- Updated on July 31, 2019
By Dr. Artour Rakhimov, Alternative Health Educator and Author
Warning. Many health-conscious people and Buteyko students use only sea salt and do not use table salt (often at all). Since table salt is the MAJOR source of iodine for most modern people, this (smart) use of sea salt can often cause light, moderate or serious iodine deficiency. As a result, breathing gets heavier and body O2 drops. These students often experience these common iodine deficiency symptoms: increased fatigue, lethargy, sleepiness, mental depression, increased appetite, decreased body temperatures and weight gain. Therefore, it is important to know about and conduct a simple iodine deficiency test described here. It is also important to know how to solve this challenge and provide the body with this crucial nutrient.
This page explains a version of the iodine deficiency test that has been used by Soviet and Russian medical professionals (family physicians, nurses, etc.) for many decades. To conduct this simple test to check one’s iodine deficiency, you need to get or find any iodine solution (food-grade, for wound disinfection, etc.). This can be 1, 2, or 5% iodine solution that sometimes can be found in pharmacies or health food shops.
How to test for iodine deficiency state: Instructions
Soak a cotton swab or a piece of fabric in a small amount of iodine. Then paint a net on any part of your body (an arm, trunk or leg), as it is. There is a Western version of this iodine deficiency test that suggests making an iodine patch (area) on the skin. The suggested-here version of the test is little better since it is easier to see the iodine net on skin later when it starts to fade away. It would be harder to notice a patch.
But otherwise, the criteria that reflect the link between time of complete disappearance and body iodine state are the same for both versions of the test.
The normal (expected) result is that the iodine net should be slightly visible in about 24 hours after you made an iodine net on your skin.
If all iodine gets absorbed through the skin in less than 24 hours, you are deficient in iodine. Sometimes, that can happen in less than 12 hours, and this will indicate a serious or severe deficit.
It is also possible, but rare, that an iodine can remain on the skin 2 or even 3 days later. This means that your body has too much (excessive) iodine.
Foods and other solutions to supplement iodine
The RDA (recommended daily amount) for iodine for adults is about 150 micrograms (mcg or µg). There are numerous studies that tested iodine safety at much higher levels (up to 10-30 times, as in Japanese diet). Some of these studies even observed health benefits from consumption of up to 3,000-6,000 mcg of iodine per day.
While nearly all foods have some iodine, their concentration is generally too small. Only seaweeds have really large amounts of dietary iodine. Note that iodine content in seaweeds varies widely from about 15 up to 3,000 mcg (µg) per one gram. Suchi nori often has the lowest content, but 2-3 suchi nori sheets usually provide a sufficient amount. You can find seaweeds in health food stores.
Can I apply iodine solution on the skin and absorb it through the skin? Yes, it is possible to absorb enough iodine via skin (cutaneously). Depending on the concentration of your solution and other factors, a person may need a certain area of skin covered with iodine. I tested this effect and you can find details and one important safety tip related to this skin application below here. This content is the bonus content that you can easily unlock.
You will need to apply up to several square inches or about 100 square cm or 10 cm by 10 cm total area) every day. The safety tip relates to the following: if you use this method, do not apply iodine to the same area of your body. It will make skin thin. Find 7-10 different places on your arms, legs, and body trunk. As another option, get iodine solution from Amazon.com. Here are the links if you want to get dry seaweeds or dry seaweeds snacks from Amazon.
In any case, it is smart to conduct the same iodine deficiency test some days later to find out your new body iodine state. Those people who are uncertain about the results of this test can conduct the 3-day test described on the page devoted to mineral deficiencies: Main mineral deficiencies.