Iodine supplementation has become very popular in recent years, and with good reason. Iodine has been shown to be an effective therapy for such conditions as breast and uterine fibroids, breast cancer, and more. When it comes to Hashimoto’s, however, I oppose the use of iodine as you risk worsening your autoimmune thyroid condition.

As I explained in the book, iodine stimulates the activity of the thyroid peroxidase (TPO) enzyme, which triggers thyroid hormone production. This is why so many thyroid supplements contain iodine, even though the thyroid only needs enough iodine to fit on the head of a pin each day in order to perform its duties.

Supplementing with iodine stimulates the production and activity of TPO. For most people with Hashimoto’s, TPO also happens to be the site of autoimmune attack, and surrounding thyroid tissue is damaged in the process. So everytime TPO production is stimulated, the immune system, which perceives TPO as a foreign invader to be eradicated, responds more aggressively and amps up the attack.

I simply believe, based on my research and clinical experience, that iodine is an unnecessary risk when managing Hashimoto’s, especially since we have safer and more effective ways to work with a improperly functioning immune system.

Some iodine stories

The iodine enthusiasts would have you believe that nearly everyone, including those with autoimmune thyroid conditions, would benefit from iodine loading or iodine supplementation.

Since creating my website, however, I have heard from a few people who experienced negative consequences as a result from supplementing with iodine. For instance, a 62-year-old woman who eats an exemplary diet and is very health conscious emailed to say she first went to her physician for help with her thyroid. Her TSH was 3.22 (the functional range is 1.8-3) and her TPO antibody count, a marker for Hashimoto’s, was 136, which is pretty high. Her physician prescribed Synthroid, which she refused to take.

Next she went to a naturopath and he told her to take 15 kelp tablets a day. She only took three a day and quickly began feeling worse, so she ordered another blood test after two weeks of taking the kelp tablets. Her TPO count had jumped to 268 and her TSH had dropped to .02 (presumably the iodine stimulated an increased autoimmune attack against her thyroid, spilling more thyroid hormones into her bloodstream, hence lowering her TSH). Without the proof of that second blood test, how many doctors would have told her she was feeling worse due to a bromide detox or some other detox due to iodine supplementation? This woman also feels her thyroid problems originally began on a macrobiotic diet high in seaweed.

Iodine and Graves’

Another woman in her 50s emailed to say she used a popular high-dose form of iodine beginning in 2002 as an adjuvant therapy after finishing standard breast cancer treatment. At first she felt an incredible burst of stamina and energy, but that energy slowly morphed into taxing thyroid symptoms that vacillated between hyper- and hypothyroid symptoms. However her thyroid antibodies were not checked, despite being treated by an “iodine expert,” although she was put on Armour for hypothyroid symptoms. Eventually she was prescribed hydrocortisone for her failing adrenal function as she continued to cope with thyroid symptoms, which allowed her to take larger doses of iodine more comfortably. Although her antibodies were not tested, she did receive periodic ultrasounds to monitor the size of her existing goiter and nodules, which did not improve on the iodine treatment (as practitioners learn in the Mastering they Thyroid class, not all goiters are caused by iodine deficiency).

Finally last summer her hyperthyroid symptoms became quite serious and she tested positive for Graves’ disease antibodies, and still continued taking iodine while her antibodies climbed ever higher. Finally she stopped taking iodine and now manages her hyperthyroid symptoms successfully with a prescription medicine that binds iodine. Her goiter and nodules also appear to have resolved from use of this medication. Currently, any amount of iodine makes her feel sick, with a transient return of hyperthyroid symptoms until the iodine wears off. Looking back, she new feels she had an autoimmune thyroid condition before beginning the iodine therapy and it was made much worse over the years by up to 100 mg a day of iodine.

Is even dietary iodine safe for Hashimoto’s?

Although I strictly prohibit iodine supplementation in my Hashimoto’s patients, I have always told them that it was OK to eat iodine-rich foods in moderation, however I recently came across a study that has me questioning that advice (please see “The effect of iodine restriction on thyroid function in patients with hypothyroidism due to Hashimoto’s thyroiditis” in the studies post).

In this study subjects with Hashimoto’s were divided into two groups. One group ate a normal diet. The other group was put on a diet that strictly avoided iodine so that they consumed less than 100 mcg per day. Eighty percent of the group who avoided dietary iodine experienced complete remission of their thyroid symptoms!

Therefore I am asking my Hashimoto’s patients to avoid iodine rich foods, such as seafoods, seaweeds and iodized salt in order to see how this affects clinical outcomes.

No reason not to do a lab test

I don’t wish to be seen as the anti-iodine thyroid doctor because that is not the truth. I have family members who take iodine with good benefit. I simply believe, based on my research and clinical experience, that iodine is an unnecessary risk when managing Hashimoto’s, especially since we have safer and more effective ways to work with a improperly functioning immune system.

The antibody tests for Hashimoto’s are affordable and easy. If you have Hashimoto’s and you or your doctor insists on iodine supplementation, do yourself a favor and monitor your antibody levels, your TSH, and your thyroid symptoms, and don’t be too quick to pass off negative effects as a detox.


  • Mearah Marqua August 5, 2010 at 9:25 pm

    I appreciate your information. I need to do the hashimoto test and would like to find a practitioner in Maui HI.

    Mahalo, Mearah

  • cynthia gatlin September 8, 2010 at 3:27 pm

    I was recently diagnosed with Hashimoto and stopped all iodine immediately. However, I began using a protein powder that contained spirulina. No where on the can did it list iodine. I did not know spirulina contained it. I had one protein drink a day. After about 10 days I had an attack on my thyroid that was terrible. Sore, swollen troat, raspy voice and hypo symptoms that put me in bed. The only thing new was the protein powder so I investigated the ingredients and discovered spirulina is very high in natural iodine. I certainly agree with your theory!

    • Linda June 25, 2012 at 8:12 pm

      Hi Cynthia

      You just opened my eyes “WIDE”. I have been suffering for the last three months with a terrible flare up and coudn’t for the life of me figure out why. I have had every test that my Endo could think of and my rhumetologist. It wasn’t until right this minute, when reading your comment, did I go and look up what was in my protien shake that I was taking every morning for months. Yes, it was spirulina and lots of it. It finally makes sense now. My flare up is so bad that it affected my achilles tendons and tendons at the tops of my knees. I am in Physical Therapy now 3X a week for 6 weeks. It’s a slow process. I’ve been off the shake for 3 months now, I’m wondering when I will feel better. I just decided to stop all Gluten. Hopefully this will help. Thanks.

      • Elaine June 25, 2012 at 8:52 pm

        Not only does spirulina have iodine but I found some studies saying it activates TH-1 immune cytokines, a double whammy for the TH-1 dominant person.

