This is an interesting article on iodine which discusses possible mechanisms by which iodine deficiency can cause autoimmune thyroid disorders.

My daughter's iodine level was tested and she has only 20% of the minimum level, despite RDA level supplementation in a multivitamin. She has all the common symptoms of Hypo (but no diagnosis) with extreme fatigue (ATP test also very low, private doctor was surprised she could get out of bed). She is currently supplementing and is already seeing an improvement in her energy levels and other symptoms.

My understanding is that Iodine supplementation should only be done under medical supervision and where there is a known deficiency.

As iodine is essential for thyroid function, why are neither GPs or Endos testing for it?

16 Replies

  • Iodine deficiency should be tested with 10 days urine tests or blood tests which are only available in certain countries.

    24 hr urine test only tells how much iodine one has used during past few days which might vary a lot.

    Urine test itself does not determine iodine defiency unless other factors like TSH, TT4 and thyroglobulin are normal.

    Loading tests seem not be so accurate either.

    But yes I agree iodine should be taken under supervision of a doctor who understands how to use it. There seems to be very few doctors who knows how to use it. Besides normal doctors are not trained to use certain supplements let alone testing these deficiencies. Which is a shame as some people would get healthy just by using iodine. I know some people going through the protocol and they have got healthy and no medication needed. Oh I should say hormonal replacement. The radiologist who checked my thyroid lectured me not to call it thyroid medication :D

  • Thanks. Yes, agreed. To clarify, my daughter had the Biolab iodine/creatinine ratio random urine sample test, which is thought to be a good indicator of iodine status, through a private doctor.

  • I read that article and it stated test ZRT is not accurate as it doesn't provide bromide test. Well it does. I have taken that test twice and it measures iodine , selenium, arsenic and bromide.

    But oh well. .. maybe that was old info in that article!

  • Thanks. Can I ask about your experience?

  • I was really low on iodine first time. Everything else normal except high thyroglobulin. They did not see it as iodine deficiency even though I have used very little iodine during past 10 years. They said my TSH should be high and T4 lower to say it is definitely chronic deficiency.

    Plus my thyroid gland is normal size which tells my iodine is ok. It is just that time of testing I had not consumed enough iodine.

    Next time I tested it, I was told to use iodine normally and the level of iodine was better but other values like T3 was still so low ,it was said lack of iodine is not the reason for my poor conversion.

    As my bromine, arsenic and selenium were ok they said that my iodine usage is not compromised. They recommended to use some iodine normally and start thyroid medi. . hormone replacement I mean :D

    When I tried to use iodine not more than 200 mcg I ended up so short of breath and having stomach ache. I was ridiculously hungry all the time and just feeling not so good. That was a year ago and I am still not recovered. To me iodine causes more harm than good.

    If your daughter reacts positively and is improving then for her it is right thing to do. This is why it should be done with a doctor who has experience!

  • Some symptoms of an iodine overdose can be abdominal pain, delirium, fever, vomiting, and shortness of breath. More serious symptoms can occur, depending on the way the iodine overdose occurred. Iodine should ideally be given in the form of sodium iodide. And only in cases of dietary iodine deficiency and under careful supervision.

  • Except I was not taking too much. I tried many different dosing during long period. Did not make much difference was it 75 or 250 mcg which was maximum. Average dosage was 150 mcg and built it up slowly. I doubt for me it was over dosing.

  • Do you still take iodine?

  • Occasionally. I can take 150 mcg like once or twice a week and feel ok.

    If I eat fish or iodized salt I don't take iodine.

    I try to keep it some way balanced bit of don't freak out if I miss it for weeks.

  • Very interesting to hear your experience, thank you. Sorry to hear you're still suffering the effects, really surprised you could have ill effects on such a small dose.

    My daughter is taking 6.25mg (6,250mcg) Iodizyme along with selenium, magnesium and various other vitamins and minerals. It's good to be aware of possible adverse reactions like this, it's early days so will keep a very close eye on things. Thanks again.

  • I may have spoken too soon, the last few days she has felt really good. Today she feels nauseous and has a metallic taste in her mouth :-(

  • Then she should decrease the dosage or skip it for a while and build it up slowly. She might need way less iodine. But it can be any other supplement as well like zinc or selenium.

    I am those people who don't tolerate zinc either. I get poisoning symptoms on very low dosage. That just sometimes happen, can't remember why.

    Anyway I would skip the iodine for few days. Tho people say you have to start building up the tolerance all over again if you skip iodine all together.

    I would consult the doctor before continuing.

  • Did your daughter slowly work up to her present dosage? Iodine belongs to the halide chemical family that includes fluoride, bromide and chloride. When one starts supplementing iodine, the iodine will start displacing these other halides that are occupying the iodine receptors on our cells.

    You want this to take place except..... if the iodine kicks out these other halides at a rate that our body can't keep up with, it creates a detox reaction. The supplements your daughter is taking, especially celtic (unprocessed) salt, selenium, Vit C and magnesium help to open up our detox pathways and facilitate the body expelling these toxins.

    We get into trouble when our liver and kidneys can't keep up. So, the advice to back down on the dosage is sound. You back down to a lower dose and hold for however long it takes for the detox symptoms to subside, Low and slow is the way to go. Don't be in a rush.

    Milk thistle (preferably from the seeds) is good support for the liver while it is handling getting rid of the other halides, especially bromide. When I first started using iodine (iodoral and Lugols), I would get vague headaches. A 1/2 tsp or so of celtic or Real Salt, dissolved in a glass of water would set things right in short order. This concoction is also good for adrenal support. If you can't stand the salt water alone, you can also add some lemon juice and stevia or honey to the mix. You can drink this a few times per day as needed.

  • Thanks, that's very helpful. She didn't build up gradually, partly because her dose is half a small fiddly tablet and when I tried to cut it, it broke up very unevenly. But now I realise how important it is to do it gradually, will give her a couple of days off then start again slowly. Thanks again.

  • Here in the states, a lot of folks start off using the 2% or 5% liquid Lugols drops. Makes it much easier to adjust and increase/decrease dosage as needed by adding the drop(s) to water and drinking only a portion of the water/drop(s) per day.

    For instance.... add one 5% drop to 6 ozs of water. One 5% drop = 6.25 mgs of iodine diluted in 6 ozs of water means each oz of the iodine water equals approx. 1 mg of iodine. 2 ozs of iodine water would equal approx. 2 mgs of iodine.. see? Of course, you can use any amt of water that suits... maybe 3 ozs instead of 6 ozs? Then 1/2 oz would equal 1 mg of iodine.

    As the dosage is increased over time and one works up to say.... 6.mgs per day and you are stable with that dosage with no detox symptoms, many then switch over to the Iodoral 6.25 mg tablet. These tablets are scored so they can be split.

    A lot of us stay at a 6.25 .. 12.5 or 25 mgs per day dosage and the tabs make it convenient.

  • Hi josiesmum,

    Iodine was the gold standard treatment for thyroid disorders before the advent of Levothyroxine.

    There are two books which explain the iodine protocol.

    Iodine, Why You Need It; Why You Can't Live Without It by Dr David Brownstein,

    and The Iodine Crisis by Lynne Farrow.

    They both make very interesting reading for those with Hashimotos/ under active thyroid problems, and really need to be read before embarking on iodine supplementation.

    They have had many success stories.

    Arab. 🙂

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