IODINE needed?

After 4 years of several major health problems, including weird thyroid readings, culminating 7 months ago with the first of two hip revision surgeries (infected hip/leg), I am now getting back to 'normal' thyroid test results. (I'm on mostly T3 but some T4). I'm wondering about iodine. If we're on thyroid medication, do we need to get a specific test to see whether iodine is helpful? My ferritin was slightly low at 35 when tested recently (so private doc recommends 15mg of iron citrate), incase that's relevant to the iodine issue. My hair has thinned noticeably (not that I ever had much in the first place), but that could be overall stress due to 18 months of pain before the first surgery and the subsequent demands of having to walk on one leg for 3 months before the 2nd one etc. etc.

I've read in many places, online, that our soil is deficient (so our vegetables likewise), our iodized salt isn't adequate, perhaps not sufficiently absorbed, and that iodine is essential to good metabolic functions. I've also seen Detoxadine recommended.

It is so marvelous to be able to walk again (almost without support) after my 2 surgeries, and to see my thyroid panel approaching normal., that I am gung ho to grab onto any other helpful advice that could keep me in getting back to strength and remain there. I'm not aware of any test to determine iodine in the body. Is that needed, or do we go by symptoms, and if so, what are they?

14 Replies

Here are some earlier discussions on this forum concerning iodine. Hopefully you will some useful information....

Ransom, whether or not to supplement iodine seems to be a contentious issue. My personal view is that people on thyroid replacement should get the necessary iodine from T4+T3 and iodine supplementation shouldn't be necessary unless you have had a urine or blood test showing deficiency. Iodine supplementation is not recommended for people with Hashimoto's as it can stimulate flare ups.

Thanks, Clutter. I know it's a tough one to be sure of. Thanks for your input.

I saw a new doctor last year who arranged a thyroid and iodine urine test via Genova Diagnostics, which showed my iodine levels to be low. I've been taking NDT for 12 years and it's the first time anyone had mentioned iodine to me! I don't know how accurate this test is, or of it's better or worse than an iodine loading test, and the doctor concerned didn't recommend straight iodine supplementation but instead a thyroid complex supplement which included iodine.

I was hoping for personal experience to fill out my grasp of this one, Framboise, so thank you for yours. Some of the people who favour iodine supplementation seem to think the entire world is deficient and so we can all profit from it, but others are far more cautious. Perhaps I have to get a medical degree to get my own perspective ....hah

Please do - then come back and explain it all to us. :-)

There are enough reports of people having problems with iodine (e.g. as a disinfectant during surgery) to make me extremely wary of those who suggest knocking back high doses every day.

Iodine sensitivity is well-known and reported.

It could very well be that a proportion of people would be better off taking some iodine supplementation (or changing diet to include more sources), but I am not going to be convinced by most of what is written by the dedicated advocates.

Exactly. So many of our needs are varied depending on other things personal to us. The old addage 'one man's meat is another man's poison' comes to mind... so I know it's worth thoroughly considering what appears to be relevant, which is what I'm trying to do - with the help of you all through HealthUnlocked. I've learned so much about my body through this website.

I was prescribed iodine by a negligent doctor who did no tests and didn't examine me - in fact, he hardly even looked at me! I was undiagnosed Hashi's at the time - I didn't even know what a thyroid was! - and it made all my symptoms ten times worse. It hastened the demise of my thyroid gland. I very much doubt I was iodine deficient at the time, because I'd been using iodised salt for years. But as he didn't do any tests, he didn't know any of that.

I'm sure that's what made me iodine sensitive. I later had an op for a slipped-disc I didn't have, and they larded my back with iodine post op. I cannot describe the agony I suffered on waking, with doctors and nurses telling me it 'couldn't possibly hurt that much'!!! It is not an experience I would wish on anyone else.

Oh wow. I'm sorry you had to go through all of that! I hope you are well over it by now, greygoose, and thank you for passing this on.

No. I shall never be over it, because I no longer have a thyroid. And given the many years I waited for a diagnosis, about 50, I believe a lot of permenant damage has been done. I truly believe that if it hadn't been for the iodine, I could have pottered on more or less well until the end of my days - with or without treatment - but the iodine changed everything. :( That is why I warn people to be careful with iodine and not just take it like aspirin or B12. You can over-dose on iodine and do a lot of harm.

Hi Ransom, you asked for personal experiences - well I have Hashimoto's and I take 12.5mg of iodine daily and couldn't praise it more highly. It's important to take it with selenium and in the correct form (either Lugol's or one of the tablets with the same formulation). There are many members of this forum successfully using iodine correctly and seeing the benefits.

I find very good for practical advice and there are tables there showing the benefits and links to research articles.

The problem with the research that shows negative effects is that selenium was not factored in. There is a blog on the site written by a lady taking iodine and she has many links to interesting articles.

People seem to be very strongly one way or the other about iodine, but it's a bit like convincing a GP who has only ever prescribed levo that the difference between that and NDT is like night and day - you really have to try it to discover the increased energy and all the other benefits. I also like the idea that by taking iodine I'm preventing disease and infection too.

Regards, Katy

Thanks for the links, LuckyKat. I'll check them out. BUT before I go into it, I'm wondering whether you self medicate with the iodine, or whether you work or worked with a medically trained individual who monitored you and perhaps told you the accurate amount of selenium? I didn't know iodine assists with preventing diseases also ... I guess anything we can do to improve any part of our physical functioning helps all of the rest simultaneously. I acquired my underactive throid via radioactive iodine treatment decades ago, so never had Hashimoto's.

thanks again!


I self medicate according to the protocol set out by Dr. Brownstein and others. I take the recommended 200mcg of selenium and had been taking it for several months before starting the iodine. Some practitioners suggest you can start them both at once, but others advocate taking selenium for about two weeks first.

Iodine creates a more alkaline environment which helps with fighting and preventing cancer. It also cures and prevents fibrocystic breast disease, candida and many other diseases. There is a table on the heal yourself at home site.

Thanks LuckyKat. That's very helpful. Especially the alkalanising issue and the reference you made to candida overgrowth. When I get a day without 'outside demands' on my time/energy I will enjoy investigating this. Especially as I've been on an anticandidiasis diet and supplement program for almost a year and have only succeeded in JUST getting below the range that doctors prefer us to be away from.


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