  • Lori September 17, 2010 at 6:11 am

    I have Hashimoto and just realized that a multiviamin perscribed by my Doctor to help with my digestive issues, which I have been taking faithfully for 2 years now, has a daily value of 150 mcg of iodine (from kelp (Ascophyllum nodosum) So, should I stop taking this? It would mean I won’t be getting all the other vitamins that my body requires (according to my doc) Please help.

  • Lisa October 12, 2010 at 6:00 pm

    I have been plagued with Lyme disease (late stage, misdiagosed, resistent to treatment dx: neuroborelliosis) and multiple tick-borne co-infections, including Babesia, Bartonella, Epstein Barr Virus, and Mycoplasma, among others, with impaired methylation and liver detox problems hindered by heavy metal toxicity, opportunistic gut parasites, including Yersinia and systemic candidiasis, on top of adrenal exhaustion from the chronic infections that can’t be eradicated, with multiple food allergies and chemical sensitivities, besides celiac disease (though CD is responding to strictly observed gluten free diet, but only after discovering CD two years after having cerebellar and optic chiasmal pathway strokes of unknown etiology, though looking back was probably cerebellar ataxia). Recently, I read that chlorella — a detox binding agent that I have been prescribed, and taking for almost three years — has iodine in it, and iodine may exacerbate Hashimoto’s, of which I am being tested for through my own request, as a result of reading Dr. K’s latest book, which is a God-send; THANK YOU! If I can’t use chlorella, what comparable detox agents or natural health remedies are recommended by Dr. K. in removing dangerous neurotoxins from die-off of bacteria, parasites, and viruses, as well as heavy metals, etc. (positive for mercury, cadmium, arsenic, gadolinium, uranium, aluminum, plus selenium, cobalt, chromium) that have strong binding capacity so toxic metals won’t be released back into body before eliminated and cause further injury and cell damage or destruction, including creating a vicious cycle for multi-system autoimmune disease?

    • Wilda February 25, 2013 at 8:42 pm

      Just read your post where you question how to rid the body of heavy metals. i recently learned the the essential oil of coriander, rubbed on the bottom of your feet is supposed to be good for that. Young Living or DoTerra are good therapeutic brands to use.

  • Libby Lane November 3, 2010 at 3:10 pm

    Do you have any info. on Grave’s Disease? I have been on tapazole for 6 months. My numbers are all normal but I still have many symptoms..racing heart, anxiety.

  • Alysa Urquijo January 4, 2011 at 12:11 pm

    I like your web site! did you create this yourself or did you outsource it? Im in search of a blog design thats similar so thats the one motive I’m asking. Both manner sustain the good work I used to be impressed together with your content material really..

  • Judith January 25, 2011 at 10:58 pm

    Has anyone found a thyroid medication that does not have iodine in it? I cannot take armour or natural thyroid due to pork allergy.

    Mylan Pharmaceuticals levothyroxine contains povidine, which is iodine.

    I also take T3 and at this point I am paying $70 a month for T4 and T3 thyroid meds. I would like to find a more cost effective way to take these.


  • Evanir January 29, 2011 at 12:25 pm

    I found that Levoxyl from Kings Pharmaceuticals does not contain povidone and the 50mcg doesn’t contain any color added to it.
    We can’t get the generic kinds, they all seem to have the iodine.

  • Evanir January 29, 2011 at 12:30 pm

    I also found a multiple vitamin that doesn’t contain iodine, I even called the company to make suer they had forgotten to list on their website. And they confirmed that there is absolutely no iodine.
    It is Dr. Ron’s Ultra-pure Doc’s Best located in Watertown, Connecticut.
    There might be others out there but this company claims that their ingredients are superior. So far I haven’t had any allergies to it, it has been 2 weeks.

  • Lex February 1, 2011 at 7:27 am

    What about omega 3 fish oils or krill oil? Do these contain iodine? None of the supplements I’ve seen actually specify.

    Does this mean that people with hashimoto’s can never eat foods containing iodine? what about the risk of breast cancer etc associated with iodine defficiency?

  • Tee February 12, 2011 at 11:02 am

    I have hoshimotos and a pretty disinterested dr. In a moment of self help, I began taking iodine and have since learned that it is a definite DO NOt for hashimotos. After only about a week of taking iodine, I have developed a swollen and tender thyroid and am not feeling any too well. Can I just wait this out and will it settle down? I did a little research and have started taking selenium to try and quiet things and have found a doctor in a nearby city that works with autoimmune disorders who I will be scheduling an appt with. Just wondered if any thinks I may have created an emergency situation here. Thanks.

  • polygonum March 6, 2011 at 2:56 am

    I think there might be a misapprehension above. Povidone is used in many medications and is actually polyvinylpyrrolidone (PVP) which does not contain iodine (at least, not intended to).

    Povidone-iodine is a combination of povidone and iodine.

    The non-iodine form is what is used in many medicines for many purposes – such as coating and binding with crospovidone apparently being used as a disintegrant.

    Mylan levothyroxine contains both crospovidone and povidone.

    I found that Povidine (with an ‘i’ not an ‘o’) is often used for povidone-iodine. What a difference a vowel makes.


  • JO March 13, 2011 at 4:20 pm

    I too was painting on iodine daily and taking Kyo-Green. Well it caused my thyroid to swell even more. I thought I was helping a swollen thyroid by giving it iodine so it would go down in size!
    I have Hashimoto’s and all my thyroid tests are normal except for HIGH antibodies….over 1300!
    I now have stopped all iodine, no iodized salt, which I was using abundantly.
    I will check my multivitamin.
    Do I continue taking selenium?
    I gather I need to be on a GLUTEN free diet? What is that!
    Oh my, I am really confused.

  • cumin March 25, 2011 at 4:19 am

    my husband was advised to take lugol’s for yeast and other agents. after two years of lugol, now his TSH level is pretty high at 12.7 and free T4 is at .93
    could this be induced by the pottasium iodide in lugol?
    this is dejavu as the same thing happened to me. i stopped lugol and the TSH levels came down.

  • Teri April 13, 2011 at 9:44 am

    Very interesting stuff. I’m really confused about my personal situation because I don’t have an official diagnosis of Hashimoto’s. My antibodies were low when tested, but my cyst was also not swollen at the time. I consume almost zero iodine in my diet, so I believe I am almost certainly low. (The first signs of swollen thyroid were during my pregnancies though, when my prenatal vitamin probably contained iodine.)

    I wonder what people should do *before* they reach the obviously dangerous levels of a clinical diagnosis? I feel that my current approach (one drop of Lugol’s cutaneously every other day) is very moderate and not likely to cause dangerous side effects. But I don’t want to end up without a thyroid like my father and his three siblings.

