Iodine for Hypothyroidism: Crucial Nutrient or Harmful Toxin? | Chris Kresser
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Iodine for Hypothyroidism: Crucial Nutrient or Harmful Toxin?

by Chris Kresser

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This article is part of a special report on Thyroid Disorders. To see the other articles in this series, click here.

In a previous article I showed why, when used alone, thyroid hormone replacement often fails. In this post I’ll explain why optimizing your iodine intake is so crucial, and why both too little and too much iodine can be harmful.

Iodine deficiency is the most common cause of hypothyroidism worldwide. Once researchers realized this, health authorities around the world began adding iodine to table salt.

This strategy was effective in correcting iodine deficiency. But it had an unanticipated—and undesired—effect. In countries where iodine has been added to table salt, the rates of autoimmune thyroid disease have risen. The following is just a sample of studies around the world demonstrating this effect:

Why does this happen? Because increased iodine intake, especially in supplement form, can increase the autoimmune attack on the thyroid. Iodine reduces the activity of an enzyme called thyroid peroxidase (TPO). TPO is required for proper thyroid hormone production.

On the other hand, restricting intake of iodine can reverse hypothyroidism. In one study, 78% of patients with Hashimoto’s regained normal thyroid function with iodine restriction alone.

However—and this is a big “however”— it appears that iodine may only pose a problem for people with Hashimoto’s and other autoimmune thyroid diseases in the presence of concurrent selenium deficiency.

In the study above where rats developed goiter while receiving excess iodine, when they were given adequate selenium they did not develop the goiter.

Other studies have shown that selenium protects against the effects of iodine toxicity and prevents the triggering and flaring of autoimmune disease that excess iodine without selenium can cause.

In my practice I always test for both iodine deficiency and Hashimoto’s when a patient presents with hypothyroid symptoms. If they are iodine deficient, I will start them on a trial of iodine and selenium together. In most cases, patients see a significant improvement. In a minority of cases, they cannot tolerate supplemental iodine even with adequate selenium intake.

Unfortunately, the blood test for iodine that your doctor might run is not very accurate. The best way to determine iodine status is with a 24-hour urine loading test. This involves taking a large dose of iodine and collecting your urine for 24 hours afterward. If you are iodine deficient, you’ll retain more of the ingested iodine than you should and the level of iodine excreted in the urine will be lower than expected. The two labs I recommend for this test are Doctor’s Data and Hakala.

That said, if your doctor or health care practitioner won’t order these tests, you can simply begin an iodine protocol. This involves starting with a low dose of iodine (I start my patients with kelp tablets that contain 325 mcg of iodine per tablet) and increasing very slowly over time. As I’ve described in this article, it’s crucial that you also take 200 mcg of selenium per day during this protocol to protect against the potentially adverse effects of iodine supplementation, especially if you have autoimmune thyroid disease.

Physicians that specialize in treating hypothyroidism with iodine (such as Dr. Abraham and Dr. Brownstein) suggest doses as high as 50 mg per day may be necessary to restore iodine levels in those that are deficient. I have used doses this high in my practice, but it’s imperative that patients build up to such high doses very slowly, and I don’t recommend doing it without the supervision of a clinician experienced with iodine treatment. Be aware that high doses of iodine can lead to a transient increase in TSH levels, which can be mistakenly interpreted as a sign of hypothyroidism.

Finally, it’s important to keep in mind that a minority of patients with Hashimoto’s confirmed by biopsy (the gold standard) never test positive for thyroid antibodies. This is probably because their immune systems are so depressed they can no longer produce antibodies. If you have a combination of hyper- and hypothyroid symptoms, I would still suspect Hashimoto’s even if your thyroid antibody tests are normal. It’s wise to be cautious with iodine if you have any signs of autoimmune thyroid disease, even without a confirmed diagnosis.

557 Comments

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  1. Hello Dr. Chris. You wrote:
    “Other studies have shown that selenium protects against the effects of iodine toxicity and prevents the triggering and flaring of autoimmune disease that excess iodine without selenium can cause.”

    If excess of Iodine causes the triggering and flaring of autoimmune disease of the thyroid, how do you reverse the situation? Stopping Iodine intake I presume, but what next? Does consuming selenium and other nutrients help reverse the autoimmune disease?

    • Take a look at the book: Iodine: Why You Need It, Why You Can’t Live Without It by Dr. David Brownstein. It might answer more questions for you.

  2. https://books.google.ca/books?id=FBdk5SkdNZAC&pg=PA24&lpg=PA24
    “Iodine and Inorganic Iodides: Human Health Aspects”

    This reference contains a summary of a bunch of research—nothing seems to support the high-dose iodine that is advocated online.

    I know lots of healthy people who don’t take vitamins, who don’t really do much other than eat like their mothers taught them, which involves a balanced diet rich in delicious foods.

    Excessive iodine may be harmless, but a study on peace corps members indicated that 46/96 had enlarged thyroids, 29/96 had elevated TSH and 4/96 had depressed TSH while consuming 50-90mg Iodine/day, which is the range that some “internet doctors” like to suggest, along with the ridiculous suggestion that any horrible feelings this causes are “detox.”

    Iodine insufficiency is, in my view, very rare. One of my hypotheses is that phosphorus deficiency is actually sort of common, especially amongst obese/doughy women who consume low protein, high carbohydrate diets. Now, let’s say that a smart body had sufficient iodine but insufficient P, what would it do? I think it would depress thyroid function, because if it didn’t, it would mean that the body would have to start tearing itself apart to get sufficient phosphorus to drive the metabolism.

    Ca/Mg metabolism is, in a few animal studies I don’t have at hand, altered by Si, which is likely an essential mineral which people don’t necessarily get enough of. Boron is also implicated in Ca metabolism, likely as an essential nutrient. And then sulfur, well, low protein high carbohydrate diets may be deficient in sulfur, so, again, what is the body going to do to preserve sulfur but slow itself down, because the only way to provide enough in a case of insufficiency would be to eat itself, which is rarely a good idea—the body is not entirely as stupid as many people are.

    In nature, I don’t know of any land mammals that eat the amounts of iodine being suggested, but there are plenty of land mammals who eat more protein than your average doughy/skinny-fat hypothyroid woman eats. I also don’t think these sorts of disorders are common amongst dogs or primates in zoos, who are fed a fairly standard chow.

    Even a few hundred mics can impact susceptible individuals negatively. Given the fortification of salt and the presence of iodine in dairy products, I am just not sure about what is more likely, I deficiency or phosphorus deficiency. One source I have says that a cup of milk is just under 60ug I, so two cups of milk a day and you’re pretty much there, along with 480mg P, a good chunk. Taking 150ug (or 1.5mg, etc.) supplemental iodine with inadequate phosphorus, I have no idea how that is supposed to drive metabolism.

    Phosphorus is well tolerated up to 4g/day, tho for some reason it doesn’t make it into supplements, probably because of how bulky it is. There are studies using > 1g supplemental P a day for obesity, etc.

    Eating a diet inadequate in “macrominerals” is never going to be corrected by megadosing on trace elements.

  3. I can not believe the amount of ignorance being posted between everyone. Do you not understand everyones story/body/etc is different? Do you not understand not every doctor is a cookie cutter, not every medication is fool proof? Im 36 years old. I was diagnosed with graves at 17 I have taken the advice and medications of 12 different doctors from Rhode Island to Boston ALL the way to Phoenix Az from age 17 to age 26 before finally being told in 2007 that i was going to DIE from congestive heart failure with in 3 months if i did not have my thyroid removed due to all the thyroid storms i have had over those years of doing exactly what i was told by my doctors. So i had the surgery. THAT RECOVERY SUCKED! Still after followed all the rules, synthetic hormones, calcium supplements, blood work, constant up and down of medicine. Finally i said FORGET IT. I would rather feel the way i did then to keep playing tug of with meds and drs. It sucks to throw your hands up and think well shoot this is now my life. Then you live life, kids, work, family, and you push it farther amd farther down the list. Till holy crap its 10 years later and you feel like your half dead! And maybe if your lucky you have time to start trying to fix it all over again and realize its worse now with all these doctors who believe they know EVERYTHING better than the next some telling you youre fine, some wont touch you, others get mad you havent been admitted onto a hospital. So you reach out to other woman for some sort of support or a glimmer of hope. Only to be bashed on cause you asked a question. You SUCK! So come on all you know it alls! All you who have only been dealing with this for a minute rather than almost 20years like alot of us. You have all the answers? You have all the knowledge and wisdom? Bring it on. Tell us what it is we need to do to all be healed. To feel even 1/3 better to be able to make it threw a complete day and not feel like a failure to our jobs, our children, our spouse, our homes, our SELVES! Cause my Jesus knows everyday how awful i feel when im trying turns into i can’t. And i know how awful i feel when that pregnancy turned into it cant!

    • oh Elissa…i am so sorry the pain and agony you are going thru in all areas… the one thing you did say here..is Jesus and i will keep you in my prayers…because He is the Only One who hears our cries and comforts our hearts… i can feel just a pinch of your pain through your words and you are in my prayers.

  4. Hi Chris and fellow readers! Just an interesting observation.
    I became infected by Helicobacter Plyori in 2009, and it was undiagnosed for more than 6 months. It wreaked extreme havoc inside my digestive system, in conjunction with repeated bouts of strong antibiotics. That was the beginning of my long ‘ill-health journey’. Two years ago, I became infected by Helicobacter once again.. It has caused so much damage that I’ve now developed autoimmune disease, in the form of Hashimoto’s. Point being – I received the diagnosis by a wonderful Integrative Dr here in Adelaide, Australia (actually she has done some training through Chris Kresser!) She put me onto the 30 day AIP Paleo reset diet. I was also taking a supplement that contained iodine. Prior to starting the diet and supplements, I was getting extreme head spins and giddiness everyday. Balance issues, chronic fatigue, a strange feeling of heavy legs/feet, and just a general feeling of not being in control of co-ordination. It appeared to get worse when I began the Autoimmune protocol. I wondered why I was actually feeling worse during the 30 day reset, instead of better. I know that of course the start of any extreme diet is always going to feel worse, before it feels better, so that was always understood. But this was different. It felt ‘out of place’ and separate to the beautiful, clean diet I was eating. As though something else was causing these particular symptoms. I caught wind of this article above, and wondered if perhaps taking supplements containing iodine was in fact hindering not helping. Especially since I do also use a lot of Pink Himalayan salt on my food, for iodine. I ceased taking the supplements, and within about 4-5 days, the symptoms notably began to decrease. Within 1-2 weeks, they were completely gone. Now who’s to say it wasn’t sheer coincidence that my symptoms began improving once I stopped the iodine? Maybe those symptoms would’ve dissipated anyway, even if I hadn’t stopped the supplements. Who can know! But it was just very interesting to note that those particular symptoms quite quickly began to subside, once I removed iodine from my regime. Food for thought.. 🙂

    • I learned about bone broth its really healing to the gut a d most illnesses dtart from the gut. Bone broth is such a miracle for autoimmune disease which i have. I hope this helps. Im still learning and it also helps to use ghee or Talo to cook with and to make your own bone broth with vegetables .like a stew in a crock pot or pressure cooker maybe.i like slow cooking n not killing the veggies so there is a right way to cook n prepare. Im learing still . Hope this all helps. I want to see EVERYONE GET CURED AND BR HAPPY N HEALTHY. ♡

  5. Can you possibly discuss your kelp dosing protocol? I had no idea it was ok to increase beyond say one cap a day (300 micrograms). I’ve been trying to kick start my Thyroid after I was semi hypo and with a low idodine levels. I’m 45, and super athletic but was feeling super awful.

    It began with labs that showed a TSH of 3.160 T3 2.5 and T4 .80. My naturo went straight for wanting to give me Thyroid med to correct (I had all the telltale symptoms) but I was suspicious of my idodine (I had cut out eggs due to am intolerance, and don’t consume iodized salt, nor any other proper sources for the last 8 months).

    Sure enough my iodine (although it was just a straightforward UA) revealed it was very low at 13. I had only tried a half grain of natural Thyroid for about a week (began it about a week before the iodine test) but I didn’t realize taking the meds would shut down my Thyroid! So I quit any glandulars and began iodine in kelp caps just one a day 300 mcg and iodized salt thinking (intuitively) this may have been why my Thyroid was malfunctioning.

    After about 4 weeks just got new results on Thyroid tests and they are TSH 2.830 and T3 is 2.4 and T4 is .82. I think maybe the idodine could be the ticket! Maybe?? Would love to learn more about the dosing protocol you use though. I’m sure it can be different for each individual but any info would be great!

    • U need to take sellenium with the iodine so your not being attacked. ♡bone broth is a major help to the gut where most illnesses begin. Ghee and Talo help to cook vegetables they with heal your gut and seal it. Leaky guts cause this to get worse as well .its so many symptons n a some things causing it in the first place. Gut ,your sellenium n iodine. Etc… im still learning. Im so amazed by these foods.hope this belps and you get healthy cured n are happy about life♡

  6. Hi Chris, I’ve been avidly listening to your podcasts and in them you suggest leaving a comment about who we, the listeners, think may make an interesting interview for the podcast.
    I would be very interested to hear a conversation with Dr Brownstein. I have hashimoto’s and have recently started the iodine protocol and it has been a breakthrough for me.
    Thanks for all the brilliant podcasts.

  7. Anyone here has ever had TSH increased after taking Iodoral/SSKI (12.5mg dose and over)?

    In my case, after taking 32.5mg of SSKI fo r 6 weeks, my TSH went up to 9.3.

    Please feel free to comment.

    • I developed antibodies and goiter after about 6 weeks on iodoral, 50 mg I believe. I was on 400 mcg selenium concurrently.

      • What were the symptoms? Did you feel pain while swallowing and such? And how did you get better? How did you reverse the condition? I presume you stopped taking Iodine. How long did it take you to get better? I would really be grateful if you would tell me more.

    • Hi Ruth..i find this puzzling myself as my TSH level increased as well and according to this website, as stated above, it is to be expected….they don’t say why though; my Md will have a cow if my level stays this way for a lengthy time…says it’s not good overall. i also find it puzzling on this website, that others post a question to Chris, but we don’t see the response from him; does he respond to them individually or overall??? does anyone want to comment on this?? if he does..great! if not, ??? thanks.

    • I don’t know what all those numbers are but I take iodine supplements and I felt fantastic. I tried a different brand this time but wellnessresource.com has iodine drops and I felt awake and clear headed and energetic. Ive ordered some more but any brand is good I just prefer there’s. I stopped being cold and slow and irritated.
      And of course with more energy you can exercise more and with more exercise the faster you are burning the fat from before you knew you had hypothyroidism. I gained over 100lbs. And the meds helped but that iodine has sped it up.

    • After my thyroid numbers being stable for years on same dose medication after I started taking very low dose of potassium iodide my TSH went up and FT3&4 went down. Stopped taking iodine of any kind other than from foods.

  8. Hello,
    One of my friend recently detected hypothyroidism and is facing symptoms like weakness , weight gain and hair loss and she is very much tensed about these factors. Please let me know what are the other risk factors that can come for hypothyroidism and what supplements aur tablets can she take for further care.

    • WellnessResources.com has iodine drops. They’re fantastic, it filled in the gaps that the synthetic hormones can’t fill.
      Also take hair and nail vitamins or even prenatal vitamins to help the hair regrowth which will improve with the meds and supplements but it helps speed it up.

      • I learned about bone broth its really healing to the gut a d most illnesses dtart from the gut. Bone broth is such a miracle for autoimmune disease which i have. I hope this helps. Im still learning and it also helps to use ghee or Talo to cook with and to make your own bone broth with vegetables .like a stew in a crock pot or pressure cooker maybe.i like slow cooking n not killing the veggies so there is a right way to cook n prepare. Im learing still . Hope this all helps. I want to see EVERYONE GET CURED AND BR HAPPY N HEALTHY. ♡

  9. My story is long and boring but I’ll try to make it as short as possible… I kept going to my PCP for fatigue and hair loss. I was turned away with antidepressants and a referral for a sleep study after multiple blood tests revealed nothing. I did notice my WBC were low and the doc told me I could go to a hematologist if I wanted to. Because I was still feeling so bad I took her up on it. It was there that the hematologist told me my ferritin was really low (13) and taking iron supplements might be life changing. I’ve suffered through the supplements and gotten better but am still not 100% as far as energy level. I found an integrative doc to replace the MD who never found anything wrong for obvious reasons. The new place doesn’t really like to discuss my iron but likes to obsess over my thyroid. All thyroid tests are normal by regular standards. TSH- 2.3, FT3- 2.7, FT4 1.02. Last year I was given the teeniest dose of naturethroid and it made me feel like I was having a heart attack after just over a week of taking it so I stopped. During my most recent visit I was told my B12 was too low at 316 and I probably have MTHFR. My ferritin was barely discussed at 36. Again with the thyroid and I was offered meds again which I declined. So instead I was told to take 60mcg selenium, 50mg zinc, and 200mg of IODINE… Yes MILLIGRAMS. Is this safe?!?! I’ve never been tested for an iodine deficiency. And I’ve never had anyone try to figure out why my iron and B12 are usually low. Time to find a new doc?

    • Why would you not take the medicine? That’s really not smart. You can’t come on here complaining about how bad you feel but then refuse to take the simple hormone once a day?
      I have hypothyroidism and the pills work. I lost 70lbs already. Because I took my medicine and my energy came back and I was able to excercise again. And my hair grew back.
      But I guess you like the attention from being sick? Cause I can’t imagine any other reason you would refuse meds that solve every problem you took 2 pages to complain about it.

      • No need to be harsh. Did you not read the part where they are confused as to whether or not thyroid hormone is justified, since their labs are in range? And did you miss the part where they were given a test dose, but did not tolerate it? You’re projecting your results into another person, and assuming they will be in the same situation.

        • Yeah I’ve also noticed alot of middle aged women between 25 and 45+ enjoy being sick and when offered options they say they “can’t tolerate it” so they can keep the little going.
          I knew a woman that needed to take thyroid meds and wouldn’t do it because it made her nauseated.
          I don’t know kw. I’m 200 ponds overweight I’m gonna take a lull that will help and suffer a little tummy discomfort.
          So far the meds have helped me Lise 100 pounds.
          I’d be on that. But to each their own.
          She never said what she meant by can’t tolerate it? What. It made her break out in a rash? It made her vomit or walk funny, like. How did her body not accept it? It’s a synthetic hormones. There’s not much for it to do that’s not any worse than what she’s already got.
          Some people like being a medical mystery. Makes them feel special.

          • I take my meds and am in range but still have EVERY symptom… the meds alone don’t work for everyone for everything. I don’t think anyone wants to feel sick to get attention. Maybe you could try feeling a little more sympathetic here. She’s obviously attempting to get better or she wouldn’t have found this page. Nor would I, I’m looking for alternatives because I’m not ok. I’m not who I know I was before everything went wrong. And a lot of us would rather find a natural solution and not be at the mercy of the pharmaceutical companies.

            • Why are you attacking each other??? As women, we need to unite and stand together, not break each other down. Best wishes to all of you.

              • My aunts like to play up their symptoms of hypothyroidism for attention and sympathy.
                I have hypothyroidism and it took a few tries to get the dosage right with minimal side effects.
                I gained 100lbs and I was going to put up with any side effects as long as it fixed my metabolism as I do competive weight lifting and need to weigh x amount of weight to win stuff.

          • It highers your cholesterol. May be that’s how your “friend” responded to those side effects? She felt worse if she had it in her system may be because of that? There’s always going to be side affects. Some people respond differently to medication and it ruins your liver. 🙁

          • She did say it made her feel like she was gonna have a heart attack. And i have hashimotos for 9 yrs now. Yes the meds will not work as great as they used to after a while. Why are you so nasty to her. I also have breast implant illness i had breast implants for 12 yrs and have been sick the last 10 yrs. I am now gonna be 36 and have been sick since 25. I absolutely do not like being sick i have no life im severely depressed
            And i am a a faliure at being a parent and a person. How good does that feel? Sounds like your the miserable one

        • Only. One test dose? It took me like 5 test dosages to get it right.
          See, I like that it’s modern times with modern medical knowledge and technology and there’s multiple medications to help solve my problems cause 100 years ago Wed all be screwed.
          And I have hypothyroidism myself, and as I stated in the replies down there, I have relatives that like to play up their hypothyroidism for attention and sympathy.
          It makes me mad when people refuse medicine then complain OK? Little store bought vitamins are not going to do a thing for thyroids.otherwise they wouldn’t have invented like, actual medicine that’s FDA approved and real and not a big lie made to make you hand over money.

      • That was a mean disrespectful answer. I’m sorry if you were not taught kindness but as an adult I’m sure even you know you could of been kinder.

        • I have hypothyroidism and I wanted to fix it. It took multiple times to get the dosage right. And it runs in my family and my aunts like to make themselves sick for attention.
          Yeah it’s retarded but I’ve known too many people that enjoy illness because they like the attention and sympathy

      • You are not a nice person. Do not post if you are going to be so insensitive to someone trying to find answers and support. Please stay off blogs.

    • lauren– i hope you will continue to read these posts and all over the board on different issues/subjects to see if you can try to piece together what may help you; please don’t take others’ negative comments personal…they haven’t walked in your shoes and we all don’t know your full story (sometimes we write a short story and have left out vital info and others jump on it)..don’t take it personal..just move on to the next comment and get a paper and pen and jot down all the info you can. i will keep you in my prayers.

      • I’m not negative. I’m just real. She tried one time and little vitamins and minerals are a waste of money. I was willing to be patient and find the right dosages and prescriptions right.
        If you want to get better you’d try. She’s just bitching. I have hypothyroidism and it never occurred to me ever to refuse medicine for it. It’s a given you are going to have to be patient and test things for the long term.
        I have relatives that enjoy playing up their hypothyroidism for attention and sympathy. They will refuse their meds and then cry about how bad they feel.

        • we don’t know what others are going through; all we know is ourselves…share what you know to be helpful and in a nice attitude and it goes a long way to help someone else; sometimes our best advice is to listen and be kind..pass on what you know is working for you and move on; others can try or not..it’s up to them. that’s all i’m saying. this world beats you up, why not be nice to one another. God bless you abundantly Morna! 🙂

        • I think Morna has an important point of view to be aware of, especially as some of us are just on the brink of discovering thyroid conditions, as myself.
          I have lapsed between what to do; I have raced to buy iodine drops and selenium to beat the onset of something worse.
          In my first and only dose of those minerals, I felt dizzy flashes but then later on a feeling of clarity in mind and sight and I was more alert and able to withstand reading before bed. I still don’t trust it and I’m still complaining – she’s right and you’re right – we have to be honest with ourselves and make a hard decision. I’m really confused. These discussions help, even the not so perfectly sensitive perspectives, thank you for sharing.

        • How can you be so cruel? I’ve been struggling for years as there are so many variables that come into play. It’s great that some people can take the hormone and feel better but not everyone falls into that category.

    • B12 umm yeah that will kill your energy my mum has b12 anemia it can wreck havoc! Your thyroid is ok why is the fuck are they trying to give you thyroid medication?? We all would love to be the optimal 1 but the ration I believe for normal tsh off meds is .5-4! Get you some b6,b12 folate drops high dose 25oo 2x day and some vitamin D spray to top it off!

  10. I can relate to this article because I dreamed about overcoming my hypothyroidism for years.
    I tried just about everything I could think of but nothing seemed to work.

    Then I did something different and I took back control of my life in a few short weeks. Now I’m happy and don’t think about hypothyroidism anymore.

    If anyone’s interested, here’s a website that helped me a lot:
    http://www.journalofnaturalhealth.com/hypothyroidsolution

    Best of luck!

  11. I finally got my blood work. My endo tested TSH and T4 only. She said testing for T3 was a waste of money because it fluctuates too much throughout the day, and that the TSH and T4 would give her a good indication if there’s anything wrong with my thyroid. Is this true?
    She also did an ultrasound and everything was fine besides a small shadow on the left side but she said it was probably still nothing.
    My TSH is 2.27 and my T4 is 1.04. Both within the normal ranges specified in the papers, even if my T4 is on the low range (0.80 – 1.80). So, if everything is normal, why do I have persistent body temp around 36 degrees (I’ve measured 35.7 a couple of times) all day long, feel cold all the time, constipation and hair loss, all in the last 3+ months?
    I didn’t have these symptoms 3 months ago and my temp has always been around 37. Something is not right!

      • Hi Lauren, my iron is normal, but I did not check my ferritin. I’ll include it in my next blood work, thanks.
        My endo ended up telling me I was fine and there was nothing more she could do for me. When I insisted about my low body temp (36 degrees for 4 months now) and all the other symptoms, she told me to exercise more!
        I have an appointment with another endo on March 6th, but I think I’ll get the same result.

        • Ugh! I have also been turned away by an MD after my blood work turned up nothing wrong (according to traditional standards). I was having extreme fatigue and hair loss… probably low body temp as well. I happened to end up with a really great hematologist just by chance because my white cells were just a little low and I thought I might as well see a specialist for it because my MD thought I was nuts. She told me to try a sleep study?!?! I questioned the hematologist about my ferritin because I had been combing through my own blood work and read something about it online causing fatigue and hair loss. It was 13. She said oh yes increasing your ferritin might be life changing! And she put me on supplements right away. Sure enough… hair stopped falling out and fatigue is much better. Might be worth checking out. Good luck!!

    • After doing tons and tons of research, seeing numerous doctors. I have found it is only T3 that is a good factor in whether you have hypothyroid disease. If I were you I would find the most recent research and testing on hypothyroid disease. These people that use TSH and T4 only especially are using research that is very limited and very old-fashioned.

    • EuroinSF … I have been having same symptoms except for 30 years!! Still searching for answers… most doctors are not much help. One thing I would recommend though is to have your calcium and parathyroid hormone checked together… especially since something showed up on the ultrasound. it could just be a thyroid nodule or it could be an enlarged parathyroid which can cause many of the same symptoms as low thyroid. Check out parathyroid.com and it will give you more information than you ever wanted to know!! But for many people it has been a life changer. Even though I had hyperparathyroidism and had 3 of the 4 glands removed i unfortunately did not have the miraculous recovery that many have experienced. It’s just another avenue to explore. The endocrine system is so complex and so many things can go wrong but most doctors, even endocrinologists, just don’t seem to have the knowledge to or even the interest in finding the answers. 🙁 I wish you luck. If you find something that helps please repost and let us know what worked for you. It could turn out to be the answer for someone else as well.

  12. Can one take selenium along with synthroïd synthetic pils ? Or would that be useless to improve thyroid function , I would appreciate suggestions on how to begin improving thyroid function slowly replacing the synthetic synthroïd medication , is that even a possibility ?

  13. Hello ! I feel lucky finding this conversation about thyroid function and hypothyroidism , I’ve been looking for a way out of my long term sentence of taking synthetic synthroïd , I’ve been on it for 10 years , I also been researching many ways to find someone willing to help , my doctor does not believe in another way , she says the gland does not heal just maintained , how can I get real help in curing my thyroid gland and not just take temporary fix with synthroïd pills , can this be done ?

    • Doctors never believe it can be cured, but supposedly some patients have succeeded. I was told it could be done with the proper diet, but might take 5 years. So for 3.5 years, my diet has consisted mainly of fresh pressed veggie juice, fruit smoothies, and giant salads. I also water fasted twice for more than 3 weeks. I was originally taking 265mg natural desiccated thyroid, and gradually eliminated it after 2 years. However I started taking it occasionally recently since my T3 was a little low on my last test. Also I still test positive for Hashimoto’s, but my blood test went way down from 3000 –> 500. Hopefully it’ll hit zero in the next couple of years, but I’m not overly concerned because I’ve had no physical symptoms since I started juicing.
      You really should find a doctor that prescribes naturally desiccated thyroid.

      • I have a daughter that they believe has Hashimotos and sounds so similar to your situation. Can you share more with me about what you are doing nutritionally to help manage the Hashimotos?

  14. hello I have been taking liquid iodine for the past 3 years since I gave birth to my Caleb..i was not producing enough iodine so my thyroid was low on hormone.. it was very dangerous while pregnant, so I went ahead and took medication while pregnant..
    now i want to get of the iodine because i have been feeling like its not working!! my hair falls of in chunks.. mainly from the sides, i also take selenium..
    my question is kelp better in regards of what I’m going thru?

    • You don’t produce iodine, you consume it and your thyroid uses it to produce hormones.

      You’re right, iodine deficiency and hypothyroidism is risky during pregnancy.

      Is a doctor monitoring your iodine and thyroid? You should see an endocrinologist for a full evaluation, and tell them all your symptoms.

      Simply changing from drops to kelp isn’t necessarily the answer, that’s just a different sort of iodine supplement.

    • Hi Claudia, I’m not a doctor, but I will tell you my experiences of hair falling out, the first one could be your reason. The majority of women don’t know this, but excess estrogen or estrogen dominance causes hair loss. Alcohol (even two drinks a week will do this for me) increases estrogen in the body, it overloads the liver which can’t always keep up, results in excess estrogen then hair loss. I don’t drink even minimally any more because I hate losing my hair plus low mood caused by alcohol. There are many other estrogens in our environment that can cause dominance – including in plastics, hormones in dairy or beef, caffeine promotes estrogen. Pesticides/herbicides are endocrine disruptors also. After years of chronic breast pain/soreness I now take iodine AND progesterone or Agnus Castus tablets- does a great job of balancing out that estrogen & ending the pain. Secondly, wearing a hat in very hot weather (traps heat around the scalp) causes hair loss (I can testify!) and lastly, some medicines or heavy metal toxicity could cause hair loss. Best wishes

  15. I am hashimoto hypothyroidic. I currently take Nature-throid at 97.5 mg. I want to start a iodine regimen (along with selenium) because my clinic will not provide the required blood tests and I cannot afford to go to a physician outside of the Cherokee nation. I did a home test where I rubbed regular iodine on my inner thigh and waited for it to disappear. It completely disappeared in 1 1/2 hours which is supposed to mean that I’m deficient in iodine, but I’m not sure if that is completely accurate. My question is, do I continue to take my thyroid medicine or do I need to gradually ween myself off of it as I increase my dosage of iodine?

    • You should not begin taking iodine or selenium unless you have blood tests to determine your current levels, and if you actually have a need. Not everyone with low iodine levels need supplementation. I am one of them, and I have Hashimoto’s. Look on this site to see my experience with iodine. You can go online to various websites to get lab orders for these two minerals and pay for it yourself. It may not be cheap, but cheaper than ruining your health by experimenting. If you decide to take a small amount of iodine and selenium based upon your lab results, be very careful to begin slowly by taking the minimum of each. Some doctors will suggest that you begin supplementing with selenium first. Based on my experience, I have no more interest in supplementing with iodine (I ate high-iodine sea veggies and aggravated my Hashimoto’s). For now, supplementing with selenium seems the logical choice for me until my level is high-normal. I had a mineral hair test and it compared equally to the blood tests I took for iodine and selenium – mineral hair tests give more results and may be cheaper overall. You can find them for as low as $149 online. You get the hair sample, send it to the lab yourself, and results are sent to you via email.

  16. The article cited regarding iodine restriction (Yoon, &al. “The Effect of Iodine Restriction in Patients with Hypothyroidism due to Hashimto’s Thyroiditis.” Yonsei Medical Journal, 2003) is a complete red herring.

    Just to start:
    1-The authors used a very small sample size: 23 patients in one group and 22 in the other.
    2- Group 1 (restriction group) had an initial avg TSH of 37.95, and Group 2 (unrestricted group) had an initial avg TSH of 11.25. The authors did not consider this 26-point difference “significant.”
    3- There was no measurement of the iodine intake of the “unrestricted group.”
    4- They did not use a loading test to measure urinary iodine levels.
    5- They did not measure Free T3 or reverse T3, which I and other functional medicine docs have found to have the most correlation with patient symptoms. They also did not measure basal body temperature.
    6- After the 3 months, in the restricted group, the total T3 and total T4 levels were unchanged; the free T4 had increased from 0.80 to 0.98, and the TSH decreased from 37.95 to 25.66. Based on these numbers, the authors declared, “they had recovered.”
    7- Most annoyingly, as unconvincing as these numbers are, the authors based their entire assessment of thyroid status on the lab tests and gave no report of the patient’s symptoms. This is maddening to me, every time I hear/read/see it (which is a lot). As a physician, you ALWAYS TREAT THE PATIENT NOT THE LAB TEST!

    [I could go on about how doctors today make more eye contact with the computer screen than with their patients, but I’ll refrain…]

    Likewise, there are other problems I could mention with the Yoon article, but I encourage you to read the article for yourself and draw your own conclusions. I am thankful to Chris Kesser for posting the link so I could do just that.

    After a lot of reading, I recently started taking iodine myself (I’ve had Hash for at least 20 years). And -wow- what a difference! Better than synthroid and cytomel. I’ve actually had to cut back on coffee, and I never thought that would happen! I don’t think you should be convinced by any one anecdotal testimonial, but there you go.

    – DK, MD –

    • Problem with mainstream endocrine doctors is they worship the TSH. That is why they do not order the free T3 level or give 2 hoots about the patient’s clinical condition. I am a conventionally trained family physician who has to re-educate himself on thyroid diseases.

    • hi.. i was diagnosed with hypo-t 2 years ago and took synth.levothroid; had md switch me to armour thyroid after 1 year of no improvement from synth levo and without telling md i was doing my own research, i began to take lugol’s iodine a little at a time along with the recommended vitamin/supplement must haves and worked up to 50mg is it (20 drops of 2%) iodine. after 6 &1/2 months on armour thyroid, i began to get a few symptoms of low thyroid again and back to the lab i went; we upped my thyroid dosage just a tad 30mg and in a few weeks i began getting headaches and muscle aches in my neck… i stopped the thyroid for one day …headache went away..called md and we stopped it for now and sent me to the lab 2 weeks later…my TSH level is very very high…like 225 and t4 is a tad low and t3 is within range. for now and the next 3 months…unless i get low thyroid symptoms…not to take the thyroid at all. if i do..go to lab and then md will determine what thyroid to put me on. my question is…. well, 1st i still haven’t told the md about my taking lugol’s, but do i continue to take the current 20 drops each day and the supplements (which one is selenium).. and if so, is having a high TSH a very bad thing???? it’s been 5 weeks now and i am feeling wonderful…not run down or having any of those hypo-thyroid symptoms yet. thanks!

  17. can someone provide the citation for a scientific journal or other source for the study that supports Dr Brownstien’s claim that 95% of 5,000 patients tested had deficient Iodine levels. This is a very important claim and yet I can not find any published studies to back it up.. Umh puts a cloud on all related claims..

    • I have read quite a bit of Iodine related articles and have been taking Iodine 25-50mg daily for the last 2 years. It has brought my hormone levels back to normal after being diagnosed with hypothyroidism. So whoever (Chris) posted this, then didn’t cite any actual studies is putting false information out there.

    • It just depends on how you define iodine deficiency. Apparently some Iodine-Mongers want to scare people into visiting their clinic.

