your menopause symptoms—and how to correct this condition safely—contact Renew Youth today.

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