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What is the Truth About Iodine?
Many practitioners endorse the use of iodine when you are dealing with thyroid issues while other practitioners adamantly oppose the use of iodine! So what's the truth of the matter? There certainly are plenty of opinions out there, but what do you do? Is iodine the answer to your chronic symptoms?
Proper timing and testing is everything when it comes to iodine!
The thyroid makes T4 and T3 out of iodine. Iodine is imperative for proper thyroid function and iodine deficiency is at an epidemic level (even in America). When you are iodine deficient it can certainly be contributing to your lack of energy, inability to lose weight, and many other symptoms. The problem is that iodine can also flare up auto-immunity against the thyroid when given at the wrong time. This is why proper testing and a proper understanding of what is driving your thyroid disease is imperative.
The best way to assess for iodine deficiency is a 24 hour urinary iodine loading test:
For this test you take a 50 mg tablet of iodine and then collect all urine for the next 24 hours. We then analyze to discover how much of the 50 mg of iodine was released in the urine. If greater than 90% is excreted you are sufficient in iodine. If less than 90% is excreted you are deficient in iodine.
Supplementing with Iodine:
Properly timing the repletion of iodine is very important when it comes to thyroid disease. If you are suffering from an auto-immune thyroid disorder the immune system must be regulated before adding iodine support. If the thyroid is already inflamed when you start iodine supplementation it can be like throwing gasoline on a fire! The first step is to identify if you have auto-immunity and if you do, we have to calm down the inflammation. Once the inflammation is regulated iodine support can begin.
When beginning iodine support we have to start slow. The reason for this is that when you are deficient in iodine, the iodine receptors in your body will bind to other environmental toxins like bromine, fluoride, and chlorine. These toxins are everywhere and we are exposed to them on a daily basis. You are exposed to these chemicals in water, tooth paste, bread, etc. When you are deficient in iodine your body will stack up with these toxins instead. As we begin to push iodine back into the system it will start pushing these toxins out. If we begin to flush these toxins out too fast it can create a severe detoxification reaction which can create symptoms and inflammation in your body.
To prevent this detox reaction from occurring there are a few steps we use as a precaution:
(1) Selenium supplementation
(2) Magnesium supplementation
(3) Salt water flushes
(4) Vitamin C support (in some cases)
Using the proper form of iodine is also very important. We use a blend of iodine and iodide for supplementation purposes.
Becoming sufficient in iodine can play a huge role in restoring your energy, helping you lose weight, getting your hair growing again, and overall restoring your health! We will thoroughly evaluate your need for iodine and help determine an appropriate strategy for repletion if it is necessary. Iodine repletion is something I definitely do not recommend doing on your own. I recommend working with a health care practitioner to make sure you receive the proper testing and are being supervised as you add iodine support.