  18. I am a healthy and active female in my 60s with well-controlled Hashimotos for over seven years. It took many years of diet and lifestyle changes (without medication), but it worked. Until Nov. 2015, my TSH was around 2.0 and my TPO was about 52. I wanted my TSH to be closer to 1.0 and my TPO below 34 so that I could officially say my Hashimoto’s was in remission. I’d read on other sites how iodine supplementation might help me achieve my goals, so I had a serum blood test for iodine that showed I was very low. That’s when I started eating small amounts of seaweed every 3 days – just adding a few leaves of dulce in my salad. I didn’t know I should also increase my selenium. However, I dilligently monitored my lab test results every month. My TSH dropped to 1.0, but my TPO started to go up. At first it was a modest couple of points that didn’t seem to mean anything, but the second month my TPO jumped to over 200. My TSH stayed around 1.0. I got worried, so I immediately stopped eating the seaweed, but lab testing on the third month showed my TPO was now over 1,000. I’d never had a TPO lab test higher than 240, even when I had major symptoms of Hashimotos many years ago. I am now restricting my diet of iodine-rich foods and hope my TPO reduces. I don’t have any noticeable symptoms of a Hashimoto’s flareup, but I am very worried about this. I’m wondering if eating foods high in selenium might help, in addition to my restricted iodine diet. Any thoughts, advice, experience, or suggestions would be very welcome. Thank you!

    • My TPO was 200 i just strated taking 1 tbs of unrefined virgin coconut oil with breakfast, withing two months my Thyroid antibodies was reduced to 30.
      ?

    • UPDATE to my May 18, 2016 post: simply restricting my diet of iodine-rich sea veggie foods did NOT reduce my TPO antibiodies. Instead, here is what I did: I avoided foods high in selenium (such as hazlenuts) since I couldn’t control the amount of selenium I was ingesting – which can vary widely based on soil conditions in which the hazlenuts are grown. Instead, everyday I took 200 mcg of selenium, either alone or as an ingredient in a multivitamin/mineral supplement (that contained NO iodine). I also returned to eating fish and seafood several times a week so that I knew I was getting some iodine, but I continued to avoid eating all high-iodine containing sea veggie foods. Within weeks I started to feel great and my blood test showed that my TPO antibodies were significantly reducing. I have monitored my blood test results for iodine and selenium and it always shows I am slightly deficient in iodine (below normal). My selenium has been low normal, but I expect that will change soon. For me it doesn’t seem to matter that I have low iodine levels because I have been very close to remission of my Hashimoto’s and my iodine is always slightly deficient. It is my opinion, based upon my circumstances in dealing with Hashimoto’s, that eating high-iodine containing sea veggie foods is dangerous. Maybe it’s less dangerous or not dangerous at all if a person is supplementing with selenium, but I’m not doing any more experiments with my health. Anyone with Hashimoto’s who decides to experiment in taking high amouns of iodine by eating sea veggies or through supplementation (with or without selenium supplementation) should get blood tests EVERY MONTH to monitor their TSH, antibody levels, and overall thyroid health. If you can’t afford to do so, or your doctor won’t order these tests for you, then you are definitely playing with fire and may get burned.

    • are you GF? GF lowered my hashis to nearly nothing. Many ppl are gluten intolerant and gluten is a real B to the thyroid and endocrine system.
      I would not say your hashis has ever been in remission or even close. Also having aTPO as high as yours , makes it hard for me to believe you’re feeling well. Your numbers are high and get very very high, are you feeling terrible with a tpo at 1000?

    • I just had the standard blood/plasma test for iodine. A few years earlier I had a hair sample for minerals, which included iodine. Both results were consistent with each other.

  19. When I was around 8 or 9 I had a contrast test on my thyroid and I remember seeing it look like a butterfly I thought, but all I remember is that my mom had to give me iodized salt on my food. I don’t know what the diagnosis was and I can’t ask my mom. Now I am having problems with health, such as I have lost my eye brows, they are almost completely gone, I can’t lose weight to save my soul. I just think something is going on, and I have thought about that test when I was a kid a hundred times.

  20. I have Hashimoto’s with PCOS and Mitral Valve Prolapse Syndrome. I am on 25 mcg of Levothyroxine, Microgestin Fe 28s, and taking 12.5mg of Zoloft a day. I believe I started having insulin resistance from PCOS in 2010 because that’s when I became really tachycardic, especially after eating. However, I wasn’t diagnosed with Hashimoto’s until months after my last pregnancy in 2014. I struggled even worse with tachycardia during pregnancy like I was hyperthyroid first and it changed to hypo later. My doctor thinks it’s permanent, but he hasn’t had to increase my dose because my lab was stable. He did say my weight and therefore my insulin resistance was increasing. Do you think my Hashimoto’s is permanent or what would be the best course of action for me to heal my thyroid?

    • Wendy, have you checked to be sure that you tachycardia isn’t caused by a magnesium deficiency? I was having serious problems with arrhythmia and tachycardia and it resolved immediately when I started taking 400mg supplements.

  21. hi Okay, I am on GAPS diet and am gluten free, dairy free, sugar free since Dec of 2008. I take bioidentical estrogren, progesterone and compounded thyroid meds because of my unique/strange digestion, including what seems to be an overzealous liver.

    Dr. Thomas Cowan of SF, a GAPS, doctor had me take all kinds of tests to find out if I am really hashimotos and to figure out my t3 uptake and my free t3 levels. I was not truly hashimotos with the antibodies and I had T# uptake that was not working.
    Dr. Cowan has now recently put me on iodine so that we can raise my T3. I will start using ashwaganda also to ease the immune system.

    The idea is that when the thyroid works and hypothyroidism lowers, I will ease off of thyroid medicine.

    Dr. Cowan comes highly recommended and he has a community payment plan that is amazing and he has high success with all sorts of things immune system, diet related.

    My goal/hope is really this: That my overzealous liver will relax once we get my thyroid producing what it needs for T3 and T4 levels to be in the normal range.

    When I say I have an overzealous liver, I mean that I cannot eat certain “cleansing” foods. I can eat onions, but not garlic, because it seems to cleanse my medications from my body and makes me sleep. Any cleansing teas or herbs cause the same thing. Too much fiber causes the same thing.

    One last thing I will share in case it is helpful. I was constipated for years, which was not helpful to my thyroid or body. When I started taking Betaine HCL in January of 2015, my constipation went away and my bloating went away. I had hoped that I could start eating more cleansing foods and trust that will happen with an optimized thyroid, which I am counting on once we give iodine to my body.

    The body cannot take iodine from food without proper stomach acid (BEtaine HCL is stomach acid). And what I understand from some of you is that the liver cannot do its job correctly until the thyroid system is working properly. so I am most likely caught in a cycle that hopefully the optimized cycle will get me out of.

    Dr. Thomas Cowan told me to wait and see if these things resolve themselves (overzealous liver and lack of ability to digest fiber or cleansing things & exhaustion that comes from ingesting these things) as we correct my T3 levels, which he has corrected in many patients with iodine and ashwaganda.

  22. Im trying to get my head around the Thyroid/Iodine connection for my 1yr old son. He has shown high free T3 (but normal free T4, TSH, TPO antibody and Thyroglobulin).
    With a different DR in both hair / urine test he is coming out with incredibly high off the chart Iodine but is getting nothing from diet or water.
    I can’t find anything online to explain this – anyone any ideas?

    • Baby milk powder… I remember reading somewhere that for example Nestlé was not allowed in China because of high iodine content

  23. Yo guys I wouldnt recommend this, but i take like 6 gummies of vitacraves with iodine in em, im getting like 10,000% of every single vitamin,, which is a lot, im getting like 700 units of iodine a day if not more. The effects of this have literally cleansed my entire soul, my heart doesnt hurt anymore, im not trapped in my mind, i feel as if i am reaching an intelligence of something surpassing a human. I dont mean 5d thinking, or being like “whoa guys i get it!” I literally mean im on some $&#! Because i can feel the lord in my entire being, i can feel these globs of external internal jelly stacks playing part of a giant purple root of electricity, sized infinity with super launch units and a land and world of sunshine and fun and its kind of like this reality we live in is of such magnificense but nobody will see it.

    I also take 8 fish oil pills a day, i dont microwave food, i dont drink or eat dairy, i eat very high quality protein. Ive come up with formulas and equations of man to superfy anyone into what ive become.

    I hike for muscle growth and hormone release to cause more strength, also to get away from electricity and radio waves.

    Breath the fresh air when you get here………….

    Theres more to it all,,, theres more to waking up everyday laying in the fun land made by the all happy and strong god.

    this is no recommendation just simply words on a website lost in time and self opiniated as a treasure to whom ever finds them.

    Opinions and facts welcome, please only speak from experience. ?

  24. I’ve had hypothyroidism for about 12 years.I’m taking 150mcg of levothyroxin a day.At first I had hair loss.In the last couple of years I’m tired a lot,have dry skin and weight gain.How can I improve my quality of life?

    • Hi you can join a lot of groups on facebook and google all about your disese, 95% people with hypothyrodism have hashimoto wich is an autoimmune disese. There are lot of information on the internet that can be helpful for you to get better health.
      Good luck!

    • Hi John. I would suggest asking your doctor about Armour instead. It contains T3 and T4. Also, I would check to see what blood work is being done. If you TSH levels and T4 are only being tested, request T3 too. If your T4 isn’t properly converting to T3 then there is the issue. But Armour can work wonders, so something to look into, and best of luck!!!

    • I am wondering. I recently made my doctor put me on Armour after a year on Levo and about 7 years of just asking her whats wrong with me and her doing nothing. It was horrible except the first month I FELT AMAZING…But on Armour I am so so. I began alot of research and scared but also so very tired of being as bog as I am. I plan to start taking Thyroid Support along with my Armour and it has high doses of Iodine and other nutrients.

      What are your thoughts?

      • I had an auto-immune reaction to pig thyroid (in my case Naturethroid). I ended up at the cardiologists with POTS and heart palpitations I felt worse than before treatment. He pulled me off pig thyroid and put me on a combo of Levoxyl and Cytomel, and now my numbers are optimal I feel good, my hair and eyebrows grew back. Pig thyroid has the wrong T3/T4 ratio for humans, so be careful if you try it.

    • i was miserable on synthetic thyroid. i would never take it again. you might have to search for a doctor how will prescribe natural thyroid, but it is worth it.

      • Hi. Does anyone know a doctor in the UK that will prescribe natural thyroid. I used buy Erfa from an online pharmacy but cannot now without a prescription so I’ve been on levothyroxin now for over a year and feel so ill, I have put on in excess of 2 stone in weight etc etc. Julie

        • Julie, do a google search for “Raw Thyroid bigvits”. You can get it from there as natural bovine thyroid tissue. But be carefully to find out the amount that will fit you system. Good luck!

        • Hi Julie, try Procepts Metavive. I get the 30mg version and split the cap into 4 so i can dose correctly. Its strong so make sure you get regular labs done. Build up slow. I only need 3/4 cap per day. I also measure body temp and pulse. They’re available in the UK . Through careful use my antibodies have halved. I’m now working with a practitioner to get them down further…

          So I don’t know of a doctor but i can recommend Marek Doyle from blueprint fitness. He’s helping me get to the bottom of things. I was going it alone for a year with some good results – but having an expert is a great idea and speeding up my recovery. Joe

  25. I have been supplementing with iodine for about 6 months. I have no thyroid due to cancer and had rai. My TG levels have always been zero and now they are up to 1.2. Can the iodine cause this? Even though I had rai could there still be remnant thyroid being stimulated by the iodine?
    Thank you

    • would love to hear from anyone who has an opinion on iodine, brazil nuts, diet, how to feel better naturally, other problems that stem from thyroid or vice versa, best medication to take etc. you can email me at r y c h h m o at a o l do t c o m without the spaces. As for the idea it is dangerous to take iodine. Think i t is very safe if you take natural organic. After all we are supposed to have a lot of it in our system anyway and most of us do not, we are merely replacing what is missing. but to take synthetic iodine or take too much then that is the danger. you also have to take brazil nuts for the selenium to balance it. so a lot of people think ooh this is getting complicated and avoid it instead of ooh i will get this reight and embrace it.

      • I had a huge desire for salt and was eating two tubs of salt and vinegar pringles daily for about 3 weeks plus taking lots of salt in my diet. Could this cause a false diagnoses of sub clinical hypothyroidism. I have experienced quite a number of the symptoms of hypothyroidism and wondered if my blood results could b reversed ny diet and exercise?

        • I would venture a guess that the MSG in the Pringles chips was adding to hypo thyroid type symptoms. MSG causes bloat, weight gain and many other issues.

    • think it depends on how much radioactive iodine they gave you. I believe usually you still have some thyroid left, some people need to take 2-3 doses of RAI. For the others they dont. But I think its because they got on their meds and basically supressed their thyroids, idk really.

  26. Hello, I have been underactive for about 1 year officially, amsure i was before as had so many symptoms. I am fed up with taking the synethetic tablets from the doctor, where I get side effects and still have symptoms, have tried the alternative real thyroids where I still feel ill, and am now considering just taking iodine as I get no side effects with it. Would appreciate hearing from anyone who can support, advise, swap history etc. You can email me at r y c h h m o at ao l do t c o m without the dots. Thanks.

  27. I have been taking 25 mg of an Iodine/iodide/sellenium supplement for a few months and am feeling much better. However, when I went back to the doctor to check my medication levels (hashimotos) my TSH was up to 4.25 and he increased my medication. Was that the right thing to do? Your article said TSH would increase. How would a doctor know what level of levothyroxide was the correct dosage? Are there other numbers to look at?

  28. I recently had a thyroid nodule biopsy to rule out cancer. My TSH was 2.25 and my other thyroid panel tests were all normal however my Thyroglobulin Antibody tested at 46.

    You say the “gold standard” to diagnose Hashimoto’s is via biopsy. Would they have tested for it alongside testing for cancer? My endo said I have Hoshi’s based on the antibody test. No mention of the biopsy.

    Thanks.

    • When a biopsy is done with hashi it has high risk of being scanty. Meaning lymphocytes are seen in sample and cant be determined if from nodule or surrounding tissue which has lymphocytes from hashi assault. They are indistinguishable from cells looked for in sample. I myself had done and confirmed hashi but leaves you in same boat before biopsy not knowing if nodule is malignant. Only options them are watch or remove part of thyroid for pathology exam

  29. why dosn’t anyone talk about the horrible diet most people eat? That can greatly affect every single cell in your body! I can not rely on 90% of these “reactions” of women on here because 90% eat processed s… food, and YES, this does affect your health, your thyroid problems and every system in your body. It is exaspertating.

    • Totally agree. I get fed up with people who smoke moaning when they cough and wheeze, or those who eat loads of junk food moaning that their ankles hurt because they are a size 30, since I have been diagnosed and trying to feel better I have started to drink my own distilled water, also make smoothies and juices every day which I drink religiously to make sure I get enough veg/fruit in my diet. Cut out a lot of sugar, cut out a lot of salt.

    • Just quitting sugar and eating whole grains instead of white breads, white rice has dramatically changed how I feel.

  30. Ummm, what about all of the valid research that shows kelp has unacceptable levels of arsenic and other heavy metals?

    • We ingest more heavy metals and toxins from Chemtrails and other chemical dumping in the skies above us than from any other source. All of our food, water, and supplements are excessively contaminated in some form. The only protection we truly have from what we’re being poisoned with from every possible angle, is our mind. HOWEVER, we must know how to use our mind and how our mind works for it to do us any good at protecting us from the poisons and contaminants that we can under no circumstance avoid consuming…. That said, don’t question the arsenic and heavy metals in kelp if it must be taken. Simply acknowledge there is arsenic and metal content, then take Chlorella while consuming kelp to give your body what it needs to cleanse and remove the arsenic and metals from your body as its being deposited by the kelp. Approaching all consumption from this standpoint is the only method for achieving a state of health in today’s toxin saturated environment.

      • Chemtrails have been debunked on metabunk.org, fyi. For a while I was on the fence about chemtrails until I read all the classic arguments put to the scrutiny of reason , and through the cross examinations of many individuals on the site, came to conclusion that there are no chemtrails in the sense that they are generally talked about.

        • Please read some of what is said on GeoEngineeringwatch.org about the aerosols being sprayed from planes. It’s all part of climate “control” and is harming all of us and everything on Earth. The evidence on that site is very hard to refute… many good videos/discussions about it… has everything to do with astronomically high aluminum levels worldwide.

        • You better keep researching because they are VERY real. Put “weather modification”, Solar Radiation Management” “weather warfare”, aerosol spraying”, “geoengineering” “HAARP”, “CERN” in your search engine and for cryin out loud realize that there are paid trolls from that industry specifically to debunk it! Lastly LoOK at the sky! You can see planes that leave short contrails and there are those who leave obvious trails that linger for hours then turn the sky overcast. There are patents for aerosol technology and many documents from NASA, military, Environmental Defense Fund, The Royal Society, etc that acknowledge it also. Al Gore spoke of the dangers of geoengineering on Ellen’s show and there are people that have spoken about it to the UN… Also scientists and solar radiation experts that have been interviewed and are on You Tube. Don’t deny just because you won’t spend the time to research this further.

          • You can google anything and come up with websites supporting it. You can also cherry-pick expert opinions to support pretty much anything. There are professional physicists that think the world is 6000 years old. If you’re going to cite expert opinion, the correct procedure is to cite published work, not youtube videos where Professor X can say anything at all without being peer-reviewed, and also to consider what the experts at the top of the field think and what the majority of experts think.

    • It only has these dangers in it when it is taken from the sea. Most kelp that is sold now is harvested in an organic farm and kept pure.

  31. Gluten maybe more a problem than we will ever agmit. I researched this web for my dogs health years ago w.dogtorj.c .This covers human issues too and goes into great depth of cell damage and mental issues caused by grains .I later learned wheat was sprayed with glyphosate before harvest (round-up) .This weed killer is designed to stop mineral uptake in weeds but seems to have a simular effect in u s .All our minerals have reached critical levels and I fear Iodine is only one so we need to check all our mineral levels .I would suggest eating organic foods and supplementing with minerals and trace minerals .I use w.bodybio.c mineral liquid kit ……..

    • I agree. My daughter’s doctor told her to stop eating wheat. She feels much better, and in the course of a year, slowly lost 20 pounds. I stopped as well, and i just feel less puffy and slow moving.

  32. Hello all,

    Heres our experience (for what its worth – bear with me, it has a happy ending (so far))… in the hope that it might help someone else going through the same thing. Sorry for the long post.

    My wife has had pretty horrendous periods for a number of years since she came off the pill.

    Roll forward to 2009, she found a large lump in her breast that seemed to appear overnight (thankfully turned out to be a cyst). Had some scans done and she had a number of cysts in her breasts.
    (and suffered from painful breasts each month (fibrocystic breast disease for years).

    She went to see a specialist (at first private and then , (the same one) at the NHS). All she offered was an ablation (burning away the lining of the uterus – or fitting a mirena coil.
    (or much later -as my wife was deemed too young, the option of a hysterectomy was mentioned)

    This ‘specialist’ (head of department – supposedly an expert) – was an absolute idiot. Between the first (private) visit and the second (at NHS hospital) We had found a book at a jumble sale by Dr John Lee about bio-identical hormones.

    This book seemed to be very relevant to my wifes situation.
    On the second visit to this ‘specialist’ she mentioned bio-identical hormones and this ‘specialist’ told her that ‘we don’t deal in hormones, they’re not relevant’ – For one, what a stupid thing to say given that reproductive health is determined by hormones and secondly, this ‘specialist’ had recommended a mirena coil (which is an inter-uterine device for administering progestrogen – a synthetic version of progresterone (synthetic hormones are best avoided!). –

    Absolutely stunning.. My wife walked out that office crestfallen – we didn’t realise at that point how staggeringly out of touch many NHS specialists are – we do now and have witnessed it on a number of occasions since.

    (allow me to post something from her (the specialists) section of the private healthcare hospital website we visited…

    Quote: Miss… [name redacted]
    Specialities: Gynaecology and/or Obstetrics Colposcopy, Hysteroscopy, Menstrual Disorders, Prolapse

    Special Clinical interests: Abnormal menstrual bleeding, post-menopausal difficulties, pelvic pain, vaginal prolapse and adolescent gynaecology.

    End Quote.

    So, you’d imagine she’d know what she was talking about when it came to ‘abnormal menstrual bleeding’.
    Wife also had a thing we now discover is called leucorrhoea which is caused by hormonal imbalance. Did this specialist have any idea what it was or what might have caused it ? – take a guess. Not a clue.

    Anyway, i digress..

    Having read the Dr John Lee book it she took a hormone test (spit test (not blood test, as blood hormone tests are very unreliable)) and was found to be estrogen dominant. She was basically producing half the progesterone she needed to balance the amount of estrogen (or twice the estrogen for the progesterone she was producing depending on how you look at it)

    So, she started using natural progesterone cream. This improved her hormonal balance and her periods improved markedly. Still not great but better than the normal monthly ‘crime scene’ – with her sitting around for two days a month in pain clutching a hot water bottle.
    She also found that cutting meat and dairy from her diet got rid of most of the pain, having read a book called Food that fights pain (or something similar) (dairy is obviously full of estrogens – you really want to try and limit them).
    Also stopped buying canned food (linings contain BPA and other endocrine disrupters – especially bad with tomatos / baked beans etc as the acid makes the BPA leech into the food) – dont use a microwave and certainly never eat anything out of plastic container that has been microwaved (scary studies been done on those)

    However she’d still have to get up every two hours in the night (during her period) because her flow was so heavy, sleeping on a towel etc. All pretty awful.

    She also had a scan in 2011 and found out she had a small 2cm fibroid.

    She also had a yellowish tinge to her skin at times, which we thought (initially,) was anemia caused by the regular blood loss

    Scroll forward a year or two later to discover she now had a tennis ball size cyst (8cm) on her ovaries which was a suspected endometrioma.

    We both take many supplements for a couple of years (magnesium, D3 (she takes 5000 iu/day (we had our levels checked periodically to find out balance), selenium, curcumin, k2, cod liver oil (small d3 + vitamin A) and a number of others and generally things had definitely improved somewhat.

    A Pretty awful couple of years though….

    The NHS specialist (a different one from above) she went to see when we discovered the large ovarian cyst wanted to cut her open and perform an oophrectomy – which she refused (you really want your ovaries if you can keep-em – we’re not having any kids and any opportunity to have them has passed anyway – but your ovaries obviously produce hormones required for life (despite them malfunctioning at that time).

    The main reason she refused was because after a couple of years of reading books on these matters we finally found out about iodine and things started to suddenly make sense.

    We read Dr Brownsteins book – which I recommend, another excellent book by Dr Mark Starr called (type 2 hypothyrodism) and a couple of others.
    I also recommend as many have already, search out Dr Brownstein, Dr Jorge Flechas, Sherry Tenpenny etc on youtube and Dr Abrams (have a look at optimox.com)

    Given that we’d both been taking selenium for quite a while, we didnt have to be too slow in ramping up the iodine (although we were cautious).
    My wife started doing a couple of drops of Lugols a day, then we ordered some iodoral (which is only lugols in pill form, but what the heck). She got up to 50mg/day (4 x 12.5 iodoral) and held it there for 3 months. Every day she checks her temperature (basal , under the armpit for 10 mins before she gets out of bed) and charts her progression.
    After 3 months shes now come down to 1.5 iodoral tablets a day (just under 19 mg) .
    She also takes ATP cofactors (high B3 and B6), did salt flushing and vitamin C (to clear blocked sodium iodide symporters)

    So, turns out we (and everyone else) missed the obvious for years.

    She is/was hypothyroid and had low iodine (which probably caused the hypothyroidism). She’s been cold for years (hands and feet). She had thinning eyebrows. menorrhagia (heavy periods) – she has cysts in her breasts and on an ovary, had a recurrent gangion cyst, small cysts on her fingers.
    The cyst is now (we think) actually a cystadenoma (mucin filled).

    All of her symptoms are classic hypothyroidism/low iodine.
    Her yellowish tinge was carotanemia (inability to process beta-carotene into vitamin A (caused by hypothyroidism) – which also means that your thyroid becomes less able to absorb any iodine in your food).

    Turns out that after the thyroid the second and third most prolific users/requirers of iodine are the breasts and the ovaries. All endocrine functions require iodine. If it secretes… it needs iodine !

    Her mother also had symptoms and her sister had thyroid issues too.
    Glaringly obvious when you spot it, but no one else did. (despite doctors noticing the symptoms).
    Hypothyroidism runs down the female line (somthing to do with all mitochondria already being in the egg (ie coming from the mother) before fertilisation)

    Today 10 months after seeing the NHS doctor who wanted to operate – she still has the ovarian cyst – but its got a little smaller. Her monthly cycle is like night and day compared to how it has been – i’d say its ‘normalised’ – her cycle length has extended (still settling down, but used to be about 23/24 days (sometimes less), now averaging 28 in the last few months (varies between 26 and 32). Her breast cysts are shrinking (definitely – not just wishful thinking). Cysts on her hands have disappeared.

    I would caution against just diving in with iodine. You must have been taking selenium beforehand and during (otherwise you will cause thyroid problems) – you really should read some books about it first (i recommend brownsteins book if just thinking about iodine – again mark starr’s book is good too if you suspect hypothyroidism as well (especially if you have symptoms but your blood tests come back negative).

    I think the most telling thing is to get an alcohol (or old style mercury) thermometer (dont use a digital, they’re so innacurate they’re pointless) and put it in your armpit (NOT mouth, ear or rectum) for 10 to 15 minutes every morning before you get out of bed.

    If you are consistently below 36.6 degrees you are (99% likely) to be hypothyroid.

    My Wife (when started) was often 35.8 to 36.2 degrees C.
    Now almost always between 36.5 and 37.

    By the way, this is not medical advice (supplementing with iodine is not to be done thoughtlessly)

    If you’re gonna do it, read Up, go easy, monitor and chart your results.

    Curezone is a good resource to read others experiences.

    • Thanks for your story. It is truly amazing that given our advanced medical system and ‘civilised’ society that we still have to dig around for such basic yet life saving information. I have hashimotos and i’ve also been researching iodine. The willingness for medical ‘professionals’ to consider drastic surgery and synthetic medications before checking for basic mineral deficiencies is actually astounding. I’m very glad you had the good sense and knowledge to avoid the knife and start looking for the root cause…i hope that one day mainstream doctors will be doing the same!

      • Thank you to all of the contributors to this site but especially yours. I have had all thyroid test in normal range for 4 years, but have a goiter and at least 11 of the symptoms indicating hypothyroidism (limited hair growth, dry skin, weight gain, brittle nails, depression, limited labido, muscle cramps, barely any eyebrows, constipation, bloating and difficulty focusing). My doctor’s response is to measure the growth of my goiter, I presume to cut it out eventually… American medicine is so frustrating. Anyway I recently purchased isodoral iodine, betaine hcl and selenium, but hadn’t connected the all the dots on how to use them, as well as considering a gluten free diet. I eat relatively healthy but I have gained over 60lbs and am frustrated and depressed. Hopefully I’ll be able to reverse this condition with your suggestions as well as adding two tablespoons of coconut oil and carefully choosing organic greens to juice daily. Although i have been taking isodoral for two weeks (No change) I will take them selenium for the next two weeks and then add the isodoral gradually. I welcome any other suggestions as well. What about adrenal fatigue? I have read I might need to address that as well… Any suggestions?

    • I sincerely thank you for sharing you and your wife’s story. I have learned so much. I am dealing with exactly the same things she was dealing with. You have just opened a great big door for me to go through. Many many thanks, Katherine

    • wow gug,this story is so close to my life,all the women in my family are and were hypo with nodules,through my years ive had systs,heavy periods that lead to an oblation,made my pain worse which lead to a hysterectomy and ovarian cancer..now after reading your story im convinced that my problem stemed from way back in my life,im luck to have fitted in four beautiful children in all that pain and suffering,My mother had radioactive iodine 2 years ago and is feeling better,she suggested to me that I get mine checked because I was feeling run down,i did and they found heaps of nodules,..im on the waiting list for a thyroidectomy but have postponed it three times now,im trying everything I can to avoid loosing it with diet and supps.my recient tests show a low tsh but everything else is in normal range oh and my selenium is high and my iodine is low haha so my new gp has recommended iodine drops,but before I take them im going to increase it in my diet see how I go,thankyou so much im so happy ive read you letter,Ann

    • HI,

      Very pleased to see that i may have helped a couple of people with my post – that was entirely my intention and its nice to be able to help.

      Some more ramblings…

      Enlargement, nodules, structural changes…. often often often iodine is the problem (lack of) – inc thyroid (nodules, enlargement / goiter), breasts (tenderness/cysts/fibrocystic breasts), overaries (cysts) and very possibly prostate (enlargement)

      Absolutely try and avoid thyroidectomy and radioactive iodine if you possibly can.

      Duff thyroid very very very often (I’d say nearly always but i’m no doctor (although many docs dont have a clue)) due to either low selenium (leading to auto immune problems) and /or low iodine.

      Often the person for some reason does not uptake iodine very well (maybe genetic, maybe poor sodium/iodide symporter action). My wife just dropped her iodine to 12/mg (from 50) in a short period of time and halfed her progesterone cream and she had a 17 day cycle and heavy period. It seems with my wife that at the moment, 12 mg doesnt seem to do anything at all, she’s now doubled it back to 24mg/day and touch wood things will improve again to back how they were.

      Cant stress enough ladies, if you’re having problems similar to my wife. Read Brownsteins iodine book, read Mark Starrs type 2 hypothyroid book and change your lives!
      Go to Youtube and search for Dr Brownstein, or Dr Jorge Flechas, or Dr Sherry Tenpenny etc etc and watch a couple of talks that are on there.

      Note all: Thyroid TSH blood tests are remarkable only in that they often entirely fail to spot someone who is hypothyroid !!!

      In the old days, they used to use Basal temperature and a doctor actually talking to you about symptoms to determine hypothyroidism. Now they give you a blood test that is almost entirely useless.

      My wifes mother had 18 separate symptoms of hypothyroidism and an entirely ‘normal’ TSH test result.

      A drop of lugols a day and enough selenium and she’s actually not got cold hands or feet for the first time in years. A mystery liver enzyme problem has myseriously(?) resolved (shes been discharged by the specialist), she has more energy etc etc.

      Of all the things i’ve seen over the years of being interested in health issues, i’ve never seen anything as remarkable as iodine (although cannabis oil for cancer comes a close 2nd) for fixing so many issues – but beware… again, dont just take iodine without reading up on it first and without having already started supplementing with selenium !

      Good Luck !

      • Im curious about the mysterious liver enzyme that went away. Im hypothyroid and had elevated alk phos for years and doctors are unable to find any reason for it.

        • HI, sorry i missed this.

          My Mother in laws liver problem was exactly that ! and now her blood results have improved each time she’s seen them and they have now discharged her.

          I’d say her elevated alkaline phosphotase (not sure of the spelling) was entirely caused by hypothyroidism.

          Remember, that hypothyroidism is known to suppress/affect liver function.

          My wife had bouts of carotanemia (where the liver cant convert beta carotene into vitamin A).

    • Thank you for sharing. I’ve been going through Thyroid tests the past 4 months and trying to get my numbers up via holistically before jumping into Thyroid medication. I have had period changes the last couple of years with my cycle jumping from 22-26 days… no change in flow, but definitely getting much more painful. This started after i went off birth control. I was only on birth control for a little over a year so I don’t know if that had anything to do with it.

    • Hi Gug if I give you my contact info would you possibly be willing to give me a call? Your experience with iodine leaves me wanting to talk to you if youre willing. Im about to start supplementing and detoxing with iodine and would sure like to have a friend to consult/confide in while going thtu it Good day to you Rick Talaska

      • Hi,

        I’d be happy to. Apologies for not replying earlier, I dont monitor the email address i used for this post.

        If you want to contact me, try thyroid (at) telepho.to

        I’m no expert though, i’m learning new stuff everyday.

    • Very helpful,ty for sharing.I to had bleeding issues when it took five yr to finally figure out I was hypo.been on meds for bout 20 yr.I started having panic attacks n decided to stop meds,now I hav a lump n soreness n I’m going for many.yuppie.I’m doing a home iodine test,u rub a three by three patch of iodine on lower stomach n see if it stays same or disappears in 24 HR period.crossing fingers.I know u loose iodine w pregnancies,I’ve had six kids so chances r I’m gone

    • Am seriously considering just taking iodine but I also have selenium and eat alot of brazil nuts which are rich in selenium and other minerals/vitamins. I am fed up with the side effects and lack of help from the normal tablets and the synethetic ones. You can get kelp tablets that are pure and organic, it is a myth that they contain all sorts of harmful things now.

    • Agree with everything! Turns out that iodine functions to excrete estrogens. Hence the lighter periods, etc . I too loved my bioidenticals, progesterone and now a little testosterone. But was missing the iodine, selenium, c, salt, etc… Estradiol also down regulates your NIS symporter – how the thyroid cells transport iodine into the cell to then create energy. So estrogens unmatched by progesterone and still being produced in fat tissues when women think they are too old and not making any , or too young to have hormone issues, shocks me. I visited an endochrinologist for my thyroid and rattled off a few things from all my reading, same books as you, think this will be good conversation. He had know idea what I was talking about. He was considered a top guy in the field. I thought he was kidding! At least he was honest and told me, “he was learning right now, in this conversation!” It scared me and then made me really happy I like to read this stuff! I want to send him a few books!
      Amy 🙂

      • Hi Yes… and to add to that, having hypothyroidism causes your liver to become sluggish meaning that it cant clear excess estrogen from the blood.

    • Great story..i believe we have to look after ourselves and sometimes even treat our own symptoms as we know our body more than anyone else does ..do lots of study .. we arent stupid and i believe doctors and even specialist have no clue past the obvious stuff…i have had some similar symptoms to your wife and have treated them similarly and agree that it takes time but i feel better than i have in years. Specialists offered me the mirena or hysterectomy for my heavy long periods( i am 52 and peri menopausal)..seems to be the easy answer for them..natural bio identical progesterone for 6 months and my period is back to normal …i have hashimotos ..my 2 sets of thyroid antibodies were 3000 and 2600…no treatment offered until my tsh was high enough to satisfy there policy..i put myself on natural dessicated thyroid. ..have regular blood test for my own benefit..my antibodies are down to 300 and 190..my ldl is down from 9 to 7 ..everything else is good also.. my doctor just says to keep up with what im doing and get blood tests every 3 months… so he supports but wont treat which is good enough for me..i took charge because i do not believe that i should just wait for my own immune system to destroy my thyroid before i get treatment which would have been levothyroxine anyway and i feel personally that the natural thyroid is better.

    • Google : “thyroid and high blood platelets”

      I’m not sure if it is but hypothyroidism affects so many things (as it affects metabolism) that it wouldn’t surprise me.

      Anecdotally, my mother had Essential thrombocythemia – and now looking back over her life – i’m convinced she was hypothyroid – she was certainly always cold (hands/feet etc).

      I’d say, start taking your basal temperature (in armpit every morning before you get up using a mercury or alcohol thermometer (not digital) to determine if you’re likely to be hypothyroid (consistently below 36.6 degrees centigrade( (ignore the TSH test if you have it, its most often wrong it seems). Sort your thyroid out and then see if your blood improves.

      Good luck

      • Hello gug and everyone, is it possible to be iodine deficient even if I live by the sea and eat lots of tuna and eggs?
        Two months ago I started seeing hair loss, then pains and aches in the abdomen and lower back, I’d feel dizzy while working out (which I didn’t before), swollen ad dry lip, very tired, no concentration and overall feeling sickly, and now I take my temp and it’s usually around 36.6 – 36.7 Celsius, even in the morning. A couple of times it was lower, closer to 36. It is scaring me.

        I do have my strong suspicions about hypo. I’m going to have a blood test just in case, but I was thinking of starting supplementation with iodine and selenium just to see if it would help. Like gug mentions, I’d do it very gradually and I’d start selenium first.