    Also, I do not eat grains and have been gluten-free for over two years. My swollen cyst and other thyroid symptoms began again many months after stopping grains and ceasing consumption of iodized salt. I have never been a fan of seafood. I also get symptoms (swollen thyroid, rash on neck, hyperthryoid symptoms) after drinking tea (which I stopped doing months ago).

  • Shakeh Sumian April 13, 2011 at 4:54 pm

    Dear Dr. Kharrazian: thank you for this incredible website. I am 65 and on armour for 10 years. Iodine loading test showed very low. I started on 12.5 mg. of iodine for one month and then twice a day for second mont. I am taking it for breast and ovary health. I have find Dr. Brownstein and Dr. Andrew Jonses website that explains how most of people are deficient in iodine and different health problems comes from this deficiency. I also have thyroid nodules and want to know if iodine helps or hurts the nodules. I have to wait several month before I could do an ultrasound. my TPO and TGAB are within range.Both doctors expalain that Hashimotos is because of iodine deficiency. I would appreciate if you could tell me if iodine is OK for nodules. I will stop the iodine after taking 3 months total.Appreciate your time and help allot. Shakeh Sumian

  • Crystal April 17, 2011 at 7:37 pm

    I’m 23 years old and have dealt with hyper and hypo symptoms my entire life, but never told anyone about them and never sought help until last year when my hypo symptoms became unbearable. I suspected celiac disease at first, but my blood test and biopsy came back normal. Then I did some more research and realized my symptoms were nearly textbook for primary hypothyroidism, but my TSH test came back normal. At that point, my doctor completely dismissed me as a hypochondriac. My roommate suggested I try iodine. After a week of moderate iodine supplementation, my throat became incredibly sore, my skin became so dry that it cracked and bled, and my chronic constipation became drastically worse. After reading this and other articles online, I now believe I have Hashimoto’s. My doctor never tested my thyroid antibodies, only my TSH. I’m going back to the doctor on the 25th to have my antibodies tested; at least that’s my plan. Fingers crossed!

  • lumi May 10, 2011 at 7:25 am

    I am a 42 year old woman and I am living in Canada.
    I have the following health issues:
    1) 6 nodules in my neck:2 of the right thyroid lobe (4mm and 4mm),
    >2 benign hypoechoic nodules in each parotid gland (5 x 4 x 5 mm and
    7 x 4 x 6 mm), 2 benign lymph nodes of cervical chains (18 x 13 x 5
    mm and 16 x 6 x 2 mm)
    and a lump on left supraclavicular region.
    2) autoimmune hypothyroid (TSH = 1.55 and ANTITPO =156 – it should
    be under 5.6 ,T3=4.8 (range 2.6-5.7),T418(range12-22))
    3) uterine fibroids, heavy periods, anemia
    4) breast cysts
    Can I take Lugol if I have autoimmune hypothyroid in the eurothyroid-phase ?How many drops /day? What do you recommend?
    Thanks, Lumi

  • Doug May 18, 2011 at 4:52 pm

    I see how what you discuss with someone with Hashimoto’s taking iodine. However, you did not take selenium into account. These people who got worse taking the iodine may have been on the low side with selenium in their body’s? It would be interesting to repeat that with the person starting on 200 mcg of selenium per day then after a week add in 150 mcg of iodine. There are a lot of sources that indicate it is the balance between the two that is important.

  • Amy May 21, 2011 at 10:42 pm

    Cynthia–Thank you sooooo very much for your comment. I had recently started The Blood Type Diet and was feeling sooooo good. Then suddenly I started to feel horrible again and couldn’t figure out why. Your comment about the protein powder containing spirulina was a godsend! I had started taking a green powder and it contains spirulina! Did not know it contained iodine. I am so happy right now to know that I can get my life back again by not taking the green powder again! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

  • Kate June 15, 2011 at 8:24 am

    I was diagnosed with hashis a few months ago. I started taking 12.5 mg iodine. Although I did have a reaction at first, I started taking selenium, magnesium citrate powder, and zinc and my symptoms settled down. I have continued on 12.5 mg iodide because of fibro. Breasts and uterus and my mother has had breast cancer 3 times. I am taking armour and feeling great. I did not like synthroid and only felt marginally better on it. Also trying to go gluten free as much as possible. Hope this helps.

    • Jean May 8, 2012 at 9:01 pm

      Hi Kate,

      I have Hashi’s, my TPO numbers are huge, usually in the thousands (1,600). I felt better on Armour and then developed joint pain, probably due to a sensitivity to the pork in Armour (I am blood type O and don’t do well with pork). I had huge reactions to iodine but tested as deficient in it!? I have wondered about the exact supplements you are taking because i have read that they work well with iodine sensitive Hashimoto people but I haven’t found a selenium supplement that does not have yeast. I am very allergic to yeast. Brazil nuts don’t seem to digest well for me either. Did your TPO numbers go back to normal with your program?

      Thanks for listening.


  • Andrea June 27, 2011 at 8:46 pm

    After being diagnosed with celiac disease in Oct. of 2008, I was put on Armour Thyroid, because at that time no one could guarantee me that the synthetic thyroid med I was taking was gluten-free. I have a pork allergy listed on my medical/health history, which I present each time I visit my doctors. I was never told that Armour Thyroid should not be taken by those who have a pork allergy. After about 2 years of being on it, I developed a fever that ranges from 101-103 degrees every day/all day, suffered from fatigue and developed intolerance to heat and could not spend time outdoors in the sun. I asked my doctor if the fever could be the result of too much thyroid and he said no. After researching Armour Thyroid side effects online, I found out otherwise. He also had me taking iodine supplements to increase absorption. Doctors are not aware that celiacs who strictly adhere to a gluten-free diet end up improving their absorption and may inadvertently get too much thyroid medication and may need to reduce their dose. My thyroid blood tests have shown that I’ve been receiving too much for a long time, but my doctor kept saying he prefers to rely on how his patients feel rather than go by the blood tests. I started developing some serious arthritis symptoms and also felt very irritable, which is not characteristic of me. I skipped one day of my Armour thyroid and iodine supplement when I went for a recent cat scan and discovered my arthritis symptoms went away. After a 2nd day without Armour, I started feeling like a whole new person. Luckily, I made the connection and looked online and found that people with pork allergies can develop a condition called palindromic or allergic arthritis if they eat pork or take Armour Thyroid. I also had a very itchy rash on the back of my head that has gone away since going off the iodine. I’m wondering if there is some connection. I would appreciate any advice/feedback anyone has to offer. I cannot believe that NONE of my doctors knew that, and I have a collection of them because I have 3 auto-immune diseases, as a result of undiagnosed celiac disease for many years. Anyone who has one auto-immune disorder is at increased risk of developing others, and it is common for people with thyroid conditions and diabetes to also have celiac disease. Celiac disease and diabetes actually ride on the same gene. There are over 300 different symptoms of celiac disease, but unfortunately, some people, like me, don’t have ANY symptoms and the disease is doing damage without the individual even knowing it. If you have symptoms, make sure you get tested before going gluten-free, otherwise your testing may produce a false-negative result. It is not uncommon to have a false-negative blood test for celiac as well as a small bowel biopsy. If you have symptoms, be persistent and get tested again! I lead a celiac support group for the CDF and have heard many horror stories from people who were told after being tested that they didn’t have the disease. After being tested a 2nd time, they tested positive. You must be your own advocate. If this message helps even one person avoid what I have gone through, it will be worth the time writing it. For more information regarding symptoms of celiac disease, go to http://www.celiac.org

