Iodine deficiency is still a major global health problem, and its consequences can be far more devastating than goiter. Speaking at a news conference organized by UNICEF, experts said December 1 that insufficient consumption of iodine was at once both the most prevailing and most preventable cause of brain damage anywhere around the world.
A lack of the mineral is also a leading cause of stillbirths, miscarriages and cretinism, the experts from the World Health Organization and UNICEF said. Even cases of slight iodine deficiency can hamper the growth of children's brains, shaving up to 15 points off their IQs and causing widespread learning disabilities, they said.
About 1 billion people worldwide were still susceptible to health problems stemming from iodine deficiency, despite the growing use of iodized salt to prevent them. In Latin America and the Caribbean alone, up to 25 percent of the population ?more than 195 million people? is susceptible to problems that include goiter, the unsightly enlargement of the thyroid gland on the front and sides of the neck.
COMMENT: Iodine deficiency is common. One does not need a $2,000 test to determine if one is deficient in this. All you need to do is get a bottle of tincture of iodine from the drug store and paint a 3-inch patch on your skin (arm or belly work well). Be careful not to drop any on your clothes, as it will stain your clothes. The stain should last for 48 hours. The sooner it disappears the more profound your iodine deficiency.
This is one of the main reasons why most people?s thyroid glands do not work well. Thyroid hormone is full of iodine and if iodine is not present it cannot be made. The other reason for thyroid dysfunction is related to the adrenal glands and exposure to mercury from silver fillings. If you do have an iodine deficiency you should be on supplemental iodine. I like potassium iodide and we have an inexpensive form in our office if you cannot find it locally.