        I went to a pharmacy yesterday looking for iodine and they looked at me like I was crazy. They didn’t even have it and said they’d have to order it; that living by the sea, there’s no iodine deficiency. Is this always true?

        • DO NOT TAKE ANY IODINE! DO NOT TAKE ANY SELENIUM! You first need to find out if you are hypothyroid and then if it is autoimmune type of hypothyroid. Get a comprehensive thyroid blood test and make sure they include the lab tests for antibodies to TPO and thryoglobulin. If you have autoimmune thyroid disease (Hashimotos) and you take iodine (with or without selenium), you will likely make yourself much worse! I know, I’ve been there. Since you already have a diet high in iodine (like I did) you may find that reducing your intake of high iodine foods will help if you have Hashimoto’s. However, if you have Hashimoto’s, you will need a complete food and lifestyle change to get yourself into remission. Drugs won’t work. All of this assumes you get the proper diagnosis. You do sound like you have the classic symptoms of Hashimotos. If you have regular hypothyroid disease, get your selenium and iodine levels checked before supplementing. There are lots of free resources online to explain the natural ways to beat Hashimoto’s or regular hypothyroid disease, but be cautious. You have to heal your gut first and that usually means the complete elimination of gluten and dairy, usually a permanent change in lifestyle. It’s worth it because it works if you are dilligent – you’ll see results within weeks. Please look at Dr. Tom O’Brien online and read his materials as a start. Good luck!

          • I second this. Get thee to an endocrinologist and get tested! If you have thyroid autoimmunity, taking iodine could put you in a world of pain. I know because a doctor overdosed me with iodine.

          • Hi Linda,
            Do you have any thoughts/resources on what to do if you have Hashimotos and want to get pregnant? Every medical provider I’ve met with wants me on prenatal iodine supplementation even though iodine makes me feel terrible. I did a urine iodine spot test and I’m low normal. I’ve also tried selenium supplementation (serum plasma also low normal) and it makes me feel terrible too. Strangely, if I just don’t do anything (I’ve been paleo since diagnosis) I feel pretty fine.

        • Also, be sure to get your body checked for heavy metals. If you eat a lot of tuna, as you mentioned, you probably have an excess of mercury in your body. That can cause serious health consequences, as well as be a trigger for thyroid disease.

          • Thank you, Linda, I appreciate your thorough replies. I will do blood work and yes, I’ve worried about mercury in the tuna I eat everyday for a long time. Maybe they can check for it in the blood work as well.
            Two side notes:
            1- Yesterday, I had to stop my workout because I felt dizzy and cold. Came home, and my temp had gone down further, this time to 35.77 which is the lowest I’ve recorded. So now, my body temp is actually lower with exercise when it should be higher.

            2- Two nights ago, my temp was low (around 36.1 Celsius) and I felt cold. It just happened I had peanut appetizers near and I started eating quite a bit of it. Once a week I do this for the healthy fats in the peanuts even though I’m not crazy about the salt in it. One hour later, I felt warmer and my temp was now 36.6. I’ll try to repeat the experiment tonight, but maybe the iodine in the salt helped.

  33. I cannot get a straight answer out of my Dr. I appear to have just a smidgeon of too much thyroid in my body. I’m Hosimoto’s as well. She said I’d have this fatigue all the time that I have cuz I have too much thyroid? I have the symptoms of not enough thyroid from what I remember how I felt when it first crashed. Weight gain, hair thinning fatigue; so do I have too much or not enough? Another question my Multi-Vitamin has 300mcg’s Iodine from Kelp. Could this be the reason for the fatigue is the Iodine taxing my thyroid. To me to have too much and have these symptoms like when I had not enough is a bit contradicting??? Help!
    Thanks

    • Find a doctor that will explain things to you properly. Do not try and treat this yourself. I did that. I had all the classic symptoms of an overactive thyroid and began taking iodine. Turned out I had hashimotos. And the iodine did more harm than good. Now I am fighting thyroid cancer. I wish more than anything that I had stopped trying to treat myself with WebMD and the likes, and simply trusted the medical professionals.

      • Plz detail your iodine experience. I have hashimotos andnnothing else i’ve done has lowered my off the charts antibodies. Many people are telling me to read Brownstein’s book and follow carefully. They said it is the people who do not follow carefully who do more harm. What are your thoughts? Did you do selenium, etc?

    • Canot see how you can be under and active at the same time. Would love to know which multi vitamin you take as it is unusual that one contains so much iodine. Many only have 100 a day which is the normal basic daily requirement though most of us get some from our food.

  34. About 6 months ago my doctor put me on iodine and Naturethroid because i had low t3 levels. I had IBS-c for about two years prior. This started a HORRIBLE downward spiral of weight gain, insulin resistance and a complete emotional rollercoaster. I gained 20 pounds that I CANNOT loose. I have all the signs of estrogen dominance. It seems to have triggered Hashimotos. I has IBS and now I have Hashimotos, IBS, insomnia, irritability, mood swings, no appetite, super slow metabolism. I have never been more frusterated!!! USE IODINE WITH CAUTION. Does anyone have any stories like mine- how did you recover, I’m dying to know. Thank you!

    • Hi Mandy,
      Are you sure it’s not the naturethroid causing your terrible new symptoms? I had a similar reaction when I was put on armour. Some people’s bodies cannot handle natural thyroid even though they need the t3 and it seems like such a superior choice to synthetic! I’m doing much better (and the weight peeled off) on tyrocint and cytomel. Good luck!!

      • Abigail Reddel Please help I started on Naturethyoid and now have low IODINE…does this correct the thyroid? I am so confused!

        Please help!

        • I remember dr brownstein stating that thyroid medication will lower iodine levels in the body. That is why synthroid long term has been linked to increased breast cancer risk. He suggests taking iodine at the sam time, though obviously that needs to be done carefully and with a doctor

      • And your basis for that is what? Personal experience? A scientific study? Because you are celiac (which really is the only reason for avoiding gluten)

        • i beg to differ, sir. since avoiding gluten – i am hypothyroid with hashi’s, recently diagnosed with a small ulcer, and at the end of perimenopause, NOT celiac – i have decreased hot flushing, anxiety, blood pressure, palpitations, have leveled thyroid numbers and have lost 35 pounds. blood pressure, palpitations and constipation issues are also helped by increasing magnesium. anyone with hypothyroidism and women in peri/menopause should most certainly cut WAY back on gluten and sugar.

          • Gluten has a very similar structure to thyroid tissue, hence the recommendation to avoid gluten if you have autoimmune thyroiditis (Hashimoto’s).

        • Most things that have gluten in them arent exactly good for you…bread..pasta…so with or without thyroid problems most people would not lose much except some weight maybe ..but nutritionally you not gaining much.

          • Any change in dietary balance should be considered… as it happens, wheat is where Americans get a large percentage of their selenium from – something that is essential for thyroid health.

            The real problem may not be the gluten itself, but the way the wheat is grown – eg glyfosate used just before harvest. It is also true that our microbiome helps us enormously in digesting gluten – and as we know digestive health of the general population seems to be in a pretty terrible state.

    • You might want to consider looking into LDN, low dose naltrexone, for your autoimmune diseases. Chris has an article on this. Try google. Also Suzy Cohen has a good article on it too. Best of luck.

    • Get a jucier and do staite jucing (not a blender)for at least 30 days. I had all your sympyoms and the some, juicing gave me my life back. Watch “Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead. Juice a combination of as many color and kinds of fruits & veggies together. I did 2 applescored, 3 carrots, pint of strawberries large hanful of grapes 1/2 lemon with peal on, 1 sweet potato, 3 stalks celery 1 small red beet, 4-5 snalll Tomatoes. Ths gives you a very tasty juice with wide varity of nutrients & vitimans in a very concentrated form. The first 3 days are hard as your body rids itself of waste but by day 5-7 you should notice you have energy by day 10 you will be surprised how much better you feel. Email me for other great tips- [email protected]

    • Just to add to the last comment: it could be the naturethroid. It is possible to have antibodies against the hormones themselves, so in this case adding more hormones may have made things flare up. I think it is unlikely to have caused hashimotos, but it may well have made it progress from previously unnoticeable to symptomatic. Fairly sure i had silent hashimotos for a while before it got symptomatic – everybody has some antibody level. Iodine also has a role to play as it increases the tsh, which increases the h2o2 – and if there isn’t sufficient iodinated lipids or glutathione / selenium this will also cause excessive oxidative damage, which increases the antibodies. It seems that people who react in this way do better on a mix of synthetic t3/t4 only until tsh and antibodies are back down low. Then you could reconsider iodine as long as all the companion nutrients like mag / vit c / b2 / b3 / selenium are in place. There are so many things to consider – and its a shame there aren’t more docs looking into the details of all this…especially because its hard to research when dealing with all of this…but keep digging for answers and i hope you get well.

    • Are you still struggling? I have been struggling on synthetic thyroxine and natural ones and like you say it is emotionally a roller coaster. I now have symptoms of underactive thyroid I dindt have before! Yet am taking the medicine religiously and having the regular blood tests. I am worse than I was before. It is a struggle to get through the day just doing normal thngs like being with people or clearing up at home. How are you now?

  35. Developed Graves disease in 1981. My thyroid was irradiated and I have since been on levothyroxine 112mcg periodically adjusted based on TSH levels. My question: how does the body utilize iodine without adequate thyroid function? Is this critical to the body? Can it result in other symptoms.? I have pernicious anemia due to a lack of intrinsic factors to absorb B12; iron deficiency; lactose intolerance; low HGB, hematocrit and platelets. Can these symptoms be attributed in any way to low stores of iodine? One article without adequate references attributed all of these symptoms to lack of iodine. Skeptical! Thanks.

  36. I understand the iodine issue much better. The Japanese man had probably been consuming soy on his Japanese diet and the soy isoflavones from fermented or as in regular soy items block the activity of TPO which helps on the super high iodine diet to prevent over-production of thyroid hormones. This is similar to the actions of selenium which can also create reverse T3 to oppose over production of active T3 and limit production of too much thyroid hormone in the case of iodine loading. The Wolf-chaikoff effect also works to greatly reduce TSH stimulation in cases of iodine loading. Finally the symporter will limit sodium ion pickup (1:1, Na+:I- instead of 2:1) to lower electrical/chemical potential so less iodine can enter the thyroid in the case of iodine loading. The doctor in this web presentation is incorrect proposing that NIS occur in non-lactating breast tissue. In cancerous breast tissue there is an significant (80%) up-regulation of NIS because NIS can cause the up-regulation of I- in non-thyroid tissues so that aromatase inhibition effects can occur to limit estrogen production in the breast to slow the cancer. I’ve been studying the AHR transcription factor and it’s interaction with kynurenine ( a metabolite of tryptophan). When AHR binds to kynurenine it causes the production of T-reg cells expressing CD4+CD25+FoxP3 which is a suppressor of auto-immune response. In the absence of kynurenine the generation of T-regs goes a different way producing Tregs (TH-1 17) expressing IL-17 which induces (especially in the presence of TNF-alpha and IL-6) self intolerance.
    I would prefer if you would offer me a 24 hour urinary iodine loading test since my goiter is a symptom of too little iodine ( and probably also kidney malfunction which is associated with thyroid issues from my research and also can result in goiter.) I am not interested in a serum Iodine test but need to know how much iodine my thyroid is lacking from whatever cause. I do eat a lot of mushrooms which are high in selenium so have been carefully increasing my intake of Zinc remembering to include copper.
    I had gone back to my 5-HTP but haven’t yet researched whether it will metabolize to kynurenine. Ideally I will find an herb that will offer some blockade of IL-17 but not so much that I predispose myself to cancer. I did overcome my osteoarthritis using cytokine blocking herbs so we will see. Thank you for reading my long message. Hope you found it as interesting as I did researching. I love bio-chemical research! Alice

    • Wow you are so knowledgeable, I really respect how much effort and patience and time you invest. I have started to invest time in understanding and learning too, knowledge is power. You cannot trust the doctors, they often make mistakes or do not look at the whole picture.

  37. http://optimox.com/pics/Iodine/IOD-08/IOD_08.htm (the Iodine Project)
    I have been reading articles on this site and find the information interesting especially as lab testing was employed in their evaluations and the article was written by a doctor (MD). I am interested in using Iodine for my hypothyroidism. Interesting comment about the Japanese man who became hypothyroid on an American diet after being euthyroid on a Japanese high seaweed diet. I have read some negative comments regarding seaweed as being associated with papillary carcinoma of the thyroid but since the dose is often the poison it may be a case of too much too often. The seaweed article mentioned 2x/week max. I’d appreciate your input and am aware as noted here that increased dietary or other iodine can affect one’s need for thyroxine.

  38. I am uncomfortable asking this ……
    however i am fighting hard to feel better. My husband is a chemist. We develop natural medicine and pharmaceuticals. He told me it would me help me to not develop cancer and introduced high levels of Iodine/ Potassium Iodide in my supplements. Iodoral 12.5 per capsule.
    He knew I had hypo thyroid he actually diagnosed me with a doctors confirmation.
    I had been fine never noticed a problem or effects from my thyroid.. For approx. 2? years maybe a year and a half ?
    He kept increasing the dose and told me to take it with my Thyroid med. that would help it work better. Eventually I was up to 3 pills a day at 12.5 per cap.. I was unable to eat the pain in my stomach is unlike anything I have ever felt. I began to become very dark and even confused, I have an a very good memory.
    I could not even remember my phone number… I was constantly crying, the pain was increasing . I lost approx. 15 lbs.
    I am already thin enough. Someone asked me if he was giving me anything? He told me this was something I should always take. I had just forgotten. My level of Iodine was a little above 16,000.
    My Thyroid shut down , so did my estrogen and progesterone.
    i stooped taking it in mid January…. The pain began to ease up a bit. However I got news that was stressful we are in court going through a divorce . He gave this to me after I filed. The closer I get to our court date…. I seem to be getting worse again. Is it just the stress? Do you think it was by mistake?
    I can’t imagine anyone wanting to get me this sick…. my mind is clearing and the darkness is subsiding. I am normally a very happy person. No depression issues, and lots of positive energy. I feel as if it was intentional? 3 doctors said there is NO way he could not have known not to give me this? He has a rage-filled temper and has said things to me that are threatening, but I would never think of this?
    I took it myself because i always trusted his advice . I have seen him do many good things in healing for me and others. Over the past 20 years. However he saw me getting weaker and never stopped me .
    I feel like I have poison in my system. They said it could take 6 months to a year to leave my body . Is there anything I can do To heal faster and handle stress? The stomach aches are increasing again. Feeling embarrassed….

    • Dear Q.,

      This is a non-medical answer to your post, I’ll leave that up to the pros. This is a female answer! We trust far too easily when we want to be loved. After you get help for your poisoning, the most important thing you can do is learn to trust your own instincts again. When you do, you’ll be able to decide what’s good for you, and will be able to choose a man who truly loves you, if that’s what you want. After being in a relationship like that (with a control freak), it took me a long time to learn to trust myself again, or even to find out what I actually wanted. Now that I have, I know I would never let anything like that happen to me again. I wish you the best of luck, and don’t be too embarrassed to reach out to the women around you, there are more who’ve had those kinds of experiences than you probably think.

    • You can’t just simply take large doses of iodine in conjunction with medication. I have done a considerable amount of research on this issue. Dr. Sherri Tenpenny and Dr. Brownstein have very informative videos on Youtube, I recommend you watch those.

      In the meantime, please read through the protocols listed on the link below. If you wish to continue taking Iodine, it is imperative that you also supplement with vitamin C, selenium, etc.

      Yes, stress can do a number on you, so best of luck with your court proceedings!

      https://attachment.fbsbx.com/file_download.php?id=528203450651736&eid=AStB3_jE2rGOJjG-W73DcJmuEDBaeAZ4zJFy_pOrI_VQ2ndz0VfuFcZkOfIOFiLych4&inline=1&ext=1429121066&hash=AStJ7LGDiffLkPw8

      • My user name was Q.
        Thank You to all of you who listened and warned me about Iodine poisoning. The darkness and most of the pain is controlled. My Iodine level is now too low? interesting….
        My Thyroid is not working or extremly low now. The damage created was hopefully repairable.
        Now he wants to stop my heath Insurance! …. As I sit hear I’m not sure who to go for help to first?
        I ingested the Iodine innocently. I’m concerned. My computer is tapped, so is my phone. I just need the police to see.
        Everytime I get help or protect myself he does something worse.
        When I say tapped He’s removed the evidiedence of our Company. I’ll remind you he’s a chemist. However we own the companies he’s hiding behind. A pharmaceutical company. The judge caught him his answers were not making sense. He said to him “YOU JUST REMEMBED ” you have a pharmaceutical company? Really?

        He’s hired a criminal Attorney. He’s begged me to stay married ? I filed contempt of court. Which enraged him!!
        Do All I can to help myself . Also protectet my civil rights.
        Headed back to court in Dec. 2015 where do I begin?
        Tired….. Concerned , He doesn’t have to speak. His attorney notified me Crimalals have rigfts, More than I do. He plead the 5th . Not guilty He claims he’s broke! …..
        He manages to hire his attorneys?
        No time to loose…. Please get well all of you !! Thank You so much for being here for me. I only had you to talk to.
        I appreciate your thoughts Ideas And help. I have done them all.
        He had the nerve to put down * Chris Kissler! ..?
        So if he’s the things people have mentioned . *Narsacisis,
        And Sociopaths…. They’re perfect apparently? He watched me on the floor? I was yellow, I couldn’t walk.
        He just said you look great. Maybe you need to increase the dose?
        Good Bye for now.Q
        PS Spelling is not great, sorry . I’m also a little tired.
        Prayers to all of yo!!! xo Q

    • File a police report. Speak to the DA’s office. Sounds like he was poisoning you intentionally. At the very LEAST get treatment from a professional & get an order of protection against your ex

    • Sounds like he is trying to kill you. Stop consuming what he gives you, have it analyzed, and call the police.

    • There are many people taking MUCH MORE Iodoral per day than 3 x 12.5mg, along with 200mcg of Selenium and other companion nutrients, with only positive results. See the website Iodineresearch.com or hear talks posted to youtube by Dr. Jorge Flechas or Dr. David Brownstein who use more than this in their medical practices. Dr. Flechas’ talk on Whole Body Iodine Sufficiency explains why you need more than 150mcg a day of iodine.

      • Most people on thyroid medication, however, are urged to work with their MD or ND on adjusting the dosage downward as needed when they start adding iodine/iodide. Most MDs are not very iodine literate and it is difficult to find one who has experience in this issue.

      • Charla please be aware that 150 mcg is SMALLER than 12.5 mg. Do NOT take 150 mg of iodine! Everyone needs to get acquainted with units of measurement or people will make themselves very ill.

    • Try activated charcoal, about 1 tsp in water each morning on an empty stomach with a lot of water throughout the day..

      Also be sure to add selenium later at lunch to help balance the iodine.

      Good luck!

    • Q, I would like to know if you have gotten better yet. have you found a good integrative medical doctor to diagnose you? I went through a great deal of stress when going through a divorce and developed Hasimotos disease. I am functioning fine now but I have a good integrative medicine doctor.

    • I don’t think you were taking Iodoral. Iodoral is not a capsule, it’s a tablet. Always has been. It’s never been in capsule form.

    • High dose iodine together with synthroid is not an unusual combination. Also, a worsening is often blamed on bromine detox – so it is possible he thought he was doing the right thing for your health. However, any iodine supplementation needs to be done carefully together with other nutrients and regular testing to avoid negative reactions.

      Usually, it is said that any excess iodine is excreted in the urine – but if you had flare ups which cause metabolic damage whilst on high iodine,this could potentially make you feel pretty bad for a while.

      Stress is also a huge issue, and not to be underestimated.

    • I make my own distlled water and drink a lot of smoothies and juices I make myself. Why not flush it out the system quicker? Also make sure you eat a health diet, no alcohol, smoking, sugar, salt etc.

  39. I read a lot about iodine/iodide supplementation. However, I have found anything so far mentioning the sodium part of the issue. The Na+I- symporter apparently requires 2 sodium, not sodium chloride associated since chloride is a competing halide, to do its part in making the T4, T3 hormones. Perhaps this is a key to part of the problem, depending on sodium chloride, or potassium, which counter-acts sodium, as in potassium iodide for sources of iodine/iodide. It seems to me that a better source of Na+ would be baking soda, sodium bicarbonate. Reading that thyroid issues can cause kidney issues and visa versa I have just recently started drinking a pinch of baking soda in water on an empty stomach since empty stomachs don’t produce acid nor produce acid in response to drinking water.
    I am thinking that I will move this procedure to near the time I take my T4 andT3. I have already experienced a great increase in energy and a chronic mild backache (kidneys?) disappeared and my urinary output not clear but yellow( hurt kidneys can’t concentrate urine.) I’ll let everyone know how my next tests come out regarding my Hashimoto’s.

  40. I recently had a thyroid panel done and everything was normal except my Thyroglobulin was slightly elevated at 60ng. I have come across several articles that state Tg modestly elevated, can be a sensitive marker for iodine definciency? But you and most other functional practitioners want the loading test (which is more money and a bit of a pain). I had wondered if you find the Tg a good marker for Iodine deficiency?

    • I have been listening to some natural health podcasts on the web where the doctor’s interviewed have stated that most people are thyroid deficient even on Levothyroxine. The test that M.D.’s do only measure T4 and the test result usually comes back “normal.” So when people go back to the M.D.’s and complain of the same symptoms as thyroid deficiency the M.D.’s say they are depressed and put them on Prozac. I also am reading a book by Suzy Cohn, a functional medicine practitioner, “Thyroid Healthy,” and she states the same thing. She said an older person on the natural remedies for thyroid can have an elevated TSH level and that is perfection ok. No need to take hormones, if this happens she said. Just a thought. I’m on Iodoral and I feel so much better. I got off the Levothyroxine against my M.D.’s recommendation. I am seeing a naturapath doctor who is helping me with my thyroid.

  41. The problem is Potassium iodide (which is in salt). Your body needs a mix of Iodine and Iodide.

    Add Iodine/Iodide with selenium and I think probably most people’s problems will go away.

    Your skin, intestine, breasts, saliva glands, ovary, pancreas, brain all NEED Iodine and the RDI is a total joke!

    • Greg, are you suggesting all salt?

      What about a clean pink salt or sea salt? It has iodide but not iodine though I believe.

      Also, is it more safe to simply get iodine/selenium naturally from foods for one that has hashimotos

      My functional medicine doctor is very much against “supplemental” iodine but doesn’t have an issue with it coming from food.

      But says it’s not good to take selenium long term?

      I’m going to show him these articles as well.

  42. okay, this may be a strange question–but when taking the iodine, how is it done? A few drops in water? Drops under the tongue? I’ve seen site on site with dosage levels but not exactly how to do it. I can tell you Lugol’s tastes terrible under the tongue.

  43. I have hasimotos. Currently on 75 oroxin week days, 100 ovet the weekend. Dr recently after blood test has said thst I need to up the dose to 100 per daregular I’duggested I may be deficient in iodide
    Should I try low dose kelp with selenium. Skin is becoming dry also hair. Low energy and feeling depressed . I also try to keep energy levels up with regular exercise.

  44. IODINE PUBLICATIONS
    PUB. #1: Abraham, G.E., Flechas, J.D., Hakala, J.C., Optimum Levels of Iodine for Greatest Mental and Physical Health. The Original Internist, 9:5-20, 2002 Print Document
    PUB. #2: Abraham, G.E., Flechas, J.D., Hakala, J.C., Orthoiodosupplementation: Iodine Sufficiency Of The Whole Human Body. The Original Internist, 9:30-41,2002 [Print Document]
    PUB. #3: Abraham, G.E., Flechas, J.D., Hakala, J.C., Measurement Of Urinary Iodide Levels By Ion-Selective Electrode: Improved Sensitivity And Specificity By Chromatography On An Ion-Exchange Resin.The Original Internist, 11(4):19-32,2004 [Print Document]
    PUB. #4: Abraham, G.E.,The Wolff-Chaikoff Effect: Crying Wolf?The Original Internist, 12(3):112-118,2005 [Print Document]
    PUB. #5: Abraham, G.E., The safe and effective implementation of orthoiodosupplementation in medical practice. The Original Internist, 11:17-36, 2004 [Print Document]
    PUB. #6: Abraham, G.E., The concept of orthoiodosupplementation and its clinical implications. The Original Internist, 11(2):29-38, 2004 [Print Document]
    PUB. #7

    Abraham, G.E., Serum inorganic iodide levels following ingestion of a tablet form of Lugol solution: Evidence for an enterohepatic circulation of iodine. The Original Internist, 11(3):112-118, 2005 [Print Document]
    PUB. #8

    Abraham, G.E., The historical background of the iodine project. The Original Internist, 12(2):57-66, 2005 [Print Document]
    PUB. #9

    Brownstein, D., Clinical experience with inorganic, non-radioactive iodine/iodide. The Original Internist, 12(3):105-108, 2005 [Print Document]
    PUB. #10 Flechas, J.D., Orthoiodosupplementation in a primary care practice. The Original Internist,
    12(2):89-96, 2005. [Print Document]
    PUB. #11 Abraham, G.E., Brownstein, D.,Evidence that the administration of Vitamin C improves a defective cellular transport mechanism for iodine: A case report. The Original Internist, 12(3):125-130, 2005 [Print Document]
    PUB. #12 Abraham, G.E., Brownstein, D.,
    Validation of the orthoiodosupplementation program: A Rebuttal of Dr. Gaby’s Editorial on iodine. The Original Internist, 12(4): 184-194, 2005 [Print Document]
    PUB. #13 Abraham, G.E., Brownstein, D., Flechas, J.D.,
    The saliva/serum iodide ratio as an index of sodium/iodide symporter efficiency. The Original Internist, 12(4): 152-156, 2005. [Print Document]
    PUB. #14 Abraham, G.E, MD., The History of Iodine in Medicine Part I: From Discovery to Essentiality.The Original Internist, 13: 29-36, Spring 2006 [Print Document]
    PUB. #15 Abraham, G.E.,The History of Iodine in Medicine Part II: The Search for and the Discovery of Thyroid Hormones The Original Internist, 13: 67-70, June 2006 [Print Document]
    PUB. #16 Abraham, G.E.,The History of Iodine in Medicine Part III: Thyroid Fixation and Medical Iodophobia. The Original Internist, 13: 71-78, June 2006 [Print Document]
    PUB. #17 Abraham, G.E, MD, Roxanne C. Handal, BS & John C. Hakala, RPhA Simplified Procedure for the Measurement of Urine Iodide Levels by the Ion-Selective Eleectrode Assay in a Clinical Setting The Original Internist, Vol 13, No. 3, 125-135, September 2006, [Print Document]
    PUB. #18 Abraham, G.E.,The Combined Measurement of the Four Stable Halides by the Ion-Selective Electrode Procedure Following Their Chromatographic Separation on a Strong Anion Exchanger Resin: Clinical Applications The Original Internist, 171-195, December 2006 [Print Document]
    PUB. #19 Abraham, G.E, MD, and David Brownstein, MD, A Simple Procedure Combining The Evaluation of Whole Body Sufficiency for Iodine with The Efficiency of the Body To Utilize Peripherall Iodide: The Triple Test The Original Internist, Vol. 14, No. 1, 17-23, March 2007 [Print Document]
    PUB. #20 Abraham, G.E, MD, and J.D. Flechas, MD, Evidence of Defective Cellular Oxidation and Organification of Iodide in a Female with Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue The Original Internist, Vol. 14, 77-82, 2007[Print Document]
    PUB. #21 Abraham, G.E, MD, and J.D. Flechas, MD, The Effect of Daily Ingestion of 100 mg Iodine Combined with High Doses of Vitamins B2 and B3 (ATP Cofactors) in Five Subjects with Fibromyalgia The Original Internist, Vol. 15, No. 1, pg. 8-15, March 2008 [Print Document]
    PUB. #22 Abraham, G.E, MD, Facts about Iodine and Autoimmune Thyroiditis The Original Internist, Vol. 15, No. 2, pg. 75-76, June 2008 [Print Document]
    PUB. #23 Abraham, G.E, MD, The bioavailability of iodine applied to the skin The Original Internist, Vol. 15, No. 2, pg. 77-79, June 2008 [Print Document]

  45. My son was diagnosed with hyperthyroidism (graves disease) over 4 years ago (now 14 yrs. old) and thank God that I listened to my inner instincts and got him off the roller coastal ride of giving him Tapazole. I got in contact with Dr. Guy Abraham after giving him the iodine loading test (he was severely deficient in Iodine) and so he has been on Iodine ever since! Four years now and because his doctor refused to listen to me about him needing iodine, I gave it to him on my own (50-100 mg a day). You need to work up to it as iodine will rid itself of all the toxins so slowly! My son is now stable and his doctor thinks it is the Tapazole! To think that they wanted to give my son radioactive iodine! Trust me when I say that the population majority is deficient…especially people with hypothyroidism. I know they say never give someone with hyperthyroidism iodine but they were treating people just fine with this quite successfully at the turn of the century and then of course the government has to jump in. I am now starting him on Nascent iodine as this is the best form and the body uses it immediately!

    • I need help 🙁 I have read so many articles and have been trying to be proactive about doing the right thing for my thyroid, but it’s exhausting, everything that I read, I find another article that contradicts it. I feel so symptomatic. It’s terrible! I’m hypothyroid, and I have been getting dry hair, skin, hair loss, my breast and chest muscles always hurt. My nails get dips in them, I’m constantly cold. I get weird tension headaches, and high anxiety. The list actually goes on and on with the symptoms. I took Synthroid at first and my hair got better, and so did all of the other symptoms. About 6 months into it, disaster hit, and my Dr. said, “No worries we’ll just up the dose.” Well my synthroid hasn’t helped ever since, which I find weird since it worked the first 6 months. I’m feeling hopeless, and I want to see a specialist. I’m afraid that they’ll all just tell me to take my synthroid and just treat me like I’m lying about my symptoms. My current Dr. will not suggest any supplementations at all besides Vitamin D, which I was deficient in. She doesn’t test for Iodine or anything. I’m heart broken. I’m 37 yrs old in 3 days and should be enjoying my life, but I know the meds aren’t working. Can anyone give me simple advice as to what I should do? Will a specialist listen to me? When I was diagnosed, I was handed a pamphlet and told it’s no big deal and it’s easy to treat, and they check my blood every few months. I have a friend that got diagnosed with it, and the Dr, put her on synthroid and she said they have never tested her level since they prescribed her the meds, and have never done any blood tests in two years!!! I don’t feel that most Dr.’s know what they’re doing with treating thryoid disease. She has tested me for Hoshimoto and when I asked her if I had it, she said, “I don’t know. We will have to keep an eye on your blood tests over time.” I’ve had this for three years and she hasn’t been able to tell me that. It’s time to move on to a specialist? Or is a wellness center that looks at alternatives to just prescriptions a better option. .I feel desperate and would do nearly anything to feel better 🙁

      • Hi Kari, I am hypothyroid bcuz of Hashimoto’s. I’m seeing a Naturopathic doctor (ND) who started me on Natural Dessicated thyroid. This provides BOTH the T3 & T4 hormones as opposed to the synthetic Synthroid. My problem is complicated by mercury poisoning from my silver fillings so I just had them all replaced & now have to go detox the mercury out of my tissues before my thyroid can work properly.
        My ND doesn’t take my insurance but does charge me only 1/2 price for my visits. I urge you to call local pharmacies & ask what local doctors prescribe natural dessicated thyroid such as Nature Throid or Armour so you can make an appointment. I wish u the best!

        • Hello Diana, I have the same problem. What detox are you using? In addition to the thyroid issue, the mercury has caused my lymphatic system to malfunction. I did an IV for one hour every week for four weeks to detox. I am in the process of getting my mercury levels checked again because of the problems I am having with my lymphatic system. I want to make sure no mercury is hiding in my tissues.

      • Hi Kari,

        I have Hashimoto’s also and am hypothyroid. I am 32 years old and have been struggling for years also. It can be so confusing as you said because there is conflicting info everywhere. Medical doctors could never help me (one actually told me that I DIDN’T have a thyroid problem and that I needed anti-depressants, even when my blood tests show Hashimotos antibodies!!). I’ve started working with a doctor who uses nutrition, supplements, essential oils, and flower essences to heal you. She corrects what is wrong in our body instead of just managing symptoms. She specifically told me that we need to support my thyroid instead of just replacing thyroid hormones, otherwise my thyroid itself will never heal and I will never be freed from this disease. The initial consultation with her is $150 for a 1.5 hour in-person consultation (she will muscle test you, etc.), or if you are not local to Dana Point, CA, she does an initial phone consultation for $100 for 1 hour and follow-ups are $50. You can get more info at her website http://www.happyhealthychristian.com. I pray that you will be healed and be freed from all these symptoms and confusion!

    • Way to go girl!! I’ve been researching this whole thyroid thing for about two years now. Sodium, potassium, selenium, vitamin C, MTHFR treatment (a whole other ball of info), and now I’m comfortable taking mg’s of iodine. I’m also on 1 grain (60mg) of Urfa – NDT) and the journey is improving. Folks need to spend the many hours needed to dig deep, very deep, to find their solutions. Good on you for being brave.

      • Hi smarter now,

        What are you to treat your MTHFR?
        Did you notice an improvement in your thyroid symptoms after you started?

  46. I have a concern that you reference studies, but you have not sited a specific study nor given a link to that study so that your readers may have access to that study and review it themselves??