    • Jean May 8, 2012 at 9:13 pm

      Hi Andrea,

      I have had a similar experience. Gluten sensitive (I carry the celiac gene), I have pre-diabetes, and hashimoto’s. My aunt passed away due to pancreatic problems and was diagnosed in her 80′s with celiac disease. The Canadian blood and biopsy tests did not show her celiac disease until very late, that is why I am taking no chances. I am gluten fee, my tests never showed “celiac disease” because I am not at that stage and plan to never develop it. A cheek swab from the US (Celiac Disease DNA test – Kimball Genetics) can tell you if you have the gene and rate your risk level. Even when you think you are gluten free, try taking the celiac panel from Rocky mountain Analytical. You might be shocked, while no active celiac disease may be present, you may still be showing a reaction to gliadin IgG. Have you found any way to reduce your TPO?

      Cheers, jean xo

  • Debbie July 6, 2011 at 10:05 am

    Dr. K. I’ve tested TH2 dominant and have Hashimoto’s. Currently on Viromen. Sometimes when I visit, my doctor says “stay off this food”, or “don’t take that supplement”. What I would like to see from you is a complete list of foods, supplements, and herbs that TH1 and TH2 and Hashimoto’s need to stay away from “in general”. Post this on your website/blog and update it as necessary.
    Another grand idea is to create cookbooks; one for TH1 dominate and one for TH2 dominate people, and one for Hashimoto’s (or include this in the TH1 & TH2).
    Also, please come up with a multivitamin & mineral supplement for Hashimoto’s! Since almost all multi’s have iodine in them, create one that doesn’t, one that is specific for TH1 and one that is for TH2 would even be better(maybe in addition to Hashimoto’s)!!! I suggest you contact Dr. Mark Hyman and Dr. Joseph Mercola to formulate these vitamins.
    One last thing, what does one do when they test LOW Iodine on a blood test?

  • Monarch July 28, 2011 at 4:35 pm

    I Started taking Sea Kelp, 1 tablet 150 mcg, in June.
    For me, I do not have any bad side effects.
    I started taking it for fibrocystic breast and have experienced much improvement in that area.
    I also have less hair loss. Only 3 strands of hair loss while washing my hair.
    I have a phlegm build up in my throat and the sea kelp has broken that up.
    It seems like I’m losing weight faster, too.

    I was diagnosed in 2004 with Hashi and I’ve had stupid doctors since then. They left me in the 3 range for the TSH, FT3 & FT4. The doctors said I was “within range”.

  • Rachel August 8, 2011 at 6:55 pm

    Was hypothyroid, negative Hashimoto antibody tests. Doctor prescribed Iodoral 12.5 mg tab/day, it caused Grave’s disease, TSI antibodies.

  • cindy August 12, 2011 at 3:40 pm

    If we are not supposed to take iodine why is there iodine in the thyroid pills prescribed for the disease? I have had this disease for over twenty years and have never been symptom free. I began taking iodine, one drop per day in water, and feel better.

  • Romy August 29, 2011 at 12:22 pm

    In ref to the post about not taking iodine supplements when having hashimoto.
    I been taking for 5 weeks,Premier Labs nutritional iodine capsules,as per a Zyto bio scan showed that needed this supplement.
    Have not noticed any adverse reaction or syntoms.
    Not sure how one would feel if it was bad for thyroid/body?
    Thank you for your feedback!

  • Julie September 5, 2011 at 11:40 am

    Hi, I was diagnosed 6 years ago with Hasimotos along with COPD LBBB (left branch bundle block)and a few other things. I was misdiagnosed for years all my symptoms were singly addressed. The female doctor that ask if i ever had a Thyroid test done was shocked at my numbers when the came back. After being put on Levothyroxine my world changed felt better than I have in years. My questions has to do with my slow metabolism and weight issues. I still have the added pounds I put on from having low thyroid and would like to get that off. I really have not gotten any real diet and or food advise from my doctors, just that I was told to lay low on the spinach and peanuts. Now your article say to stay away from seafood, which I eat a lot of for weight loss reasons. Are there any web sites or books to guide me on what I should eat, how much of it and what to definitely avoid? thanks

  • Monarch September 6, 2011 at 1:05 pm

    I started taking 1 table, 150 mcg of Sea Kelp for FIBROCYSTIC breast and I have had much relief in that area.
    Deep this scar tissue from surgery is gone, disappearedl
    The scar from breast surgery is fading;
    Less hair loss while washing my hair;
    Phlegm build up in my throat has been broken up
    It’s only been 2 months that I took the sea kelp for all of these symptoms to improve.
    The most exciting one is no more scar tissue so the medical experts can no longer put me thru an assortment of tests for fake and phony suspicions of breast cancer to generate money in their pockets!!

  • Sarah September 11, 2011 at 3:32 am

    Not sure if Hashimoto’s is what I have, but I just got back from the emergency room because I had a reaction to trying out iodized table salt that really scared me. Wanting to see if my thyroid condition was caused by an iodine deficiency and wanting to see how I’d react to supplemental iodine because of a multivitamin I wanted to try (to see if it would help with stubborn acne), I bought some iodized salt from the grocery store and called my doctor. I asked if iodized salt or a multivitamin containing iodine would interfere with my numbers, and she said it would take a large amount of iodine to throw them off. Taking this as permission to use supplemental iodine with no ill effects, I happily began using it with my meals. This was Tuesday night, almost five days ago. Even Wednesday morning, my neck felt strange, but I felt fine otherwise until Saturday evening, when my neck felt worse, and I felt warm. I went to the ER to make sure nothing was seriously wrong. Thankfully everything was normal. I’m going to call my doctor ASAP on Monday to fill her in. The moral is to ABSOLUTELY make sure with your doctor what the cause of your thyroid issue is and make ABSOLUTELY sure it’s okay to use supplemental iodine. I would stay clear of the stuff otherwise. If not, you may end up in a scary situation yourself.

