Getting pregnant is no easy feat under normal circumstances, but when we are deficient in iodine, it’s impossible. Iodine is abundant (or should be) in the ovaries and endometrium as well as the thyroid.
Imagine baby making as an epic party. To put on a party that will be the talk of the town, you need the right people to attend. To make a healthy baby, you need the right nutrients and iodine is one of those nutrients that is often in short supply, but critical to getting your party to epic status. Without iodine, there will be no baby.
The Halogen Family
Iodine is like Marilyn in the Muenster family. She’s the beautiful, normal one in a family of monsters. Just like Marilyn, iodine loves her family even when they treat her horribly. They follow her everywhere, trying to steal her spotlight.
Every cell in your body has iodine receptors that can bind to iodine or one of the other members of the halogen family; bromide, chlorine and fluoride. Iodine is necessary for life so you want iodine binding to these receptors. Iodine’s family, bromide, chlorine and fluoride, likes to kick iodine out of the way so they can bind to these receptors, but they are more like leaches and don’t have any life-giving properties.
The good news is you can get iodine to your party. The bad news is you will have to put up with her family because they go wherever she goes but they are nothing but trouble.
Bromide is found in fire retardant clothing and mattresses, furniture, computers, cars, baked goods made with brominated flour and some beverages. It’s hard to avoid bromide but we can reign bromide in a bit by avoiding baked goods made with brominated flour and beverages made with brominated vegetable oil.
Chlorine is found in water, swimming pools, perchlorate and Splenda, aka sucralose. Perchlorate is used in rocket fuel and has contaminated a good bit of ground water. The best way to limit chlorine is to drink and bathe in filtered water and avoid lettuce grown in southwestern states in the fall and winter as these crops, even if they are organic, tend to have high levels of perchlorate. Use real sugar or honey if you can instead of Splenda.
Flouride is found in water, toothpaste and tea. Filtering water and using fluoride-free toothpaste can limit the damage done by fluoride.
Once you’ve corralled bromide, chlorine and fluoride, you want to make sure iodine has the spotlight. Iodine needs to dance with all the guests (bind to the iodine receptors) as that is the only way to undo all the damage caused by her family. The more iodine dances, the less you’ll see of her family on the dance floor.
Iodine and the Hormones
The other must have guests we need at the party are the hormones, like progesterone, estrogen, testosterone and thyroid hormones. The hormones have an amazing dance routine that leaves the guests speechless when they perform in sync. But you have to keep your eye on estrogen because she can get a bit rowdy and hog all the attention for herself. If that happens you can kiss baby making goodbye.
Estrogen has multiple personalities, estrone, estradiol and estriol. She needs the right balance of her personalities to dance in sync. For that to happen, she needs to be best buddies with iodine. Iodine helps the body metabolize estrogen to the safer form, estriol. If iodine’s family locks her in a closet, estrogen will kick the other hormones off the dance floor and do a solo naked. No one wants to see that!
When estrogen is metabolized to estrone and estradiol over estriol, it can lead to things like fibroids, endometriosis, polycystic ovarian syndrome and cancer. Baby making will be much more difficult in those circumstances, so iodine is critical for an epic baby making party as she can keep estrogen level-headed and dancing in sync with the other hormones.
Progesterone has a spotlight breakout to perform during the hormone dance, but she tends to be a bit shy and is easily prone to stage fright. Iodine boosts her confidence and gives her the courage to perform spectacularly.
We need the thyroid hormones to do their part in the dance, too. They are critical for ovulation and iodine is a main component of thyroid hormone. For an epic baby making party, you have to have iodine on the dance floor dancing with everyone. She truly is the life of the party.
Getting Iodine On The Dance Floor
Iodine deficiency is an easy thing to fix. All you need is a test to determine your level of deficiency and then you can take an iodine supplement. The best tests are an iodine urine spot test which can be used if you do not currently take iodine and if you currently take iodine, a 24-hour iodine loading test which involves taking 50 mg of iodine and collecting your urine for 24 hours.
I highly recommend working with an iodine knowledgeable practitioner when supplementing with iodine as there are companion nutrients that need to be taken with the iodine to prevent toxicity and you may need support with detox. When you start taking iodine, you will start detoxing bromide.
It is also very important when taking iodine to get plenty of salt in the diet. Even if you don’t take iodine, you need adequate salt to make a healthy baby. Salt helps to detox the bromide. I recommend using unprocessed sea salt like Real Salt, Celtic Sea Salt or Himalayan salt.
Seaweed and seafood are the best dietary sources of iodine. You can add Maine Coast Kelp Flakes to food to boost iodine levels, but to correct major deficiencies, you will need to supplement.
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