Iodine – an element our bodies require, but sadly something many are deficient in. Especially preterm infants.
Many in our society depend on iodized table salt to absorb iodine. But even through this method, most of our bodies are still lacking. And when it comes to your thyroid functioning, iodine is CRITICAL!!
Through testing we found out that Anthony was low, Which in turn seems to have affected his thyroid by making it work harder. Which also in turn has been affecting his blood sugar (which is also effected by a gene mutation). Who knows which came first, the chicken or the egg.
We are currently awaiting Anthony’s newborn screening results (which I never received a copy of!!) To see if anything showed regarding his thyroid, back then. Also, through doing A LOT of research lately, I have been reading about preterm infants, especially those that are considered micro preemies (like Anthony) requiring about twice the amount of iodine as a term infant, and needing supplementation Here are a couple examples:
“The premature infants are especially at risk of hypothyroidism due to iodine deficiency because of their low iodine stores achieved in utero and immaturity of the hypothalamo-pituitary axis. These infants require more iodine to maintain a positive iodine balance in the extrauterine environment than term infants. Therefore, in areas of borderline iodine deficiency, infants show transient hypothyroidism which usually is seen in the first few weeks after birth; their cord blood thyroid concentrations may be normal. Even though transient, it may be prolonged for a few weeks, which may necessitate treatment with levothyroxine in some situations. Their urinary iodine concentrations are low and will respond to iodine replacement.”
Thyroid function is related to iodine intake in preterm infants. Preterm babies on formula preparations and with parenteral nutrition are at high risk of iodine deficiency. Therefore, supplements should be added if iodine intake is found to be inadequate. Breast milk appears to be the best source of iodine for the premature infant.
And regarding that last blurb, MANY micro preemies have feeding issues, and many have issues with breast feeding. Anthony did. He had issues with latching on to my breast, due to a poor suck/swallow ability. We tried many times in the NICU to get him to breastfeed. The situation became traumatic for him, and sadly traumatic for me. I hated seeing my poor medically fragile baby having such a difficult time. He just couldn’t do it. His numbers on his monitors would swing out of control, and in the end, we both ended up in tears. I pumped milk every day, many times a day. But being Anthony was born so premature, I had issues producing enough milk Believe me when I say I TRIED many things to increase the my milk supply. In the end, we had to supplement with formula. Can you tell I’m bitter? Yep, still bitter!
Here are some symptoms of a deficiency:
- Pregnancy related problems (miscarriage, stillbirth, preterm delivery)
- A child having developmental issues with speech. Issues, with hearing, and growth
So whatever the reason for the deficiency, how do we correct the issue?
Here is a list of foods HIGH in Iodine. You can read more here:
- Baked Potatoes
- Turkey Breast
- Himalayan Salt
Anthony is a pretty good eater. And he does eat many of these foods listed above. We also use Himalayan salt in our cooking. But he was still low. So we added this supplement. Anthony’s integrative pediatrician recommended IThroid to go along with the selenium we have been giving Anthony. Your thyroid requires both.
I have found this video also very informative when it comes to thyroid function.
We started with only a 1/4 of a capsule. With iodine, you have to be careful of the detoxing of fluoride and bromine. Something your thyroid should do naturally. But if your thyroid is sluggish and you are low in iodine, flouride and bromine levels are going to rise. The first week Anthony was on this supplement, he had some night sweats during his sleep. So we went to a 1/4 capsule every other day. As the week has gone on the sweats have been less and less. I will raise again slowly with time. I am all for low and slow. We will also retest levels in 6 weeks to see where he is at.
To summarize, iodine is important with development and day to day function. While most doctors will test for TSH, T3, T4 and even Thyroid antibodies on a thyroid panel. Most western medicine doctors never think to test for iodine levels. Make sure you ask your doctor! Quest Diagnostics will test for this through blood.