5

votes

So, do we reaaaally need iodine?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created February 11, 2012 at 6:23 PM

I have Hashimoto's, and at the behest of my boyfriend I started taking supplemental potassium iodide, and ended up breaking out terribly. I didn't see any particular effects from it, other than the acne, so I stopped after about two weeks. Since then, I've stopped eating iodized salt, and my skin improves and improves. I tend to feel like the outside is a decent reflection of how healthy you are inside, so its difficult for me to believe that something that gives me terrible acne is good for me.

Will I develop these unattractive-sounding "goiter" doohickeys if I don't consume any iodine, or is our iodine need overhyped? I've only been paleo for 3 months, so pardon me for being grossly uninformed by the standards of this forum.

7bd0e26f49272e89ad4e2ec136f6bd3b

(10)

on March 02, 2013
at 01:44 AM

Okay, I am checking back in after 2 months. While the iodine did increase my thyroid levels and I felt more energy, it DID seem to stimulate the autoimmune response from the Hashimoto's. I STOPPED using the Lugol's solution! I switched over to a Paleo autoimmune protocol diet one month ago. It took about a week for the hot throat sensation (assume it was inflammation) to stop. The protocol is strict - no dairy, no gluten, no nightshades, etc. - but, it is supposed to heal "leaky gut" which can lead to the autoimmune reaction. My energy is good, acne is totally gone, and I've lost 5 lbs!!

0b4326a4949718451a8571b82558dc10

(2349)

on December 29, 2012
at 09:02 PM

where did you get your Lugols?...I think it's illegal in Ohio (USA). I can't seem to find it.

3032ceff7a87dada5b416b95e15e65be

(10)

on March 13, 2012
at 07:44 PM

I don't think I would say that iodine causes Hashimoto's, rather it might be more like not enough iodine causes Hashimotos. That plus other dietary deficiencies in those genetically susceptable. A good read can be found at the following site: http://www.optimox.com/pics/Iodine/IOD-22/IOD_22.htm

Bdc6244bdbd664d2168a8e326018ffbe

(431)

on March 05, 2012
at 08:10 PM

Wow, thanks. Do you have thyroid issues, or does the prescription for your digestive issues just happen to be similar?

Bdc6244bdbd664d2168a8e326018ffbe

(431)

on February 26, 2012
at 09:50 AM

Air_hadoken, thanks so much for updating! I'm awaiting my Se. package from the U.S., at which point I'm going to make sure to take it for aaages before retrying iodine, after all the warnings.

685e3c967e63b4eacccf02628fd9a3ac

(1026)

on February 19, 2012
at 09:55 AM

About my above comment : Chris Kresser says iodine isn't dangerous if you have enough selenium. He thinks it's a better idea to supplement selenium than eating fish or brazil nuts because of mercury and omega-6.

543a65b3004bf5a51974fbdd60d666bb

(4493)

on February 17, 2012
at 11:09 PM

yes, i think the iosol may of been of help (& i believe did no harm). i was slightly hypo (not any more). i slowly increased the dose over weeks & months. the highest i got to was 10 drops per day (18mg). i now just take 2 drops pre day now (3.6mg) just for maintenance; to keep my iodine stores topped up (that's my theory any way).

Bdc6244bdbd664d2168a8e326018ffbe

(431)

on February 16, 2012
at 08:55 PM

I very uselessly don't know, it no longer says on the bottle. Potassium iodide, but I don't know the strength. Apparently more than I thought!

Bdc6244bdbd664d2168a8e326018ffbe

(431)

on February 16, 2012
at 08:53 PM

Matthew- sadly, it doesn't- I had to take it on a plane, and so I paranoidly wrapped it with duct tape and now is illegible. Booo me. Daz, did you find at all that iosol helped you? Was it for thyroid issues or something else? Thank you guys so much for helping!

Bdc6244bdbd664d2168a8e326018ffbe

(431)

on February 16, 2012
at 08:52 PM

Matthew- sadly, it doesn't- I had to take it on a plane, and so I paranoidly wrapped it with duct tape and now is illegible. Booo me. Daz, did you find at all that iosol helped you? Was it for thyroid issues or something else?

Bdc6244bdbd664d2168a8e326018ffbe

(431)

on February 16, 2012
at 08:47 PM

Huh, so selenium sounds more important than I thought- thanks! I'll probably recover and work up the nerve to try the iodine again with selenium added in.