    • IODINE PUBLICATIONS
      PUB. #1: Abraham, G.E., Flechas, J.D., Hakala, J.C., Optimum Levels of Iodine for Greatest Mental and Physical Health. The Original Internist, 9:5-20, 2002 Print Document
      PUB. #2: Abraham, G.E., Flechas, J.D., Hakala, J.C., Orthoiodosupplementation: Iodine Sufficiency Of The Whole Human Body. The Original Internist, 9:30-41,2002 [Print Document]
      PUB. #3: Abraham, G.E., Flechas, J.D., Hakala, J.C., Measurement Of Urinary Iodide Levels By Ion-Selective Electrode: Improved Sensitivity And Specificity By Chromatography On An Ion-Exchange Resin.The Original Internist, 11(4):19-32,2004 [Print Document]
      PUB. #4: Abraham, G.E.,The Wolff-Chaikoff Effect: Crying Wolf?The Original Internist, 12(3):112-118,2005 [Print Document]
      PUB. #5: Abraham, G.E., The safe and effective implementation of orthoiodosupplementation in medical practice. The Original Internist, 11:17-36, 2004 [Print Document]
      PUB. #6: Abraham, G.E., The concept of orthoiodosupplementation and its clinical implications. The Original Internist, 11(2):29-38, 2004 [Print Document]
      PUB. #7
      Abraham, G.E., Serum inorganic iodide levels following ingestion of a tablet form of Lugol solution: Evidence for an enterohepatic circulation of iodine. The Original Internist, 11(3):112-118, 2005 [Print Document]
      PUB. #8
      Abraham, G.E., The historical background of the iodine project. The Original Internist, 12(2):57-66, 2005 [Print Document]
      PUB. #9
      Brownstein, D., Clinical experience with inorganic, non-radioactive iodine/iodide. The Original Internist, 12(3):105-108, 2005 [Print Document]
      PUB. #10 Flechas, J.D., Orthoiodosupplementation in a primary care practice. The Original Internist,
      12(2):89-96, 2005. [Print Document]
      PUB. #11 Abraham, G.E., Brownstein, D.,Evidence that the administration of Vitamin C improves a defective cellular transport mechanism for iodine: A case report. The Original Internist, 12(3):125-130, 2005 [Print Document]
      PUB. #12 Abraham, G.E., Brownstein, D.,
      Validation of the orthoiodosupplementation program: A Rebuttal of Dr. Gaby’s Editorial on iodine. The Original Internist, 12(4): 184-194, 2005 [Print Document]
      PUB. #13 Abraham, G.E., Brownstein, D., Flechas, J.D.,
      The saliva/serum iodide ratio as an index of sodium/iodide symporter efficiency. The Original Internist, 12(4): 152-156, 2005. [Print Document]
      PUB. #14 Abraham, G.E, MD., The History of Iodine in Medicine Part I: From Discovery to Essentiality.The Original Internist, 13: 29-36, Spring 2006 [Print Document]
      PUB. #15 Abraham, G.E.,The History of Iodine in Medicine Part II: The Search for and the Discovery of Thyroid Hormones The Original Internist, 13: 67-70, June 2006 [Print Document]
      PUB. #16 Abraham, G.E.,The History of Iodine in Medicine Part III: Thyroid Fixation and Medical Iodophobia. The Original Internist, 13: 71-78, June 2006 [Print Document]
      PUB. #17 Abraham, G.E, MD, Roxanne C. Handal, BS & John C. Hakala, RPhA Simplified Procedure for the Measurement of Urine Iodide Levels by the Ion-Selective Eleectrode Assay in a Clinical Setting The Original Internist, Vol 13, No. 3, 125-135, September 2006, [Print Document]
      PUB. #18 Abraham, G.E.,The Combined Measurement of the Four Stable Halides by the Ion-Selective Electrode Procedure Following Their Chromatographic Separation on a Strong Anion Exchanger Resin: Clinical Applications The Original Internist, 171-195, December 2006 [Print Document]
      PUB. #19 Abraham, G.E, MD, and David Brownstein, MD, A Simple Procedure Combining The Evaluation of Whole Body Sufficiency for Iodine with The Efficiency of the Body To Utilize Peripherall Iodide: The Triple Test The Original Internist, Vol. 14, No. 1, 17-23, March 2007 [Print Document]
      PUB. #20 Abraham, G.E, MD, and J.D. Flechas, MD, Evidence of Defective Cellular Oxidation and Organification of Iodide in a Female with Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue The Original Internist, Vol. 14, 77-82, 2007[Print Document]
      PUB. #21 Abraham, G.E, MD, and J.D. Flechas, MD, The Effect of Daily Ingestion of 100 mg Iodine Combined with High Doses of Vitamins B2 and B3 (ATP Cofactors) in Five Subjects with Fibromyalgia The Original Internist, Vol. 15, No. 1, pg. 8-15, March 2008 [Print Document]
      PUB. #22 Abraham, G.E, MD, Facts about Iodine and Autoimmune Thyroiditis The Original Internist, Vol. 15, No. 2, pg. 75-76, June 2008 [Print Document]
      PUB. #23 Abraham, G.E, MD, The bioavailability of iodine applied to the skin The Original Internist, Vol. 15, No. 2, pg. 77-79, June 2008 [Print Document]

    • I’d like to know about this too.

      I’ve suspected my daughter’s (dx Hashimoto’s Encephalitis/Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis) iodine levels being low. I found info online about testing yourself; simply use the reddish-orange iodine and make a 3″ square on the abdomen, inner thigh, or inner arm. If it fades within 24 hours, there is a deficit. We tried this and it faded considerably in 18 hours.

      Of course, then I’ve read so much on how dangerous supplementing with iodine is, and the need to supplement in conjunction with selenium. I’d like to know how to safely accomplish this without doing any harm.

    • The skin has receptor sites for iodine/iodide so if you are trying to get an effect in the thyroid such a method might not get that I- to it’s desired target organ.

  47. Hello,
    I have Hashimotos and was just at doctor. Currently I am on 195 mg. nature thyroid, now my doctor wants me to take 12.5 iodine with selenium. Is this safe?

    • When there is a super-abundance of iodine the NIS (Na+/I- symporter) will tend to only pick up one of two possible Na+ making the Na+/I- ratio 1:1.. Since the normal ratio of Na+ to I- is 2:1, the Na+ may act as a limiting factor in the production of the desired T3 and T4 hormones. Other factors like too little iron for the heme part of TPO can limit use of available Iodine. Optimum utilization of I- is the goal. I have some concern that the natural high levels of methyl bromide in Laminaria and probably other kelp species would at least interfere with I- usage via competition. At worst the methyl part might cause damage of some degree. A site about seaweed posited that using kelp in excess of 2X per week has resulted in development of papillary carcinoma of the thyroid!

      • Hi
        I have been taking supplemental iodine in a liquid sea weed form with additional nutrients etc.My Dr (likes natural healing as a first call rather than orthodox)recommended 60ml per day ,I have started on a lower dose at 15 ml per day and thought I would gradually build on that,now I see the risk of Thyroid cancer it is making me nervous,does anyone else have advice for me,also have a pain lower right side radiating into back with burning skin on and off ,mainly hands feet and face (wierd) is this all tied in to Thyroid issues?.I had burning skin prior to taking seaweed which I have only been on for 5 days,Thanks so much in advance 🙂

        • Hi Jen, Iodine may be a very good supplement for the thyroid – or it may make things worse. The best way to judge this is by symptoms and lab results.

          On the plus side, iodine is apoptotic – meaning that it causes cancer cells to stop being immortal and die. For this reason, there are many who use it as part of an anti-cancer protocol, and some have suggested that this is the reason for Japan’s very low breast cancer rates.

          On the negative side – it will increase the TSH, which will increase the H2O2 production in the thyroid – which will increase the oxidative stress on the thyroid cells. This means dna damage, which could in theory push cells further towards the cancerous state. However, Dr Brownstein suggests that at 100x rda (eg 12 – 15mg daily iodine), iodinated lipids are formed in the thyroid which regulate the H2O2 production and limits the oxidative stress and protects the thyroid. (but he always suggests supplementation as part of a holistic approach which also includes various vitamins, antioxidants and magnesium – and he warns that this should be done with a physician who knows how to apply it properly)

          Whether supplementing iodine or not, every effort should be made to dampen that oxidative stress in the thyroid, because I believe that is what raises the risk of thyroid cancer in hypothyroid patients. That means supplementing with selenium, vitamin C, and other antioxidants, and perhaps checking your glutathione status.

          Thyroid labwork may also help – as high antibodies may indicate lots of H2O2 activity.

          One last point – seaweed may not be the best source, unless it is from uncontaminated waters. There may be problems with Bromine and heavy metal contamination, as well as knowing the actual level of iodine present.

  48. I think you got to be real careful with any type of supplemental iodine. Iodine is a double edged sword some will benefit others will be harmed.

    From my experience ingesting iodine was by far, easily the worst decision of my life. I only took it for 2 weeks and had a violent reaction. I quit months ago yet all the symptoms remain. All my lab tests come back at normal but I still feel god awful so none of the doctors out there know how to help me and that’s including the alternative ones who even sell it.

    I don’t think anybody truly knows what iodine does once it goes into your body, not even Dr Brownstein.

    • You have to start out on iodine SLOWLY as your body rids itself of all toxins like bromine, fluoride, mercury and iodine. Iodine is needed by almost all of us especially women as we store it in our breasts. Almost every woman that has breast cancer and also iodine deficient. Make sure to also take magnesium D3 and selenium with it.

    • How much iodine were you taking? Did you take selenium along with it? DId you go hyperthyroid from it? I have heard that can happen

    • I have had the exact same thing happen to me when I took nacsent iodine drops. Every food that has iodine in it or that iodine salt has been added to causes a reaction. My mouth becomes inflamed only on the left side and sometimes the back of my thoat starts to swell up. This has been going on for 2 months with no relief and no one seems to know what to do.

      • Janine.. any food or substance that causes back of throat to swell is something you are allergic to. Anaphylactic shock.
        stop taking. Iodine for ingestion is typically made and sourced from shellfish (such as shrimp). You probably have a new allergy to shellfish and dont realize it. Even a tiny vitamin E pill can accidently have the tiniest smidgeon of shellfish. Swelling of throat is life affecting. It can also cause swelling in hands, in feet and heart palpitations… if you get swelling of throat just from a bit of iodine you must never eat shellfish. Even a piece as small as a fingernail size can kill you. Be very very careful.
        go to doctor and ask for allergy testing.

    • You might be experiencing a kind of cytokine storm, which would involve cytokines like TNFalpha, TNFbeta, interferon gamma, IL-1a, IL1b, and IL6 from T cells attacking your thyroid and involving IL 17 secreting cells involved in auto-immune response. The development of TH 17 cells which secrete IL 17 instead of immune modulating FoxP3 T-regulatory cells occurs via the ligand activation of the AHR(aryl hydrocarbon receptor). Low levels tryptophan are metabolized to Kynurene and other ligands of AHR. The issue is the right ligand to obtain the anti-inflammatory, anti-autoimmunity effects rather than pro-inflammatory immune exciting effects.
      Women have the extra issue that Estradiol tends to block TSH induced symporter expression.
      Some natural substances that can help reduce inflammatory cytokine activity are Boswella, nettle tea, and Chinese Skullcap. Do avoid Resveratrol which inhibits symporter gene expression. (This info comes from a couple of Endocrinology Journals (USA and European.)

  49. My father has an underactive thyroid. I was supposed to give him one drop, twice a week, of Iodine but due to misunderstanding the instructions, I was giving him one drop per day, for about 3 weeks, When I realized the mistake I stopped all together out of fear. Was I poisoning him? I feel so terrible! Is there something I can give him now to undo whatever damage I must have done? Can anyone help me?

    • I was taking 10 drops 3x/day after a prolonged water fast. I had no trouble with it. I reduced to 5 drops 3X a day and now I will stop it for a while and start taking it again at some point, this time only a couple drops a day.

      Quite sure your dad would be OK. There is lots of information available on Youtube. Dr. Sherri Tenpenny has a lot of very useful information, as does Dr. Brownstein.

      Best regards.

  50. Hi Chris. My 14 year-old daughter was recently diagnosed with Hashimoto’s Encephalopathy/Steroid Receptive Encephalopathy Associated with Thyroiditis. She’s seeing a rheumatologist, endocrinologist, and a neurologist. She’s a month into recovery and is taking Prednisone, Keppra, Synthroid, Pepcid, and Ativan. Is an iodine supplement plus a selenium supplement something her doctors will be receptive to? My daughter has all the symptoms of an iodine deficiency. Could these deficiencies contribute to such a traumatic auto-immune disorder? I’m just really curious about her levels. At the time of diagnosis, her T4 level was .4 and her TSH was 163. Thanks for any guidance you can provide.

    • Treading in very dangerous territory with those AMA toxic prescriptions. Prednisone and Ativan particularly. Beware of taking that brutal benzodiazepine for more than a couple or so weeks as it is nasty addictive. I am now working with a man that was put on it insanely by an AMA Psychiatrist for 5 YEARS!!
      Psychiatrist should lose his license. As a Holistic Healer/Coach, I have been able to HALT his numerous panic attacks through super food nutrition, culturing and fermentation along with MEDITATION daily….especially when the chatter box of the mind tries to bulldoze him into disorientation. Shame on the drugging AMA. GO FOR HOLISTIC REMEDIES, NOT TOXIC DRUGS.

      • Drugs are not all created equal. Benzos are only for temporary or occasional-to-rare use.

        An SSRI (Celexa) and propranolol saved my job and possibly my life after benzo usage (Klonipin or Ativan always) got bad. Propranolol is good healthy stuff in my very limited experience – it acts fast under tongue so the very existence of it is helpful.

        • Propranolol is a beta blocker which should only be given to people with actual heart disease problems, it is not good healthy stuff for anyone else, there is an article I read where it was killing people when given as a preventative other than to people with actual current heart problems – be careful purporting it to be a general use medication

      • Prednisone is the only known treatment for Hashimoto’s Encephalitis/Steroid Receptive Encephalitis Associated with Thyroiditis. I realize it’s a drug with horrible side effects, but she was in a coma twice, when awake suffered from hallucinations and paranoia, and has extensive brain damage. Since treatment with Prednisone, the thyroid antibodies are no longer causing her body to attack her brain. I don’t know of any safer alternatives.

        The Ativan was given in the hospital to treat catatonia schizophrenia and now she takes .5 mg nightly to sleep, as the prednisone keeps her awake. Sometimes she forgets to take Ativan and doesn’t seem to have trouble missing a dose.

      • Hello! Reading your comment and I am so furious myself about doctors! I have been on rivitrol (clonazepan) for 20 yrs now. I have sjourgren and Fibromalgia and now they suspect a thyroid and I also have osteoarthritis! I ask them about being on this medication this long is it hazardous! Doctors say u r on a low dose so don’t worry about it!

        • My osteoarthritis symptoms virtually disappeared when I started using nettle tea, Boswellin (a trademark boswella supplement) Chinese Scullcap, turmeric with black pepper, raisins soaked in gin with added juniper berries and evaporated, and safflower petals (which block uric acid, though one could use celery seed extract instead. These items block the inflammatory chemical messengers (cytokines) involved in inflammatory conditions regardless of cause. Pain left, knobs disappeared, Deputry’s contracture knots disappeared, flexibility is almost completely restored though I am still discovering more about inflammatory factors and auto-immune
          conditions and how to restore normal balance.

        • My osteoarthritis symptoms virtually disappeared when I started using nettle tea, Boswellin (a trademark boswella supplement) Chinese Scullcap, turmeric with black pepper, raisins soaked in gin with added juniper berries and evaporated, and safflower petals (which block uric acid, though one could use celery seed extract instead. These items block the inflammatory chemical messengers (cytokines) involved in inflammatory conditions regardless of cause. Pain left, knobs disappeared, Deputry’s contracture knots disappeared, flexibility is almost completely restored though I am still discovering more about inflammatory factors and auto-immune
          conditions and how to restore normal balance. Interstingly in an article regarding the association between Thryroid disorders and Kidney disease it said that TNF-a and IL-1 (interleukin 1) inhibit expression of type 1 5 deiodinase which converts T4 to the active T3. This fact suggests the above cytokine inhibitors could possibly help in auto-immune thyroiditis. Also look at IDO pathway.

    • Hello,
      I would recommend you listen to Dr Brownsteins lecture. He lectures to doctors on the importance of when testing thyroid to always test a patients iodine level, which is often overlooked or deemed not neccasary, which is what a doctor told me two days ago… insisting that I do not need a iodine check as our required amount is minimal

  51. Hi Chris,
    I am having problems with my thyroid, and the doctor’s think it’s thyroid viral infection, and it has to run it’s course. They did blood work, and did a thyroid scan uptake with radioactive iodine. Before I got this, I was very active. I had a regimen I took every day, and it helped in all areas of my life. This is it:
    Over the counter supplements taken everyday:
    Nature’s Bounty men’s over 50+ vitamins
    B2 400mg, B12 5000mg, CoQ10 300 mg, C-500mg, Magnesium 250mg
    Mega Red Omega-3 Krill Oil 300mg
    Over the counter herbal supplements taken every third day prior to workout:
    L-Arginine 750mg / L-Citrulline 250mg complex, Avena Sativa 750mg, Maca 600mg,
    Tongkat Ali 100:1 extract 650mg, Nettle Root Extract 600mg, Tribulus Terrestris PE 400mg
    Ginseng 125mg.
    My doctor does not think any of these supplements caused the problems I am now having. Again I feel like I have the flu, and get night hot flashes, and my heart races a lot. What do you think???

    • Could be a bacteria like a lyme or co infection ,,genx test I think is approved now ….the night sweats seem to be a symptom but it is a very big guess …A peer reviwed paper came out about sexual transmission by Marianne Middelveen a Canadian researcher …this has been on the heals of reporting issues and drs not treating lyme for fear of prosecution….is a long story ..Look for a Lyme Literate MD in your area ..read all you can ….

      • I find that if I stay better hydrated during the day it actually helps reduce night sweats and I live in a hot, humid climate.

  52. I have been told to take raw thyroid pills and/or iodine to protect my thyroid from the effects of radiation and other toxic exposures.
    But I know nothing about all this..
    Do you guys know what should I take for that? Please help.
    Thank you!

  53. Hi Chris, I have regular hypothroidism. I take meds made at a compounding pharmacy for it. I also have Fibromyalgia. Would you suggest I take the iodine supps? If so, what brand. There are way too many choices. Thank.

    • Hey Ann, I don’t have an answer for you, but I’m interested as well. Hopefully he will answer. What is really interesting is that you and I both have hypothyroidism and Fibromyalgia.

        • Fibromyalgia has been helped by soaking in epsom salt baths and avoiding high oxalate foods since oxalates interfere with absorbing some minerals. It has been suggested that when consuming oxalate foods to include a source of calcium and citric acid to prevent its bad effects. Also good to avoid phytates either by sprouting, which activates resident phytase or doing as I do and putting a metal tea ball containing rye berries or whole buckwheat (organic) into the water soaking your grain or beans (or nuts) and adding a little acid. Let set at least two hours. I’m going to try this with my flax seed milk. though I might use lemon juice for the acid.

  54. How long would it take for Iodine supplementation to start taking effect, an effect which can be seen in blood test results for TSH and FT4?

  55. I have been researching several diseases that have a root cause of low iodine but if one does suppliment iodine you must supplement all the minerals we are lacking .Our basic knowledge of minerals is also well below normal . The Doctors were never trained on restoring health just on keeping us alive until death or broke

  56. Hi, I was just informed my TSH level was a 2.7 I am trying to get pregnant and was told they should be below a 2.5. My mother had to have her thyroids removed a few years ago and I am wondering if I should be concerned? Also is there anything I can use to naturally lower my TSH levels?

  57. Hello Everyone! I was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s 2 years ago. Upon diagnosis my TSH was 25.27 and I felt near death. I was also diagnosed with pernicious anemia and was deficient in Vit D and B-12. By the way, Hashi does run in my family very strong. My sister now has it too but reared its ugly head after surviving breast cancer. I see a lot of people talking about supplements and Iodine. I was recently introduced to Nascent Iodine 2%. It’s very confusing….. is this harmful or helpful. Especially when your hashi’s starts out hypo and then swings hyper as mine just did, my TSH on my last lab was .02 and my Levothyroxine was reduced from 100mcg to 88mcg. I also take 5mcg of Cytomel. Although I see an Endo on a regular basis and was lucky to find a very good one, I like to take whatever holistic approach is possible as well. I see a lot of talk of selenium and magnesium but no mention of brazil nuts, unless I overlooked it, so here is a little food for thought of the benefits it provides instead of taking more pills. Brazil nuts hold exceptionally high levels of selenium. 100 g nuts provide about 1917 µg or 3485% recommended daily intake of selenium, rating them as the highest natural source of this mineral. Selenium is an important cofactor for anti-oxidant enzyme, glutathione-peroxidase. Just 1-2 nuts a day provides enough of this trace element. Adequate selenium in the diet help prevent coronary artery disease, liver cirrhosis, and cancers.In addition to selenium, they contain very good levels of other minerals such as copper, magnesium, manganese, potassium, calcium, iron, phosphorus, and zinc. Copper helps prevent anemia and bone weakness (osteoporosis). Manganese is an all-important co-factor for the antioxidant enzyme, superoxide dismutase. Just a thought. Taking the supplements in pill form was giving me acid reflux and gerd. I have also eliminated gluten and soy from my diet. I also get horrible migraines and started Topamax therapy for those. I was nervous at first, I hate taking medication but I will admit, I’m 21/2 months in and I have not had a migraine in 3 weeks. This is the longest I’ve gone without a migraine in 10 years. Mild side effects are tingling in hands in feet but it does go away. the benefit to me is worth it. Now back to the iodine, from all that I have read it would seem more harmful to someone who is hyper and more beneficial to those who are hypo but hashi’s can swing, this is where I get confused. Much more research is in order apparently but it would be nice to hear from someone who has actually used Nascent Iodine 2%. Thanks!!

    • For the topamax side effects of tingling in hands and feet, take a potassium supplement and it should eliminate the issue. Topamax deletes your body of potassium.

    • I just now am using a nascent iodine and am very impressed as lugols and iosol TASTE extremely strong.
      lugols would make you think you ingested the form of iodine for external use only.
      iosol not as bad but still strong.
      the form i am using IS with alcohol and has no powerful taste, one drop in the afternoon has resulted in a feeling of warmth throughout and I will soon move on to 2 drops/day etc.

      i have hypothyroid for more than 15years and still feel like crap,never attained my former levels of energy and FED UP with it all,so will work with the iodine until i see results which IS what I should have done to begin with.
      There is tooooooooooo much mythology and scatology on the use of iodine for thyroid conditions.
      IT WORKED FINE IN THE PAST and was used for BOTH conditions by the medical profession.
      taking the synthetic form available only puts the thyroid into a useless/dead state when it needs support and stimulation and somehow iodine WORKED fine in the past.

      • I use Lugol’s iodine in water with apple cider vinegar and honey based on info from Dr. Jarvis in his book on Vermont folk medicine. Even my dog who is 60# threw up from 1 drop of Lugol’s added to her wet-dry food mix that has water in it.

  58. Hi,

    I have had MIRACULOUS results from iodine supplementation!

    So much so that I now sell it at a very low profit to help everyone. Just search nascent iodine on ebay and sort for lowest price, 12.90, shipping, tracking, insurance included. 14 day guarantee

    L Patrick

  59. I’m looking for a good Dr. who can figure out what iodine suppliment I need. I live in Michigan. Brownstein and his group are not taking new patients. I had an autonimously functioning nodule which made me hyperthyroid. After 10 years I had 1/2 of my thyroid removed and was told I was cured. I am now hypothyroid and cannot find a Dr. in Michigan to work with that knows thyroid issues and iodine supplimentation. Any ideas? I take kelp suppliments but need better direction on using both iodine and iodide.

    • Hi Nan, I also live in Michigan and have read Dr. B’s books. Based on his guidelines I have started up supplementation and am better for it. I have Hashi’s. Let me know if you would like to discuss further.

      • Lauren, I have hoshimotos and am on a low dose of generic cytomel. I’ve been on this for about three years. Things are not optimal although my diet is (gluten free & paleo -ish). I would like to try the iodine supplementation but i’m nervous. Ive learned certain things set me off, for example I started taking DIM and soon realized people with Hoshimotos have to stay away from goitrogens. I was thrown into a thyroid storm pretty fast so I’m worried that may happen with iodine. Right now I need about 12 hours of sleep to feel rested, my thyroid actually aches and i can’t GAIN weight. I’ve had two ultrasounds on my thyroid, there is a small nodule that has grown a mm over the last three years. I supplement with:

        selenium 200 mcg
        zinc 50mg
        c 1.000mg
        b complex sublingual
        50 mg iron
        raw adrenals
        calcium
        1 mg melatonin (insomnia)
        a mulit vitamin (liquid)
        B-12 1,000 mcg liquid
        vitamin d liquid 4,000 iu
        5mg dhea alternated daily
        maca powder in my shakes

        Ive had my hormones checked. I use an over the counter progesterone for estrogen dominance. I feel like I”m either on two low of a dose or I’m missing something very simple like iodine. This iodine loading test seems dangerous and I don’t currently have a doctor in the area that I can discuss this with. As a side note I realized I’ve been brushing with prescription fluoride paste for the last year. This is probably a bad idea….I’m interested in hearing how this went for you. Please email me 🙂

        • Maca is a Peruvian turnip which has the isothiocyanates you are trying to avoid. Also make sure not to take the iron and calcium near the same time or near the time you take any T$ or T3.
          If you are eating almonds be aware that they have cyanic glycosides also as well as high pro-inflammatory Omega 6’s and high Phytates which bind to many minerals to store them up for the sprout to come making them unavailable to you. Phytates are found in grains and beans and seeds ( and “milks” made from seeds or nuts too) unless they are soaked in an acid medium with a source of phytase or sprouted.
          Kelp contains natural methyl bromide which competes against Iodine for absorption. Non-organic fruits and veggies and grains are treated with methyl bromide which is toxic and competes with iodine. Hope this info is helpful.

    • You are going to be hard presssed to find a Iodine knowledeable doc, I even had to give my integrative MD here in So. Cal, Dr. Brownstein’s book.

      Some just can’t or do not want to be bothered….

      Iodine is vital for all our tissues, major for breast tissues too.

      Dr. David Williams in his Alternatives Health newsletter likes Iosol Iodine and that’s what I take now for 3 yrs or so. When I miss Iodine for a whle, I get breast pains.

      I also take 120mg Armour and I’m fine with what I do.

      There is a yahoo iodine group who know it all, and they like Lugols, I don’t for me.

      MOST need iodine supplements. Unless one consumes loads of sea FOODS….

      • PS: If you are drinking Michigan water from the tap and bathing in it, you are getting loaded wth fluoride. More damage to thyroid and joints, more reason to be on iodine.

        Better YET, don’t use the water that is fluoridated….Grand Rapids was the first city to get this stuff back in 1948 or so…..

        It’s such a fraud!!! I’ve been in the “Fight” for years….our city got the dirty stuff in 2008. Maddening is what it is.

      • same for the amount of IODIZED SALT that would be necessary to EAT and this is why I cannot believe the allegation that iodine is equal to putting gasoline on a fire.

        an overseas study ?
        anything near this in the USA ?
        and what FORM of iodine is in salt to begin with ?

        and definitely that yahoo group has reams of info and is overloaded with it as well.
        i don’t like yahoo’s style for their forums and hope that someone someday can better organize it.

        curezone.earthzone and others have all the info needed to get familiar and comfortable with the notion of using IODINE as there IS plenty of medical documentation PROVING that simple iodine WORKS in regulating conditions and somehow CORRECTS hyper and hypO.

      • My research says that Lugol’s is only 20% absorbed and nascent iodine is the way to go. From what I’ve researched in Endocrinology articles breast tissue only contains Na+/I- symporter presence, hence Iodine, during lactation to provide Iodine for the new baby and in breast cancer. Perhaps something like bromide or other is concentrating in breast tissue and the symporters are expressed to provide Iodine to counter its presence? Don’t yet know.

    • Hi, there is a doctor in northern indiana, Dr. Cal Streeter, who treats thyroid issues like dr brownstein. You can reach him at northern nutrition in shipshewanna indiana.

  60. Hi Chris,
    I’ve had hastimoto since 1998 and I have been taking bio identical thyroid meds for about 3 years and before that armour. Six months ago my blood tests showed that I had a very low iodine reading, along with b12 and deficient selenium levels, b2 and b6. My doctor increased my dosage of tsh, t4 and t3. I took iodine supplement for 3 months a levels were normal at the next test tsh went up from 3.13 to 4.14 and t3 went from 80 to 65. Then 3 months another blood test (I had stopped taking the iodine supplement) and my iodine levels were very low again and my tsh level went down to .34 and t3 51 t4 1.0. I’m taking the iodine supplement ( 12.5 every other day) again along with selenium as recommended. Don’t my levels sound hyper? My doctor has increased my dosage again and I’m worried that I will be hyper. Your thoughts?

  61. PS: I also added 4 grams of krill/purified fish oil. I have also cut way back on vegetable oils and have raw nuts (two brazil nuts a day for selenium; almonds, walnuts, sesame seeds etc.) each day and lots of dark greens. And I try to keep foods basic. Not a lot of packaged chemical filled foods.

  62. Dr. Kressler and other respondents: very interesting message board. And always learn something from everyone’s experience.

    I’m not qualified to speak on anything but I do want to add. It’s real important to address thyroid issues with a Dr.’s oversight. I was diagnosed with Hashi’s in 1978. Ignored the significance of it. Just didn’t understand. Consequently I spent my youth very very tired. In 1996 I could hardly make it through a day. Never connected it with Hashi’s. My husband insisted I go in to see what was wrong as I had to sleep all the time. If my memory serves me right, I was tested for thyroid and it came back a score of 18.5. Something like that. They immediately put me on thyroid medication and advised if I failed to take it I could go into a comma they couldn’t bring me out of. I can not tell you the immediate improvement in my whole quality of life.

    What I do want to say is that Dr. Kressler makes a very important point. If you have tried all the right things to correct your thyroid condition its real important to remember that deficiencies in other areas are so important to investigate. The body needs a lot of things we sometimes are deficient in…and for decades. Sometimes deficient since utero. Namely Vitamin D levels. It can cause havoc as I found out. Also B levels, very important. I keep my Vitamin D level at 65 and my B12 as close to 800 as possible and I feel so good now! I think of all the years I just pushed myself to raise a family, never miss work and always running on empty. Don’t just look at thyroid, the body needs a lot of things we don’t get in modern life. I suspect most of us are really low in D levels and B12. I get myself down below the 31st latitude during the winter as often as I can. I think it is essential for good health. That has been my experience. To good health!

    • Agreed on Vit D. See Dr Holick’s views/research into this. Apparently us humans can’t get enough from diet alone, and we need more during the winter months (due to low light levels). I also was deficient in vit d (tested at a UK NHS lab).

      Also, look into Vit C. I’m taking massive dosages at 10k grams (not mg!) daily. Starting to feel slightly better in myself. Worth reading: Vitamin C: The Real Story, by Hickey/Saul. Again, humans cannot produce this although most animals can.

      • Had a friend who took massive doses of vitamin C and died from it. Tragic!
        Oxidation has it’s uses but too much is harmful. That’s why the body uses ant-oxidants to quench oxidants after they’ve played their part. Cyanates, think isothiocyanates and almonds with cyanic glycosides,
        become cyanide in the presence of vitamin C.

  63. Dr Kresser,
    I just had a serum iodine test done and my reading came back at 398mcg. What would be your suggestion on what to do next?
    Thank You,

  64. I am currently suffering a bout of thyroiditis, no signs of antibodies so the endocrinologist thinks it is because I was taking iodine supplements for 3.5 years. Was up to 18.75 mg of iodine via Iodoral for about the last year and a half. Started very low and worked my way up very gradually. Felt that 18.75 was good for me, could tell it was too much if I took 25 or more. I am conflicted whether to believe it was indeed the iodine or other causes. Had a VERY stressful two weeks before it hit, not sleeping normal hours, not sleeping much at all. Then ate wheat and dairy the day before and day of the hyperthyroid’s first sign, which was a heart rate of over 135. Tried to use herbs (motherwort and bugleweed) rather than drugs but was back in the ER with a heart rate of over 190 and fibrillating all over the place. Now taking some beta blockers hoping, waiting for it to resolve. It’s been over a month. I am tempted to try using a VERY small amt of iodine for a couple of days and then lithium but not the huge doses recommended by the holistic doctor who uses 900 mg a day. Mainly just waiting it out but am quite dizzy a lot of the time lately, tired, and my muscles are catabolizing away. Any suggestions?! Thank you.

  65. I have had my thyroid remove 15 years ago. They had never been able to get any of my levels straight . What are they doing wrong and what questions should I be asking. My body swings both ways and it is so hard for my family to understand what I am going though. Help!,

    • This is a very common problem, because not a lot was taught in the old days about treating hypothyroidism. But I saw a young doctor, fresh on the scene, and I guess they take more now in med. school. He told me to make very tiny incremental changes one way or the other, until you are euthyroid (neither hyper nor hypo). First of all, I use the 50 mcg. pill, and change my dose 1/4 pill per week at a time. Test after six weeks. By then you will have a good idea. Ten years ago the Association of Clinical Endocrinologists said the best spot for your TSH (if you are on a T4) is .2 – 2.0. I am very happy at 1.5. I

    • I am concerned that kelp naturally contains methyl bromide which is supposed to cause damage to the iodine symporter, as the bromine being of higher molecular weight displaces the iodine. Also a web site on seaweed consumption advised limiting all seaweed consumption to 2X per week because higher consumption was connected to incidence of papillary carcinoma of the thyroid.

    • While you’re at it don’t forget the high levels of Methyl Bromide, a toxin which is even found in sea salt at low levels but who is defining how low something needs to be to have negligible biological effect?

  66. Dr. Kresser:

    I recently took a 24 hour iodine loading test (Hakala Labs) and the results showed that I was iodine deficient (I excreted only 61% of the dose). I also excreted 3.15 mg of bromide, in which the lab technician commented that any amount above zero is of concern.

    I want to start taking iodine but am cautious to take more than 6.25 – 12.5 mgs. If I do this, how much selenium would you recommend that I take (along with the iodine). I understand that these two supplements should be taken together, etc. Am I correct in thinking that supplemental iodine can act as a chelating agent for bromide and fluoride? By the way – I do have Hashimoto’s.

    I appreciate your consideration,

    Max

    • max,
      did you hear anything back from the Dr. regarding how much selenium to take with the iodine? I’m in the same spot. Also have hoshimotos. I’m wondering if I get my blood tested and I come back low for iodine if that’s accurate at all. Any thoughts? I’m afraid to do the loading test.

      Thanks 🙂

      • Most recommend 200 mcg (not mg) of selenium.

        Brazil nuts vary in how much selenium they contain so you cannot be sure.

  67. 47 year old female, with Hashi. TPO in 200’s. Low end for T3. Mid for T4. TSH 1.2 or less. Thyroid Storm that nearly took my life 7 years ago. Have read all the books mentioned here. Took iodine loading test- was at 90% (how is THAT possible? I live in Michigan).
    Current Protocol (established by me and not a doctor since no one would treat me at the time, tho just recently found endo willing to try to work with me):
    6.25-12.5 mg Iodoral
    Magnesium
    Selenium (brewer’s yeast- good or bad?)
    Zinc
    B2
    B3
    Multi vit
    Omega 3
    Calcium citrate
    Pharmacy mix of Progesterone for estrogen dominance
    D3 (2000-4000IU)
    Alfalfa (to help with chronic inflammation)
    Probiotics to help heal gut
    Gluten free for 4 months
    Dairy free for 6 months

    1/4 grain of Armour (only on it for 6 weeks)

    This will be a long process to see if improvements in overall health and symptoms are gained by the above protocol. Anyone have any comments? Thank you, Lauren

    • Just read that IL-6 can totally block, by itself, the conversion of T4 to active T3. Logically this blocking would have its limitations and possibly by increasing T3, as with Cytomel, this blocking can be superseded. In addition, Nettle tea, Chinese Skullcap, and Boswella or Boswellin( a trademark product with other inflammation suppressors like turmeric activated by black pepper) and Celery seed extract or safflower petals should help.

  68. hi, I’ve been diagnosed with postpartum thyroiditis in June 2013 ( I had my baby in late January) at first I had dropped weight and was tired, had diarrhea and a heart rate of 120 ,my Dr put me on a 20 mg beta-blocker 3/ day….months have past and my blood test are each time slightly better but still in April 2014 I am still in the hyperthyroid phase, my heart rate is around 70 now , my weight is stabilized I even put on some pounds, …so I started taking selenium 200 and a tablet of kelp 325 a day ,2 months ago .the kelp has helped my energy levels but other then that , is it normal that it last so long 11 months and counting ? I am desperate to go back to normal .any advise? Please help

  69. Hi Dr Chris,
    My daughter was born with no thyroid and I’ve read that the thyroid gland is formed when a fetus is only 3 weeks old. Before falling pregnant I was taking Iodine supplement because I had been tested and found deficient. I knew there was a link with iodine and the thyroid so I wondered if you thought there was any chance the extra iodine I was taking could have been excessive for our baby in utero and caused her congenital hypothyroidism? It doesn’t matter either way as we have a beautiful baby girl but I would love to know if there was a link.

    Thanks!