  • Sarah September 11, 2011 at 3:34 am

    Wanted to add that I eat yogurt most days of the week and drink EAS AdvantEdge shakes (with 20% iodine) with no ill effects that I’ve noticed. Milk and other dairy products don’t bother me either.

  • jas September 27, 2011 at 8:48 am

    My thyroid results were always kind of stable. Then I decided to have large portion of natural yoghurt every day for a month and my T4 results at the next bood test went up loads. I guess it was the iodine in it. I have also feel alot better. My doctor was asking if I raised my T4 medication.

  • mary September 29, 2011 at 8:55 am

    ijust started taking iodoral in early august and i feel alot better, i do have hashis, recently found out i was anemic, so heres another problem to deal with, but i feel good taking iodoral, much better than taking naturethroid alone, should i be concerned about taking iodoral?

  • Elin October 27, 2011 at 5:38 pm

    Rachel, I had the exact same experience, I was hypothyroid and took Lugol’s to correct it; it did bring my body temperature up to normal but then it gave me Graves Disease, goiter and Thyroid Eye Disease, which has affected my life so negatively there are no words to describe it. So I feel taking iodine is not a wise course of action (perhaps totally natural iodine such as seaweed and seafood is fine, I don’t know.)

    • Alice August 9, 2012 at 6:33 pm

      Hi Ellis,

      Any so-called iodized salt has synthetic iodine added to it simply because the product is refined or processed. Plain and simple! The salt industry played a major role in goiters (enlargement of the thyroid gland, swelling of the neck) and underdevelopment (midgets). Midgets are the sad result of iodine deficiency in the mother. Females are very critical and important creatures. So much of other lives (babies) are dependent upon them.

      When refining natural sodium, iodine is naturally lost. However, the initial crude oil extract-based salt of the oil industry actually destroyed the thyroid gland, which is primarily comprised of iodine, and which regulates growth (as well as metabolism). So to help prevent iodine deficiency-related pathologies and abnormalities due to salt consumption, the salt industry started to iodize its salt. You see, there’s a reason for everything! However, this synthetic iodine is very poisonous! Synthetic anything is poisonous! So it’s wise to just shun synthetic chemicals.

      Read more: http://dherbs.com/articles/salt-30.html#ixzz236PwaZmH

  • Julia November 9, 2011 at 8:15 am

    I have Hashimoto’s and I’ve been staying off iodine for a while. But now I’m pregnant and worried that I need the iodine for the baby. Can’t find answers anywhere on the web. Does anyone know where to look? Thanks!

  • Sarah November 12, 2011 at 7:16 pm

    I’ve been using a multivitamin with iodine in it for about a month now, and I can’t believe how much better I feel. I don’t know if it’s just the iodine and/or the larger amounts of other vitamins/minerals in the multivitamin. I’m taking the Nature Made Multi for Her plus an extra 400 IU of Vitamin D. Three days ago, I started taking half a teaspoon of cod liver oil a day in the hopes it will clear up my acne even further. I guess my mistake when trying to use iodized salt was trying to increase iodine intake without increasing the intake of the minerals it works with. The multivitamin hasn’t caused me any issues at all so far. I’m hoping it, the Vitamin D supplement, and the cod liver oil will help me to keep feeling better and will help me to get rid of the acne that has plague me for most of my life once and for all.

    • Alice August 9, 2012 at 6:31 pm

      Hi Sarah,

      Any so-called iodized salt has synthetic iodine added to it simply because the product is refined or processed. Plain and simple! The salt industry played a major role in goiters (enlargement of the thyroid gland, swelling of the neck) and underdevelopment (midgets). Midgets are the sad result of iodine deficiency in the mother. Females are very critical and important creatures. So much of other lives (babies) are dependent upon them.

      When refining natural sodium, iodine is naturally lost. However, the initial crude oil extract-based salt of the oil industry actually destroyed the thyroid gland, which is primarily comprised of iodine, and which regulates growth (as well as metabolism). So to help prevent iodine deficiency-related pathologies and abnormalities due to salt consumption, the salt industry started to iodize its salt. You see, there’s a reason for everything! However, this synthetic iodine is very poisonous! Synthetic anything is poisonous! So it’s wise to just shun synthetic chemicals.

      Read more: http://dherbs.com/articles/salt-30.html#ixzz236PwaZmH

  • Nyeem November 19, 2011 at 7:05 pm

    I had a strong feeling that Iodine supplementation makes my Hashi worse. Now I know for sure. I was taking spirulina every day and within 3 weeks I was worse then ever before. I continued taking it and added other sea based minerals and Cholerrala too. All these are rich in Iodine. I felt so bad and went running to doctors. Finally it dawned on me when I took a narrative of my own symptoms. So avoid iodine based supplements if you have Hashi

  • Olivia December 4, 2011 at 7:20 pm

    My TSH levels are in the normal range& have been tested for Hashimotos. My TPO was VERY low & my Dr does not want to put me on meds. I have many symptoms of a hypothyroid disorder. I had a miscarriage early in the year which is when all symptoms were flared up & TSH level was low. I cant shake many of my symptoms. Will a gluten free diet help? Would taking iodine be harmful for even me to take with very low levels of antibodies??? I’m frustrated & tired of being tired! I look forward to your response.

  • Rose December 5, 2011 at 9:45 am

    I recently stopped eating all Gluten products 2 weeks ago and haven’t noticed a change. I consistently have a light headed feeling causing me to have trouble concentrating and feeling spacey. My thyroid levels are 5.5. My doctor said she could increase my medicine to 112 mg to bring it down to a 3. Does eliminating iodine means cutting out all can goods that contain salt like tuna, olives, tomato sauce etc? Can I use sea salt or iodine-free salt as a substitute?
    Thanks Rose

  • Jean March 7, 2012 at 10:00 pm

    I have hashi’s, TPO in the 1,600′s regularily. Staying away from everything with iodine seems to be the only thing that brings those numbers down but I also tested as low and completely deficient in iodine. Don’t I need iodine? When I was on Armour, I felt better initially but my TPO numbers went higher and developed arthritis. Within two days of going off it, my sore knee and hip improved dramatically. Dairy, prunes, strawberries, fish, anything with sea kelp or lots of iodine seems to bring on the “thick’ throat feeling. When I took supplemental iodine drops I ended up in emergency. My whole head swelled up and I had trouble breathing and swallowing. The funny thing is that after all the pain and swelling subsided and I took Tyleno, I had this unmistakable flood of a feeling of well-being? This doesn’t make sense to me. It is like i am so reactive to iodine yet maybe i need it?? Help…

    • Kris August 26, 2012 at 10:05 pm

      Hi, I’m similar to you.

      My TPO was through the roof at 1300 (as high as the lab value went).