C56baa1b4f39839c018180bf63226f7d

(3499)

on February 13, 2012
at 06:36 AM

Actually, I thought cilantro did have a lot of selenium until I looked it up and found that it has only a small amount. However, it is good at mobilizing and possibly chelating mercury, and mercury can interfere with proper thyroid function (possibly by binding with copper and zinc to make it biounavailable). So it's still a good idea to eat it for thyroid, but it doesn't take the place of selenium. So that means I'll have to eat two Brazil nuts a day as well.

C4f1a0c70c4e0dea507c2e346c036bbd

on February 13, 2012
at 04:41 AM

Why cilantro? What does that have selenium?

543a65b3004bf5a51974fbdd60d666bb

(4493)

on February 13, 2012
at 03:50 AM

also, a minority of people seem to have a negative reaction to potassium iodide (i am one of them). i get a sore throat on lower microgram doses. & on higher doses red spots appeared on my stomach. i switched to iosol drops & was able to start on 1 drop per day (1.8mg) without any issues. iosol contains iodine & ammonium iodide (no potassium iodide)

543a65b3004bf5a51974fbdd60d666bb

(4493)

on February 13, 2012
at 03:49 AM

also, a minority of people seem have a negative reaction to potassium iodide (i am one of them). i get a sore throat on lower microgram doses. & on higher doses red spots appeared on my stomach. i switched to iosol drops & was able to start on 1 drop per day (1.8mg) without any issues. iosol contains iodine & ammonium iodide (no potassium iodide)

543a65b3004bf5a51974fbdd60d666bb

(4493)

on February 13, 2012
at 03:40 AM

yep, you need to start iodine at very low doses (micrograms) and also supp with selenium as well. more details here from a someone who has Hashimoto's; http://perfecthealthdiet.com/?p=3621 & http://perfecthealthdiet.com/?p=3650

5e5ff249c9161b8cd96d7eff6043bc3a

(4713)

on February 13, 2012
at 03:13 AM

Celine if you you're taking 10 drops of 2% that's 25mg, which is extremely high as a starter dose. If you're taking 5% it's 62.5mg, which is ludicrously high, so either way no surprise you had a bad reaction. I didn't see you mention what you were taking drops of though. It didn't make me break out, but the most I've ever taken is half that much. What are you taking drops of exactly?

5e5ff249c9161b8cd96d7eff6043bc3a

(4713)

on February 13, 2012
at 03:10 AM

Celine if you you're taking 10 drops of 2% that's 25mg, which is extremely high as a starter dose. If you're taking 5% it's about 60mg, which is ludicrously high, so either way no surprise you had a bad reaction. I didn't see you mention what you were taking drops of though. It didn't make me break out, but the most I've ever taken is half that much. What are you taking drops of exactly?

Bdc6244bdbd664d2168a8e326018ffbe

(431)

on February 12, 2012
at 11:51 PM

Noooo, I had to wrap it all up in duct-tape to put on a plane, and know I can't read the label and don't know it from Adam.

Bdc6244bdbd664d2168a8e326018ffbe

(431)

on February 12, 2012
at 11:49 PM

No, I had to wrap it all up in duct tape to carry in a plane, and now I can't tell the label from Adam. So.....worthless.

0bc6cbb653cdc5e82400f6da920f11eb

(19235)

on February 12, 2012
at 02:59 PM

Does the bottle say what percentage the potassium iodide is and what brand it is?

Bdc6244bdbd664d2168a8e326018ffbe

(431)

on February 12, 2012
at 01:38 PM

Matthew- ridiculously, I'm not actually sure- whatever 10 drops of potassium iodide daily is. I don't think its that much.

0bc6cbb653cdc5e82400f6da920f11eb

(19235)

on February 12, 2012
at 10:35 AM

How much iodine were you taking?

Bdc6244bdbd664d2168a8e326018ffbe

(431)

on February 11, 2012
at 08:38 PM

I wasn't on THAT high of a dose, I don't think- 10 drops daily. Do you know how long the bromide detox allegedly takes? I'm starting to work through his series of articles now. Did Iodoral perchance make you break out, j3wcy?

9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad

on February 11, 2012
at 07:21 PM

his new podcast has more info

Medium avatar

(2923)

on February 11, 2012
at 07:13 PM

The "regular hyperthyroidism" is to clarify they were not talking about Hashimoto's, the two of them appear to respond very differently to iodine supplementation (either Potassium Iodide or sea vegetables).

Bdc6244bdbd664d2168a8e326018ffbe

(431)

on February 11, 2012
at 07:11 PM

Wait, I'm sorry, is "regular hyperthyroidism" what I want? The celiac-Hashi's connections is probably why I responded so well to being paleo. My boyfriend is not a doctor, but he's going to be. Hence the interest.

