UPDATED 7/8/19 – see update regarding the Nature’s Way Kelp below…
Do you sweat a lot and/or urinate frequently? Eat a Paleo or whole foods type of diet? If so, do you also ever get:
- fatigue and weakness
- unexpected weight gain or inability to lose weight
- low heart rate
- heavy or irregular periods
- feeling cold when it’s not cold
For the past 10 or so years, I have gone to my office, CentreSpring MD, for quarterly labs. And for whatever reason, my thyroid has always been sluggish (low FreeT3 in particular) during the summer months. I could never figure out why, so I always just assumed my body hated the heat and humidity.
We got a Peloton recently and I LOVE it. But I also started to notice that it makes me sweat way more than any other activity. After spinning for over an hour (just mild or moderately) the other day, I couldn’t get over how much I sweat. It was truly disgusting. Anyway, for a couple of days after, I noticed I was constantly fatigued and my mood was even kind of flat which is unlike me. I couldn’t help thinking that there was something that I became depleted in during that ride. Anyway, I took some extra minerals to make sure it wasn’t an electrolyte imbalance. I also took extra potassium, zinc, and magnesium but the fatigue continued.
Then, I read about just how easily we deplete our iodine stores. We can actually get enough iodine if we eat plenty of the following foods:
- Seaweed, one whole sheet dried: 11–1,989% of the RDI
- Cod, 3 ounces (85 grams): 66% of the RDI
- Yogurt, plain, 1 cup: 50% of the RDI
- Iodized salt, 1/4 teaspoon (1.5 grams): 47% of the RDI
- Shrimp, 3 ounces (85 grams): 23% of the RDI
- Egg, 1 large: 16% of the RDI
- Tuna, canned, 3 ounces (85 grams): 11% of the RDI
- Dried prunes, 5 prunes: 9% of the RDI
Following a Paleo Whole 30 type meal plan and using mainly Celtic and Himalayan salts (which have over 70 minerals but no iodine), I suspected I needed more iodine. Even though, I take a 100 mg supplement I wondered still if maybe I wasn’t getting enough. So I found an old bottle of Nature’s Way Kelp and took a capsule….
I thought to myself, it will be interesting to see if or how much this kelp helps me over the next few weeks. And then…about an hour later I realized I suddenly felt wide awake, my mood lifted and I had an overall feeling of wellness. About an hour after that I got a PR on my Peloton (and not by just a little but by 15 overall points on a 30 min ride)! The next day, same thing and another PR! It’s been a week and the fatigue hasn’t returned, and it’s been 95 degrees here which would typically wipe me out. After all of these years, I think I’ve finally figured out why my thyroid always suffered in the summer/humid months!!!
UPDATED!!!: This Nature’s Way Kelp made me feel worse after taking it a month. Apparently after a study at UC Davis, they found high levels on arsenic. It even affected my labs. Fortunately, after just a few days of not taking it and switching to just eating Organic Roasted Seaweed (Costco’s carries it!) every day I have felt better, my energy is back, and my weight has normalized. NOW Brand is suppose to have a good organic one from Amazon. I hope if you took this one you didn’t have the reaction I did. Hard to believe they would be allow to still have this one the market….
**But, there are two important things to note before taking iodine via kelp or any other form.**
ONE, IF you take iodine, you must balance it with selenium. So you can take a capsule (I take this one) or eat about 4-5 Brazil nuts per day every day.
TWO, if you use iodize table salt regularly (like Morton’s regular table salt) or if you have Hashimoto’s, do not take it without having your iodine levels tested or without consulting a physician. Please read this article here.
Also make sure you aren’t possibly low in other trace minerals, vitamins, etc. And ideally, test your iodine levels before taking a supplement.
I hope this new discovery can help you as much as it helped me. Keep in mind, these are just suggestions as I am not a doctor. Feel free to get your levels test at your doctor’s office and be sure not to take anything for too long term without guidance. I plan on taking it through the summer and then will switch to a lower dose. I can’t tell you how much to take but for me, one of these capsules a day has been great. Here is a good post by Dr. William Davis that touches on the amounts. Okay on to the food/smoothie….
REESE’S PIECES SMOOTHIE (named by Tate)
Not that this smoothie has anything to do with thyroid health, although you could certain add your Brazil nuts to it, but it’s my son and husband’s new favorite snack. We like to call it the Reese’s Pieces smoothie. It’s so good and satisfying, especially when it’s so hot outside!! It’s the perfect snack for my kids just before lacrosse camp, tennis practice or dive meets!
- 3 tbsp chocolate protein powder (this is what we use or see picture below)
- 1 tbsp raw cacao powder
- 1.5 tbsp peanut butter (or almond butter or sunflower seed butter)
- 1 cup almond milk (or milk of your choice)
- 6 drops stevia
- 1 tsp avocado oil (optional)
- Big handful ice
- 2 tbsps dark chips (we love Enjoy Life Dark chips)
I blend together all of the ingredients but the ice and chocolate chips. Then I add the ice and blend. Lastly, I add the chocolate chips since the boys like the chocolate kind of chunky. It really tastes like a milkshake. And it’s so refreshing! Enjoy!!
Rebecca Owen - Hi, just curious why you choose Kelp over an Iodine supplement? Do you know if increasing iodine will also help to increase Ferritin levels? Thanks so much!