A recent report suggests that iodine deficiency is becoming a worldwide problem. As the Japanese diet becomes more Western, their breast cancer rates are starting to increase, despite having only 1/3 the rate of breast cancer ocurrances as the United States.
As the authors of the report note:
"Recent reports by the World Health Organization show iodine deficiency to be a worldwide occurring health problem. As iodine status is based on median urinary iodine excretion, even in countries regarded as iodine sufficient, a considerable part of the population may be iodine deficient. Iodine is a key element in the synthesis of thyroid hormones and as a consequence, severe iodine deficiency results in hypothyroidism, goiter, and cretinism with the well known biochemical alterations. However, it is also known that iodine deficiency may give rise to clinical symptoms of hypothyroidism without abnormality of thyroid hormone values… In this paper we will focus on the relationship between iodine deficiency and obesity, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), psychiatric disorders, fibromyalgia, and malignancies."
For a detailed article on iodine deficiency, see "Iodine Deficiency — An Old Epidemic is Back."
Verheesen RH, Schweitzer CM; Iodine deficiency, more than cretinism and goiter. Medical Hypotheses, Volume 71, Issue 5, Pages 645-648 (November 2008) [Epub ahead of print] PMID: 18703293.
Jacob Teitelbaum, M.D. is one of the world's leading integrative medical authorities on fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue. He is the lead author of four research studies on their treatments, and has published numerous health & wellness books, including the bestseller on fibromyalgia From Fatigued to Fantastic! and The Fatigue and Fibromyalgia Solution. Dr. Teitelbaum is one of the most frequently quoted fibromyalgia experts in the world and appears often as a guest on news and talk shows nationwide including Good Morning America, The Dr. Oz Show, Oprah & Friends, CNN, and Fox News Health.