Bdc6244bdbd664d2168a8e326018ffbe

(431)

on February 11, 2012
at 07:09 PM

Sweet, thanks, I'd be interested to know. I do think paleo-ism has helped in some ways, although the list of symptoms of Hashimotos is so ludicrously long, its hard to know what's Hashimoto-related and what's not.

Bdc6244bdbd664d2168a8e326018ffbe

(431)

on February 11, 2012
at 06:58 PM

Thanks, Bruno, I didn't know that, I'll try selenium! Then maybe my vanity and iodine intake can coexist. And I have no idea, honestly- Internet research has led to opposing opinions every which a way. But yeah, I noticed no effect!

685e3c967e63b4eacccf02628fd9a3ac

(1026)

on February 11, 2012
at 06:53 PM

Iodine causes zits for me too btw (I didn't try supplementing, I tried seaweed). But selenium works great against zits...

685e3c967e63b4eacccf02628fd9a3ac

(1026)

on February 11, 2012
at 06:27 PM

Isn't it an extremely bad idea to take iodine when you have hashimoto's? Isn't that like trying to put out a fire with oil?

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9 Answers

9
5e5ff249c9161b8cd96d7eff6043bc3a

(4713)

on February 11, 2012
at 07:10 PM

Great article on the subject: http://chriskresser.com/selenium-the-missing-link-for-treating-hypothyroidism/

I think the issues with iodine is to not start off at a crazy dose, but to work your way up slowly. This is due to the fact that if you have too much bromide buildup in your system taking iodine will cause you to detox it. If you take too much the detox will be severe. Both Chris Kresser and PHD give guidelines for slowly ramping up iodine dosage. I am currently on one drop of Lugol's 2% and will be increasing gradually until I get to an entire Iodoral tablet. I also do 200mcg of selenium daily.

As a side note if you take Vit C take it at a different time than the iodine. Good luck!

Bdc6244bdbd664d2168a8e326018ffbe

(431)

on February 11, 2012
at 08:38 PM

I wasn't on THAT high of a dose, I don't think- 10 drops daily. Do you know how long the bromide detox allegedly takes? I'm starting to work through his series of articles now. Did Iodoral perchance make you break out, j3wcy?

9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad

on February 11, 2012
at 07:21 PM

his new podcast has more info

5e5ff249c9161b8cd96d7eff6043bc3a

(4713)

on February 13, 2012
at 03:13 AM

Celine if you you're taking 10 drops of 2% that's 25mg, which is extremely high as a starter dose. If you're taking 5% it's 62.5mg, which is ludicrously high, so either way no surprise you had a bad reaction. I didn't see you mention what you were taking drops of though. It didn't make me break out, but the most I've ever taken is half that much. What are you taking drops of exactly?

5e5ff249c9161b8cd96d7eff6043bc3a

(4713)

on February 13, 2012
at 03:10 AM

Celine if you you're taking 10 drops of 2% that's 25mg, which is extremely high as a starter dose. If you're taking 5% it's about 60mg, which is ludicrously high, so either way no surprise you had a bad reaction. I didn't see you mention what you were taking drops of though. It didn't make me break out, but the most I've ever taken is half that much. What are you taking drops of exactly?

Bdc6244bdbd664d2168a8e326018ffbe

(431)

on February 16, 2012
at 08:55 PM

I very uselessly don't know, it no longer says on the bottle. Potassium iodide, but I don't know the strength. Apparently more than I thought!

5
81321c056fbbb7d29d87c4c3fa8f862d

(70)

on February 12, 2012
at 05:57 PM

Any acne-like breakout is caused from the iodine pushing bromide off the iodine receptors. This causes bromide acne. You can flush out the bromide with salt water and get rid of the acne. Use extra C also.

Go to this page and scroll down for how to take the salt water. http://breastcancerchoices.org/iprotocol.html

As far as hashi's read Dr. Dach on that. Iodine deficiency causes Hashi's but it needs more comprehensive supplementation. See: http://www.drdach.com/Selenium_Hashimotos.html

Bdc6244bdbd664d2168a8e326018ffbe

(431)

on February 16, 2012
at 08:47 PM

Huh, so selenium sounds more important than I thought- thanks! I'll probably recover and work up the nerve to try the iodine again with selenium added in.

