Iodine deficiency and hypothyroidism are becoming increasingly diagnosed conditions, and it is estimated that as much as 75% of adults in the world are not consuming enough dietary iodine. If you’re not regularly eating iodine rich foods or taking an iodine supplement, there’s a good chance that you are deficient. If you want to be sure, though, here are the top 5 ways to self administer an iodine deficiency test
5. Do you have Symptoms?
Here’s the quick and dirty test – ask yourself: do you have any common symptoms of iodine deficiency
- Low Body Temperature/Increased sensitivity to cold
- Dry Skin/Brittle Nails
- Weight Gain
- Dry, yellowed, puffy skin, particularly on the face
- Goiter, or swelling of the lower neck
Please keep in mind – this is rudimentary at best. Association/Correlation does not equal causation. Many of the above symptoms can be caused by a wide variety of things. If you notice that you have a few of these or more though, there’s a decent chance you are iodine deficient.
4. The Iodine Load Test
This is a method developed by Dr. Eades. What you do is take a large, 50mg dose of iodine and monitor your body’s absorption over the next 24 hours. If you excrete most of it in your urine, 90% or more, then chances are you already have adequate iodine stores. If most of it it getting absorbed, then chances are you are deficient since your body is desperately holding onto all the iodine it can get
3. The Iodine Load Test – Version Two
This test applies the same concept as #4, but slightly differently. Instead of ingesting iodine, simply rub tincture of iodine on your inner upper arm in a two inch circle and leave it. Be careful not to get it on your clothes as it will stain them. If it’s gone after an hour, then there’s a good chance your body is significantly iodine deficient. If it’s still there — unchanged — after four hours, then your iodine levels are probably okay.
2. The Body Temperature Test
The thyroid is primarily responsible for synthesizing hormones which regulate body temperature, and without enough iodine to do it’s job, one of the main symptoms of iodine deficiency is abnormally low body temperature and cold intolerance. Here’s how this test works: Take your body temperature first thing in the morning, before you even get out of bed. A normal mouth temperature is ~98.2 degrees fahrenheit. However, the body is coldest in the morning after a night’s sleep, and will warm up with a peak temperature in the early evening. a one degree variance in body temperature throughout the day is normal. That being said, an ideal morning temperature is roughly 97.5 degrees fahrenheit or higher. If your temperature is significantly less, there’s a decent chance you have an iodine deficiency or hypothyroidism.
1. Get Professional Lab Tests
At the end of the day, the only truly accurate test is one that is done in a medical laboratory, administered by professionals. The only downsides to this are inconvenience, possible expense, or lack of availability, depending on your health insurance — but that’s a whole different ballgame. Even if you do have to shell out some cash and the time to make the trip to the lab, it will be more than worth it to confirm if you indeed have an iodine deficiency or thyroid disorder. Your entire quality of life could be at stake and easily remediable!
Talk to your doctor about getting a TSH thyroid test, particularly if you’ve already “failed” one of the 4 previous iodine deficiency tests. You will be best off working with a knowledgeable medical professional to deal with a potential thyroid disorder.