      I started taking naturethroid 1.5 grains at the behest of my naturopath. I also started taking 1 tablet of of iodoral, 2 drenatrophins, 3 calcium lactates 3x a day and 1 trace mineral and Vitamin D3 tablets 2x a day.

      I have been gluten free for a long time due to celiacs as well.

      In 1.5 months on this regime, we tested and my TPO dropped to 400 for the first time in 2 years since my diagnosis.

      I think the selenium in the trace minerals works with the iodoral and does something to put out the TPO fire.

      Just my experience.

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  • maria June 19, 2012 at 12:16 pm

    Well i’m starting to wonder it this so called “thyroid crisis” is due to too rapid bromine detox, (due to TOO high and Too fast dosing of iodine), and the elevated thyroid labs that are referred to showing up after the addition of iodine is due to the body being extra stressed and thus the thyroid taking a hard hit. Maybe similar to when people throw too much at their adrenals too fast and it actually ends up stressing the adrenals and taxing the adrenals even more. A lot of the doses for iodine that sites/practitioners recommend are much higher than what I would feel comfortable taking. If my calculations are right, 10 drops of nascent iodine is 4mg, (which is the form i take). I’ve seen quite a few people taking 12-25mg of iodine and we’re talking other forms that might not be very pure. That seems like it could be very problematic.

  • Elaine June 25, 2012 at 8:56 pm

    extra test

  • Sara July 31, 2012 at 9:18 am

    Hi!! i was really interested about your post.. did the swollen thyroid got better after you stopped taking iodine?.. and did selenium help you with the Hashimoto?
    thank you!!

  • Alice August 9, 2012 at 6:29 pm

    Any so-called iodized salt has synthetic iodine added to it simply because the product is refined or processed. Plain and simple! The salt industry played a major role in goiters (enlargement of the thyroid gland, swelling of the neck) and underdevelopment (midgets). Midgets are the sad result of iodine deficiency in the mother. Females are very critical and important creatures. So much of other lives (babies) are dependent upon them.

    When refining natural sodium, iodine is naturally lost. However, the initial crude oil extract-based salt of the oil industry actually destroyed the thyroid gland, which is primarily comprised of iodine, and which regulates growth (as well as metabolism). So to help prevent iodine deficiency-related pathologies and abnormalities due to salt consumption, the salt industry started to iodize its salt. You see, there’s a reason for everything! However, this synthetic iodine is very poisonous! Synthetic anything is poisonous! So it’s wise to just shun synthetic chemicals.

    Read more: http://dherbs.com/articles/salt-30.html#ixzz236PwaZmH

  • julie Clark August 22, 2012 at 6:47 pm

    I just loaned my Thyroid book to a friend at work. She wanted to order a copy for herself and can’t find one for under $50.00. I paid $17.95. What gives? Why is it so expensive? I would not have ordered it if it cost $50.00 and would have missed out on some incredible information…any idea where we can get the book at a reasonable price?

  • Kris August 26, 2012 at 9:59 pm


    I am 34, dx with Hashi’s 2 years ago. My TPO levels are normally 1300 or more- recently I developed hives when working out. I eat VERY clean, paleo and I’m a life long high level athlete.

    I now take 75 mcg of levothyroxine after 1 year of experimenting with Naturethroid.

    During this time I have worked with my naturopath and she has me on one tablet of iodoral every morning. After less than 1.5 months on this regime, my auto antibodies dropped to 400! I stopped the therapy and after about 6 months my TPO levels crept back up to 975 where they are now- and I have the workout hives again.

    I firmly believe that the iodoral therapy was KEY in dropping my autoantibody levels down to nil. I am back on that therapy, back on synthetic and will test this hypothesis in another month.

    I also started taking zantac and zyrtec in the evening and take a high colony probiotic to try and heal my stomach.

    Any thoughts?

    • Diann M October 23, 2012 at 1:22 pm

      Have had Hash for over 20 years. I am looking into adding the T3 at a 98/2 ratio with the T4. For the stomach issues I have found some success with Carafate *prescription* (it coats and heals the stomach) with no side effects. I also do the prilosec and mega-probiotics and cholostrum (vegans may be opposed to this) and selenium. Cholestrymine *prescription* is good for me since it eliminates the bile in the stomach. New for me – another natural item is Redmond Clay. Go to their website and read the testimonials. I use the powder every morning in a drink for three weeks and have noticed a dramatic difference. Having one immune disorder makes you 75% more likely to develop another – the hives could be from a secondary problem.

      • Susan February 1, 2013 at 10:45 pm

        I was startled to read that you are taking Carafate for ulcers with “no side effects.” I would have to say that Carafate was one of the worst experiences of my life – and its side effects are with me still today. It has aluminum in it that is not supposed to be absorbed by the body but my body absorbed it all and I became aluminum toxic almost to the point of ……well let’s just say I am lucky to have survived given that my then internist was utterly ignorant when faced with a patient with a serum aluminum level of 36! Be very careful of Carafate!

        I carry an aluminum load in my body still today that is in excess of that of aluminum factory workers and have tried unsuccessfully to de-toxify. I cannot eat anything with citric acid, citrates, lactates, or ascorbate. I am all too familiar with the long term side effects of aluminum which I don’t even want to put into words. In addition to the aluminum, Carafate also caused the worst insomnia I have ever experienced. After Carafate, the first thing I say to a doctor is NO….but it is too late for me.

        I have myself regularly checked for serum aluminum and it recently went up again as it binds to citric acid and instead of flushing harmlessly out of the system, it binds to citric acid and accumulates………..oh well, off topic but forewarned is forearmed.

        • Dale February 7, 2014 at 6:28 am

          I also had a horrible experience with Carafate. I have had horrible acid reflux, stomach spasms, and gastritis for about 5 years, despite being gluten and grain free and eating a very strict paleo diet. One dose of Carafate felt like it burned a hole in my stomach, and it took me a month to recover. I did not know about the aluminum connection! Thank you – and now I have to look into sources of aluminum and see if I’m one who can’t handle it.

    • LORRAINE ZUNO April 26, 2013 at 1:52 pm

      Hi Kris,

      I have Hash and hives… Apple Cider Vinegar (bathes) keep the hives under control as well as ingesting it (1tsbp with water pure day).

      Hope this helps

      • Adrea August 5, 2013 at 10:59 pm

        While I very much appreciate all the information, I have yet to read where someone says how to balance the need for iodine to protect against breast cancer….with someone who has Hashimoto’s. Is there science here? What does one do? I’ve a two time breast cancer patient, with apparent Hashimoto’s, which we’re testing for again. She’s been taking Magnascent iodine, which is supposed to be a unique and special kind. We’ve been told the body eliminates what it doesn’t need.
        Help here would be greatly appreciated, and mailed to my email address is fine.