  70. Hello! There are so many comments I admit I did not read through them all, so perhaps my question has already been answered but I will ask:

    I was diagnosed as hypothyroid during my pregnancy 2 years ago (I had not been to a physician in almost 10 yrs prior, so who knows when it began). I have actually always been VERY thin my entire life, so the HYPO was a shock to me and myu doctors. I never thought I felt low-energy or tired–it came out of nowhere. My TSH was at a 7.0 however, adn without meds, that is where it ends up.

    I began taking Armour once I found a doctor to precscribe (natural seems a better route). I am on 45 mg/day.

    I recently bought some Iodine/Kelp drops (one drop = 100% DV). I read iodine rich foods help, so i bought the supplement. I take it daily at work. I noticed for the first week or so my stomach would hurt after drinking (like a shooting pressure pain) It’s not nearly so bad now. I never consulted my physician, just did on my own accord to try and help my thyroid from being aggravated. Should I take Selenium too? Or is the intake of iodine not ok??? Thanks so much!!!!

    • PS. If anything symptomwise: I have noticed mood changes/depression symptoms and have always suffered with adult acne. At first attributed to post-partum hormones, but now attribute to the thyroid. It has been awhile since I went “KOOKY” but it happens (also hard to draw the line between just being a woman! But I was NEVER like that before! Poor hubby!)

    • We’re all so unique, and it’s taken me many years to get where I am at 75 started on this issue in my early 50’s and didn’t get help for 10 long miserable years…..bad doc…..I knew nothing.

      I stayed at 90mg Armour for 5 yrs and then moved myself slowly to 120mg where I’ve been for a few years….I learned to do my own up dosing, breaking off a piece of 60mg tab and upping every couple weeks or so… I was on a great thyroid support board too, whch i now closed. And a cooperative integrative MD who let me do my own updosing….

      I take probably 10-12mg of Iosol daily, which is 6-7 drops or so in water….clean water…no tap water.

      Selenium is a good antioxidant and I was takig 200-400mcg daily, now I’m dropping down to 200mcg daily…

      Hashi numbers have dropped a lot for me.. Brazil nuts are high in selenium….you can eat a few of those per day.

      So, it takes work and a cooperative doc, I’m not one who wanted to be at the doc all the time to get my dose changed….testing every time, etc…..

      This is how I’ve been able to work with my old thyroid gland…..when I don’t take Iodine, I will get breast pains…..

  71. I want to add a ‘good news’ story and it is that I was taking 1-2 drops Lugol’s for months and didn’t feel much from it. a health practitioner suggested I experiment with more, using the ‘taste test’. I did and worked up to taking 5 drops and with each raise to one more drop, I began to feel better and better. Six drops and the taste became objectionable, but the 5 drops sure do the trick giving me more energy, brain clarity. I’ll also add that I’m taking selenium and a salt/potassium drink daily, the salt which assists the iodine in heavy metal removal.

  72. Dear Dr Chris,

    I am one of the patients on the Dr Brownstein protocol and I have gone up from 12.5 mg of Iodoral to between 45-60 mg now and I think I am one of those minority patients that you mention who simply cant tolerate iodine even with selenium.

    I have been on the protocol for 5 months now and despite a clean diet and so on I have felt unwell the whole time to the point where sometimes I need to spend a day or two in bed. My glands are up and I feel like I am fighting something even with protocols to cleanse my system.

    I took the Iodine to battle chronic fatigue and massive systemic candida. Now I am scared to go off the protocol, despite feeling bad, as when I take two days off to detox, by the third day I am bed ridden with exhaustion – I cannot seem to suddenly drop the iodine and I am scared that I am trapped taking something that makes me worse! my hair is thinning and I am having crazy hormonal reactions and depression too.

    Please Dr Chris could you let me know what you do with your patients who cannot tolerate the Iodine protocol?

    thanks so much!
    Naomi

    • I’m not Chris, but it sounds to me that perhaps your immune system is starting to work properly — that is, if you feel like you’re ‘fighting something’. Usually with ME/CFS we’re extremely disabled from viruses, bacteria, fungi, chemicals, etc., but our immune systems aren’t able to ‘fight’ and clear these infections…

  73. Many report that taking Anatabloc for chronic inflammation have knocked their Hashi out…..

    I have a posting above on what I have done for Hashi and was taking Abloc from Jan-April 2013 and this too probably was part of knocking out Hashi, at least getting it down to 84 which is a low for me. I’m off Abloc now, but many report on this supp and TPO levels being dramatically reduced…..

  74. I have just found out that I have Hashimoto’s Disease and am looking for as much info as I can. I knew that iodine was involved and not get what it all means – thank you.

  75. I have hypothyroidism and believe that I am also sensitive to iodine. The first reason I believe that I am sensitive to iodine is that on a hiking trip I drank water containing iodine tablets and I was more swollen and sluggish than ever. Recently I ran out of my synthroid for almost 2 wks so I decided I would get an iodine supplement in the mean time. Which I was suppost to take 4 drops. I took two. I started feeling more sluggish. A couple days later I was put back on my medication. I took that 125 mcg of synthroid and one drop iodine, I became swollen mostly my face hands feet and legs, very cranky,confused feeling. Basically I feel better off my meds. What options do I have to treat my hypothyroidism? If anything? And how do I start this conversation w my Dr.?

    • Hi Tasha. Those symptoms you describe could have you been your body detoxing from your iodine use. I just started taking iodine (6.5 milligrams daily) and I’ve experienced some detox reactions (which is a good sign) but that’s why the companion nutrients are essential, especially selenium and unrefined salt. Also, vitamin C, magnesium and ATP cofactors. Definitely don’t just take iodine alone.

  76. I have hashimoto’s (TPO/AB of 106, and TSH in the normal range, with T3 on the low end of normal and a T4 on the higher side of normal… but all normal). My doctor suggested I try a supplement called Thyroid Now, which has iodine in it (225 mcg). Should I take it? I am also on Selenomethionine (200 mg). I have been off of gluten since October and on an AIP Paleo diet for the past three weeks, which seems to have calmed my system down a lot.

  77. Many panic when TSH rises as iodine consumption is commenced. This isn’t always a negative phenomenon. According to Dr. David Brownstein, this takes place as the body starts to produce more sodium-iodide symporter molecules (NIS). This is the body producing more of these molecules to enable more efficient transport of iodine into cells. NIS is stimulated by TSH so figures that if the body is in the process of moving more iodine into the cells, it will release more TSH in order to stimulate NIS. Dr. Brownstein points out that this is usually the case when iodine is commenced and Free T3 and Free T4 are in normal or optimal ranges.

    • yes my TSH increased to 2.9 from .8 while I started taking iodine rich food but then my doctor gave me more medication to bring TSH to less than 2.5. So how is the increase in TSH good ?

  78. Excess iodine intake can cause an autoimmune thyroiditis that bears all the characteristics of Hashimoto’s. However, in animal studies this occurs only if selenium is deficient or in excess. Similarly, in animal studies very high iodine intake can exacerbate a pre-existing autoimmune thyroiditis, but only if selenium is deficient or in excess.

    With optimal selenium status, thyroid follicles are healthy, goiter is eliminated, and autoimmune markers like Th1/Th2 ratio and CD4+/CD8+ ratio are normalized over a wide range of iodine intake. It seems that optimizing selenium intake provides powerful protection against autoimmune thyroid disease, and provides tolerance of a wide range of iodine intakes.

    In the next post in this series (Iodine and Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis, Part 2, May 26, 2011), we’ll transition from animals to humans. Does epidemiological evidence suggest that these animal findings are transferable to humans?

    http://perfecthealthdiet.com/2011/05/iodine-and-hashimotos-thyroiditis-part-i/

  79. Dr. Kresser:
    Thank you for most informative article, wish I would have seen it when you first wrote it! In 2010 my GP put me on Synthroid, .5 and after 3 months with no relief from symptoms, put me on .88. I asked for Armour Thyroid because I had seen Stop the Thyroid Madness. Doc flat out refused. Went to a Univ. of Texas Endocrinologist and she refused, too. She referred me back to MD Anderson as I had had a skin cancer tumor removed (Dec. 2010) and have intestinal metaplasia in my stomach which can lead to stomach cancer. I went to an alternative doc in Katy, Texas for a LOT of money and prescribed his own version of Armour for me. Didn’t notice a lot of relief. Finally found a doc on my insurance then that would prescribe Armour. Did it for 8 weeks and then asked to switch to Naturethroid .65 mg twice a day. Then in November, Doc said my numbers weren’t low enough so he recommended two pills in the morning and one in the afternoon. I backed it down to 1.5 since my heart rate was staying elevated. I had tried Kelp Iodine last year but then stopped when I heard that it can be a problem for Hashi patients. I think my adrenals are taxed, too. They Katy doc had me on cortisol for six months and I loved the way I felt energized on it but didn’t want to stay on it indefinitely. It sounds like you are not completely endorsing Iodine supplementation? I want to try it if it is beneficial for me. Can you give me some direction on Iodine recommendations and adrenal testing? Thank you and God bless you!

  80. Dr. Kessler,
    Thank you for giving your input on this obviously controversial topic. I have Hashi’s and continually have positive results from treatment (Synthroid, Levo, Armour, etc…) followed by declining mood, health, etc… So I knwo my immune dysfunction is probably severe. Here’s my question(s)
    1. I considered that I might be hyper sensitive to iodine, and that I might be better if I tried to remove it from my diet (dairy, kale, iodized salt, processed foods) My diet is actually quite ‘healthy’ – mostly organic, not a lot of sugar, etc… If I did that, would I be at risk to develop goiter?
    2. Would a better solution be adding Selenium to counteract dietary iodine?
    3. What are the drawbacks to taking a Selenium supplement?

    Thanks!

  81. Chris,
    Thanks so much for your help!
    Here’s my problem: I was diagnosed hypothyroid and my doctor recommended iodine supplementation. I started last week at one drop per day in water, of Iosol. By day 4 or 5 (which was my last day on the stuff!) I felt so dizzy and started having a really strong pulse. A couple of days later, panic, “clicking” in my ear, and heart palpitations. I still get the heart palpitations, and it has been six days off of the Iosol! Can you please tell me if these symptoms can truly be related to too much iodine? I realize that I may not have even been deficient and wonder if, even in just 4 or 5 drops of Iosol, I overdosed? Can you also tell me when symptoms may end? Magnesium seems to help the heart palpitations but should I also take selenium? I’d appreciate any advice you have, and I thank you!

  82. Personally, I would NOT take SynCrap for all the money in china…..I’ve been taking Armour since 2002 after a 10 yr depression struggle where I thought all along I had a sluggish thyroid….

    I take Iosol drops daily and when I have slacked off, I would get breast pain and tenderness…

    Can you get to an Integrative MD and get on the right track?

  83. Sorry. Date correction. (Dec. 24, 13 – not 2014)

    In Nov 2013 I started Lugols 2% 1 drop orally on and off. About every other day. Sometimes I’d just use a couple drops topically instead. — I had been having some seperate issues unrelated prior to starting Lugols, so I went to the doctor for bloodwork for that issue on Nov 21st. — I was shocked when he said I was hypoT. #633.

    He gave he 50mcg Synthroid, which I didn’t take because I felt it was the iodine that induced this, and not a true reading. So, I thought maybe it was just going to take some time for my body to adapt to the iodine. I continued as I had been taking the Lugols for several more weeks until I noticed I started GAINING weight. So, I decided to stop the iodine completely (Dec 24, 13), and let it get out of my system and then get retested.

    A couple days later I started itching ALL over my body – detox/die off? Iono. So I pressed on to get the iodine out of my system. I had headaches, and even some deep chest pains on right side of my chest. Well finally after 11 days w/ no iodine (I read that it takes about 10 days to get this completely out of the system), I went back for bloodwork (Jan. 3, 14). When my doctor retested me, OMG. My TSH was now higher 668! (Of course he increased Synthroid to 75mcg)

    Ok, I don’t get this, I was taking low dose iodine and TSH was 633, I quit completely for 11 days and it’s 668? So, what’s going on?

    Well, now I’m back trying to take the iodine. 3 drops topically. The itching stopped immediately. So did the chest pain and headache. But, I’ve gained weight and even at LOW calories intake of 1100-1200. I’m just stuck here weight wise. If I eat normally, I gain. Plus I’m COLD all the time. Low temps of 95.5-96.8 is average. What do you suspect is going on with me? Any thoughts at all? Should I begin the Synthroid? Press on with the iodine? Thanks for your time. Blessings.

  84. I’m still confused as to whether Iodine can help treat hyperthyroidism. (graves disease) . There is much confusion between Hyperthyroidism( over active thyroid) and hypothyroidism (under active thyroid) believe me the treatments are completely opposite. Just ask my wife who was given the a hormone replacement drug instead of a hormone inhibitor drug. Neo-Mercazole. It nearly cost her her life.

    • Absolutely true.
      I had a person at a health food store to prescribe something for hypo when I am hyper.
      As has been commented numerous times, alternative as well as medical are not very knowledgeable about the thyroid issues.

      • iodine/potassium iodide is and was used long ago to treat both hypo and hyperthyroidism. Although it’s true that iodine is necessary for the formation of thyroid hormone, this doesn’t mean that everyone with hyperthyroidism should avoid iodine. First of all, remember that most people with hyperthyroidism have Graves’ Disease. And although this condition involves an excessive production of thyroid hormone, the reason for this is due to the autoimmune component. It’s the TSH receptor antibodies which stimulate or attack the TSH receptors, which in turn results in the overproduction of thyroid hormone. Giving someone iodine doesn’t mean the thyroid gland will produce even more thyroid hormone. In fact, in the past, medical doctors actually recommended Lugol’s solution as a treatment for hyperthyroidism and Graves’ Disease

        so no. the health food practitioner isn’t the ignoramus. its you.

  85. There are a lot of tecnical questions being asked, that quite frankly as a lay person I have no idea what they mean. I would like to ask some simple down to earth questions…. I am a 43 year old female, I have been on levothyroxine since shortly after the birth of my first son 21 years ago. Never experienced any problems, have had occational adjustments in dosages, no big deal, felt great.
    For approx the past year I have been feeling awful. My thyroid labs were reviewed and my dose is up now to 225mcg. Still feeling awful, fatigue insomnia, SEVERE muscle aching, hair loss, intolerant to heat and cold, ect…all the wonderful symptoms that accompany hypothyroid patients.
    However, my family physican is now leaning towards fibromyalgia and treating me for such. My confusion lies in the symptoms overlap and being so simular.
    225mcg is a large dose, could my body possibly not be converting T4 into T3?
    Recently i have added an iodine supplement (recieved from global health) to my plant based multivitamin (which contains plenty of the reccomended selenium) I have never seen an endocrinologist in my 21 years of treatment, never had an ultrasound (even though my mother had a goiter removed) and to my knowledge Im not aware if my T3 levels have ever been tested.
    I guess…..I really just want to stop recieving the run around, and to be treated for the CORRECT condition and most of all to FEEL BETTER! Can you help me..Specialy pysicians are hard to find in my area, I live in rural nebraska.

    • There is a consensus in our international thyroid group that when our T3 is low, we tend to get fibromyalgia type symptoms. Many have gotten relief simply by raising their T3 levels. There can be a number of reasons why T3 levels drop, even for those who have had success taking T4 only medication for some time. The iodine could be a factor, or that your body is stressed in some new way and much of your T4 is actually being converted into Reverse T3. Low iron storage levels also cause this as well as sub-optimal liver health. I would suggest experimenting with dropping out the iodine and if that doesn’t help, get your free T4, free T3, Reverse T3 levels checked. There is a helpful math equation to work out the ratio between Reverse T3 and Free T3 since raw lab numbers tell very little. This can be found online via Google. I’d also test full iron panel to see what is going on there. For me my thyroid was affected also by hormones as I started into Peri-menopause, so recent changes could be related to other hormones too.

  86. I start to wonder if taking Iodine as I do, about 10-12mg per day, is the right thing to do…I deal with Hashi and had numbers as high as 841 over the years, but recent labs showed 84. So this is good in the whole scheme of where I’ve been……I take 120mg Armour daily, take selenium daily, Vit D3 and K2 and Vit C.

    And feel I’m ok….when I skip Iodine and I’ve done that but no more, I get breast pain and tenderness….

    Iodine has to go to so many places in our body. A friend just told me “our” integrative MD told her to get off Iodine she’s been taking for a couple of years on my suggestion. I think she is wrong to go off the Iodine and she is a pretty strict vegan to boot.

  87. Its amazing how the importance of iodine has been so quieted. Iodine is found in every cell in your body and is very critical to a healthy thyroid. With the thyroid problems increasing, especially in woman, one would think that the studies on iodine would be the focus. Like the studies that prove that every person with a thyroid disease or disorder has an iodine deficiency!

    According to the World Health Organization’s Department of Nutrition for Health and Development, iodine deficiency is a public health problem in 54 countries. The CDC states that iodine deficiency is one of the four major deficiency diseases in the world and the easiest to correct. Yet information about the importance of iodine has yet to hit the mainstream media!

    http://www.globalhealingcenter.com/?a_aid=528d5efe5749d

  88. I’ve read that Hashimoto’s doesn’t always show up on blood tests. My results were negative, but no cause has been found since I was first diagnosed almost 18 years ago. I tried taking iodide recently, just 12.5mgs/day, and I started to have negative symptoms show up in skin and hair. Any advice?

  89. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/m/pubmed/23521369/

    I wanted to drop this pubmed article here for information’s sake.

    Undue industry influences that distort healthcare research, strategy, expenditure and practice: a review.

    AuthorsStamatakis E,et al. Show allJournal
    Eur J Clin Invest. 2013 May;43(5):469-75. doi: 10.1111/eci.12074. Epub 2013 Mar 25.

    Affiliation
    Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, University College London, London, UK. [email protected]

    Abstract
    BACKGROUND: Expenditure on industry products (mostly drugs and devices) has spiraled over the last 15 years and accounts for substantial part of healthcare expenditure. The enormous financial interests involved in the development and marketing of drugs and devices may have given excessive power to these industries to influence medical research, policy, and practice.

    MATERIAL AND METHODS: Review of the literature and analysis of the multiple pathways through which the industry has directly or indirectly infiltrated the broader healthcare systems. We present the analysis of the industry influences at the following levels: (i) evidence base production, (ii) evidence synthesis, (iii) understanding of safety and harms issues, (iv) cost-effectiveness evaluation, (v) clinical practice guidelines formation, (vi) healthcare professional education, (vii) healthcare practice, (viii) healthcare consumer’s decisions.

    RESULTS: We located abundance of consistent evidence demonstrating that the industry has created means to intervene in all steps of the processes that determine healthcare research, strategy, expenditure, practice and education. As a result of these interferences, the benefits of drugs and other products are often exaggerated and their potential harms are downplayed, and clinical guidelines, medical practice, and healthcare expenditure decisions are biased.

    CONCLUSION: To serve its interests, the industry masterfully influences evidence base production, evidence synthesis, understanding of harms issues, cost-effectiveness evaluations, clinical practice guidelines and healthcare professional education and also exerts direct influences on professional decisions and health consumers. There is an urgent need for regulation and other action towards redefining the mission of medicine towards a more objective and patient-, population- and society-benefit direction that is free from conflict of interests.

    © 2013 Stichting European Society for Clinical Investigation Journal Foundation. Published by Blackwell Publishing Ltd.
    PMID 23521369 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]
    Full text: Blackwell Publishing
    Related CitationsShow all
    Guidelines, editors, pharma and the biological paradigm shift.
    Health is wealth: considerations to european healthcare.
    How to develop cost-conscious guidelines.
    Methods of consumer involvement in developing healthcare policy and research, clinical practice guidelines and patient information material.
    The medical expenditure panel survey: a national information resource to support healthcare cost research and inform policy and practice.

  90. Hi everyone. Just wanted to say thank you to everyone for offering such great feedback on a very difficult topic. I apologize if this has been posted in the past, and I missed it, but has anyone read this article (or the studies referenced in it) on the need for iodine and selenium to be taken at the same time or have any comments on it?

    http://perfecthealthdiet.com/category/nutrients/iodine-and-selenium/

    And secondly, it appears that Hashimoto’s is predominantly found in women. Could it be that estrogen dominance or a failure to detoxify estrogen properly is contributing to the problem?

    http://www.dannyroddy.com/main/2012/3/12/hashimotos-disease-excess-estrogen-in-disguise.html

    Chris talks about both of these phenomena, but it seems like the “iodine vs. no iodine” debate gets a lot of the attention.

    Thanks again for any insights!

  91. My question is this.. I no longer have a thyroid.. I take synthroid daily.. but my worry is if the SHTF and I couldn’t get medicine what could I take to replace it?? It seems that my 80 yearl old mother took iodine to treat her’s after her’s was removed, that was before Synthroid..I want to be able to treat myself if I cannot get my med if we have a economic shutdown or a depression hits us! Thank You!

    • Was wondering if u ever got a reply or found out something to use , I have also had a Full thyroidectomy back in 2010 and also am wondering if the shft hits what I can use ? What and how exactly amounts did your grandmother use ?

  92. Good day Sir. I am a nutrition and dietetics student. I would like to ask what will be the cost and benefits if a high dosage of iodine is consumed as well as a low iodine is consumed. And what are the specific dosage of high and low iodine. Thank Sir and hoping for your reply 🙂

  93. I have been diagnosed with hashimotos. I was wondering if getting hyponatremia from drinking too much water before during and after the London marathon could have led to the autoimmune response? That was in 2003 and was my first marathon. I have only done one other marathon in 2010 and it was after this that I was diagnosed with H after feeling very lethargic. Do you think long distance running or running general is still a suitable form of exercise for me or could it be putting too much pressure on my adrenal system and thyroid? I generally feel ok and am on 100mg of levothyroxine. I enjoy running but am not sure if it is doing me any good.I’m interested in your thoughts or anyone else’s. thanks

  94. Hi Chris,

    This is a really compelling article – I love how you’ve emphasized the importance of concurrent vitamin D and selenium with iodine supplementation.

    I agree with you 100%. As a naturopath, I see on a daily basis that Iodine is so important, yet does carry significant risk if use is not monitored properly and if patients are not risked out for use. There are MANY times that I’ve seen patients come in with elevated TSH numbers as a result of using Iodine, perhaps most often in those with Hashimoto’s disease. As you’ve mentioned Chris, those with Hashi’s do need to be cautious as a general rule. And in some cases, a Hashi’s patient may actually be iodine deficient and require iodine.

    In patients with goitre or who are iodine deficient, the proliferation of thyrocytes can cause hyperthyroidism to occur on beginning iodine supplementation. This effect is sometimes hard to avoid…however it managed properly, correcting iodine deficiency can provide great benefits to the patient. The patients I always look at as being much more risky are those who are iodine deficient, and who have pre-existing cardiovascular disease or angina. In these patients, a transient hyperthyroid state can be truly dangerous…and so much caution is warranted with supplementation.

    We are currently using dried urine iodine testing in the clinic. It closely approximates the 24 hour urine iodine collection and is a lot simpler!

    if you have a moment, I hope you might want to read my evidence -based blog post on iodine and hypothyroid/hashimoto’s in relation to fertility and pregnancy, which is my clinical focus. Iodine is a crucial nutrient (that must be administered with care, knowledge and caution)for all of human life, and most especially in the time of reproduction.

    http://www.whitelotusclinic.ca/blog/dr-fiona-nd/iodine-and-hashimotos-fertility/

    warmest regards,

    Dr. Fiona McCulloch ND

    • Good day Mam. I am a nutrition and dietetics student. I would like to ask what will be the cost and benefits if a high dosage of iodine is consumed as well as a low iodine is consumed. And what are the specific dosage of high and low iodine. Thank you mam and hoping for your reply 🙂

  95. Can anyone please help me.

    I always used iodized salt and ate sea food without any problems , but I was planning a pregnancy so I brought a prenatal supplement with 150mcg iodine and 500mcg folic acid, After few days with the supplement I had increased heart rate and other symptoms, I stopped supplement and iodized salt and the problem fixed, after a few weeks if I try using iodized salt the same symptoms are coming back.

    I want to travel overseas and they don’t have anything but iodised salt there. I am also 10 weeks pregnant and this is worrying me a lot. Should I avoid iodine all my life because I’m getting hyper symptoms.

    • Anje5, You must give your body selenium for quite a while before starting iodine. This prepares the body for the iodine. Without it you will have the problems you speak of. I would definitely find a good doctor in your area that understands health, not just medicine. I have a functional medicine doctor who is also an OB/GYN. I find this is a good fit for me. Someone once told my Mom she was allergic to iodine, so we had no iodine in our home …..ever. By having a deficiency to iodine, it led me to many other problems. I now have hashimotos and struggle to stay well.
      I needed iodine, your baby needs it…. you need it. You just have to make sure you are doing it correctly, make sure you are taking a good clean supplement of L-selenomethionine for a while before adding iodine to your routine. Also, make sure you chose a good grade iodine, look for a reputable company that uses good processes for their supplements. This you should do for every supplement you take, pregnant or not. Good luck with your baby.

  96. I cringe whenever I hear of anyone being put solely on iodine without the extra nutritional co-factors needed for the iodine to effectively do its job in the body. These include taking adequate amounts of selenium and some may even need salt loading to counteract the detoxifying effects of the iodine. On the other hand, some Hashimotos patients don’t at all do well on it. We are all individual.

  97. Hi,
    I have Hashimotos and my doc put me on Iodine. I was worried because it took me 22 years to finally get my thyroid on the right track and lose the 30 pounds I gained in one month during the beginning of the struggle- I was worried this would flip something. And it has. I’ve been following Weight Watchers, exercising over an hour a day and still gaining weight at close to a pound every two days. Did a little research and it looks like this might be connected. So I’m taking a break from the iodine and seeing what happens. Hopefully that will be the ticket. I wish people would see the Hashimoto plus iodine issues. Thank you for your info.

  98. Hello Chris-

    I have had thyroid cancer and subsequent thyroidectomy. I was treated with low dose RAI.

    Would there be any benefits for me to take iodine supplements? Should I avoid iodine rich items?

    I presently take a high does of artificial T4 to keep me hyperthyroid, ie suppressing the thyroid cells.

    Thank you,

    Nancy

  99. Dr. Kresser,
    I am 54 y/o young –active/athletic–have had increasing debilitating fatigue, weight gain, vision changes, tremors/tingling/swelling feet and hands, excessive hair loss, bad neck pain, etc. for several years and think I’ve touched bottom line. Recent tests have shown High TSH, High Cortisol, 3 Thyroid Nodules, Vitamin D deficiency and 398 blood level Iodine (normal range 52-109). One endocrinologist told me “all older women have this and there’s nothing wrong with me”. Another Internal Med Doctor who is also in Alternative Med/Interest in Vitamins started me in Armour Thyroid immediately–at least I feel she listens and is genuinely concerned. But what does this High Blood Iodine could mean??
    I had started taking Iodoral and after these results I stopped and I am taking Armour Thyroid, Vitamin B-100, Vitamin D and Bio Id Hormones.
    What could be the cause of High Iodine? Is it pointing to a root problem that has not been diagnosed?
    Thank you for any direction you can give.
    G

    • I am not a doctor and in no way am an expert, but …. It seems to me that if you are not able to take iodine into your cells…..let’s say you have a bunch of bromide that is hogging up the space where iodine is supposed to go….what is it going to do? It is going to hang out in your blood and not get used. It is very important to rid your body of this bromide or whatever it is that is blocking your pathway to your thyroid. These pathways are so important and a reason many of us struggle even on high doses of thyroid meds. My doctor has me on NAC, you can google it and see if it is something you might like to try or something like it. Also, selenium in the form of L-selenomethionine is absolutely important for your body. I take the maximum dose 400mcg a day, this helps me in so many ways. Most people start at 100 mcg and adjust that up to 200 mcg a day, I have hashi’s and need the extra, not everybody does. Keep in mind that selenium helps convert T4 to T3 and that could make you need less thyroid meds, it did for me.

  100. http://www.cheeseslave.com/cherry-angiomas-iodine-and-bromide-detox/

    What are people’s thoughts with Bromide. I think when I started Iodine supp 135microgram a day I started getting more of these. The body ridding itself of increased Bromide. Has Bromide got a role in Hashi?

    I think at Stop the thyroid Madness the reason Iodine doesn’t work by itself is because your suppossed to take selenium at the same time… http://www.stopthethyroidmadness.com/selenium/

  101. cheers, DavidM

    This is what our laboratory website says about the non-loading 24 hr urine collection for iodine levels:

    Iodine concentration is a marker of recent intake and does not necessarily confirm insufficiency. So I guess the challenge would be the one to do. Makes sense to me.

  102. Can anyone tell me if there is more than one way to test the iodine level? I asked my doc if she’d order one for me and she said yes but it appears not to be an Iodine loading test as has been mentioned. It is however a 24 hour iodine test. I’m suppose to collect urine in a 24 hour period but I’m not to take the iodine before hand. Is that a different test?… and more importantly, is the one Chris suggests a more accurate way of testing?

    • I had an iodine challenge a.k.a. urinary iodine loading test. It works like this:

      In more recent times a “24-hour iodine/iodide load test” has become a useful analysis for practitioners. A specified oral dose of iodine/iodide is given and urine is collected for the subsequent twenty-four hours. The Doctor’s Data, Inc. “load” report format leads the industry by permitting the practitioner to obtain individualized results based upon any oral dosage deemed appropriate for a given patient. The test is based on the concept that the body has specific and saturable mechanisms to take up iodine/iodide. When maximal retention is attained, the percentage of an iodine/iodide load that is retained decreases and the percentage urinary excretion increases. The percentage excretion is calculated by dividing the patient’s mg/24-hour iodine results by the oral iodine/iodide dosage (mg) provided on the requisition form by the practitioner, then multiplied by 100. The iodine excretion value represents iodine plus iodide oxidized to iodine. The load test requires a complete twenty-four hour urine collection.

      I think my result was about 25mg indicating a severe iodine deficiency. Going on iodine at a small dose of 6mg every 2 days caused my thyroid antibodies to rise. I’ve taken a bottle of selenium tablets over a month and will see if the antibodies drop. So far, not really. I’m monitoring the antibodies monthly.

      • Thanks Honora,
        That’s a good excerpt from Doctor’s Data. It doesn’t tell me if the traditional test, that doesn’t do the iodine loading before hand, is as accurate nor if it will give me the information that Chris is talking about. I’m guessing that the loading test is better but I need to know why before I ask my doctor is she’s willing to request it instead of the traditional test.

        Do you know? Thanks for taking the time to reply.

  103. Can anyone explain which type of iodine test to do? Chris referred to the 24 hour urine test…that you take 50 mg of iodine at the beginning of. I’ve read through this whole thread to try to get clarity on exactly what test to ask for. I’ve read of one called an iodine loading test

    My doc was willing to order and iodine test for me but it looks like they will just be measuring the iodine in my urine (24 hours of it) without taking the iodine before hand. Is that going to be as effective a measure?

  104. In my case my T3 is normal but my TSH is about a 5.97, on doctor says stay where I am with my meds, not to unbalance my T3, another doctor says I need to get my TSH number down????????

  105. Hello just came across this thread. Two yrs ago diagnosed with hashimotos. Tsh 150. Yes 150!!! I have been treated with tirosint but sometimes I still have symptoms of hypo. Swollen face is the worst some days. Tsh now 0.77. Negative for cushings disease. No need for t3 and t4 as per endo I convert on my own. What is making me so swollen???

  106. I did a 24 urine test and my uptake was 38%. I have hoshimotos and just found out I was pregnant. Can I start supplementing with 12.5mg of iodoral? My doctor said it was fine but I am curious of your opinion?

  107. P.S. I’m also taking 3-4 Brazil nuts per day for selenium, and a trace mineral supplement (Schindele’s Minerals). I’m being treated by a natural practitioner with acupuncture and a herbal tincture which includes motherwort, bugleweed, hops, lemon balm and St. John’s wort. I had all my vitamins and minerals tested, and there are no deficiencies.

    • Hello Kate,

      You might want to check out Dr. Mercola’s website. He references studies done on hypothyroidism which shows that not only too little iodine can lead to hypothyroidism, but also amounts of over 400mcg per day can ironically lead to hypothyroidism. Like you, I am also taking 4 Brazil nuts a day for selenium (2 morning and 2 evening) along with NAC to counteract muscle wasting caused by Celiac Disease. I’ve just started taking Royal Maca Root powder today for boosting thyroid function the natural way. All cofactors should be there in whole foods such as this and the amount of natural iodine per level tablespoon is about 50mcg. Dosing only twice a day with a delicious smoothie should fit me right into the correct amount of iodine to go with my selenium-rich nuts each day without adverse side effects. Maca should never be taken in its raw form, but only in its Royal (sun-dried) form so that harmful enzymes are neutralized as well as bacteria and yeasts. I find it interesting that Maca root can also cause goiters if an iodine deficiency is present in the individual. That’s actually what brought me to this article/site in the first place since I was doing research on it. However, if maca root is taken with the proper selenium supplements such as what is found in Brazil nuts in high amounts (never take supplements with sodium selenite or selenite in them-they are highly toxic varieties of selenium and will destroy your endocrine system) then the goiters never occur due to the glutathione that selenium helps produce to detox the thyroid of free radicals when hormones are being produced. I think cross references like this one can help us all determine from a practical point of view what the truth is about antioxidant cofactors when the science seems to prove very little beyond the controversy of clinical trials going seemingly opposite directions.

      I think that it’s easy enough for a drug company with a special interest to fund a clinical trial with a bent on proving whatever they have to in order to keep their profits safe. But the real proof is in the real world outcome of patients who were suffering and now are much improved or perhaps cured (if we’re allowed to use that word). I also think it’s a crime that we’re not allowed to use the word “cure” for anything but a drug, yet drugs don’t cure anything. They only “treat” the ailment while causing other health issues (so-called side effects) which in turn require another drug to treat according the western medical doctors. It’s a vicious cycle until either they have all our money or we end up dead from the preponderance of side effects.

  108. Hi Chris, I was very happy to find this series of articles! I have had Grave’s disease since January, and your article “The Gluten-Thyroid Connection” was one of the first things I found. I immediately stopped eating gluten, because gluten intolerance runs in my family and I figured it would help. After reading Dr. Brownstein’s book I also started taking iodine at a very low level (150mcg), and began to build up slowly. However, now that I’m up to 600mcg I have started to feel worse again, and now I’ve read this article I wonder if it’s the same for Grave’s disease as it is for Hashimoto’s? Got my lab results back today, TSH .02, Free T4 36, Free T3 14. I also had my iodine level tested (in blood serum), and the result was 97; I don’t even know what that means! Help! I’ve lived in Switzerland since 1994, where Bromides were banned in 1993; I also have always eaten as much organic food as possible and almost never drink soda; so I guess it’s possible I have over-iodined myself. On the other side, there are people taking 50mg with no bad effects! I’m confused.

    • http://goo.gl/XaIo4

      This may answer the questions you need answered. I also highly recommend the books The Iodine Crisis by Lynn Farrow, Iodine by David Brownstein, and Stop the Thyroid Madness by Janie Bowthorpe

      Read those three books and the Iodine supplementation guide and you’ll have a much better understanding. The Yahoo Iodine and IodineOT discussion groups are also great resources.

      http://breastcancerchoices.org/ipractitioners.html
      http://www.stopthethyroidmadness.com/how-to-find-a-good-doc/

      These might also be of use as well.

      Good luck in finding your path to health. The Iodine level you had tested won’t tell you much of anything. Its better to get a Iodine spot and loading test along with a bromide load test from Hakala labs.

