I’m going explain why iodine supplementation is still a bad idea if you have low thyroid symptoms.
Earlier this year a new study was released about iodine supplementation in Denmark. Many years ago, Denmark began fortifying their salt with iodine.
After a few years of salt iodination, the government assessed the results and were unhappy. They passed a rule to increase the amount of iodine put in the salt–a mandatory increase in iodine.
Well, some sharp researchers though..
“Let’s see if there’s a relationship between iodine and antibody production against the thyroid.”
To put it another way:
Does iodine cause Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis?
So let me back up and explain that.
For years, well-established, credible scientific data have shown that when you give people supplemental iodine —and this may be in a frankly iodine deficient area—you cause an autoimmune attack against the thyroid.
TPO antibodies and thyroglobulin antibodies are how you determine if there is an autoimmune attack on the thyroid gland.
The researchers from Denmark ran these exact tests in their quest to determine if iodine caused an autoimmune attack on the thyroid gland.
Here’s the citation so you so you can take a look at it.
Clinical Endocrinology (2011) 75, 120–126
(You would be shocked at the hate mail I get when I talk about iodine and it’s possible negative effects. It’s clear by their comments that they are either not actually reading, or they simply dont’ understand my point.)
This is my point about iodine, low thyroid symptoms and Hashimoto’s…
if you have low thyroid symptoms, you need to find out if you have Hashimoto’s or not. Because if you have Hashimoto’s, taking iodine is like taking toxic waste.
Iodine will make you worse.
Let me tell you a quick real life story about iodine…
Recently I had a patient, Kim. She’s 36 years old and she had been taking iodine for seven years – for seven years—because some well-meaning but totally wrong alternative practitioner told her to take iodine for her low thyroid symptoms.
Quick Review of Low Thyroid Symptoms
- gain weight easily, even if you exercise and eat “right” (low calorie)
- hair loss, hair thinning on the scalp, eyebrows
- dry, flaky skin
- brain fog, slow mental response
- high cholesterol
- sleep problems – can’t get enough sleep; sleep is not restorative
Turns out, that in all these years of suffering low thyroid symptoms…and after all these years of seeing doctor after doctor… Kim had never been tested for Hashimoto’s.
For seven years Kim has felt bad. In the last year and a half she’s got worse and worse. Her hair’s been falling out, she’s gaining weight.
And all I did was say, “You know what? Why don’t we just find out for sure if you’ve got Hashimoto’s? Let’s find out if you’ve got these antibodies.”
Sure as heck, she’s got them. It explains why she feels so bad.
Iodine is a huge risk factor for Hashimoto’s.
In Denmark, where larger amounts of iodine have been put in the salt by law, the researchers discoverd a shocking increase in elevated thyroid antibodies in the youngest age group of women – 18 to 45.
Denmark passed a law that’s given a huge part of their population Hashimoto’s Autoimmune Hypothyroidism.
This might sound strange, but…
Hashimoto’s is actually the least of your worries. Why?
Because once you have one tissue under attack from your immune system–pay close attention—your entire body is now on the menu.
You can now attack your cartilage and develop rheumatoid arthritis…
…Or attack myelin and develop multiple sclerosis symptoms.
…Or attack your ovaries and develop infertility and various other polyglandular endocrine symptoms.
This is the new, real information about iodine and Hashimoto’s.
But I will probably still get flooded with hate mail or have people threatening to kill me and calling me a “murderer” because they don’t like what the research shows. This is the truth, folks.
If you’ve got lot thyroid symptoms such as hair loss, weight gain, constipation…
If you’re taking thyroid medication like Synthroid®, Armour®, Naturethroid®, Levoxyl® or Cytomel® — and you STILL feel bad…
Then, you’ve got to find somebody to do these simple, non-exotic tests for TPO antibodies and thyroglobulin antibodies.
But here’s the catch…
If the results show you do have those elevate antibodies…you have a Hashimoto’s autoimmune attack on your thyroid….
Taking replacement thyroid hormones is only one tiny piece of the solution.
You need to find someone that understands the autoimmune situation. Someone who can help you get your immune system back into balance and slow down the autoimmune process (this can be done).
So to go back where I was at the beginning….low thyroid and iodine is a bad idea.
Yes, iodine is necessary to make thyroid hormones. But, scientific data AND practical experience have proven again and again that iodine is dangerous.
Until you know whether you’ve got an autoimmune situation, I suggest you do NOT take iodine.
If someone is telling you to take iodine for low thyroid symptoms (no matter who they are), it’s time they read a recent article with recent information.
© 2011 Dr David Clark, DC