        • Linda September 16, 2013 at 10:46 am

          Hi Adrea
          I am a breast cancer survivor and have been on high doses of iodine for over 5 years and it has changed my life. I started a website to help others find information and I have a lot posted about iodine, including lots of videos at http://www.preventcanswers.org
          My website is totally not for profit.
          For those who have high TSH or “side effects” while on iodine, it usually a result of not following the protocol correctly. It is essential that those on iodine use companion nutrients, follow a gluten free diet, and understand detoxing. Check out fellow breast cancer survivor, Lynne Farrow, new book “The Iodine Crisis” for lots of great information

  • Elaine August 29, 2012 at 9:58 am

    The book changed publishers and was out of print for a while. Resalers jacked up the price. It will go back into print in a few weeks at the original price. If you subscribe to the newsletter you will be notified of its release.

  • shafiq December 8, 2012 at 4:48 am

    This content is nice content. I like very much this content. Thanks for shearing……

    What are iodine supplements used for

  • Kamila January 27, 2013 at 11:45 pm

    Is sea salt considered by you to be an iodized salt? Or are you referring only to commercial salt with iodine added?
    How much sea salt /day do you recommend?
    I also have adrenal fatigue in addition to Hashimoto’s and sea salt is recommended for the adrenals.
    Thanks for your input!

    • Elaine February 13, 2013 at 3:18 pm

      My understanding is sea salt is lower in iodine that iodized salt. Can’t make a recommendation, sorry, depends on the individual. But if you have low blood pressure from adrenal fatigue it can help with that.

  • Thyromine February 10, 2013 at 2:34 am

    My mum suffered a hyperthyroid disorder. She tried a pure herb named Bladderwrack. It assisted her problem a lot and she lost a couple kilos using it aswell.

  • Levi March 6, 2013 at 9:44 pm

    Unfortunately, some of us live in countries where, by law, all salt must be iodized. In my country, all domestically manufactured salt for consumption is sea salt, but it is iodized. On rare occasion, it is possible to find smuggled non-iodized salt, but the ability to do so is infrequent at best.

  • dj March 7, 2013 at 9:30 pm

    I have to disagree. Iodine is a must to effectively treat Hashimoto’s. Dr. Guy Abraham has published a lot of papers on this and everything he has said was shown true when tried. The key is following the nutrient protocol that needs to be used with high dose iodine use. That is a must to provide for the Thyroid to properly regulate the H2O2 process at the TPO. Here is actual data from a Hashimoto’s patient.

    2010 Diagnosed with Hashimoto’s TPO(Ab)=253 TAb= 838, started on Synthroid at 100 mcg per day.

    2011 Nturient and high dose Iodine protocol started in summer.

    2012 TPO(Ab)=149 TAb=442, T4 high, Synthroid reduced to 88 mcg per day.

    2013 TPO(Ab)59 TAb=225, T4 again high, Synthroid will need to be reduced again. Not sure of new dose yet.

    Iodized salt is not the problem. Data showing that Hashomoto’s increased in areas where Iodized sale were started have a problem. The problem is that this generally fits the time where all other Iodine use, such in making bread was stopped and was stopped or replaced with Bormine/Bromides which, if anything, interferes with the use of Iodine in the body.

  • star March 24, 2013 at 7:47 pm

    my tsh was 41.09 back in 2008 then 32.01 back in 2011 and I refused the med hence dr is an ex dr . I take iodine when I can as it seems to help me also took L-tyrosine then I found out turmeric and coconut oil is good for the thyroid so that’s all I use now . I had gained up to 190 in 2008 now I am around 145 to 150 . I don’t know what my tsh is now but I do know I am better or I would be hurting as my neck was so sensitive for many yrs and it took many for the dr to finally check it ! I also use iodizied salt .
    Reading your article also makes me think those who are adhd maybe also have a thyroid problem ?

    • me April 24, 2013 at 4:03 pm

      Hi Star!
      As a Cushing’s Disease survivor (12 years!) and someone who has battled HORRIFIC post-Cushing’s hypothyroidism, I was interested in knowing more about your daily protocol – would you be kind enough to list here what you take (including amounts, times of day, etc.) on a daily basis? My weight is a huge factor (no pun intended) as presently, I am carrying an extra 40-50 pounds that has NOTHING to do with caloric intake, but everything to do with a metabolism that refuses to budge. The extra weight and accompanying effects have dramatically (and sadly) greatly impaced my quality of life in a very negative way. Thanks so much!

  • kc April 12, 2013 at 4:55 pm

    I have had a hypothyroid for 5 years now with classic symptoms but never diagnosed with hashimotos and have my antibody levels checked frequently – so my levels are mainly very low T3, low T4 and normal TSH. Is it safe to supplement with iodine and is there a chance I could have undiagnosed hashimotos?

  • Jayne Eldred April 30, 2013 at 4:42 am

    I have recently tested with a positive to TPO, but supposedly within range. I also have tested within range in other thyroid tests (free T3 and T4 and TSH). However, I had varying tests in the past and also developed a goitre when I took kelp. At one stage I was also told I had a nodule, although when they tried to do a biopsy, they weren’t able to get the necessary tissue. I have two sisters and a niece with hashimoto’s disease. Would you surmise from this that I would have it too?
    My daughter is ill with Myalgic Encephalomyelitis but has not tested positive to the antibody test, but has had tests that showed very very high reverse T3. She is on a small dose of armour and has responded somewhat positively, and her tests still show her within range. Is it possible she also has hashimoto’s, but is not showing up due to immune dysfunction?
    Thank you for helping,

  • John Pankowicz June 6, 2013 at 5:15 pm

    You say: “Eighty percent of the group who avoided dietary iodine experienced complete remission of their thyroid symptoms!” I read the original report. You fail to mention that 45% of the control group, who did NOT restrict iodine, had the same result as those who did. Also, the report only say that “they recovered a euthyroid state”. The study does not say anything about “a complete remission of their symptoms!”

    • Elaine June 6, 2013 at 5:43 pm

      Which means that 55% of the control group had a statistically significant difference. That is a profound and so is a euthyroid state.

  • sam June 17, 2013 at 5:04 am

    I understood that when taking iodine one must also take selenium for there to beno adverse effects

  • Celine June 25, 2013 at 6:19 am


    I have Hashimoto’s and I took a urine test that shows I have iodine deficiency. In that case do you believe it is still harmful for me to take supplementation despite my deficiency?

    Many thanks for your help


  • Jo Ann June 25, 2013 at 3:47 pm

    I have Hashimoto’s and have been prescribed an iodine supplement by my M.D. for a painful cyst/lump in my breast. Dr. Kharrazian states in his book that taking iodine is like throwing gasoline on a fire for a patient with Hashimoto’s disease. Any suggestions? I am confused.
    Thank You.