3
C56baa1b4f39839c018180bf63226f7d

on February 11, 2012
at 07:03 PM

I was just researching this topic earlier this week, and this is the conclusion I came to, which is directing some near future experiments for me:

Iodine is essential for proper thyroid function. However, iodine also fuels the parts of the immune system responsible for the Hashimoto autoimmune response, and it seems to be related to the autoimmune response in celiac. When gluten is eliminated, the autoimmune response is sometimes but not always reduced (the gluten antibodies eventually go away but the thyroid antibodies do not), and when selenium is introduced, the autoimmune effect against the thyroid is blocked, even when iodine-fueled. This is the reason why gluten elimination, selenium supplementation, and iodine supplementation are all recommended to be done together.

So I'm letting my gut heal after a bad dietary week (had been traveling) and I'll be investing in some cilantro and kelp flakes soon. Will report back if I notice anything.

EDIT: After 5 or 6 days trying this regimen, I had to stop. Initially I just had hyperthyroid symptoms (jittery anxiety but increased energy), but 3 or 4 days in my thyroid flared up and a lot of problems I had had earlier came back. I switched to taking a 200mcg selenium tablet daily, without extra iodine, to see if I can build up a store of Se before trying this again. I can't say if it's the selenium (I also replenished my Mg supplement supply) but I feel pretty good right now. Definitely not low on energy. Existing psoriasis is still there but new ones aren't cropping up -- that could be due to multiple factors. I think I will have another bunch of cilantro this weekend, though.

Bdc6244bdbd664d2168a8e326018ffbe

(431)

on February 11, 2012
at 07:09 PM

Sweet, thanks, I'd be interested to know. I do think paleo-ism has helped in some ways, although the list of symptoms of Hashimotos is so ludicrously long, its hard to know what's Hashimoto-related and what's not.

C56baa1b4f39839c018180bf63226f7d

(3499)

on February 13, 2012
at 06:36 AM

Actually, I thought cilantro did have a lot of selenium until I looked it up and found that it has only a small amount. However, it is good at mobilizing and possibly chelating mercury, and mercury can interfere with proper thyroid function (possibly by binding with copper and zinc to make it biounavailable). So it's still a good idea to eat it for thyroid, but it doesn't take the place of selenium. So that means I'll have to eat two Brazil nuts a day as well.

C4f1a0c70c4e0dea507c2e346c036bbd

on February 13, 2012
at 04:41 AM

Why cilantro? What does that have selenium?

Bdc6244bdbd664d2168a8e326018ffbe

(431)

on February 26, 2012
at 09:50 AM

Air_hadoken, thanks so much for updating! I'm awaiting my Se. package from the U.S., at which point I'm going to make sure to take it for aaages before retrying iodine, after all the warnings.

1
7bd0e26f49272e89ad4e2ec136f6bd3b

on December 29, 2012
at 07:52 PM

I have Hashimoto's thyroiditis and started taking Lugol's 2% solution 1-2 drops a day about a month ago. It helped me tremendously. I have more energy during the day and feel good again. Before that I was waking up in the middle of the night feeling horrible, restless and agitated. I would sleep later in the morning, but no matter how much sleep I got would crash around 4 pm, and at night, too.

Since starting the Lugol's, my metabolism has increased and I feel warmer, including my usually freezing hands and feet. I can feel the increased circulation there - my dry hands and feet are both improving in reduced dryness (no amount of topically applied oil/lotion/exfoliation had helped).I also started taking about 3 Tbs coconut oil a day and I believe that is helping as well.

My brain fog has disappeared - things just overwhelmed me before - now I can get things done again.

I also had some pain in my right breast that I assume was fibrocystic. I applied the iodine directly on the breast for three days and it is gone. Interestingly, I was nervous about taking iodine because I had heard maybe it wasn't good for Hashimoto's, so I stopped for two days recently. The waking up at night and feeling horrid returned AND I started to feel pain in the LEFT breast. After two days of resuming iodine and coconut oil both problems are GONE and I feel GOOD again.

On the downside, the iodine does increase my acne, which had mostly gone away over the years. I do think you need to start gradually with iodine to allow your body some time to release the bromide and other toxins that are attached to the receptors, and replace them with iodine. I will try to come back and let you know if the acne dissipates over time once while taking the iodine.

0b4326a4949718451a8571b82558dc10

(2349)

on December 29, 2012
at 09:02 PM

where did you get your Lugols?...I think it's illegal in Ohio (USA). I can't seem to find it.

7bd0e26f49272e89ad4e2ec136f6bd3b

(10)

on March 02, 2013
at 01:44 AM

Okay, I am checking back in after 2 months. While the iodine did increase my thyroid levels and I felt more energy, it DID seem to stimulate the autoimmune response from the Hashimoto's. I STOPPED using the Lugol's solution! I switched over to a Paleo autoimmune protocol diet one month ago. It took about a week for the hot throat sensation (assume it was inflammation) to stop. The protocol is strict - no dairy, no gluten, no nightshades, etc. - but, it is supposed to heal "leaky gut" which can lead to the autoimmune reaction. My energy is good, acne is totally gone, and I've lost 5 lbs!!

