Q. I have spent the last several years slightly overweight and in a mental fog, with no energy. Last year I looked in the mirror and realized the outer third of my eyebrows were gone. I seldom felt hungry and ate little but never lost weight. What the heck happened to me? I’m only 50!
I ran across an article about iodine deficiency and hypothyroidism and began taking iodine. I felt more energetic by the end of the week. Four months out, my hearing is improved! That was a surprise. I am finally losing the excess weight.
Years ago I had stopped buying iodized salt and replaced it with sea salt. I robbed myself of crucial iodine. I won’t be doing that any more.
A. Iodine is essential for thyroid function. Switching from iodized salt to sea salt may have set you up for trouble. New research from China shows that thyroid disorders are more common in people who don’t use iodized salt or drink milk (American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Sept. 2013).
Your symptoms (including loss of the outer third of your eyebrows) are typical of an underactive thyroid gland. Readers can learn more about such symptoms and the diagnosis and treatment of thyroid disorders in our Guide to Thyroid Hormones.
The improvement in your hearing is a fascinating development. Iodine deficiency and low thyroid function may contribute to hearing loss (Nutrition Research Reviews, June, 2013). We were not aware that reversing the iodine deficiency would counteract the hearing loss.
You can read about other people’s experiences with iodized salt on PeoplesPharmacy.com