      More details are in the supplement guide I linked at the start.

  109. [Marked as spam by Antispam Bee | Spam reason: Server IP]
    Hi
    I enjoy researching alternative healing as a hobby and many times I run into your articles. I recently read your article on iodine and thyroids. My first question would be, is doing an iodine deficiency test on the skin an effective test to see if a person is low on iodine? I’ve done a lot of research on iodine and I realize that taking too much or taking it without selenium could harm the thyroid. I’m making 5% Lugol’s Iodine. So here is the dosage I’m running by you to see if its ok…If I the iodine on my skin is gone in less then 4-6 hours and I’m low on iodine then i’ll take 1-4 drops of iodine (4 drops is 25mg of iodine) once a day with 200 mcg of selenium and 500 mg of tyrosine…is that a safe dosage for thyroid problems?

    Thank-you

  110. Hi,
    I’ve had diagnosed Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis since I was 12 years old. There is a strong belief that I likely had this from birth or developed it much earlier than my diagnosis and it was only found at that time because I stopped growing at the size of a typical 6-8 year old or show any beginning signs of entering puberty. Once I started thyroid hormone replacement therapy I rapidly grew to a height commensurate with the other females in my family and after the growth slowed I went through puberty. I am now 41 and had been stable on the same dose of Levothyroxine since the time I was diagnosed, but now my labs are going crazy. On that stable dose of Levothyroxine, I have been undergoing testing nearly every two months due to these radical fluctuations. One test is severely underactive (TSH 49), the next test is severely overactive (TSH 0.001), the next severely underactive (TSH 66), the next severely overactive (TSH 0.004), etc. I take my Levothyroxine at the same time every morning, on an empty stomach and do not eat for at least 30 minutes. I take no other medications at the same time as my Levothyroxine and have always taken the same multivitamins in the evening after dinner. I was told by a reproductive endocrinologist, that I was seeing for fertility issues at one point, that eventually the antibodies associated with Hashimoto’s will kill off the thyroid all together. However, towards the end, the thyroid will fight for it’s life. In his explanation, he likened this to a car running out of gas. The car will go downhill, where it can contact small amounts of gasoline left in the tank and sputter back to life giving the car the ability to run again, meaning the thyroid will come back to life to certain extent, as it temporarily wins this tug of war for it’s life and kick out massive amounts of thyroid hormone, causing you to be overactive. Once the car starts going uphill, it cannot access the small amounts of gasoline in the tank and it will slow down or stop, meaning the antibodies start to win again, so it slows down and the thyroid hormones become inaccessible again causing you to be underactive. He said that this will usually continue until the thyroid dies off on it’s own and then a stable dose of thyroid replacement hormone can once again be found. Other patients undergo radioactive iodine treatment or surgical removal of the thyroid under a doctor’s recommendation or through the patients urging because the process is taking too long and the ups and downs get to be too much for the person or for the person’s system to handle and then a stable dose of thyroid replacement can once again be found. He said that most patients don’t reach this point in the course of Hashimoto’s because they don’t develop Hashimoto’s antibodies until later in their lives so they don’t have active Hashimoto’s for 30+ years. My regular endocrinologist did not disagree with any of these things or the reproductive endocrinologist’s explanation of it, but he refuses to suggest or let me undergo radioactive iodine treatment or surgical thyroid removal. My problem with this is that I don’t feel that I can continue to go through these rapid and extreme fluctuations for much longer. They are causing other health issues for me due to the fatigue, insomnia, hot and cold fluctuations and too many other things to mention. I have constant heart palpitations and recently had an abnormal EKG, which I need to have repeated as it is very different from my previous EKG’s performed before these fluctuations began. I believe this may be connected to the abnormal issues with my thyroid, as well. What could cause such radical shifts in TSH while on the same dosage, taken under the same conditions throughout the testing period? What are your experiences with patients who’ve had long term Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis and hormone antibodies? Does the explanation that the reproductive endocrinologist gave sound accurate? How does someone in my condition find a stable dose of thyroid replacement hormone? Have you heard of Hashimoto’s patients undergoing radioactive iodine treatment or surgical thyroid removal? What impact can long term, radical shifts in thyroid hormone have on the body or systems of a Hashimoto’s patient?
    Thank you for any help you can offer in this area,
    Fed up with 30+ years of Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis!

  111. I’m not a doctor, nor an expert. But I was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s six years ago (age 16) and I have been on Levoythyroxin that whole time. And I still feel terrible. Now, I don’t know if I feel bad from some other undiagnosed problem (I’ve been going to doctors for years trying to get a diagnosis for severe fatigue, being unrefreshed after excessive amounts of sleep, severe night sweats, and thin, weak hair.) Or if maybe my thyroid is not being treated properly. I am on a Vitamin D supplement, even though my deficiency was not brought to my attention for a couple years after my diagnosis, nor that it could be connected to my thyroid.. But I have never heard from any doctor to take other supplements as well, like Selenium. I just recently was looking for causes for my adult acne and found out that iodine can cause acne and that increased my desire to found out if I am taking an unhelpful medication. I also read that even if my thyroid levels are normal, with Hashimoto’s it doesn’t really matter if I am still feeling bad and have unresolved symptoms. So, I can’t make comment on what facts are true or false or any of that, but I can say that I have been taking a medication to fix my thyroid symptoms that happens to have iodine and that I can say 100 percent that I don’t feel well or that my thyroid problem has been helped at all!

    Also, if these two sentences are true, I am flabbergasted as to why in the hell I am being treated with a medication that can do the exact opposite of what I was taking it for: ” Because increased iodine intake, especially in supplement form, increases the autoimmune attack on the thyroid.

    Iodine reduces the activity of an enzyme called thyroid peroxidase (TPO). TPO is required for proper thyroid hormone production.”

    Also, I have found through the years and numerous doctors (some even at Mayo clinic) that doctors are very uninformative and do not share valuable information with their patient about their health or how to make themselves feel better.

    • I really think it would go a long way to helping you restore your health if you read Stop the Thyroid Madness by Janie Bowthorpe, Iodine by David Brownstein, and/or The Iodine Crisis by Lynn Farrow. I really enjoyed both the last two, but its up to you.

      There may be people that actually feel wonderful on T4 only treatment like Levoythyroxin, but I haven’t seen those stories. Janie’s book is filled with patient stories where they used T4 only treatment exclusively and never felt a significant improvement. Their tests were better. The TSH test “improved”, but they still felt like crap.

      Some other resources that may be useful in case you decide to supplement Iodine are at the following websites.

      http://health.groups.yahoo.com/group/iodine/files/01%20NEW%20MEMBERS%20-%20READ%20FIRST/

      This may require membership to get to the page though I don’t think so.

      http://home.comcast.net/~jocy1/junk/The%20Guide%20to%20Supplementing%20with%20Iodine.pdf

      In case it is the membership is free by the way you just have to request it. Great discussion group on Iodine.

      tinyurl.com/iodine-references.com

      This is also great.

      Good luck
      Jonathan

  112. I just want to say that I am one person that was very much adversely affected by taking Iodoral. I have lost my thyroid gland because of taking 12.5 mg/day of that supplement.

    I test negative to all the usual antibodies that most doctors test for, i.e., TPO, TgAb, etc. Little did I and my doctor know that II was hypothyroid due to the TSH Receptor antibodies (TRAb). He put me on Iodoral to help with my hypothyroidism. Within a month, my FT4 and FT3 starting climbing and kept on climbing. When I saw an endocrinologist, I was diagnosed with Graves’ disease. I now know that I’ve had TRAb all along.

    The TSH Receptor Antibodies (TRAb) can be BLOCKING (TSBAb) causing hypothyroidism or STIMULATING (TSAb/TSI) causing hyperthyroidism (Graves’ disease) and it can switch between the two.

    WARNING TO HYPOTHYROID PATIENTS CONSIDERING TAKING AN IODINE SUPPLEMENT: At the very least, you should get tested for the TSBAb via the TBII test. If you are positive, don’t take the iodine/iodide, it’s NOT worth the risk, believe me, it’s been hell having Graves’ disease.

  113. Hi Chris,
    I have Hashimoto’s disease and just started taking Iodine from a recommendation by Dr. Brownstein’s newsletter saying Americans don’t have enough iodine in their diet and the lack of iodine can cause cancer. If I take selenium with the iodine will that solve the problem? What if I continue to take Iodine what might happen?

  114. Their are different types of iodine. I believe salt company use low quality iodine in their products, also salt is chemically and heat treated, very low quality. Today many quality salts are available if you take the time to look for them, and yes they cost more. But their much healthier and they taste better, and I like pink Himalayan salt.

  115. I have hashimotos and when I took iodine drops my goiter swelled, endo informed me only option surgical removal of thyroid. I quit taking iodine, quit glutin and my thyroid shunk, it’s almost been a year and my goiter is gone

    • My blood test showed 6.5 TSH.. I quit all grains and currently take 50 mgs of lugos per day. i have no hypothyroid symptoms whatsoever.

  116. In the study quoted I think that saying 78% of Hashimotos hypothyroid patients were returned to a normal state from reduction in iodine intake is an inaccurate conclusion. Consider that 55% of the controls (who did not change their Iodine intake) also saw their hypothyroid condition returned to normal . Would not this indicate that only 23% actually got any benefit from reduction of Iodine? Considering this and the very small size of this study it would appear that more research needs to be done before drawing any concrete conclusions..

    The more important question would be WHY did those 55% spontaneously recover? Something must have changed . If someone had looked closer into all details of diet, exercise, and lifestyle perhaps something more important could have been discovered.

  117. Hello,
    I must admit that I have not read all posts in this discussion which is fascinating. I confess that I have very little experience or knowledge compare to many here.
    I was given a herbal tincture containing a herb called Ashwaganda which I took over a period of time. I noted that intially I began to lose hair, after time most of my facial hair dissappeared too. I beleive that I went Hyper due to the supplements (Solgar VM75 which containes potassium iodide) and the herbal tincture. My body went through some trauma- I feel my thyroid enlarging when I take simple herbal teas, I can’t tolerate vitamin D, or iron, or indeed any medication.
    My hair is fine and is still falling out, eyebrows are barely exisitent. Please can someone please explain what happened to my thyroid, I believe I damaged it by consuming supplements and more importantly Ashwaganda known to cause Thyroidoxicosis. (I did not know this at the time).
    Will I ever recover, please can someone tell me why I can’t tolerate essential Vitiamin D and iron which I so badly need. (My thyroid enlarges, the result is dreadful ear pain, extreme heat, I feel as though my head could explode). No doctor will believe me when I tell them this and I am told that I have nothing wrong with me. Blood tests are always normal but I am ill!
    Apologies for posting this here, I just wondered if some kindly soul could advise.
    It’s been a pretty frightening experience!
    Supplements have to be treated with caution!
    Kind Regards

  118. Hi Dr. Chris . I have a question regarding to gliadin and its role in causing autoimmune disease ( thyroid hypothyroidism). We already know that gluten causes leaky gut syndrome and in consequences thyroid dysfunction . As You mention in article (http://chriskresser.com/the-gluten-thyroid-connection ) once this gluten protein enters bloodstream through the leaky gut lining antibodies starts to attack thyroid. My question is ; can we expect ours antibodies to stop attacking the thyroid once the gut lining is healed and on condition that we will be gluten free for more than 6 months even if we eat a little bit of gluten ? or if antibodies will still attack thyroid due to( antibodies memory of that particular protein ) even if some gluten is consumed but the gut lining is well healed ?

    • Hi PIT

      No one’s answered your question but since gluten causes leaky gut through the action of zonulin, it would be pointless consuming gluten to any degree I suspect. I envisage eating a bit of gluten will rark up the thyroid antibodies as well as other anti-gluten antibodies.

  119. Heather, are you sure that it is the iodine that caused your thyroid to go hyper? Could be other causes. Also, for those who struggle with bromide detox, there is a salt loading protocol that one can follow to help address this. I’ve found some interesting and helpful iodine info on the ‘Breast Cancer Choices’ site. The info there is harmonious with everything Chris relates regarding the taking of iodine. For those who struggle with thyroid, I understand that managing it can seem like running the gauntlet. I have Hashimotos and have been finding my way too.

  120. http://www.bodybio.com I watched that video and its obvious that the balance of all minerals are needed to heal the body. Too much of any one will get the body out of balance. Selenium is the balance that is most mentioned but it still seems we are looking at the most misunderstood part of medicine. The problem is experts run the show and they will kill us are proving there POINT !!!

  121. Hello,

    Is it possible to reverse hypothyroidism from taking too high a dose of iodine for too long?
    I took iodoral 12.5 mg daily for a year and have now developed an under active thyroid.
    I don’t want to go down the lifetime medication road unless absolutely no other option. Please help!!
    I also suffer from adrenal fatigue due to suffering 2 deaths in a year and various other stressors. I am taking an adrenal support for this.

    Thank you

    Heather

    • The problem might have been you were taking iodine without the required accompanying nutrients (selenium, magnessiu and Vit C)

  122. Hi Chris,
    I was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s during my 1st pregnancy, that was 17 years ago. I was on Levoxyl for 13 years + antidepressants and suffered from terrible PMS. My vit D levels were low as well as B12 and cortisol was very low. I have now been on Naturethroid the past 4 years and lots of vitamins. I know my gut is messed up have been gluten free for 4 years but now going Paleo. I am taking a vitamin pack supplement called Propax with NT factor. The ingredients say it contains 18.75 mcg of iodine. Should I stop taking this supplement because of the iodine?

    Thanks. I love your website and the wealth of information.

  123. My God!….reading all this makes me wonder how extremely difficult it is to try to balance this curse! I might as well just give it up. There’s gotta be something simpler than this. I vote for a find the cure for thyroid disease cause….it’s hell!! Someone’s gotta figure this darn thing out!

    • Evon, my sentiments exactly! I haven’t found one person where I live (Wash DC area) who comes remotely close to a true understanding of the thyroid and immune system. I have Graves and Hashi’s and a multi-nodule goiter, plus chronic Lyme disease. The online blogs, books, studies and doctors all say something different from each other. Elaborate testing is referred to but then I try to get my doctors to do it and they are clueless. Then even with the standard thyroid tests there are different opinions in how to interpret them. Who is right? How do you know which direction to head in? One person says you’ll never get well without iodine, another says it’s the worst thing you could take. I’ve had the greatest improvements in how I feel by simply following a Paleo/GAPS type diet and detoxing. So, when in doubt, heal the gut and eat the way the body was designed to eat. The rest of this is crazy-making.

  124. Hello Dr.Chris :
    I hope you are well ,
    I am a female ( 48 years old ) , I have thyroid problems that
    The doctor removed a part of the thyroid & asked me to go with radioactive iodine
    Therapy , but I find it very terrible consequences , &I did not want to proceed with it ,
    I read about Nascent iodine , my question is :
    Is this Nascent iodine compensate or equivalent to the Radioactive Iodine ?
    Also I have read about that taking Iodine without Selenium is not correct,
    Have a nice day ,
    Linda,

  125. I started having swallowing issues last spring and went to my doctor telling him it was my thyroid. He poo-pooed the idea since I was already on 60 mg of armour thyroid. After getting to the point where I couldn’t swallow anything without choking, my chiropractor suggested using iodine supplementation. Within 3 days my symptoms were almost gone. I currently take 50 mg per day just to be able to swallow without choking. You need to re-examine your supposed facts on iodine. A good website is http://www.iodine4health.com.

    • I developed an under active thyroid from only taking 12.5 mg of iodral for a year. Prior to that my thyroid was fine. There is a wealth of evidence that supports the onset of hashimotos with taking too much iodine and I am living proof. It over stimulates hydrogen peroxide in the thyroid cell causing inflammation. Please be cautious.

    • Excellent article, Zach. Thanks for posting.

      I will offer here what I have found to be true, as one with hypothryroidism, and after years of self-directed research, many many lab tests, and trial and error with different meds and modalities.

      I believe and have found that iodine supplementation in far higher doses than the RDA , but somewhat lesser quantities than Brownstein suggests, can be safe and healing for the entire system.

      As an example, blood work shows that I do not have Hashimotos/autoimmune hypothyroidism, though my thyroid is inflamed and I have higher than normal TSH levels. I have tried everything under the sun to cure and heal my low thryroid “naturally,” including Armour and Naturethroid, which were a bomb for me because the balance of t3 and t4 in them is known to be incompatible with the t3/t4 levels in humans, which can cause rapid heart rate.
      Without a low-dose of non-generic Synthroid, my body just shuts down. I must take this.
      Yet, this is still not enough to restore overall wellness.
      I have been diagnosed by urine analysis to be BORDERLINE low iodine, and this result coincides with the fact that my hypothyroidism is, by lab numbers, mild, even though I become ill and non-functional without thryroid medication.
      When I add 6.25 milligrams of combination iodine (Tri-iodine), everything changes for the better-sleep, weight, mood, overall health. Just iodine, which I have tried, is not enough, and neither are thyroid meds alone. I believe that I could take up to about 10mg, and still see good results without consequence.
      I do believe the doses of iodine that Brownstein suggests may be too much for some people, and here’s why. If a person takes “too much” iodine, it can actually sweep the “good T4” out of the system, along with the toxins. Perhaps this is why people who take the higher doses-12.5-50mg. of iodine that Brownstein suggests- sometimes have elevated TSH and increased hypo symtoms.
      Edgar Cayce sugggests taking iodine for hypothyroidism, and he also recommended (in my words) that taking iodine in a cycled pattern is the key to treatment, as it allows the body to increase T4 and T3 production, and to rest (on no iodine days) to absorb and retain it.
      This has absolutely worked for me, without fail or side effects.

  126. I have had hashimoto’s since 1987 and have always taken Levoxyl. I had been vegetarian since 1982, until a year and a half ago, when I started eating fish because I stopped eating grains, soy and dairy. I ate so much fish! A couple of months ago, I began to have heart palpitations unless I stopped my Levoxyl. After a month of no Levoxyl, my TSH was 100. Now I’m back on Levoxyl, but if I eat fish regularly, I have irregular, racing and pounding heartbeats again. I also had a chest rash after a scan using iodine contrast and I had red streaks up my arm after taking an iodine supplement about a year ago. This was prescribed by a dr after an iodine loading test. Do I need to just avoid fish and all iodine forever?
    Thank you

    • Have you tried unrefined salt supplementation as recommended in Dr. Guy Abraham’s Iodine Protocol? You could be very toxic in bromine, as I was, in which case the salt would be needed to eliminate the bromide driven out off tissues by the iodine. You might even need the more aggressive salt loading procedure in addition to the normal salt supplement.

      Did your loading test include a bromide test?

      The salt resolved my own bromine toxicity very nicely.

  127. I was recently told that I am hypothyroid. I am researching to figure out everything that is happening to me – if that is even possible! I had 2 CT Scans with iodine contrast over a 4 month period – each time I would get 2 golf ball size knots on each side at the front of my neck. It did not happen immediately but 1-2 days after the scans and they were painful. I have had CT Scans with iodine contrast in the past with no reaction afterwards.

  128. Chris:

    Very good post as always. Thank you.

    In those individuals with deiodinase deficiencies, like me, are characterized with very high FT4, low FT3, low TSH and high RT3. Adding a small 500 mcg dose of iodine raised my T4 even higher (above normal range) and made me feel even worse than without iodine supplementation. My theory is that the excess FT4 produced from iodine supplementation is dumped as RT3 as it cannot convert to FT3 and only further exaggerates my hypothyroid symptoms. Are theses dots connected in a logical sequence?

    The only treatment that is helped me is Cytomel.

  129. Your articles on the thyroid are excellent and informative. I find the “iodine controversy” interesting. Articles with “anti-iodine” sentiment inevitably refer to Hashimoto’s, but not everyone who is hypothyroid has Hashimoto’s or any other autoimmune condition.

    It’s also common to reference older studies or look at epidemiological studies, but rarely does someone acknowledge how much the clinical landscape has changed over the last 30-50 years.

    Rarely do I hear anyone acknowledge how much chronic halogen exposure from ubiquitous toxic chlorine and fluoride might play a role in thyroid issues and necessitate higher iodine intake to compensate for it.

    While many people believe that vegetables are “universally good for us,” Americans, especially health conscious Americans, probably eat more goitrogenic vegetables and soy than Americans from a few generations ago: broccoli, cabbage, arugula, kale, etc, not to mention lacto-fermented vegetables that don’t alter their goitrogenic tendencies. These anti-nutrients block iodine usage by the thyroid, so another interesting question is how eating a “super healthy” or vegan/vegetarian diet with high amount of goitrogenic anti-nutrients might necessitate more compensatory iodine intake.

    Finally, I never hear practitioner’s discuss the real issue of global nuclear meltdown events like Fukushima on the thyroid health of their patients. UC Berkeley reports on radioactive elements found in rainwater, dairy milk, vegetables, etc found massive increases in the level of these toxic elements in our water and food supply post-Fukushima. This means that west coast populations like San Francisco and Berkeley were exposed to very high levels of nuclear fallout. How do these kind of events change our need for healthy forms of iodine? The reactors are still putting out significant amounts of radiation to this day – largely ignored by our politicians and global media.

    So, with all of the above taken into consideration, what constitutes healthy and adequate iodine intake??

    If a typical American consumes between 2-6mg of fluoride a day – a toxic halogen that will bind to iodine receptors – can 150mcg of iodine be adequate to compensate for that? What is a therapeutic iodine dose for someone who is hypothyroid or borderline hypothyroid, but is not suffering from an autoimmune thyroid condition?

    Given the substantially different clinical landscape that exists today, I think it is a bit knee-jerk to be paranoid about iodine consumption, given our modern chronic exposure to other toxic halogens, as well as radioactive iodine. Surely some people do poorly with even small amounts of iodine, but let’s not throw the baby out with the bathwater. It may be that some people do need substantially more iodine while others (Hashimoto’s patients, etc) do not.

    Sean Carson, L.Ac.

    • GLOBAL /CONCERN for CHILDREN…: If Fluoride is a toxic halogen that binds to iodine receptors, and chlorine may play a role in thyroid issues, it sounds like nearly everyone in industrialized countries is at risk for Hypothyroidism from the water supply alone. Can children have Hypothyroidism? If so, are the possible symptoms different than you might see in adults? We have been considering a reverse osmosis system for drinking water. Now I’m convinced it is a must. If anyone knows how young someone can be to have hypothyroidism, please comment! Thanks.

  130. I have hypothyroidism and started supplementing with 500 mcg iodine (had also been eating Brazil nuts). Started having strange things happening with my heart (skipped beats, pounding, racing). Decreased to 300 mcg, still had heart symptoms. Stopped supplementing and two weeks later had elevated tsh, but normal t4 and t3. Heart symptoms went away at that time. Now, if I have more than 2 pinches of sea salt a day my heart symptoms come back. Any idea of what might be happening?

    • Hi shelly, Did you figure out what was happenning, I had the same thing happenning to me, but it was because of 150mcg iodine in a prenatal supplement, I previously could use iodized salt, but after the supplement I had increased heart rate and other symptoms, I stopped supplement and iodized salt and the problem fixed, after a few weeks if I try using iodized salt the same symptoms are coming back.

      Can you please tell me if you have figured out something, as I want to travel overseas and they don’t have anything but iodised salt there.

      • I am not sure, I consulted many doctors, my TSH levels are normal, but I don’t feel normal anymore. I am suffering from horrible insomnia even after I have stopped the iodised salt. I was never like this before. Sometimes I still get heart racing, but don’t know why. This could be biggest mistake of my life taking an iodine supplement and it was in a prenatal supplement, it was no mistake of mine, I feel horrible now.

        Keep me updated of how you’re going.

        • Hello.

          What happend to me was: My doctor gave me thyroxine because of elevated TSH, but I soon stopped the medication, after 3 weeks perhaps. I Didnt feel well, quite bad actually. After That I have Been having increased heart rate and heart palps at times, increased hair loss and other symptoms, so I found out it was due to iodine in the foods: egg yolks, yoghurt, fish and seafood, sushi, etc. I stopped eating everything That contains iodine. I felt much much better! I also dont use salt on My food, the response to salt isnt as bad as before but there are still some increased heart rate. I tried 50 mcg iodine with selenium two days ago, it did not go well! It was only 50 mcg and I got the heart palps back plus some increased heart rate but it will go away in some days. During these days I have also Been having insomnia, and not so cheerful as usual, more anxious and cranky :/ 🙂 but not too bad.

          My thyroid hormones are all within range but they show a puituitary pattern, low tsh and low t4 and t3, chronic stress. Both T4 and t3 was higher before and I Didnt have these symptoms. I am following K. Datiz Protocol now… I think it helps 🙂

          Is your hormones at the same level as before ? Because I think i have always Been sensitive to iodine, but now since ny hormones are low(but within range) they are more sensitive to iodine. I think I am on the border so it’s easy to give me hypothyroid symptoms.

          Kind regards

          Irene

          • So are you hypothyroid or hyperthyroid now, because increased heart rate and all those are symptoms of hyperthyroidism, so if you stop salt and everything do you become hypo. What sort of treatment are you going to take now?

            So does it mean you can’ t take iodine or iodine rich products all your life now?

            • I had elevated TSH before, in Feb. Because I took iodine 400mcg everyday. I believe. I was only drowsy, and cold, did not have any other symptoms. Both t3 and t4 were in upper ranges.
              I dont believe I was hyperthyroid because I Didnt Get warm, or Anything like That. I was dizzy, I Get dizzy everytime .. probably lower blood pressure. I have already low blood pressure, but I dont usually have any dizziness. With lower blood pressure, your heart rate increases. Iam on no treatment, only better lifestyle. Trying to fix whatever with supplements etc.

              Kind regards

              Irene

    • Maybe your calcium and/or magnesium are to low now. It’s described in the book The iodine crisis. Take e Calcium-magnesium supplement with the iodine and hopefully it will go better

    • It may be the Brazil nuts. All you need is two. Are you sure you don’t mean mg for iodine? You would be taking too much if mg. I wonder if you could be detoxing Bromine. You might want to take Methamazole from physician while working on your nutrient program. What did your doctor say?

  131. Hey Chris

    Great articles! Good work.. I was wondering if you (or anyone else for that matter) could guide me as to what I should do.. The thing is I had my thyroid tests done 3 times over the past year.. All 3 times, my T3 and T4 results were within range, however, the TSH fluctuated quite a bit. The first time, my TSH came at 9 (tht was really high!).. I didn’t go to a doc but someone recommended I have fish oil so I had that continuously. After 3 or 4 months, my TSH dropped to normal range and was at 4.0. I stopped having fish oil after that and in the recent test that I got done (4 months later), my TSH came in at 4.628. I’m 27 years old and as per the reports, the normal band for TSH at my age is 0.4-4.2

    Can you or anyone please guide as to what I should do? I don’t want to go to the docs cause my friends were saying they’ll prolly give me a medicine for life :/ Also, is and can one’s TSH level fluctuate this much within a year? And did the fish oil actually benefit or was it mere coincidence?

  132. Chris,

    I am struggling with the issue of balancing all the positive nutritional benefits of cruciferous vegetables vs the negative effects of the goitrogens for someone with hypothyroidism. I have read everything I can find on the reduction in goitrogens from cooking, but they all focus on steaming or boiling. Can you comment on whether roasting at high temp (425 for 45 mins) has any effect? How about satueeing? Also are there some choices that are better than others? Broccoli or cauliflower? Spinach or kale? Brussel sprouts or cabbage?

    Thank you so much for the wonderful contributions you are making to help shed light on the truth about real nutrition and health. You have made a tremendous impact on our family and so many others.

    Greg

  133. Hello
    I wanted to know what is the recommended iodine dose for hypothyroidism
    And what is maximum dose
    I also want to know what are hashimoto treatments how is gland inflammation treated
    And immune sys regulated
    I have elevated tsh and I’m still doing the antibodies test

    • hi dalia :

      are you from Egypt? if so i have collected some good information about thyroid contradictions,
      hope it will help you,
      Thanks

    • Hello Ros
      Are u only taking the Oroxin ? I had a complete Thyroidecotomy back in 2010 and I am taking Levothyroxin , was wondering if the SHFT ever hits ( Governement shut down ) and cant get my meds what else I could take to supplement it without dieing ?
      Thanks 🙂

  134. I am interested in hearing from people who are diagnosed Hypothyroid (I currently test negative for antibodies)and who are successfully using Iodoral or other iodine/iodine supplements as a replacement for or in supplement to their Rx thyroid meds.
    Since Rx thyroid meds do not work consistently for me, I wish to eliminate or reduce the dosage and supplement with Iodine/iodide which I am certain i am deficient in and will found out for sure this week with results from and iodine load test. I am not sure this will work for me, but i am willing to try.

    (Unmedicated, my TSH is not that high-2.5-4.3-and sometimes it is even this without synthroid),but I am highly symptomatic for Hypothyroidism, no eyebrows, constipation, tired, 30 lb weight gain, which is helped sometimes on meds. I am a mess without them. I am menopausal on biodentical hormones, eat zero sugar, and take many supplements and as I siad above my thyroid antibodies have been negative, tested twice, so i am just assuming that I do not have Hashimotos immune disease)

    Anyone who has weaned off meds and who takes supplements insteads, please share amounts taken, any tips, etc. I am not looking for medical advice just some real life results to use as a guide in deciding what next step to take for myself. Thank you.

    • Go to http://www.iodine4health.com and read the research there. I got to the point where I couldn’t swallow without choking due to my thyroid being inflamed and went on iodine supplementation. It has helped, but I have been unable as of yet to wean myself off of the medication. I take armour thyroid which is better (according to my doctor) than synthroid along with 50 mg of iodoral a day. I am considering upping my intake to 75 mg to see if I can make faster progress. Who did your iodine load test? Is it something a medical lab will do?

  135. I am confused by certaining terminology regarding “iodine” as I research this topic and here’s why:

    It seems that the word “iodine” is loosely used to refer to both iodine and iodide as well as the combination of the 2 like that which is found in Iodoral.

    Since the articles/research Optimox site, etc. has indicated that the thryoid needs “iodide” and that the breast (FBD) needs “iodine”? how does one take a combination product that uses each of its 2 component to address 2 different health issues? The con cern is that the Iodide is needed for thryroid, but that the Iodine (the amount needed) is controversial, still.)

    I have negative thryroid antibodies (tested twice), have FBD, am hypothryroid( with sometimes hyper symptoms while on Rx meds).

    Not looking for medical advice but a way to understand the terminology when distinguishing between iodine, iodide, elemental iodine. (Is elemental iodine the combination of iodine and iodide?)

    • Read Iodine by David Brownstein, The Iodine Crisis, and Stop the Thyroid Madness. That should give a more complete understanding of Iodine, Thyroid, and Adrenals.

  136. In Nov 2010, after I finally reached menopause (yay!), my routine well-woman Lab Corp lab tests showed I was on the high end of their normal range (5.5) and my panicky doctor immediately wrote an Rx for Synthroid, which I declined. I was certain they made a mistake. My hair was not falling out, my nails are hard as nails, my eyebrows are full, I have plenty of energy, and I’m not constipated, among other things. A month later, my independent Quest Diagnostics test results showed I was in their normal range so I made the right call to decline the Rx. Then I read a Brownstein article that claimed that daily supplementation with 12.5 mg iodine, based on Japanese health statistics, would be good for nearly everyone. (This article made only passing mention of selenium. But why be so specific about iodine amounts yet leave the reader to guess how much of anything else to use alongside?) So for 18 months, I conservatively took 6.25 mg iodine daily, expecting my 2012 well-woman lab tests to put me well within the new normal range. NOT! My initial results of TSH 5.5 in 2010 shot up to TSH 16.5 in 2012 after 1.5 years of taking that daily half dose of Iodoral. Thank goodness I didn’t take the full 12.5 mg all that time. So I immediately stopped the 6.25 iodine daily supplement; 30 days later, my TSH was back down to 5.13…but the full thyroid panel shows I have excessive thyroid antibodies. So here I am, out of the frying pan and into the FIRE. Thanks, Brownstein (NOT). Nevertheless, my hair is full, my nails are gorgeous, I have plenty of energy – e.g., I still have no hypothyroid symptoms. The only way I can figure out how to get out of this lab test mess is to take 200-400 mcg of selenium supplements daily as an “antidote” for the next 6 months, hope for the best and re-test.

    • Deb,
      Did you have an iodine load test done (before beginning supplementaion) to see if you were actually deficient in iodine? I am curious, as I just had one myself.

      I understand your frustration:)!
      Menopause (I am there, too) can raise your TSH levels, and make them fluctuate, so I have read.

      Perhaps the Iodoral did help you, and it would be great to know if your were actually deficient which can be done with iodine load test about ($130).

      Dr. Flechas, a colleague of Dr. Brownstein, has written that with Iodoral supplementation, the TSH level sometime increases, but the person is asymptomatic/feels great and so he believes that on a cellular level the Iodoral supplemetn is helping the body systemically. Who knows for sure?

      I have had a TSH level of 2.6 and have felt AWEFUL with all the Hypo symptoms that fortunately you did not have at TSH 5.5. Going on synthroid helped me greatly, at times, but there is no exact science to this, and this is so very, very frustrating.

      Also, there seems to be BIG holes in the “research” both for and against iodine/iodide/iodoral supplementation. Also, if the Rx medications for thyroid “disease” worked consistently, and medical professionals had true and absolute answers to the cause and cure for thyroid and other related issues, then we “suffering” patients would not be left to basically figure this out on our own.

      Good luck to all of us.

      • Hello Lisa,

        Until recently I was unaware that an iodine load test was possible, so no, I have not had one done yet. That is the point at which I probably should have started, rather than plunging right in with mega-doses of Iodoral based on reading an article. It’s possible I was not iodine deficient to begin with. My new doctor is not quite as panicky as my previous one, he recommends that I re-test in 6 months, and he understands my reluctance to take Rx without having any symptoms as it could possibly cause those very symptoms if it’s unneeded. In the meantime, I’ve come across articles that suggest that either selenium alone or selenium taken with the iodine supplement may place TSH readings in a normal range. But careful, they say selenium can be toxic over 400 mcg / day. I do have mild allergies, plus the newly diagnosed thyroid antibodies, so there may be some kind of autoimmune process going on. I just came across a book in the library about how breathing correctly could help alleviate allergies, asthma, emphysema, and, get this, thyroid problems (among many other ailments), see http://www.buteyko.com/. It has to do with the oxygen/carbon dioxide balance and the immune system. I’ll pursue that angle a bit not just on my own behalf but for loved ones with allergies and lung problems, hope it’s not a false lead. Maybe it takes a combination of a few approaches to tackle a health problem, we’re all different.

    • Terri,
      I take lots of Vit D3, drops or capsules, and my lab levels are still only 43 which is too low.
      I have recently read that D3, which is fat soluble only, must be taken with an oil to be absorbed, so now i will take it with food/oils to see if this helps with absorption.I am hypothryroid and I took about 5000 IU but will up it to 20,000 IU for awhile then back down to 10,000 IU. As long as it’s D3,( not D2 -the artificial form and not safe in high doses).

  137. What is the best way to detox to get rid of the toxins that are previously stated way above, causing
    hypo thyroid problems, or that add to the problem?

  138. Truly impressed! All the things is quite open and very clear explanation of issues. It contains certainly information. Your website is very helpful. Thanks for sharing. Searching ahead to far more!