1
3032ceff7a87dada5b416b95e15e65be

on March 13, 2012
at 07:38 PM

Your acne could be caused by the iodine breaking stored bromine lose in your body. Iodine can help Hashimotos, but especially when Hashimoto's is involved it is best to start selenium first along with Vit. C, Vit. E, and the B's. If you are interested in this approach I would suggest you join the Iodine group on Yahoo Groups. If you keep up the iodine eventually the acne may stop. Also taking zinc might help.

1
4e184df9c1ed38f61febc5d6cf031921

(5005)

on February 26, 2012
at 09:14 AM

Here are a couple of links you might find useful...

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

http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum/thread45205.html

I've been taking kelp pills for months, and Lugol's iodine, with brazil nuts for selenium, vitamin C, and epsom salt baths for magnesium, for about a week. The results have been excellent - sorted out digestive problems (diarrhoea etc) which has plagued me for years - seems to have gone!

Bdc6244bdbd664d2168a8e326018ffbe

(431)

on March 05, 2012
at 08:10 PM

Wow, thanks. Do you have thyroid issues, or does the prescription for your digestive issues just happen to be similar?

1
Medium avatar

(2923)

on February 11, 2012
at 06:50 PM

Hashimoto's thyroiditis sounds like a specific case and something you should be working with your doctor on treatment (unless your boyfriend is a doctor?). From the Wikipedia article, sounds like (among other things) overly high doses of iodine may be one of the triggers ...

Preventable environmental factors, including high iodine intake, selenium deficiency, and pollutants such as tobacco smoke, as well as infectious diseases and certain drugs, have been implicated in the development of autoimmune thyroid disease

Looks like there's a correlation between Hashimoto's and Celiac, including hope for using a paleo-style diet to regulate TSH levels ...

Preliminary studies have suggested a correlation between Hashimoto's Thyroiditis and Celiac sprue. While it has not been rigorously explored, there is anecdotal evidence that a gluten-free diet may reduce the autoimmune response responsible for thyroid degeneration.

Goiter sounds almost like a given though ...

Occurrence in children is also not uncommon, as especially in populations wherein iodine is not a dietary scarcity, Hashimoto's is a major cause of goiter.

The Jaminets (Perfect Health Diet) for regular hyperthyroidism recommend eliminating grains, legumes, and vegetable oils then supplementing with iodine [probably not a good idea with Hashimoto's], selenium, and working with your doctor.

Bdc6244bdbd664d2168a8e326018ffbe

(431)

on February 11, 2012
at 07:11 PM

Wait, I'm sorry, is "regular hyperthyroidism" what I want? The celiac-Hashi's connections is probably why I responded so well to being paleo. My boyfriend is not a doctor, but he's going to be. Hence the interest.

Medium avatar

(2923)

on February 11, 2012
at 07:13 PM

The "regular hyperthyroidism" is to clarify they were not talking about Hashimoto's, the two of them appear to respond very differently to iodine supplementation (either Potassium Iodide or sea vegetables).

3032ceff7a87dada5b416b95e15e65be

(10)

on March 13, 2012
at 07:44 PM

I don't think I would say that iodine causes Hashimoto's, rather it might be more like not enough iodine causes Hashimotos. That plus other dietary deficiencies in those genetically susceptable. A good read can be found at the following site: http://www.optimox.com/pics/Iodine/IOD-22/IOD_22.htm

0
8e7384096fa22a50f9e51023d3c84132

on June 09, 2012
at 09:06 PM

I feel much better without iodine. I use salt with no iodine. There is enough iodine in everything else that one with Hashimoto does not need the extra iodine. For someone with a normal immune system iodine may help the thyroid but I don't believe this is true for someone with Hashimoto. It just makes things worse and makes me feel like my throat is closing in.

I have tried cilantro tea, and had to force it down my throat the first time. After that my body craves it. I first started to use it for the anti-flatulence properties. I am not sure what it is that my body seems to crave, but I looking for recipes to eat more of it. I have grown several rows in the garden and pluck it fresh without worries of pesticides etc.

0
Bbceb114ed2332c22490e324d991497e

on February 11, 2012
at 06:36 PM

Check out Chris Kresser for all things related to the thyroid, including Hashimoto’s

http://chriskresser.com/thyroid

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