Iodine Deficiency Treatment in Columbia, MD
Iodine is an essential trace element found in very small amounts within the human body. Even though it doesn't take a lot of iodine to keep your body functioning normally, it can be hard for some people to get enough. According to Medscape, 29% of people in 130 countries around the world live in an iodine deficient area.
Fortunately, iodine deficiency treatment is available. To meet with a healthcare provider in Columbia who can help restore your iodine levels, call (410) 204-2254 or contact Dr. Karen Clarke-Bennett online.
Causes of Iodine Deficiency
Iodine enters your body through the food you eat. Your body can't make it on its own. There tends to be less of it in soil, so people who only eat local foods without any supplementation may become deficient in iodine.
In the United States, most of us consume iodized salt or foods made with iodized salt. This means iodine has been added and helps our bodies meet its daily requirements.
How Does Iodine Deficiency Affect My Body?
Iodine's role in the body is to help make thyroid hormones. The thyroid is a butterfly-shaped gland found on the front of the neck behind the Adam's apple area. This gland is called a “master gland” because it sends out hormones that regulate many important functions of the body including metabolism, heart rate, body temperature and reproduction.
It's influence is extensive and when there is an imbalance in your iodine levels, your body may respond by making too much, or too little thyroid hormone for your body. A goiter, or swelling of the thyroid gland is a common occurrence with iodine deficiency. The thyroid is working so hard to make enough hormones that it enlarges and may show up as a knot on the front of the neck.
Iodine deficiency may be linked to a variety of other conditions as well. These include:
- Adrenal insufficiency
- Autoimmune diseases
- Prostate cancer
- Breast cancer
Treatment of Iodine Deficiency
In most traditional medical practices, an imbalance in thyroid function will be treated with synthetic thyroid hormone if you aren't making enough, or your provider may recommend radiation or other treatments to kill off or stop part of your thyroid if you are making too much. These approaches only treat the symptoms.
Functional medicine looks beyond the symptoms and works to treat the root cause of the disease. Functional medicine treatment approach may include:
- Changing your diet
- Changing your lifestyle (like exercise, smoking and other factors)
- Taking supplements like vitamins, minerals or amino acids
Your functional medicine provider is unlikely to prescribe a traditional medication for your iodine deficiency. He or she will do extensive testing to look for biologic, genetic and environmental factors that are influencing your health, and help you change those so you can fix the root cause and feel better.
Request More Information
Learn more about functional medicine and iodine deficiency. Call (410) 204-2254 or contact Dr. Karen Clarke-Bennett online today.
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