(NaturalNews) If you feel sluggish, tired or depressed often with some difficulty losing weight no matter what you try, you may be suffering from hypothyroidism, or simply a sluggish thyroid. It's estimated that at least five percent of the population suffers from hypothyroidism.
Hormones from the thyroid gland, located in the throat, regulate other glandular functions that ultimately regulate digestion and metabolism rates. Too much thyroid hormone production results in hyperthyroidism, resulting in anxiety and insomnia among other symptoms. But for now, the focus is a sluggish thyroid.
Thyroid functions can be tested with a TSH (thyroid stimulating hormone) test along with T3 and T4 testing. T4 is considered a prohormone or hormone enhancer, while T3 is the biochemically active thyroid hormone, much of which is produced by converting T4.
A thyroid antibody test is also suggested to ensure there is any thyroid dysfunction is not from an autoimmune disease, such as Graves' disease or Hashimoto thyroiditis. Of course, it's your call if you wish to attempt addressing symptoms without testing.
The common nutritional deficiency behind most hypothyroidism is insufficient iodine. The low levels of this mineral in the American diet created recommendations of adding iodine to table salt, and almost everywhere you read the message remains not to worry, iodized salt will take care of your iodine needs.
Ironically, the following excerpt appears in an article entitled "Why Iodine is Added to Salt."
According to a study done at the University of Texas, about 47 percent of major salt manufacturers no longer put enough iodine in their salt to meet the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's recommended levels.
Additionally, iodine added to salt has a relatively short shelf life and diminishes over time when exposed to air and humidity. So forget using lots of toxic, processed table salt for iodine. It's a bit like eating enriched white bread for nutritional benefits. Stay with non-toxic unprocessed sea salts and eat iodine rich foods and/or use iodine supplements.
Some foods that are naturally iodine rich
Shell fish contain high amounts of iodine. But shellfish sources need to be scrutinized closely before purchasing and consuming. Areas of the Pacific and Gulf of Mexico, both traditionally high sources of tasty shellfish, have been contaminated more than usual over the last few years.
Seaweeds, such as Kelp are iodine rich. Kelp can be taken as supplement tablets if you don't enjoy the taste of seaweed. Brown seaweed, which can also be taken in extract forms, has many other benefits in addition to iodine nutrition. Again, beware of the geographical sources.
Other helpful foods include organic butter, especially ghee, egg yolks, and cod liver oil. Yes, fats are good for thyroid health.
Celtic sea salt or Himalayan salts that are not processed and contain some natural iodine. Beware, all salt is originally from the sea. So even health food stores that sell products labeled sea salt may be pushing toxic, processed salt.
Avoid non-fermented soy products. They can be harmful to thyroid health and more. Fermented non-GMO organic soy sauce is okay. Actually, all fermented foods have both thyroid and probiotic benefits. So enjoy them often.
As with anything, don't overdo iodine rich foods or iodine supplements to possibly create hyperthyroidism or a thyroid based autoimmune disease. On the other hand, the upper limits of iodine for toxicity are quite high.