  139. tinks2cents: Symptoms of overdosing and underdosing with thyroid hormone can be very similar and hard to tell apart. There’s a good chance what happened to you was what happened to me and many others after taking milligram level doses of iodine: a reduced need for thyroid hormone medication. Did you try reducing your thyroid hormone dose? That might have made you feel better.
    My dose has deceased 40% since starting Iodoral. My endocrinologist is so impressed with this progress that he and his medical partner have both started Iodoral themselves, and they are using it with patients. So far, he believes many patients are having the same great results as me. He’s advising them to try reducing their thyroid hormone dose on their own a little if they begin to feel poorly after a few weeks. The results have been good so far. A year from now, after he’s done this with more patients, the patterns will be clear.
    I don’t see how these results are consistent with the theory that taking iodine is pouring fuel on the fire of autoimmune thyroid disease, at least not for me and apparently for most people who experiment with Iodoral.
    By the way, I also don’t see how the insignificant amount of iodine in a multivitamin could make you sick. I don’t doubt you had the experiences you describe, but I wouldn’t be so quick to blame iodine.

    • Bill,

      Want ot experiment with reducing synthroid and supplementing with Iodine/Iodide.
      Am very intereste in your experience and how this has worked for you over time.

      Would you be willing to dialogue with me about this? I have done much research, and have tried many many things for my thryroid health, but am new to the iodine aspect of this.
      Thanks!
      Lisa

      • Hi Lisa,

        Sure, be glad to share experiences. By supplementing with iodine (initially cooked kelp, then Iodoral @ 50mg/day) I was able to reduce my thyroid medications for Hashimoto’s by almost half. I did the entire Abraham iodine protocol including all the “companion supplements.”

        An initial iodine loading test by Dr. Flechas’s lab showed my extraordinarily toxic in bromine and, as expected, deficient in iodine. Dr. Flechas recommended 1 teaspoon of Celtic salt a day (as per the Abraham iodine protocol) to help drive the bromine out in urine. A followup loading test showed substantial improvement in the bromine toxicity as well as iodine saturation. My need for thyroid meds gradually decreased over this time period, lasting perhaps a year.

        At some point my need for thyroid meds increased slowly again, as shown by standard lab work as well as how I felt. The reason seemed mysterious until I had another loading test. This one showed even higher bromine toxicity than the initial one. I then realized I had become complacent and gradually slacked off on the Celtic salt while continuing the 50 mg Iodoral and the rest of the protocol.

        My bad. I resumed the daily salt supplement and the increasing need for thyroid meds halted. My doses leveled off. It remains to be seen if my requirement for supplemental thyroid hormone starts to go back down. I believe it will, up to a point at least. My Hashimoto’s is very sever (I take as much T4 as many thyroidless people), so the chance of a complete recovery seems remote. As you know, people at earlier stages frequently do stop requiring any meds via the iodine protocol. I’ll take what I can get!

        I plan to try LDN in the near future to see how far that can take me as well.

        Good luck. Based on my experiences, I suggest trying to find a friendly, knowledgeable doc to help you with all this and to monitor yourself via loading tests if you can. And don’t forget the salt!

        Let me know if I can help further.

        Bill

        • Bill,
          Thanks for taking the time to write.

          I am curious how you were diagnosed as having Hashimotos. Was it through antibody testing? My endo says I have Hashimotos, but my thyroid antibody tests have come out negative twice, so I am not sure that my problem is autoimmune and why it would be called Hashimotos if it is not.
          My TSH is not high, but it has just increased after several daysof eating loads of dried seaweed. Interesting….

          I just found some relevant and interesting material that helps to balance some of the controversy regarding the camps that are proponents for iodine therapy and those that are not. It also helps with dosages.
          Take care,
          Lisa

          • Hi Lisa,

            Yes, I was diagnosed on the basis of both an extremely high TSH (>30) and high antibodies. Not sure about your case, but I suspect that Hashimoto’s is often simply assumed with primary hypothyroidism if there is no other obvious cause. Mainstream docs treat it the same way regardless, so in their minds perhaps it doesn’t matter very much.

            As you may know, TSH often rises with iodine supplementation (via seaweed in your case perhaps). It seems to be generally benign, though it may scare the bejesus out of your doctor. The experienced iodine docs believe this is a healthy physiological adaptation to the amelioration of iodine deficiency, since TSH up regulates the thyroid’s ability to absorb iodine now that it is more available. Usually it is not associated with actual hypothyroidism, as shown by free T4 levels or symptoms. I did not experience this TSH rise, but many do. It can take months to resolve. It would not have bothered me if it had happened as long as I did not feel like I was truly going hypothyroid.

            You are probably aware that seaweed can be very high in heavy metal toxins. Something to think about and one reason I switched to Iodoral.

            Bill

        • You might want to check out Stop the Thyroid Madness. It talks about people using natural dessicated Thyroid hormone to great effect where T4 only synthetic hormones didn’t do much of anything for them.

          The website with the same name has quite a bit of the information. Its a great read. I think it might be an improvement if you switched to a dessicated Thyroid instead of T4 only.

          Dessicated Thyroid has T1, T2, T3, T4, and Calcitonin all of the things the Thyroid naturally produces rather than just one of them.

  140. I’ve been having a hard time getting my thyroid regulated after the armour reformulation. I went to a doctor that recommended I take the Iodoral. I told her I have Hashimotos, but she assured me that all the information I had read about how bad this is for Hashimotos was old information, that they have proven Iodine will help your thyroid problems. She also told my she was hypothyroid until taking Iodoral, and she doesn’t have to take any thyroid medication now. So I decided to give it a try, at that point I was desperate for anything. WOW! Wish I could go back in time and listen to my gut instinct instead of her. It make my Hashimotos flare up, I had SEVERE pain in my legs, feet, arms, hands. I had been taking it for a few weeks when all this happened. It also seemed to make me feel hyperthyroid, yet at the same time I had a lot of my hypo symtoms come back. I immediately stopped taking it and after time started feeling better. I swore I would never take that stuff again. So about a month ago I ran out of vitamins and grabbed some centrum vitamins. I didn’t think to look to see if they contained iodine in them. While I was taking them I noticed my hypo symtoms were really coming back with a vengence….and the Iodine in the vitamins is a lot lower then the amount of Iodoral I was taking. I grabbed the bottle the other day because I was wondering how much selenium was they contained, and noticed the iodine in them. I can’t believe I made that mistake again, but I have stopped those vitamins, found some w/out iodine and will be anxiously awaiting the day it is all out of my system. If you are planning on taking Iodine and you have Hashis, you really are taking a gamble.

  141. Interesting topic.  I myself was diagnosed in 2007 with “thyroiditis”…no one would call it Hashimoto’s.  I also went under-treated.  However I did try a holistic doctor at the time who told me to take iodine. (I used Iodoral).  I felt AMAZING after taking it for just a few days…felt no need for the tiny Armour dose I had been trying to take.  However it turned bad when I started to have a terrible metal taste, cycstic acne, horrid mood swings and exhaustion.  The doctor told me she had never heard of anyone having that reaction.  I emailed Dr. Guy Abraham having read some of his iodine info on the internet…he told me it was iodism and to cut my dose.  I had to to stop all together for the symptoms to go away.  I tried again another time and the same thing happened.  Now I notice they have info on bromide toxicity..and that taking iodine can cause you to detox from this.  I believe ( as Stephanie wrote about earlier) this was my case.
    I am now trying to recover from a severe flare up of Hashi’s after having a baby.  I am not seeing a Dr. K doctor, but instead a functional medicine doctor.  She is treating my immune system (I go weekly for IV infusions), healing my gut and also balancing my hormones.  So far it’s working for me and I have seen drastic improvement.  It’s a huge lifestyle change and costly due to all the supplements & visits, but well worth it.
    I am still curious though about my previous experience with iodine & how great I felt for a little while anyway.  Could be worth looking into to test for bromide…maybe this is a link to my autoimmune problems.  I don’t know.
    My doctor of good friends with Dr. Browstein’s associates (I’m in Michigan).  I suppose I will have to ask her take on iodine as well!
     

  142. Interesting articles and discussion, it is great to hear so many perspectives. I am a nutritionist and was last year diagnosed with Hashimotos. I have been strict paleo and gluten free for a few months now. Paleo fixed my other niggling auto-immune issues (joint inflammation) and menstrual issues – pms and severe menstrual pain, and constipation – so it is highly likely I had an issue with gluten – undiagnosed but responsive to removing it.
    I tried iodine – but my thryroid started to swell and TSH increased very quickly, and I started to gain weight, even with paleo eating. So I stopped it and my swelling has reduced, and weight dropped back down.
    I actually have very few symptoms and am not on medication, I’m hoping to manage it by using paleo diet plus supplements like Vit D, C, selenium, zinc, and omega 3.
     

  143. One thing i do know about Dr. K is he won’t treat someone who doesn’t have the support of the spouse and family. He has just seen too many failures otherwise.

  144. I’ve treated a few patients (including my wife) with Dr. K’s protocols and they work very well. Certainly much better than the care they had received before.

    I’m sorry you didn’t have a great experience with the practitioner in San Diego. I wouldn’t, however, write off the idea of a treatment plan altogether.  The reason these plans are offered is that making a commitment to care and sticking with that commitment is an important variable in determining whether that treatment succeeds or fails. This is even more true with a condition as complex as hypothyroidism.  It takes between 4-6 months on average to address all of the mechanisms and bring a Hashimoto’s patient into a more stable and higher functioning state.

    Many practitioners have found that when patients commit to their course of treatment up front, they are more likely to receive the care they need, and thus more likely to get well.

    The reason he/she asked for your spouse to be present is probably exactly why you suspected: treatment plans for Hashimoto’s generally won’t be cheap.  Depending on the type of practitioner, they may include acupuncture, herbs, supplements and lab tests over a 4-6 month period.  Many people who are married have agreements to make larger financial decisions together.  Thus the doc wanted your spouse to be present to save another step in the process.

    What concerns me is that the doc wouldn’t tell you about the treatment.  That’s strange, and I can’t think of any reason why he/she would not explain their protocols.  It doesn’t make sense.

    I believe Dr. K is accepting new patients, but he’s selective about it.  At this point he specializes in difficult-to-treat cases and has patients flying to see him from around the world. These are usually people with mysterious, rare or intractable conditions that haven’t been able to find help elsewhere.  He only sees 8 new patients in a month, because he spends so much time on their cases and because he also needs time to research, write and teach.

    Dr. K is  master diagnostician, and he’s approaching autoimmune disease in particular with a rare level of specificity and sophistication.  I have referred people who’ve contacted me with the kind of conditions I described above for this reason.  But because of his focus, he’s not the right practitioner for everyone.

  145. There are a group of us at the “Hashimoto’s 411” group on facebook that are currently using Dr. Kharazian’s protocol usng drs. who have trained with him and we’re having great success. Feel free to join us there….we’re all tracking our progress there and are happy to answer any questions you may have.

  146. The unfortunate thing about Dr. Kharrazian’s work is he has no control over how practitioners choose to practice. I’m sorry about your experience, i would have run too. That approach in no way represents Dr. Kharrazian or his work, it’s just that one individual’s approach. I sure am glad it was free at least! I have talked to Dr. K’s patients and know he doesn’t work that way.
    Yes Dr. K is real and he practices and teaches. He has a clinic phone number on his site.
    I would say try a different practitioner, or email your concerns to the thyroidbook.com site.

  147. As a person with diagnosed with and treated for hypothyroidism for 4+ years, I’m always interested in increasing my understanding of the origin and the best options for treatment of the condition.  It’s been a slow and uncertain road, especially within my HMO options: as a result I’ve had to consult with a number of doctors both within and outside my HMO in an effort to find my best treatment options.
    In addition to diet and lifestyle modifications, I have been on Synthroid or Levoxyl only, Levoxyl with compounded natural thyroid extract, Levoxyl with Cytomel, and the new formulation of Armour and now Naturethroid only (some variation of T4/T3 therapy seems to give me the best results when the dose is right).
    Earlier this year I became aware of Dr. Kharrazian and his book, which I’m partway through reading.  It’s quite different from the many other books I have read on hypothyroidism and its treatment.
    I was interested to note that Dr. Kharrazian is located in my area, in fact, there is an address listed in my town, however there is no practice at that address.  I can find little evidence that he actually sees patients currently. Does anyone else know anything about him and his practice? Most of the info I have found about Dr. Kharrazian relates to the training seminars he conducts all over the country for other practitioners.  Many of the testimonials of his “students” (typically chiropractors and alternative health practitioners) refer to how his seminars have assisted in growing their practice and increasing revenue.

    Despite the inability to find out enough information about Dr. Kharrazian and his practice,  I was curious, and I made an appt with a “graduate” of Dr. Kharrazian’s seminars,  a San Diego chiropractric doctor who claims to be an expert at treating hypothyroidism and diabetes with Dr. Kharrazian’s methods (I also am glucose intolerant/prediabetic, so this had some appeal).

    I can’t comment on the treatment protocol, though, because I ran for the hills after the first appt (which was free, pending “acceptance” as a patient).

    I have no idea if  Dr. Kharrazian suggests the “patient recruiting” methods this arrogant “graduate of his seminar” uses, but my “radar” was on high alert when he wouldn’t tell me anything about the treatment he would propose for me; would only schedule the next appt (after some blood test results were in) to outline the recommended treatment protocol IF my husband also attended; and insisted it wasn’t up to me if I would be his patient, it was up to him to accept me as a patient IF I met his qualifications.

    Frankly, it felt like eerily one of those hard-sell home improvement and time-share salespeople who insist on both spouses being present at the pitch for the “one time only” sales “opportunity”. I can understand encouraging the support and participation of spouses (support and understanding is always a good thing), but I question the “requirement” that the spouse also attend the appt.  My past experience with this sort of requirement is that there is a large cost involved and the salesperson wants to head off objections to the sale.   It simply didn’t feel right for medical treatment.

    Has anyone else experienced this approach with thyroid treatment?  Frankly, it was far more arrogant and off-putting than the HMO docs who provided such abysmal care early in my hypothyroidism treatment.

  148. This has all been very interesting reading, though a bit confusing.  I have Hasimoto’s (10 yrs). Started taking Nascent Iodine about 6 weeks ago.  Did not do iodine deficiency testing as the cost made it unafordable.  Have purchased Dr Brownstien books.  Hope it works for me. I also have started using Transdermay Magnesium. For some time now I have been using barley greeens, and vit B, D, C and omega’s.  Since taking the Nascent Iodine and Magnesuim I have improved.  My muscle aches and pains and anxiety etc are so much better.  My endochronologist knows I am doing this but he is not sure wether it will be of benifit.  My antibody level was very low (under 100)  for about 6 years, until I broke my foot in Dec 09.  They skyrocketed up by over 1,000 in the Jan 2010 when symptoms escalated.  My next appointment and antidbody test is  27 June 2010, so I am interested to see the results. After reading the above article am feeling worried that I am agrivating my antibodies.  It is difficult to decide what to do.  Thanks to all. Roswitha

  149. “Bill, had you done a salt loading Iodine test to see if you had a deficiency?’

    No, I didn’t do any iodine lab testing before beginning my supplementation (though I’m not sure exactly what you mean by a “salt loading Iodine test”). Since I began with simply increasing my sea vegetable consumption and now take no more iodine via Iodoral than Japanese people have been eating for eons, I didn’t see much risk, and neither did any of my doctors. Plus, Drs. Abraham, Brownstein,and Flechas pretty well convinced me that, as with Vitamin D, iodine deficiency is almost universal, at least where I live, and quite possibly just as dangerous.

    Since I’ve had such excellent results, my docs agree with me that there’s no compelling reason to do any iodine lab testing now. It seems pretty clear I needed the iodine and that I’m taking enough to begin repleting my stores of it. At some point, perhaps when my T4 dose finally levels out, I plan to do a 24-hour urinary iodine loading test to get a sense of whether I’ve achieved whole-body sufficiency. Based on that, I may change my Iodoral dose up or down.

  150. Bill, had you done a salt loading Iodine test to see if you had a deficiency?

     I wonder how many of these people who’ve experienced good results with Iodine confirmed an iodine deficiency. I’ve always asked this question….what if a hashimoto’s patient has an iodine deficiency?? Then wouldn’t they obviously need iodine supplements just as they would need vit D supps if they were vit. D deficient!?

  151. Here’s one data point: me. I’ve been severely hypothyroid for years, and diagnosed with Hashimoto’s based on antibody tests. When I supplemented with iodine (initially via daily iodine-rich sea vegetable consumption and later via 12.5 mg Ioderal daily), my requirement for thyroid hormone supplementation decreased dramatically: so far, from 165 ug T4 per day to 100 ug T4 per day and still, apparently, dropping. These dose reductions were made by my endocrinologist based on both routine TSH and Free T4 lab tests and my subjective feelings of wellness. There’s no doubt I need far less T4 medication than I did before beginning iodine.
    None of my doctors has ever seen anyone reduce their required T4 dose like this, and all agree this has to be considered a sign of improvement my illness. My endocrinologist, who did not encourage me to try iodine but reassured me it could not cause harm at these doses, is so impressed that he is considering trying iodine supplementation with other patients.
    As far as I can tell, my experience is quite consistent with what the docs most experienced with iodine supplementation (Abraham, Brownstein, and Flechas) have observed for a number of years now. They indicate that about a third of their hypothyroid patients can reduce their T4 dose, often by about half, with adequate iodine supplementation. The rest, apparently, cannot do so for some reason but stabilize and do not experience the typical need for ever-increasing doses, as I did before starting iodine. I don’t recall these docs citing any cases where autoimmune hypothyroidism got worse with iodine. And they’ve been giving iodine for years, sometimes at doses an order of magnitude greater than mine.

  152. Mario i have heard Dr. Kharrazian mention LDN as being effective. As a functional medicine practitioner, however, he largely does not go the pharmaceutical route if he doesn’t have to.
    Labrat, the teens is indeed a difficult time to introduce a gluten-free diet. However i have heard many moms say their children are less picky once they get through the transition. Picky eating is actually a symptom of food intolerances in children. I saw my own daughter’s palate really widen after we kicked dairy and gluten. It’s not easy, but many people see profound improvements as a result, so it’s worth the effort. I highly recommend you read up on pubmed or elsewhere on the connections between Hashimoto’s and gluten intolerance. Blood screens for gliadin have a very high false negative rate.

  153. Bromide exposition does not come only from bread. Far from that. Is all around any modern city, but, due it’s flammability laws, it is specially high in USA. Californian citizens have the highest exposures in the world. Bromide is in the dust, carpets, textiles, foams, electronics and plastics:
     
    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/06/100621072114.htm
     
    And, for those of us in a high fat paleo diet, in USA, fat from red meat and pultry is a possible source too:
     
    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/07/090714213957.htm
     
    For those on a low sodium diet, elimination of bromine, at least in rats, is dependent of sodium intake:
     
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15717853
     
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15695847
     
    Again, at least in rats, bromide can affect iodine absorption in thyroid and mammals glands:
     
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15119938
     
    It can also decrease body temperature and body weight:
     
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/4060147
     

    Greenpeace, Chemical Footprints in Blood:
     
    http://www.greenpeace.org/raw/content/international/press/reports/chemical-footprints-in-human-b.pdf
     
    The question is: does a good and balanced immune system is enough to get ride of all this bromide?

    A diet low in iodine, that showed to normalize TSH in that China study, will work in USA or other country with high bromide contamination?
     
    Dr. Datis Kharrazian doesn’t mention bromide, fluoride nor bisphenol-a on his book. At same time, Drs. Brownstein and Abraham never mention how one can improve the immune system. And neither of them mentions LDN, which is one of the best things (after a paleo diet) you can use to improve your immune system.
     
    So, no one have all the answers nor is 100% correct all the time.
     
     
     

    • That’s just what I was thinking. Perhaps all these great minds should hook up and listen to each other a little more. Put everything on the table? But even then, there’s bound to be some other variable that’s hiding in the shadows…

      • Just wanted to say I so agree too Mario. Wish I could hold a party and invite them all along to meet. You’d be invited too Chris, might need to mediate!

        I have read Dr B’s and Dr K’s books and also Dr Derry’s Iodine and breast cancer book and they are all very compelling. I swam a lot in chlorinated pools as a child so assume it must have effected me to some degree. I have also tried taking Lugols but couldn’t get up to 50, probably 20 without the area around my thyroid becoming swollen and tender and feeling like I had a huge lump in my throat. I still use Lugols topically for fibrocystic breast which works wonders (note: use a barrier oil first to stop skin irritation) but don’t know how much or how often……basically I’m dithering until the research catches up and we have more answers.

  154. Chris and Elaine

    Thank you for your input. From my perspective – stress makes sense to me as I have always felt her symptoms were more related to psycho-social issues. She is also an asynchratic gifted child. Very high intellect with suppressed emotional and social developement. She is quite eccentric and does not have much in common with her peers. I have her in counselling for executive function issues and with a gifted and talented counsellor. We have also been through a very contentious divorce in the past 4 yrs. Can you elaborate on how to support healthy pituitary function?

    Elaine – no. I’m a lab tech – I have checked her TSH regularly over the past year and it has basically remained stable. I have actually considered gluten-free but have hesitated as it would be a very difficult thing to implement. She is a very picky eater and it’s hard to find things that she will eat as it is. I did check her for anti-gliadin ab and it was negative.

    • Unfortunately the standard lab tests for gluten intolerance are insufficient.

      The literature is so clear on the connection between gluten intolerance and autoimmune thyroid that I recommend all patients with thyroid disorders avoid gluten – regardless of test results. If you want an accurate test, get the full profile from http://www.enterolab.com. Dr. Fine is a gluten researcher that has pioneered the latest, most specific methods.

      • When you say “gluten intolerance” I assume you are referring to celiac disease? I have hashi/hypo and had an intestinal biopsy but tested negative for celiac disease. I have always felt however, that while I might not be intolerant per se, that maybe I am gluten sensitive at least. What are your thoughts on gluten intolerance vs. gluten sensitivity? Same thing for all intents and purposes? Is it possible to be gluten sensitive even if you are not clinically gluten intolerant? Thanks.

    • Labrat, Have you had your daughter evaluated for Asperger’s Syndrome? : Red flag words include asynchratic gifted child, suppressed emotional and social development, eccentric, not much in common with her peers, executive function issues. If you haven’t tested her, the starting point is a developmental/ behavioral pediatrician or you can google Asperger’s psychologist in your area. (They do “psycho educational” testing, which we found to be Invaluable when dealing with school, & understanding strengths & weaknesses in our Asperger’s son. The foremost researcher in the world for Asperger’s Syndrome is Tony Atwood. He has a website & books, so if you check out his website, you will get a better idea if you should pursue testing. Many of these kids respond well to a GFCFSF diet (Gluten, casein, & soy free). I have also read about good results with a Paleo/ Primal diet. The stool test (Enterolabs) is the most accurate way to be sure if she really may have gliadin/ gluten sensitivity. Yes, big adjustment, but worth trying gluten… free.

  155. labrat, whenever you see positive TPO antibodies you are looking at Hashimoto’s, which is primarily an immune disease more so than a thyroid disease. Does her TSH fluctuate? It can swing from low to high with Hashimoto’s.
    The most important first step your daughter can take is to completely eliminate gluten from her diet. There are strong links between gluten and Hashimoto’s in many studies. A gluten-free diet is paramount. If not, she is at risk of developing autoimmune diseases against other tissues. For instance, Type I diabetes is also correlated with gluten.
    For more information, you can learn more from the book at http://www.thyroidbook.com.

  156. I’ve read Dr. Brownsteins Iodine book and as a hashimoto’s patient I tried Iodoral in the hopes it could help….this was before I read Dr. K’s book. When I first tried Iodoral at 12.5mgs I had side effects of metallic tast in my mouth and salty feeling eyes (hard to explain) When I raised to a higher dose of 50mgs this went away. I only tried this for a couple of weeks and never felt any better but no worse either….then I stopped when i started reading Dr. K’s book. I’m curious  since as you mention most hashi’s are TH1 Dominant if this could have anything to do with how some hashi’s react to iodine supplementation. I’m TH2 dominant and as I said I had no negative reaction. don’t know if there’s any correlation at all but thought i’d put it out there. Also wondering about any connection between  Gluten free diet being so important and without consuming bromide containing breads and products perhaps this helps prevent iodine from being displaced in the body? Not sure if GF products contain bromides…i’ll have to check some labels….

    • In some of the studies indicating increased autoimmune activity with iodine, the authors claim that it is more prevalent in people with a “genetic predisposition”. They’re not referring to Th1/Th2 dominance, and I can’t think of a mechanism where that would influence iodine’s effect on TPO, but I can’t rule it out either.

  157. Chris, thanks for starting this great discussion. I tried iodine last year and made it to three Idoral drops per day, but I just couldn’t take the swelling. I kept telling myself that if I continued with the regimen, the swelling would subside. At one time, I belonged to the iodine FB group and did read success stories from other thyroid patients. I tried again, and again my thyroid swelled to the point that it was difficult to swallow food.
    During my third attempt to introduce Idoral’s drops into my diet, my friend told me to stop the drops and read Dr. K’s book. I did, and decided maybe Dr. K. was right about iodine. I then gave up gluten and I am now seeing a doctor who practices Dr. K’s methods. I am taking supplements to balance my TH1 dominance. I’m feeling better than I’ve felt in a very long time.
    Neither have I read Dr. Brownstein’s book, nor have I been able to work up to 50 mgs per day. Therefore, I cannot fully comment on Dr. Brownstein’s methods. I can only comment on my limited experience with iodine and with my alternative wellness program.
    I do have a concern about lack of iodine in my diet, not for my thyroid, but for the rest of my body, especially since my grandmother died of breast cancer. I have read that iodine supplementation cuts down the risk of breast cancer.
    Any thoughts on this?
    Thanks!
    🙂 Tamra
     

    • Perhaps you could try obtaining small amounts of iodine through seafood. That may not be enough to trigger an immune response, but could meet your systemic needs.

      • I took a supplement with Kelp and Alfalfa and it gave me terrible heart palps at bedtime and my face was even twitching.
        Also, after a small dose of Lithium Orotate (which increases Iodine and decreases T4/T3) I had severe anxiety and nightmares for days. Can these be hyper symptoms due to possible Hashi’s? I haven’t been diagnosed, but I have TSH .550 and normal T4/T3 with severe Hypo Symptoms. Ab neg TPO 27 ( 3 yrs ago)

  158. I just had a Genova CDSA done a month ago and had them check for H. pylori, test results were negative.  Is it smart to get a urea breath test as well to confirm?  After being on the SCD diet for over 6 months (amazing turnaround) and with the confirmation of the CDSA test my bacteria levels seem to be under control besides a very small level of Candida.  Am I missing another link in the stomach acid puzzle (nutrient deficiency, signaling pathway)?  Or after several years of SIBO I should just be patient?  Thanks!

    • Hard to say, Steve, without actually doing a full intake and exam. Sometimes H. pylori shows up on the stool test, sometimes not – and the same for the urea breath test. If I strongly suspected it, I’d do both. How do you know your stomach acid is still low? Have you had it tested, or are you going by your response to HCL?

  159. Chris much respect! Keep up the awesome work.
    Quick question in all your studies on Iodine, do you believe an iodine deficiency plays a role in inadequate stomach HCL levels?
    I don’t have any thyroid issues, however among a host of guy dysbiosis problems (SIBO, yeast) I’m correcting I have low stomach acid. I’ve been supplementing with betaine HCL for over 6 months hoping that it would correct the problem (no luck) and in some of Pro-Iodine camp literature I was reading that the parietal cells need iodine to collect chloride to make HCL.  I started supplementing with Iodine this month in hopes this might help me restore my stomach acid levels however I can’t seem to find any medical literature/studies explaining/confirming this hypothesis.  Thoughts?

    • Physiologically it’s plausible, though it isn’t discussed much in the literature. More typically hypochlorhydria is caused by bacterial overgrowth in general, and H. pylori in particular. Have you ruled out H. pylori with a urea breath test? H. pylori suppresses stomach acid production in order to create a more hospitable environment for itself.

    • Steve I had low stomach acid and have found adding One tablespoon of Apple cider vinegar (organic, with mother), in one cup or so of water, fixed me up very fast, before I could even get to the store to buy betaine HCL. I didn’t believe it would work and put it off for a while until the symptoms got so bad I couldn’t ignore them. The ACV should help with the yeast too.

    • Steve,

      Salt supplementation 1/2 teaspoon of sea salt twice a day, in water or food will help produce more stomach acid. Additionally, supplementing with large amounts of the amino-acid; “L-Glutamine” (powder preferred) is extremely helpful in healing the gut lining, stomach and intestines. Stay with a very low-carb diet with lots of cooked vegetables, bone broths, meats and organ meats too!

  160. Interesting but very confusing. If you don’t mind giving your opinion (and anyone else as well) what do you make of my daughter’s case. I am trying to make sense of it.

    16 y/o female. Likes to sleep a lot, is always cold (today was over 90 and she wore a light weight long sleeve  shirt, a long skirt and knee high boots and was comfortable – I was hot just looking at her) and is photophobic, she really hates bright light and sunshine.

    She’s been tested several times in the past year or so and her results are pretty stable.
    TSH 1.0 +/- 0.5, FT4 1.0 +/- 0.2, TG Ab negative TPO Ab 54-107.

    We’ve decided to just keep our eye on her TSH going forward – should I be worried about the low level of anti-TPO? Do you think restricting iodine would resolve it?

    • Your daughter has elevated TPO antibodies. That suggests autoimmune thyroid disease.

      Her TSH is normal from a conventional perspective (0.5 – 5.0), but low from a functional perspective (1.8 – 3.0). FT4 is also low from a functional perspective when it drops below zero. Positive TPOAbs combined with low TSH and low T4 suggests autoimmune hypothyroidism secondary to pituitary hypofunction. Chronic stress is at the root of this pattern. Stress taxes the pituitary until it can’t release enough TSH to trigger thyroid hormone production. Stress management and supporting healthy pituitary function are essential to working with this pattern.

      Keep in mind that it’s impossible to provide a diagnosis on the internet with something as complex as a thyroid condition. These are just a few ideas to consider.

    • labrat,

      Your daughters light sensitivity(photophobic) can be a sign of low aldosterone, an adrenal hormone. She may also be low cortisol as well. When the adrenals are not right, the thyroid often follows, or vice-versa.

  161. Another issue with using iodine to shut down TPO is that it doesn’t address the overall immune imbalance present in Hashimoto’s.  Studies show Hashimoto’s patients often have antibodies to other tissues in addition to the thyroid.  The best approach is to regulate the immune system so that all affected tissues are protected.

    • Thank you for all your work, Chris. I seem to have hypothyroid, because of a whole slew of symptoms that eased when I was prescribed Synthroid. I’m trying to learn what I can. Would you be so kind as to forward me your citations via email davetrindle at gmail dot com? I have also compiled a large collection of citations, and perhaps I can provide you the ones I have that are not on your list…best regards, Dave Trindle

  162. Uncle,

    That’s exactly what I advocate.  I’m happy to provide the citations.  I don’t include them all in the original articles because I don’t want to overwhelm people.

  163. Thanks for the additional citations. I am not arguing for or against a particular point, per se. I am simply asking that all crucial points be backed up by rigorous science. I’m happy to review these studies and form my own opinion, rather than just accept something.

  164. Uncle, so where are the studies to the contrary? Also, how do you account for the anecdotal evidence, of humans, of iodine making Hashimoto’s worse in people? Also, are the high doses of iodine suppressing TPO and hence the autoimmune reaction in people with Hashimoto’s? Is that how it is working? If so (because i’m not sure i totally understand the oxidation thing) then there is no argument.Also, how do you account for the study, on humans, of an iodine-restricted diet resolving Hashimoto’s symptoms in the majority of subjects? Where is the evidence that high iodine for Hashimoto’s brings cytokine and CD/CD8 levels to normal?

  165. Thanks for the reply.
     
    As you quoted from the first article, “Both low iodine and 100 times normal iodine intakes might activate the immune state on some degrees.”

    This study was conducted in rats. Since you apparently feel comfortable generalizing these findings to humans, do the results apply to those who are euthyroid or those with thyroid dysfunction (e.g., Hashimoto’s)? And if a person’s diet is iodine deficient, supplemental iodine in normal dosages is likely to be beneficial, correct? It would seem, based on these results, that adequate iodine in the diet is necessary, just not 100x normal amounts. But again, we are talking about a study in rats. We don’t know how this can be applied to humans, and whether we can use the results to make recommendations to those with Hashimoto’s based on this one animal study.

    Also, I noticed that the first article was in Chinese. Were you able to read the entire article, or just the abstract? I often find it necessary to review the methods and results in greater depth to accurately understand the strengths and weaknesses of the research. Unfortunately, I can’t read Chinese.

    The second article you cited is also a review article that does not provide any citations to randomized controlled trials in humans that support the statement you quoted.

    So, we are back where we started.

  166. Chris, you are doing an excellent job handling the comments – especially those that disagree. Polite, factual and concise. Thumbs up!

    • I think its important to realize and appreciate that there can be different perspectives and every body, every study, every variable is and can be different. Chris has done research as have others and I for one am thankful for the time and research. No need to get undiplomatic about Chris’ research, his perspective and or his blog. What if you or I are the 1 millionth (just an example!) person to BENEFIT from his findings. We only get more powerful with more knowledge. Thank you Chris for sharing your views.

  167. “Why does this happen? Because increased iodine intake, especially in supplement form, increases the autoimmune attack on the thyroid.”

    This citation links to an article titled Drugs and Thyroid Function published in 1995 in NEJM. It is a review article, not an empirical study. Within the article, I could not find any references to original sources that provide empirical support for the claim that increased (increased relative to what?) iodine (not iodide) in supplement form (e.g., not a side-effect of another medication) increases the autoimmune attack on the thyroid (how measured?).
    Since this is the crux of your argument, I’m sure your readers would prefer reference to randomized controlled trials rather than reviews that don’t cite original sources.

    • “Iodine might exert influence on the level of CD4/CD8, and thus the production of thyroid antibodies might directly or indirectly take part in the process of thyroid autoimmunity. Both low iodine and 100 times normal iodine intakes might activate the immune state on some degrees.”
      http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16620592

      “It is conceivable that Tg polymorphisms, combined with the explosive mix of iodine, TPO and H2O2 necessary for thyroid hormone synthesis, inadvertently provide the trigger for the autoimmune thyroid response.”
      http://www.liebertonline.com/doi/abs/10.1089/1050725041517057

      Also consider the study linked to indicating iodine restriction alone can induce a euthyroid state.

    • Here are a few more, some more conclusive than others:

      “In genetically predisposed individuals the iodine intake modulates autoimmune thyroid reactions. Especially with acute or chronic increase of iodine intake it leads to a significant increase in the incidence and intensity of autoimmune thyroid disease.”
      http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15255317

      “Thyroid antibodies, both thyroglobulin (TgAb) and peroxidase (TpAb) or microsomal, were not detected in serum from patients with endemic goiter, but became positive in 43% of subjects three and six months after therapy with iodized oil, and there developed transient hyperthyroidism. Similarly, the addition of iodine to the diet or the administration of iodine-containing medications increases the frequency of ATD and the severity of existing autoimmune thyroiditis. Furthermore, autoimmune thyroiditis has been induced by the administration of excess iodide to strains of chickens and rats that are genetically predetermined to develop the disease.”
      http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1345585

      “The best-established environmental factor is excess dietary iodine. Increased iodine consumption is strongly implicated as a trigger for thyroiditis, but only in genetically susceptible individuals.”
      http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19818584

      “High iodine intake, selenium deficiency, pollutants such as tobacco smoke, infectious diseases such as chronic hepatitis C, and certain drugs are implicated in the development of autoimmune thyroiditis, primarily in genetically predisposed people.”
      http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18607401

      “In our investigations, we have shown directly that T cells from humans with chronic lymphocytic thyroiditis proliferate in the presence of iodinated but not in the presence of noniodinated human thyroglobulin… if iodine is added to the drinking water, the prevalence and severity of the thyroid lesions increase markedly. The immune response is specific for thyroglobulin, both in terms of the antibody response and T-cell proliferation.”

