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Iodine - Should You Supplement With Iodine Or Not?

Are You suffering from unexpected weight gain, swelling of your neck, fatigue, weakness, hair loss and troubles with learning and remembering?

These can all be symptoms of iodine deficiency.

Iodine is an essential nutrient. It means that your body doesn't produce iodine. It needs to be supplied in the diet. Unfortunately, very often people with thyroid conditions have an iodine deficiency. This is common in patients with hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism.

Iodine is essential for thyroid health. It plays a significant role in the formation of thyroid hormones. If You're deficient in iodine, You may end up being deficient in thyroid hormones, which worsens Your hypothyroidism symptoms.

You may wonder how it happens that You're deficient. Well, the main reason can be processed food rich in bromine. Examples of such food include:

- Brominated vegetable oil (BVO), is vegetable oil, derived from corn or soy, bonded with the element bromine.

- Sugary/Soft drinks with dyes.

- Bread with Potassium Bromate. Hamburger and hot dog buns are often "enriched".

Hamburger and hot dog buns are often "enriched" with the food additive potassium bromate, as it bleaches the dough and makes it more elastic. Bromine is an element that competes with iodine for transport into the thyroid, thus interfering with the beneficial effects of iodine. In this way, bromine causes iodine deficiency.

Another cause of Iodine deficiency involves, of course, the poor quality of most soils nowadays, that are usually depleted of iodine, but let's go back to the main topic...

1) People With Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis.

People with Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis should avoid taking iodine until the autoimmune response is corrected. Otherwise, their symptoms most likely will worsen. 

Once the immune system component has been improved, the person can begin to supplement iodine if they're deficient. 

It's also important to note that if someone has high levels of bromine, it's smart to at first work on reducing Bromine in your organism before supplementing with iodine.

Otherwise, Iodine can cause a detoxification reaction whereby the body releases bromide and causes different side effects.

2) People With Graves' Disease. Most doctors advise to all people with hyperthyroidism to avoid iodine. They believe that iodine will make thyroid disease worse. That's just not true. If someone doesn’t take the proper precautions then there is a chance that iodine can exacerbate the autoimmune response in people with Graves’ Disease.

However, with proper precautions, we believe that an iodine supplementation is a good option, especially when all the other strategies like bugleweed, lemon balm, L-carnitine, etc. have failed.

1. Do not jump straight into taking iodine.

2. Consider working with a healthcare professional to make it safer.

3. Check Your Bromine and Fluoride levels and reduce them (if high) before using iodine.

4. Make sure You take selenium, vitamin C, magnesium and B vitamins.

5. Consider testing for iodine deficiency before You start. (1)

6. Always start with a small dosage like 2-3mg of iodine.

Common Questions

1. Can taking Iodine elevate my TSH levels?

TSH elevation sometimes occurs as the TSH stimulates the transport molecule for iodine. TSH levels decline within 6-10 months as optimal iodine levels are restored.

2. Can I Supplement With Kelp?

Most of the people will do okay when taking a kelp supplement. There have been few studies showing negative side effects of kelp supplementation, but this might have been due to either taking it wrong or due to the quality of the kelp. When You decide for kelp supplementation, always make sure that You've taken care of the precautions above and choose quality supplements as a not organic form of kelp may cause sensitivity reaction, because of toxins like mercury or arsenic.

With that said, although kelp is a natural source of iodine, there can be a problem involved with dosing, so in some cases, we still prefer other sources of iodine.

3. What form of iodine is the best?

It depends on the person. Usually, it's Lugol’s solution, Prolamine Iodine or Iodoral.




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