Fibrocystic Breast Disease
One of the little known benefits of iodine supplementation is that it is extremely effective in treating and eliminating fibrocystic breast disease.
What is fibrocystic breast disease?
Fibrocystic breast disease is a condition where your breasts develop numerous (oftentimes painful) cysts within the breasts. Nearly two-thirds of women suffer from fibrocystic breast disease.
The cysts within fibrocystic breast disease are hormonally influenced and change size and shape according to your menstrual cycle. They literally enlarge and swell up and become most painful just prior to menses and are part of the PMS paradigm of symptoms.
Usually fibrocystic breast disease is thought to be a benign condition although there is some concern about them being a pre-malignant condition. Breasts with extensive fibrocystic breast disease make it very difficult for radiologists to interpret mammograms to screen for breast cancer. Their presence can hide suspicious pre-malignant lesions from being discovered until a much later date.
Estrogens are known to increase the size and proliferation of fibrocystic breast disease. Although controversial, birth control pills have been given in the hopes of shrinking the cysts. In my experience, birth control pills make fibrocystic breast disease much worse.
Fibrocystic breast disease caused by iodine deficiency
What is not known – in fact, virtually unknown in mainstream medicine – is that fibrocystic breast disease is almost always associated with significant iodine insufficiency. Furthermore, supplementation with iodine can completely reverse and eliminate fibrocystic breast disease!
What is also unknown is that the female breast requirement for iodine is actually as much or higher than your thyroid’s requirement. It is not a coincidence that women who are hypothyroid usually have fibrocystic breasts. Iodine deficiency is a body-wide condition. If your thyroid is lacking in iodine, so are your breasts.
Breasts need a lot of iodine
This also explains why women seem to be affected more often than men by hypothyroid symptoms. The physiologic fact is that a woman’s breasts require nearly twice the amount of iodine supplementation on a daily basis than the average man.
Another organ that requires a lot of iodine is the ovary. One observation I have made over the years is why do women seem to develop a rapid presentation of hypothyroid symptoms just after childbirth?
Iodine used up during pregnancy
I think the reason is that the ovarian consumption of iodine goes way up during pregnancy. Because Nature is intent on preserving the fetus at all costs, iodine gets drained from other sources during pregnancy. Once you give birth, then the body is totally depleted of its iodine stores. Add on a nursing mother’s breast (which have greatly expanded during pregnancy) demand for iodine and bingo – overt hypothyroid symptoms develop.
You can now see the complex interaction of female physiology on something as simple as iodine. If you start out with minimal stores of iodine to begin with, fail to add sufficient iodine over the years and then navigate the female requirements for iodine to thyroid, breast and ovarian tissues, then it should not come as a surprise that most women are moderately to severely deficient in iodine.
Keep in mind that most men are deficient in iodine, just not as severe as women.
Iodine completely reverses fibrocystic breast disease and more
The good news is that these conditions are rather easily treated with iodine. Do remember that iodine is just one of many deficiencies that the modern woman is experiencing. Please see my articles on Other Hormones on this website that describe the myriad of other deficiencies that you likely have, as well.
Andrew Jones, M.D
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