Since you read this newsletter, you know more about nutrients than most Americans. So it's probably no surprise to you that one of the most common symptoms of iodine deficiency is fatigue. What you may not know, though, is that severe iodine deficiency might be the cause of serious illnesses associated with severe fatigue. These illnesses would include chronic fatigue syndrome and fibromyalgia.
There hasn't been a lot of study on iodine's role in these illnesses. So it's hard to suggest that simply taking iodine will solve these conditions. It takes a long time to develop a severe iodine deficiency. And it's going to take a long time - and perhaps other treatments - to reverse the illness.
However, Dr. Jorge Flechas, one of the world's premier experts on iodine deficiency, thinks iodine plays a significant role in both of these illnesses. In fact, he says a lack of iodine in muscle could cause the pain associated with fibromyalgia. He suggests that it's similar to how a lack of iodine in breast tissue can cause fibrocystic breast disease.
As you may know, I've spent a lot of time focused on muscles in this newsletter. Muscles, in my opinion, hold many of the secrets to longevity that everyone wants to experience. And one of those secrets is that if you have enough iodine in your body, your muscles will contain 33% of your body's total iodine content. If you're deficient, your muscles will become fatigued, then begin to waste away.
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Dr. Flechas has used iodine in his clinic to treat fibromyalgia and has conducted many clinical trials on iodine. One patient in one of his clinical trials suffered from fibromyalgia and took high levels (100 mg daily) of iodine for six weeks. She noticed "significant improvement of fibromyalgia pain and associated discomfort." But she didn't stop there. She continued to take 50 mg of iodine daily for another 40 weeks. While the pain didn't increase during that time, it didn't improve significantly either. So Dr. Flechas suggested she take 50-100 mg per day. But then he did something else. He added 1,000 mg per day of vitamin B3 and 200 mg of B2 for eight weeks.
After taking high doses of iodine for over a year, the pain finally went away completely once she took vitamins B2 and B3. Why did the B vitamins make such a big difference? Because they can help significantly with iodine absorption. For this woman, they took her from significantly better to completely pain free. It was gone!
So is fibromyalgia an iodine deficiency? We can't say for sure at this point. However, many doctors will tell you there's clearly a connection. Dr. Paul St. Amand even goes so far to suggest the cysts and nodules associated with iodine deficiency are one in the same as the lumps and bumps of fibromyalgia.
While more research is needed to figure out the exact role of iodine and serious fatigue ailments, there's no reason to avoid trying it if you suffer from fatigue. The clinical trials had these patients take 50-100 mg of iodine daily - and they had zero side effects. For serious illness, I do recommend that you work with a doctor before you begin to supplement. You can find a doctor familiar with these treatments at the Academy of Complementary and Alternative Medicine at www.acam.org.
Of course, if you suffer from any type of fatigue, from mild to severe, it's quite possible you're deficient in iodine. Most people who complain of fatigue are deficient. And you can order the brand Dr. Flechas used in his studies by following this link.
Your insider for better health,
Steve Kroening, ND.