      “A body of clinical and epidemiologic evidence points to excessive ingestion of iodine as an environmental agent. In genetically determined thyroiditis in animals, iodine enrichment has been shown to increase the incidence and severity of disease.”
      http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12849065

      “Autoimmune thyroiditis, a model of organ-specific autoimmune disease, is associated with iodine as a precipitating environmental factor. T cells from patients with chronic thyroiditis proliferate in response to normal human thyroglobulin, but fail to react with non-iodinated thyroglobulin.”
      http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9419438

      “A causative relationship between dietary iodine and thyroiditis has been clearly established in animal models of thyroiditis, including the NOD.H2(h4) mouse strain, which develops enhanced thyroiditis spontaneously after supplementation of drinking water with sodium iodide.”
      http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16232211

  168. Lithium is known to depress thyroid function. When your TSH is all over it means your autoimmune thyroid condition is acting up, perhaps in response to getting off the meds. The book at thyroidbook.com addresses this autoimmune issue and what to do.

  169. Question (if it’s not to off topic):

    What would Lithium do to a person with Hashi’s/Hypothyroidism?

    Just curious. I’ve been off all psych meds since 9/2008 but in 2007 Lithium was added to the cocktail of drugs I was on (Cymbalta, Lamictal & Vyvanse). 

    Or, what would a cocktail of drugs like that and withdrawaling from them do? I got off 3 of those drugs around 4/08 and tapered Lamictal thu 9/08. My TSH went haywire for quiet some time afterwords. Part of this (after 9/08) was due to changing thyroid meds, I’m sure. Thankfully, its closer to 1. something now.

    Mar-07
    Apr-08
    Jul-08
    Sep-08
    Jan-09
    May-09
    Sep-09
    Oct-09

    0.249
    4.599
    0.11
    21.78
    5.18
    0.066
    22.77
    7.58

  170. I just reread Stephanie’s post. Is this saying that high levels of iodine suppress TPO? If so, that is what Dr. Kharrazian says. Because TPO is attacked by the immune system for most people with Hashi’s, suppressing TPO  would suppress the autoimmune attack. Is this the approach that is favored? If so, Dr. Kharrazian personally does not support suppressing TPO as a means to manage Hashimoto’s, but rather to address immune imbalances instead.

  171. I have read Dr. Brownstein’s book on iodine and talked to Dr. Abraham on the phone several years ago. I have done iodine loading myself and used to frequent the iodine group when it first started. (Even with the cofactors and the detoxing, i could never hack higher doses of iodine so i stopped.)
    I’m familiar with the oxidation explanations, i have seen it described many times (although i confess i wish someone could use lay language to explain it more simply). I’m  just personally curious about before and after immune panels, to see whether the cytokines are at normal levels and in balance. There are a lot of negative stories concerning Hashimoto’s and iodine too — it has really harmed some people, but there seems to be little tolerance for that information. So why does it work for some and not others? I’m not saying we need clinical trials, but it would be interesting to see some before-and-after immune panels on folks.

  172. I’ve read Dr. Brownstein’s other book, I’ve read Dr. Abraham’s online information, and I’ve read the Williams Textbook of Endocrinology chapter on iodine as well as several other sources.

    I already mentioned that Dr. Brownstein has treated hypothyroid patients successfully with iodine in the article.

    I’m not a journalist, nor did I ever claim to be.  I’m presenting a point of view on this blog. If you don’t like it, you’re not required to read it or participate here.

    Please consider the possibility that others including myself have considered the relevant data and reached a different conclusion.

    • From Dr. K’s most recent article:

      This also explains why the use of iodine can produce a negative antibody panel in Hashimoto’s. Iodine has been shown to stimulate the autoimmune attack against the thyroid, which increases inflammation, a TH-1 response. In a TH-1 dominant person—statistically most people with Hashimoto’s—this further stimulates TH-1 while suppressing TH-2, again producing negative antibody results and giving many the impression the Hashimoto’s has been “cured.” Also, high doses of iodine can stimulate the production of TPO, the enzyme that is the target of autoimmune attack, to the point that it becomes inactive and the autoimmune attack ceases. However TPO is necessary for thyroid function and this is not a desirable approach when we have other methods that work better.

  173. Chris,
    Stephanie gave you lots of information to consider as well as recommending Dr. Brownstein’s book, and, if you didn’t notice, she also is a patient of his as well. If you truly wanted to get to foundational information, you would AT LEAST read Dr. B’s book on Iodine and/or take full opportunity to seriously consider Stephanie’s personal success and that of MANY others on her forum. Until then, your credibility as a journalist or informed consumer is compromised. Any further engaging of the discussion of this topic is futile when all relevant data is not considered, by you or anyone else.

  174. Thank you for starting this much needed topic. I too would like to see the evidence that iodine is effective in treating Hashimoto’s. Dr. Kharrazian’s new article at http://drknews.com addresses this topic in more depth.
    It is not enough to check antibodies. You need to check cytokine levels and the ratio between T-suppressor and T-helper cells to see whether iodine is truly dampening the autoimmune effect.
    Like Chris, I am open to the possibility of iodine being effective with the cofactors as so many believe, but I would like to see the evidence. There is plenty of evidence from around the world on the other side. Testing antibodies alone is not sufficient.

    • Exactly. I briefly explained why antibody levels are poor indicators of the disease state below in comment #19. Antibodies may be low because the condition has improved, or they may be low because the Th2 system is so depressed it can’t produce antibodies anymore. This is one of the most misunderstood subjects in the thyroid world.

  175. If you mean will I be talking more about reducing inflammation, the answer is yes.  I will also explain the immune system disruption in more detail.

  176. If I understand him correctly he believess the antibodies can be present for a variety of reasons but simply not active unless shown to be so  over time by rising lab levels.
    He does seem to be very concerned about reducing inflammation though, but only has prednisone in his arsenal. Will you be blogging more on this topic?

  177. “The relevant question is, how much iodine does the thyroid need to perform its function? That amount is very small. It’s roughly equivalent to the head of a pin per day or one teaspoon per year”
     
    Exactly!  I am a Nuclear Medicine Technologist and we do thyroid uptake scans which test the function of the thyroid by giving the patient a small amount of radioactive iodine (the amount of iodine is equivalent to 1/2 of a single grain of table salt).  IF the patient consumes ANY iodine (from vitamins, food or medication sources) in the 3 weeks previous to their scan, their uptake value goes from a normal 15-30 % to nearly zero or very often less than 5%.  This is because the thyroid stores iodine so well and it needs VERY little iodine daily.  And these are normal thyroids….

  178. According to my rheumatologist, a one time positive TPO/ TG result is not a true indication of Hashimoto’s. He says one must be tested repeatedly over time and if antibody levels are steadily increasing over time then Hashimoto’s is indeed present. Having never heard this before, I’m not sure what to believe. What do you think?
     

    • I’ve heard that before, and I don’t understand the logic behind it. Once the immune system tags a tissue (by producing antibodies), it never forgets. This is a benefit in the case of foreign invaders, but a liability when it’s our own tissue being tagged. A positive TPO/TG test indicates the body is attacking those enzymes and proteins, and that’s Hashimoto’s.

      On the other hand, a negative TPO/TG antibody test doesn’t rule out Hashimoto’s. Nor does it indicate a clinical improvement or remission. Why? Because Hashimoto’s is a Th1 dominant condition. When the Th1 system is dominant, the Th2 system is suppressed. The Th2 system is involved in antibody production. So, if the Th1 system is out of control, we could see low antibody levels because the Th2 system is so depressed it can’t produce them. This is hardly a good thing – but it could be interpreted that way if someone believed that low antibody levels were a reflection of improvement.

      • I read this post and I also read your post about selenium supplementation. So my question is this: I have hashimoto’s and at this point it is poorly treated. If I want to try taking Selenium and Iodine together what should the ratio be? I have to get better, most days the only reason I get out of bed is my 2 year old daughter, and then I spend most of my day on the couch. I have to get better starting now, or I won’t be able to finish school, get a job, support my family, and save my marriage.

        • Lynae, I hope you have found some answers by now. I would strongly recommend that you join & read in the Yahoo group, Iodine, if you have not yet.
          It’s not a matter of ratio with selenium & iodine. Maximum of selenium is 400 mcg. With the iodine, different people take different approaches. Some start low & work up & some jump in higher. In addition to selenium, you need to take magnesium, Vit c, and unrefined salt to support the process. Much more info & answers to your questions to be had on the Iodine group.

  179. Unfortunately this is a complex subject to comment on a blog and autoimmune conditions are not related to iodine deficency alone.  Have you read Dr. David Brownstein’s book on Iodine?  http://www.drbrownstein.com  He is my doctor and friend.  We research Iodine in thyroid conditions.  I think his book will answer many of the questions you have posed (above).  Iodine is more than just the thyroid gland.  Every gland and mucosal lining needs and uses iodine. 

    The thyroid gland when totally saturated holds approximately 50 mgs of iodine.  It needs approximately 6 mgs of Iodine / day to create sufficient thyroid hormones.  Dr Abraham believes that daily requirements are 13 mgs for the total body.  However, with the increase in toxic halides more and more are needed to overcome the barage of toxins (perchlorate, bromide, fluoride and mercury).  When deficient the body attempts to use the halides in place of the iodine.  It is not clear the mechanism by which this occurs. 

    When I started to use 50 mgs of Iodine for thyroid cancer (after 3 failed RAI’s – read my story on my website @ http://www.naturalthyroidchoices.com – blog) I was pushing out 24 ug/L of bromide.  But when I started to use 100 mgs of Iodoral and then tested my levels they rose to 66 ug/L.  My son when 9 yrs old was sending out 45 ug/L when on 12.5 mgs / day.  It’s the toxins that seem to be the biggest issue in autoimmune thyroid conditions – combined with low iodine (which is cancer protective – research the P53 gene and its needs for iodine – Book: Minerals For The Genetic Code). 

    Consuming sea veggies is problematic.  They have been found to be high in toxic halides and arsenic.  http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/04/070406140955.htm

    Finally – how is euthyroid defined?  Many times this is defined as a TSH lab value that is within the “almighty” TSH range (.5 – 5.0).  This is NOT how euthyroid should be determined.  All the research I have read regarding this has been a TSH value.  When supplementing with iodine it is very common to see TSH values rise to levels as high as 75 for up to 6 mos without any clinical signs of hypothyroidism.  The body is doing what it should do as increased iodine increases TSH to stimulate the production of thyroglobulin to bind to more iodine in the hormone creation process.  High thyroglobulin levels are actually an indication of iodine deficiency.  It is best to use Free T3 and Free T4 lab values to determine thyroid status since these represent the unbound proteins that are available for usage by the body.  In 99% of the cases I have seen on my group where the TSH increases but the free’s remain in a normal range.  TSH does not increase to high levels in all cases though.

    When many of the members begin higher supplementing of Iodine they experience detoxing symptoms – for those that can test they are finding it is bromide.  What was once considered to be iodism is now being linked to bromism as they share the same symptoms. 

    • Jamie,

      I agree this is a complex subject. I hesitated to even begin writing this series for that reason.

      I’ve read Dr. Brownstein’s Overcoming Thyroid Disorders book, but I haven’t read his iodine book. But he does talk about bromides and other toxins in that book and I’m aware of those mechanisms.

      For now we’ll just have to agree to disagree. Thanks for sharing your perspective.

      • My wife has been suffering for 2 years. On armor thyriod from canada and even tried acela brand.
        We now think at age 50 that her hormones are causing some of the hypo symptomes . We went to body logic for help a week ago. Was told to try a lotof things. First she was told to take kelp 1000 mcg. Playing it safe she only took 600mcg. She got much worse taking this and nearly passed out. Severe hypo and even more hot flashes every hour.

        • Fred,

          You probably won’t see this reply since it was two months ago that you wrote your question, but try anyway. You may want to have your wife have a RT3 (reverse T3) blood test done along with a Free T3 and look for “High T3 Ratio”.

          This can be a cause of persistent hypothyroidism in the presence of large or adequate amounts of T4 or even T3/T4(Armour) supplementation.

          Google up “RT3 ratio converter or calculator” with your wife’s test results with their lab specific “units” to get this ratio. A reading greater than 20 indicates a high RT3 ratio.

          Causes of High RT3 are usually “low iron”, “low or high cortisol”, “Low B12” and “Extreme dieting”.

          One needs to do a “T3 only” protocol, to “push out” or move the Reverse T3 off or through the thyroid hormone receptors.

          No T4 supplementation should be used, or else the problem will continue. This protocol takes roughly 12 weeks, and you will know when the RT3 clears out. You can feel the hypo symptoms go away with it.

          The receptors do not know the difference between RT3 and straight T3.

          RT3 will take up space or plug up the receptors, allowing very little active T3 to attach to the receptor sites.

    • How do you test if you are excreting Bromine when you are detoxing? I am one of the people who just cannot tolerate taking Iodine, even when mixed with methylating co-factors. I kept trying to push upwards and never made it past 50mg as I got too sick. If I could be sure it was just a detox it would give me hope to keep pushing. For now I am down to 15mg.

  180. Hi Chris
    Could you please comment on what level of iodine intake you feel becomes excessive in terms of what you have outlined.  New Zealand has soils very low in iodine and goitres are on the comeback following less use of iodised salt at the table, non-iodisation of salt in food processing, and the discontinuation of iodophors as disinfectants in the dairy industry.  And it would seem that the cleaner one eats, the less iodine they get.
    I am picking that some level of iodine intake is required to meet physiologic function.  Do you feel 150ug daily to be ‘excessive’ in the group you have written about above?
     
    Cheers.

  181. I’m no expert like the others who have responded here, but I am a practicing herbalist and also have hypo/Hashi’s. I’m very interested to learn more about the iodine “controversy” as it relates to healthy thyroid function.
    From my perspective as a practitioner, the one huge hole I see in your logic is that the vast majority of my clients with hypothyroidism have been eating sea salt for years, and that is exactly why they are iodine deficient. In addition, many are “recovering” vegetarians, another category suffering from high levels of iodine deficiency. I think that you are missing a huge chunk of the hypothyroid crowd who are BOTH autoimmune and iodine deficient. Look forward to hearing your perspective on this idea!   -Susan

    • There’s no hole in the logic. The relevant question is, how much iodine does the thyroid need to perform its function? That amount is very small. It’s roughly equivalent to the head of a pin per day or one teaspoon per year. Iodine deficiency must be very severe to cause Hashimoto’s. If someone is very deficient in iodine, it’s likely they’ll have a goiter. It’s certainly possible to have both Hashimoto’s and iodine deficiency, but that doesn’t necessarily mean iodine deficiency is the cause. Correlation is not causation.

      • don’t forget that it isn’t just the thyroid which requires iodine — breast tissue, for example, requires a LOT of iodine. indeed, every cell in the body has receptors, from what i understand. the problem of deficiency gets worse when these sites are filled with fluoride, chlorine and bromine, iodine’s truly toxic competitors. i suspect that a lot of “bad reactions” from iodine supplementation are actually detoxification symptoms.

  182. I am on Stephanie’s Iodine group and have employed the recommendations she cites here with MUCH success, not only with myself, but, with my clients as well.
    I must say that I have not as of yet read Dr. K’s book, so I am not familiar with the totality of what is written therein, but I would think if you have not read and implemented Dr. Brownstein’s recommendations, with Stephanie’s thoughts in mind, you’d be limited in your perspective greatly.
     

  183. I wanted to add a few comments about the concern over negative effects of iodine and hashimotos. 

    I run the IODINE group on Yahoo groups where there are over 3,900 members.  Many of these members have hashimotos and are taking iodine sucessfuly to treat it.  There are key nutrients that need to be taken with iodine to put the thyroid in balance.  These include Vitamin C (heals the NIS – sodium iodine symporters), unrefined salt (used in the symporters as well), magnesium (involved in enzyme reactions), and selenium (works in the oxidation process). 

    In the oxidation process where hydrogen peroxide is increased and interacts with TPO to reduce iodine to iodide for the creation of MIT & DIT (precursors to T3 & T4 hormone) another process comes into place when enough oxidizining has occured.  This is done by the δ- Iodolactone  (an iodolipid) – a liped that puts the “brakes” on the oxidizing (burning) process.  Intracellular calcium levels are also important in this process in not letting things get out of balance as occurs in a hashimotos situation.  This iodolipid is only created when iodine is supplied in amounts larger than RDA recommendations.  For many on my group this is 50 mgs or more.  Many with hashimotos have issues with swelling or painful glands at low iodine supplementing levels yet have the symptoms resolve at higher dosing. 

    Hashimotos also seems to accompany high levels of bromide toxicity.  The iodine saturation level as well as the bromide toxicity level can be obtained by ordering a 24 hour iodine loading test with bromide levels from http://www.hakalalabs.com  

    It is dicouraging to see posts warning against the supplementation of iodine with hashimotos when there is no evidence to show harm when all the appropriate supporting nutrients accompanied with detoxification are in place. 

    The Jod-Basedow Phenomenon seems to only be applicable in cases of autonomic functioning thyroid nodules.  Not in a normal goiter situation.

    • Stephanie,

      As I said at the end of the article, I realize this is a controversial subject. And I’m open to hearing conflicting points of view.

      You mention that there is no evidence that iodine causes harm when all appropriate nutrients accompanied with detoxification are in place. Is there any evidence that it does not, or that it actually provides benefit? In the article I linked to studies demonstrating that iodine increases autoimmune activity, and that restricting iodine alone can induce a euthyroid state in Hashimoto’s patients. What is your explanation for these phenomena? Also, I have yet to read a convincing explanation of why iodine increases the incidence of Hashimoto’s rises so significantly in places where iodine is added to salt. If you claim that this happens because the dose is too low, or because these populations are deficient in co-factors like selenium, magnesium and vitamin C, I’d like to see evidence supporting that.

      There’s also the question of how iodine interacts with thyroglobulin polymorphisms commonly found in Hashimoto’s. From a study in Thyroid in 2004:

      “It is conceivable that Tg polymorphisms, combined with the explosive mix of iodine, TPO and H2O2 necessary for thyroid hormone synthesis, inadvertently provide the trigger for the autoimmune thyroid response.”

    • Hello Stephanie B. I saw a post you made about Hashimoto’s disease in 2010 at chriskresser.com and I’m hoping you have a moment to read and reply to this message. I have had Hashimoto’s and am only recently using iodine / kelp 100mg a day. This article about iodine being bad for autoimmune disease frightened me. It spoke about Peroxidase being an enzyme but when I was diagnosed, the test was for peroxidase antibodies and that number was off the charts. Can you direct me to a place where I can get some meaty info on how to self treat Hashimotos? I’m flying in the dark and stopped taking the thyroid medication about a year ago with no out of range TSH so far.

      • Suzie, you may want to request to join the IODINE yahoo group (go to yahoo.com, find the “groups” link and then search for IODINE) and also the NaturalThyroidHormones group, if you are looking for additional dialogue, discussion and archives of other user questions and comments. It could be of interest to you. Best!

        • I would avoid that group at all costs — the “Natural Thyroid Hormones” group that is. They promote the dangerous use of hydrocortisone for low adrenal function which has ruined a lot of people’s lives.

          The former moderator (Valerie) doesn’t even post there anymore as she can barely type or write coherently anymore.

          Don’t believe me? Join the group and check out some of Valerie’s old posts. Very scary…

    • I was taking Iodoral for my Hypo symptoms and was doing fine on 50 mgs per day for about 3 months then I got suddenly very Hypo so stopped taking the iodine. Each time I try to start supplementing with iodine I get really sick so have not taken it for months. I am using sea salt about 3/4 tsp a day high silica water selenium magnesium kelp oil vit b complex D you name it what can I do?

  184. Chris,
     
    I was wondering when you would cite “Dr.” Kharrazian!
     
    But, anyway, you have to be congruent! If you theory about iodine is right, Drs. Abraham and Brownstein could not have “sucessfully” treated hypo patients with iodine!!
     
    On the link above, on item IV, Dr. Abraham propose a explanation about salt iodinization and incidence of Hashimoto:
     
    http://www.optimox.com/pics/Iodine/IOD-05/IOD_05.html
     
    I, for one, will keep my daily intake of 50mg of Lugol’s. Unless my blood tests, that I have every 2 or 3 months, says otherwise. Until now, they didn’t.
     
     

    • Mario,

      The human body isn’t a machine. It’s a complex web of interrelated connections. It may be possible for some Hashimoto’s patients to improve with iodine. I can’t rule that out. But that doesn’t mean most will, and it doesn’t mean that it’s the right choice for the majority of patients.

      Why did you put “Dr” in quotation marks? Because Dr. Kharrazian is a chiropractor? Does that somehow make him less intelligent, able and qualified to evaluate the research? I assure you it does not. He has Harvard MDs and PhDs coming to his Mastering Thyroid course. I was at the last one, and spoke with an MD that said it was by far the most comprehensive and cutting-edge course on thyroid treatment he had ever attended.

      Should we listen to all the MDs that tell us heart disease is caused by cholesterol, in spite of mountains of evidence to the contrary? That we should take antidepressants for depression, even though the evidence clearly shows they are no better than placebo in most cases? Heck, they’re MDs, so they must be right!

      That’s exactly the attitude that motivated me to start the blog.

      The weight of the evidence suggests that iodine is not a good choice for Hashimoto’s patients. You’re free to disagree, and I know that you do.

      • i haven’t managed to wade through all you wrote (i could feel my stress hormones rising as i read what i did), but what i have leads me to believe that you treat “Hashimotos” — not “hypothyroidism”. perhaps you should label your articles more specifically…?

        i was apparently born thyroid deficient, 55 years ago. i have a mountain of experience of BAD treatment. the first sight of light at the end of MY tunnel was Iodoral. since the proliferation of the internet, i have made a good deal of progress in self-treatment, through education on things the medical establishment has theoretically “known” for decades, but never helped me with — things like getting enough good saturated fats, protein and trace minerals, dumping seed-oils and grains, and managing stress by steering clear of mainstream thinking on my condition.

        if your articles have anything helpful to tell me and others in the same boat, i’d like to know exactly where. reading about Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis is not constructive.

        • We need all good fats including the seed oils. We need the mono s , the poly s as well as the well saturated. We just don’t need animal FATS. Flax is good. Chia is good. Olive is good. Macadamias are good. Coconut oil is good. All these contain “acids” that are good for us. Its a matter of “how much” and “when” to consume them. Grains are GOOD. very good.

          The above is in response to anonymous.

          • We do not need seed oils! They are indisputable evidence that they are extremely pro inflammatory and the excessive use of seed and vegetable oils in this country massively unbalance the 3:6 ratios. Animal fats are stable and saturated fats are essential to good grain health. I suggest you do more research in this area and be very careful about where you get your information from, especially if it’s from pro vegan sources etc!

            • Yes, but it seems they are trendy. A segment of the population seems to jump on alternative products. Soy is just one example of a potentially harmful alternative.

          • We actually DO NEED grass fed saturated animal fats. They react very differently in the body from fats from feed lot animals. Virtually ALL seed and grain oils are RANCID, including the organic ones. As Ironphoenix pointed out, they are VERY unstable and toxic. Butter, ghee, coconut oil or saturated animal fats are good for cooking and good quality olive oil (most is mixed with junk vegetable oils) for salads or very low heat only. Good quality eggs from chickens raised with non-GMO feed that are really free range are worth the money, as they are very healthy, complete food. Find more information from Weston A. Price Foundation.

            • Charla is correct on all points. One mention is that independent testing done on olive oil (UC Davis, CA) showed that vast maj. of olive oil produced in USA truly is olive oil. Sadly, many imported brands are mixed w/ unhealthy (& cheaper) seed & veg. oils. For legit brands, a succinct article is at: lifehacker.com ‘The Most (and Least) Fake Extra Virgin Olive Oil Brands’. Links are provided to see detailed analysis of study.

        • I don’t understand everyone getting upset. If this info is good for you, use it. He’s trying to show a different side on treating a disease that does work for people. That’s why they call it praying medicine. It’s not black & white. 🙂

      • Can nascent iodine help me?
        My hypothyroidism was brought on by radiation treatment targeted at the head and neck area. I had nasophareangeal carcinoma. I was put on .175 mcg of levothyroxine which was raised to .200 mcg. I simply quit taking them because I felt no different, and I don’t like to use synthetic medicine blends.

        • Nascent iodine, to my knowledge, has never been shown to raise iodine-iodide levels substantially. Lugol’s liquid or Optimox tablets work better, but you MUST use selenium, magnesium, B vitamins and occasionally other nutrients to have it work properly, as well as doing a careful bromine detox with natural salt like Celtic salt. Synthetic thyroid cannot work right, either, without certain supplements like the above being used. So many people neglect clearing out toxic bromine that prevents absorption of iodine-iodide.

          • One thing I use but have yet to see is BORON , this mineral is used by the oarathyroid and is as important as Iodine I also use a liquid mineral mix from bodybio I use iodine plus 2 , lugols Iosol and sski in different ways . I never had any issues with herx or illness sinse using iodine in 5 years DROPPED all antibiotics , synthetic and use organic glutenfree, no sugar … had symptoms of lyme with the ticks but never tested positive , They need a new test …

            • Boron is ESSENTIAL for preventing arthritis. In areas of the world where there is much boron (or borax) in the soil, virtually NOBODY has arthritis. In areas where there is none in the soil, even small children have joint pain. I use 1/8 to 1/4 tsp. daily.

          • Best form of detoxified elemental iodine you can find is the liquid form I use and I get it from Phil Thomas at iodine source.com Nascent learned how to make it from Phil but he changed it up and it is no longer what it should be and is NOT as good as Phil’s. I have been using it (13 -15 drops per day at 200mcg per drop) for 7 years and it has changed my life. It helped my thyroid enough to significantly abate my severe psoriatic arthritis and keep me from a wheel chair and pain that was so unbearable I wanted to die for almost 3 years. Soooooo many diseases can be traced back to the thyroid and parathyroid it isn’t even funny! I am not 100% and likely never will be (went un-diagnosed/misdiagnosed for 9 years getting worse every year) but I lead a pretty normal life now and have the pain and disfiguring arthritis in good enough control that I feel lucky!!! Phil’s iodine is based on Edgar Cayce’s recommendations on how to produce it and I thank God ever day that I stumbled upon Phil’s website when I was doing tons of research to try to save myself. It literally saved my life!

          • How do you clean out toxic bromine levels? I really want to know this answer.

            And on a different track, hoping you might know….For those with visual goiter, but blood testing resulting normal, how do we test to be more accurate?

            • Jackie, a high quality unrefined salt such as Celtic salt or SEA-90, and some use Himalayan salt but it is not as medicinal as the other two, helps the kidneys remove bromine/bromide and fluorine/fluoride from our bodies. Both bromine and fluorine displace iodine/iodide so it cannot get into the cells. Bromine is in practically EVERYTHING: dough conditioner, fabric protectors, pesticides, flame retardants, medications, soft drinks like Mountain Dew, computer plastics, some pool and spa sterilization systems. Fluoride is in toothpastes, medications, drinking water and much more.

              Detox the bromine and fluorine (toxic halides) with 1/4 to 1/2 tsp. of good salt in a glass of water followed by more water until you begin to urinate. The unrefined chlorine in the salt kicks out the toxic halides (bromide and fluoride) so your cells can begin absorbing iodine-iodide. You can use it daily for a few weeks. Once you start on the iodine supplement, if at ANY point you feel ‘bad’ do the salt detox. It is often recommended to start on selenium, zinc, B-Vites and occasionally other nutrients a few WEEKS before introducing the iodine. Also use magnesium. Many use soak baths of Epsom salt or magnesium chloride or magnesium oil spray. These all help your body prepare to receive the iodine without feeling sick from the ‘bad guy’ toxics.

              Also, kick the commercial refined salt and the foods that are loaded with it. 1/2 to 1 tsp. of good salt a day is life-giving, but not the over-refined junk salt. Most ‘sea salt’ is super refined. The legal definition of ‘sea salt’ is having all but 2% of the natural minerals removed and magnesium is the first to be removed.

      • Hello, I have Hashimoto’s, my blood test showed antibodies. I currently take about 60 mg of Naturethroid daily.I have tried iodine from Dr Brownstein, he is my mother’s Doctor. I saw him one time and he helped my thyroid symptoms by discovering that I had allergies to casein and gluten which were causing further inflammation to my thyroid. When I was on the Iodine after 6wks I developed a goiter, had horrible heart palpitations and my normally very regular menstrual cycle became erratic, I also developed painful and swollen breasts and worsening PMS symptoms, the worst part was my heart feeling like it was skipping a beat and then thumping really hard on the next beat. I also developed insomnia. After stopping the Iodine on my own suspicions everything went away after about a week or so. I have been fine on the Naturethroid now and my allergen free diet. However 2 months ago I switched my multi vitamin to one with 300 mcg of iodine in it without thinking. I missed a period, and had horrible cramping and painful swollen breasts, and started to develop bad heart palpitations and anxiety symptoms in my chest, also tightness in my chest, they kept getting worse, skipped beats and thumping about 3xs per minute all day, very scary. I finally figured out that it was the iodine in the vitamins. I also noticed my thyroid gland looked larger in my neck. I have been off the vitamins now for 3 weeks and I am back to normal. So now I know for sure that I need to stay away from iodine except for what I receive naturally in sea salt, that seems to be okay, I take a teaspoon daily of sea salt.

        • Progesterone helps regulate heart. You should consider getting your female hormones tested. If you use supplemental progesterone, make sure it is bio-identical as the synthetic Progest does NOT link into the hormone receptors properly. Sounds like you may possibly be detoxing bromine and, if so, it may be throwing everything out of balance. Testing can show more accurately than speculation. Bromine testing can help.

          • Hi, I’ve been on natural sublingual progesterone for 4 months now and taking iodine but no selenium. Also taking ashwagandha, vit d, and magnesium. Has relieved very tender breasts and cramping post ovulation but still very irritable post ovulation with mild depression. It is terrible and lasts a solid 2 weeks of every month. Plus headaches last week before period. Any suggestions? Should I stop the progesterone? I just moved and no longer have a doctor so don’t know what to do. At the point of just opting for some antidepressant. Thanks!

            • Start the selenium, 200-400 mcg YESTERDAY. Also, the salt detoxing that I have described above. It will help with headaches, which can be either detox or hormone imbalance. Do NOT stop the progesterone. Without it your heart cannot beat regularly (men, too). Are you taking the sublingual progesterone from Bill Peat? His is very good. I use a compounded form vaginally where the body just drinks it in. The ADRENALS control almost all hormone production in the body. Ashwaganda is great for them. Start taking time to meditate or do deep relaxation and also deep, slow breathing exercises. Your adrenals MUST be repaired to get all the hormones, including thyroid, working right again. Dr. Lam (look him up) has excellent material on adrenal issues. Dr. John Bergman (youtube lectures) talks in-depth about how the adrenals control hormone production.

            • I would recommend testing hormones more often. If you add things like selenium, etc. it could change how your hormones metabolize. Then there may be a need to change dosage. The other thing I would recommend is to find a good chiropractor that studies several techniques, has some Asian meridian understanding, and is not just a crick crack one. A subluxation can really throw off hormone balance. When nerves that message are pinched, they can shut down normal activity, and cause post menstrual symptoms instead of pms. So check that out.

      • I couldn’t agree with you any more Chris! People learn or read a blip of something and run with their egos. We can’t be egoistical if we want to grow and learn. Nobody has all the answers, but Chris you have some excellent research you share with the public at no change. Thank you.

        • I especially appreciate your cautions to GO SLOWLY and use caution. Many jump into way too much iodine and end up damaging their kidneys or immune systems and feeling worse.

  185. Yes.  Vitamin D is one of the therapies for Hashimoto’s I’ll be covering.  Most Hashimoto’s patients have vitamin D receptor polymorphisms that impair absorption and metabolisms of D.

  186. how does hashimoto, as an auto-immune disease, respond to high-dose vitamin D treatment? my neurodermatitis simply went away at 5’000IU D3, which speaks for a strong immuno-modulatory effect i assume..  could hashimoto maybe just be another symptom of D deficiency? are there any studies correlating H. and D levels? just a thought.

    • i have hashimotoe and take 10,000 iu of vitamin d have been taking it for 6 months . i’m not getting any better also have a low serum blood calcium. anything you could suggest as far as testing?

          • Most people are now deficient in magnesium, without which calcium cannot be used. The best way to get magnesium without the diarrhea often associated with it is through soaks using Epsom salt and/or magnesium chloride (magnesium oil). Low magnesium leads to calcium deficiency, osteoporosis, assorted body pains and heart palpitations, among other dis-eases.

      • Make sure you get a blood test to make sure you do not have excessive D. Your D intake seems a little high. D is not water soluble as B and C.

      • I would recommend a Hair analysis test to see what is going on with the other minerals in your body… bio unavailable, deficient or toxicity….

    • I am new to all that’s going on here, I just found out I have thyroid issues, last week, I’m ignorant to the whole thing and am trying to learn more.. Please be kind when responding to my questions.. I have symptoms of both.. My thyroid is all over the place and totally confused as to what it’s supposed to do, I gain weight, then drop weight, I get so depressed I cry for a week then everything is fine, I gave a goiter on the right side of my thyroid, but waiting for a few more tests for the Dr to decide what to do.. I’m interested in home remedies.. Is there something I can do to start on my way to a healthier me.. I don’t over indulge in junk food, but I’m not a health nut either, and reading about seed oils, vitamin D, kelp pills, truly my brain is fizzled.. I’m a average person with below average knowledge of thyroid or thyroid disease.. Can any one in plain simple words help me out.. LOL (just trying to figure out what to do and no one to go to)

      • You may want to study selenium. 200 mcg should not be a dangerous level, since it is recommended up to 400 mcg. Take a good high potency B Complex, and 4000 mg of easy to break down vitamin C daily, and
        lemon Cod liver oil made by Carlson. Just a starter. See if anything starts balancing. Check with chiropractors in your area what their experience is in your particular disorder. Sometimes they have amazing contacts. Have you had blood testing for TSH, T4, T3?.

        • The only reason they say uyp to 400 is because many take synethetic versions which are dodgy, if you take the real thing you can take more. There is about 50 – 100 in a brazil nut. no other food has more.

      • Sarah take it slow adding iodine and the essential minerals . I use Iosol liquid for everyday use with a daily use of liquid minerals from bodybio . There web has a video that explains why and how to use ….there are many bad schools of thought on use but playing it safe and slow is my suggestion …. keep learning and looking

      • Hi.. I don’t have physical symptoms of Hashmito’s disease or hypothyroidism. however I used to suffer from a huge anxiety, irritability, panic, depression and ADD.
        My symptoms had improved since I started taking iodine in form of kelp capsules. But that wasn’t enough. I felt like I’m missing something crucial. So I came across
        L-tyrosine, which is a natural hormone that our bodies produce to handle stress. Oh and I take also selenium. things looks like it is going well. hope this information is helpful…. take care

        • I would recommend L-taurine and check your copper levels. copper can cause anxiety and depression-
          You need a proper Zn:Cu ratio.
          Supplement with zinc citrate

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