(Article medically reviewed by Dr. Zac Hyde M.D)
Below were going to discuss the 5 major iodine deficiency symptoms in men.
As you read through the article pay particular attention to the bromide exposure information and its link to sexual dysfunction in men.
Let’s get started…
When it comes to men’s health there is no one magic key or ingredient that will fix you right up.
Our bodies are complex systems…
Relying on a veritable soup of hormones, nutrients, vitamins and minerals to keep them in proper balance.
That said, some things can seriously throw these systems for a loop.
A major one that that very few talk about is iodine.
Without the proper amount of this vital mineral, many of our essential functions are thrown off balance.
But how are you supposed to spot signs of iodine deficiency in men? What are some of the symptoms, and what benefits do proper levels bring us?
Read on to discover the answer to these questions and more.
What is Iodine?
While you probably recognize the name, few people truly know much about it. Let’s clear that up right now.
Iodine is an essential mineral found in our foods – most typically seafood – and is required for several critical biological processes.
Primarily, our thyroid glands use it to produce thyroxine and triiodothyronine.
These are two critical thyroid hormones that we can thank for everything from cell repair to metabolism, protein synthesis, and more.
Over the last two decades the scientific community has become more and more aware of the effect that iodine plays in the body.
Current knowledge indicates that the trace element also plays no small part in immune response, sexual health, and brain function, just to name a few.
Unfortunately research has found that iodine deficiency is perhaps one of the most prominent global public health issues facing us today.
With up to a third of the world suffering from a statistically significant deficiency in Iodine.
That’s a considerable percentage and deeply problematic considering iodine’s widespread effect on our overall health.
Among the most impacted by low iodine levels include people who use non-iodized salt, live in a country with deficiencies in the soil, or stick with a vegetarian/vegan diet.
So, it’s not just an issue in scale but also in scope. As we said – problematic.
This makes it a difficult health issue to truly solve because there is no one-size-fits-all preventative approach that can work across the board.
Also, many won’t even recognize the iodine deficiency symptoms, leaving them in an unhealthy state without them any the wiser.
Symptoms of Iodine Deficiency In Men
Because low levels can easily go unnoticed, it’s necessary to know the most common signs of iodine deficiency in men.
As previously mentioned, the mineral is responsible for a large swath of various bodily functions.
Take away the proper amounts, and all sorts of problems can arise. However, some are more common than others.
If you have low testosterone levels, testicular atrophy, erection difficulties, combined with high exposure to the bromides found in…
Drinking water, swimming pools (chlorine is a bromide), pesticides, plastics, medications, carpets, and fabrics…
It’s very likely that you need to increase your uptake of iodine to flush these feminizing bromides out of your system.
The Testicle Iodine Painting Protocol described in this blog post will show you how.
Here are a few more of symptoms of iodine deficiency in men..
1: Unexplained Weight Gain
Weight gain is to be expected at some point for most men. It’s almost inevitably a part of life, a natural part of the aging process regardless of how we feel about it.
Even so, it’s still crucial to recognize that not every bit of weight gain can be attributed to simple aging.
Misinterpreting symptoms happens all the time and opens you up to a world of problems.
And it’s important to remember that unexplained weight gain is a major warning sign for iodine deficiency.
Not enough iodine rattling around in our bodies severely restricts our thyroids’ functioning, cutting off the hormones necessary to control metabolism speed.
And what happens after that? We burn fewer calories and store more as fat.
That’s not to say this will happen every time or be readily apparent.
But if you start suddenly seeing numbers steadily tick up on the scale, it might be time to check your iodine status.
Especially if you haven’t made any changes to your diet recently.
2: Weakness and Fatigue
Much like with sudden weight gain, weakness and fatigue can readily pop up at any time, particularly as age finally starts catching up to us.
Although, there’s a certain amount of this that is normal and expected.
And the occasional bout of tiredness popping up at specific hours of the day, especially after lunch, for example?
That’s probably nothing to be concerned about.
But should you find it occurring more often than not, that warrants further investigation.
Both of these physical states are potential iodine deficiency symptoms…
Reflecting a slowed metabolic processes and a thyroid that’s under too much pressure with not enough nutritional support.
The result is a feeling of being zapped of energy, wrung out, and unable to do things that used to come easy.
For example, you might find that you suddenly lack the energy to exercise. Your stamina while working around the house declines and motivation to socialize diminishes.
Sound familiar? If so, you might be low on iodine.
3: Hair Loss & Iodine Deficiency in Men
If you’ve been paying attention to the other signs of iodine deficiency, you’ll notice that they all share something in common: improper thyroid function.
It’s the root of several symptoms, and that includes hair loss.
Without enough iodine, your thyroid hormones soon get’s out of whack and your hair follicles stop regenerating.
The hair then keeps falling out, leading to a severe case of balding regardless of whether your genes predispose you to it or not.
It’s one of the most common iodine deficiency and thyroid malfunction symptoms.
