Today, thyroid disease is epidemic. Eighty-percent of thyroid disease is experienced by women with at least fifty percent of cases going undiagnosed. Eight-four percent of women with thyroid disease have fibrocystic breasts. Is there a connection between low thyroid function and fibrocysts?
Thyroid disease is really iodine deficiency disease. Iodine is a trace mineral from food and is needed by every cell in the body. The body requires 12.5 g/day of iodine for full sufficiency. Of that, the thyroid takes 6 mg/day, the breasts take 5 mg, and the other glands, including the ovaries, grab about 2 mg.
In studies, when thyroid patients are supplemented with iodine, in the form of Lugol’s iodine (potassium iodide plus iodine), two things happen: Not only does thyroid function return – and the need for thyroid hormone is reduced or eliminated – but patients see their fibrocysts melt away. That’s because fibrocysts are partially developed follicles that have not ovulated. Follicles, including hair follicles, are direct targets of thyroid hormones; T3 and T4. This connection may explain why people with hypothyroidism often have the symptom of thinning hair and eyebrows. Bottom line: Iodine deficiency can lead to cysts in breasts and ovaries. When iodine is supplemented, fibroids and cysts reverse.
The cause of fibroids and cysts is also associated with estrogen dominance and liver overload. Estrogen dominance means estrogen is high and progesterone is low, due to an abundance of oil-based toxins (xenoestrogens) in our environment. Estrogen blocks thyroid hormone from binding to its receptor in every cell and thereby inhibits the absorption of iodine. These toxins also congest the liver.
Iodine is integral to health. It regulates the flow of energy in the body and restores the heat of metabolism. Iodine is a natural antibiotic, antiviral, and antifungal. It detoxifies by displacing toxic halogens (bromine, fluoride, chlorine). Oxidized iodine triggers cell apoptosis, or programmed cell death, to allow the body to cleanse itself naturally. Iodine is the trace element with power.
Other nutrients, such as antioxidants are known to help boost the immune system to dissolve cysts, such as lycopene, an antioxidant found in tomatoes, rosemary extract, green tea extract, whey protein, and turmeric, to name a few. Selenium is another trace mineral that is a powerful anti-oxidant for its role in T4 to T3 (bio-active form) conversion, as well as the detoxification of heavy metals such as mercury.
Cysts can be reversed using essential minerals, of which food is the best source. Food is medicine. We are our own healers when we can remineralize and detoxify using the tools of nature. A main priority is to balance the thyroid. If hormones are chosen as a stopgap, the best options include natural hormones (i.e., bio-identical hormones). The best forms of iodine include Nascent Iodine, Detoxified iodine, Kelp, or Dulse, along with a full compliment of trace minerals. In all cases choose foods close to the earth, organic foods, probiotic and fermented foods (saurkraut kefir), that serve body, mind, and spirit. No force outside nature can touch the power of the body to heal itself.
Rosanne Lindsay is a board certified Naturopathic doctor and Tribal healer under the Turtle Island Provider Network. She is a Health Freedom advocate, writer, and author of the book The Nature of Healing, Heal the Body, Heal the Planet. Find her on Facebook at Rosanne Lindsay and Natureofhealing and consult with her (long-distance consults available) at natureofhealing.org.