In fact, studies have shown that about 30 percent of people with these issues experience some sort of hair loss.
Regardless of that loss, though, it’s still not an entirely lost cause.
For men losing their hair due to iodine deficiency, supplementation of the mineral can reverse the situation.
4: Low Body Temperature & Iodine Deficiency in Men
The vast majority of guys – up to 80 percent – with low iodine levels will tick this off the symptom checklist, finding themselves chillier than normal.
There are a couple of factors going into this seemingly odd symptom.
The first revolves around your slowed metabolism. With your internal chemistry unable to regulate itself normally, your body will start to produce less heat, leading first to cold hands and feet.
The second revolves around a specific type of fat that’s responsible for a large percentage of your functional metabolism.
Without adequate dietary iodine, brown adipose tissue, the type that generates heat and actively burns calories via thermogenesis is not produced at normal levels.
And when your brown fat stores start to decline, you’ll find yourself reaching for your jacket at times when you normally never would.
If I had to choose the most obvious symptom of iodine deficiency in men, this would definitely be it.
Now onto the most painful…
5: Erectile Dysfunction & Low Iodine Levels
We touched on this earlier, but it’s important enough that it warrants and entire section.
Aa culture, we often joke about guys only thinking about what’s going on below the belt. But health-wise, this is actually a rather good thing.
A steady libido, strong erections and an overall ability to perform spell good news about your overall health.
But once your sex drive starts decline, your morning wood disappears and your erections soften you can bank on the fact that your body is sick.
Thyroid problems and iodine deficiency should alway be regarded as potential suspect when sexual function declines like this, especially in men over 40.
In one study, out of a group of men with thyroid issues, 79% had erectile dysfunction.
Other studies link low thyroid with decreased sex drive, low free testosterone levels and delayed ejaculation.
Sex hormone-binding globulin the essential protein that carries testosterone throughout the body can also fall to unhealthy levels with iodine deficiency.
If the deficiency is not addressed, Gynecomastia, AKA man-boobs can develop due to imbalanced testosterone to estrogen ratios and elevated prolactin, the lactation hormone.
According to one study, 30% of the people tested with hypothyroid had elevated prolactin levels.
The take home to this section is, iodine deficiency usually leads to low thyroid function, which causes hormonal chaos in a man, which eventually takes out his erections.
So if your morning wood suddenly disappears, up your dietary intake of iodine by doing this.
If you start waking up with good news again, you’ll know that you were deficient.
The Benefits of Iodine For Men
So, now that you know some of the typical signs of iodine deficiency (and thus hypothyroidism) in men, you probably have questions about what proper levels look like in practice.
What do they do for the body? Do they really make that much of a difference, or are they a little more subtle?
What are the benefits?
Well, here’s a speedy rundown of what getting plenty of iodine can do for you:
Remember how we said low iodine could lead to a slowed metabolism?
Well, we’re pleased to report that the proper amount can speed it right back up again. It will regulate your thyroid hormones and quickly improve your ability to process food into energy.
That reverses those chills that you’re getting, removes the weakness and lethargy you’ve likely been dealing with, and might even aid in weight loss. A win-win, overall!
Low iodine can absolutely wreck your thyroid function, testosterone levels, and ability to get it up.
According to a paper published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, almost 80 percent of men with ED have some kind of malfunction with their thyroid gland.
Some are more complicated cases, but iodine supplementation will help many of these and prevent others from suffering the same fate.
Harder erections, increased desire, and normal ejaculation follow as a result.
Boosted Brain Function
Looking for that slight edge or feel like you’ve lost the one you had previously? Iodine could be the answer you’ve been seeking.
More severe deficiencies can create a brain that’s sluggish and impaired, with motor skills and attention also impacted.
Increase your intake, and these iodine deficiency symptoms should abate over time, leaving you with a healthier brain than before.
Iodine impacts a considerable amount of your daily processes, and your immune system doesn’t find itself left out.
Able to significantly boost your immune function, suppress autoimmunity, and provide increased protection against disease-causing pathogens.
It’s worth ensuring you’re getting enough of this mineral.
Improved Prostate Health
Last but certainly not least, a major benefit to getting enough iodine is that your prostate health should improve.
That’s because your iodine intake partially regulates your endocrine system.
Optimal amounts will protect your sensitive glands, including your prostate, working to support its structure…
And prevent the formation of cysts or nodules that could evolve into cancerous cells.
How Men Can Increase Iodine Intake
Read through all of this and think your iodine intake leaves something to be desired?
Luckily, upping the amount you take in each day is a relatively simple solution for most men.
The best way to increase this is just to switch out the type of salt you’re using.
Sounds too easy, we know, but it truly does work in minor cases of deficiency.
Merely opting for an iodized option over non-iodized is should bring your levels back to a healthier, steadier place.
That said, if you’re dealing with any type of sexual dysfunction or if your male hormones aren’t up to speed, I’d suggest optimizing your iodine intake…