  • Sandra June 29, 2013 at 11:08 pm

    This blog helped me a lot to understand and trust that i can naturally heal my body from Hashimotos http://hopeforhashimotosdisease.blogspot.com

    I take selenium and Vit E as recommended in the blog in the morning, 1/2 a Centrum with 75mcg iodine and try to add zinc and copper in the recommended ratio. Also trying on Vit D

    Hashimoto can be caused by different things in different people. You have to find out whats causing yours!

    Good luck!

  • Stephan Closhen June 30, 2013 at 5:49 am

    Dear Dr Kharrazian,

    my girlfriend was diagnozed with a hashimoto desease. We want to know if there are some medicals here in germany who appears the views of you about the hashimoto desease. We still can’t find some medicals over the web right now here in germany.

    Please apologize my bad english.
    We hope you can help us.

    Kindly regards from good old germany.

    Ivonne & Stephan

  • Honora July 25, 2013 at 12:17 am

    I’ve got Hashi’s and am on no medication as I’m euthyroid. My doctor suggested I try iodine. I said, “let’s test me first to see if I need it”. I was severely deficient so she suggested I commence on 6mg, alternate days. I said I’d get my thyroid a/b’s tested monthly. From the time I commenced the iodine, they started to climb: Mar13/anti-TPO 180.52, anti-Tg 11.94:Apr13/174.8/14.82:May/233.7/24.26, commenced selenium tablets after this and at Jun13/285.9/19.96 respectively. No clinical symptoms except my thyroid has enlarged more. The TSH is fairly stable – 3.74 and the FT4 has dropped to just above the lower range of normal, 10.2 pmol/L. Not impressed but being deficient in iodine maybe it was worth a try with the caveat of being monitored. I have been eating 3 brazil nuts/day for years for selenium and do enjoy uncooked brassicas (rocket salad, sauerkraut)but don’t eat unfermented soy at all.

    • lily August 28, 2013 at 4:07 pm

      I was diagnosed with a pituitary micro-adenoma 30 yrs ago, which caused low thyroid levels. I gained 30 lbs in 3 months and was pretty upset. 9 years ago I was also diagnosed with Hashimoto’s. After that, all three of these conditions were resolved by NAET, an acupressure technique that pretty much changed my life, since I needed no more meds for about 6 years until I had a double operation in my solar plexus that really messed the treatments. I now have a goiter and am taking meds again. I was on Armor-thyroid and just recently switched to a compound med (made according to my blood results) containing T3 and T4. Not sure if I like this change at all, and today got another blood test to see if I can switch back. I am really weepy for no reason, depressed and have gained weight, brittle nails…you name it. Not a happy camper! I have recently gone back to NAET and will let you know if the change is as pronounced as it was a decade ago. I remember that I didn’t start the positive change in health until after about 2-3 months after these treatments were completed. I wish you all a speedy recovery…and myself too!!! Lily

  • Dr. Michael L. Smith September 25, 2013 at 1:57 pm

    The issue of whether the use of Iodine/Iodide as a treatment for autoimmune thyroid disorders is controversial. There is evidence for both in the literature. I would ask one question which might further cause some questioning: The incidence of autoimmune thyroid diseases has steadily risen over the past 4 decades and the amount of Iodine in the standard American Diet has steadily decreased as well as the levels of iodine in the USA population per person. Interesting. Dr. David Brownstein, M.D. is a proponent of Iodine use with AI thyroid diseases.

  • Maria September 25, 2013 at 3:08 pm

    I was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s thyroid post op in 1998. My thyroid had cancer in situ and I was very symptomatic vacillating between hypo and hyperthyroid. I do not have Thyroid Antibodies now. I am currently taking Armour Thyroid for 3 weeks now, (previously, I was on Levothroid). Do I need to reduce or eliminate iodine from my diet?

  • Jon September 25, 2013 at 5:46 pm

    I had undiagnosed Hashimotos and as part of diagnosis process was ordered cat scans, with the iodine for imaging enhancement. My symptoms became very quickly ten to twenty times worse, and the auto immune response did a lot of damage, some of which I haven’t recovered from. If you have CAT scans, and have Hashimotos, I advise NOT having the iodine. It caused a severe reaction for me. Therefore, I am sure there is some connection between iodine and my auto immune response. I do avoid it now in salt, and would never supplement with it. Not with Hashimotos.

    • bella February 13, 2014 at 6:30 pm

      They used radioactive iodide molecule which is very toxic to anyone. I am sorry they used this with you as that is malpractice. inorganic iodine is nontoxic.

  • diane November 4, 2013 at 10:08 am

    Dr. Michael Smith,I see your point if iodine in the American diet has decreased over the past several decades. My observation is the opposite. I do not know of any way in which we have less iodine in the American diet and would be interested to know in what way there has been a reduction. On the other hand, I know of several sources of increased iodine in our diets: The first source is the food additive carrageenan, and any other additive made from seaweed, which shows up frequently in processed foods. The second source is from the use of iodophors for sanitation. These solutions are not rinsed from vats before food is processed in them, so their use raises the iodine content of the food, at least for the initial batch. I must maintain a low iodine diet and I become symptomatic whenever I inadvertently have an increase in my intake of iodine. Over the last eight years I have had to avoid more and more processed foods. When I checked with a friend of mine who is a process engineer, she said it was probably the because of the increase in the use of iodophors in place of chlorinated cleaning solutions. My experience seems to verify that. Sometimes I will suddenly have hives from a food I normally eat, and will discover the food company has changed to the use of iodophors in their sanitation. The third source is from the use if sea salt in processed foods, especially when the sea salt is fortified with iodine. Since there is no requirement to label whether or not the sea salt contains iodine, the use of sea salt in processed foods makes it difficult to know if the food is safe for a low iodine diet.The fourth source is the use of red dye 3 (erythrosine), 30, 33, and other similar dyes containing iodine.There are additional sources of extra iodine in our present food supply that I work to avoid.(If I take in too much iodine I develop halogen acne, depression, hives, tachycardia, fatigue, pvcs, panic attacks, dizziness, sebaceous cysts,and even temporary dementia. The first symptoms are the ones that appear easily, the later symptoms only appear with higher toxicity or longer duration of iodine intake. All but one of the symptoms clear within twelve to twenty-four hours with reduction or blocking of iodine intake. Needless to say, I keep my iodine intake low, even if from natural sources like produce or meat. My TSH always tests normal. I have not been checked for thyroid antibodies. I am also gluten intolerant but my iodine issues developed first, then gluten intolerance, and multiple food and airborne allergies.)

    • bella February 13, 2014 at 6:40 pm

      the iodine you are being exposed to are chemical compounds with organic iodine as a component. These chemicals are very toxic and should not be confused with the non toxic inorganic iodide/iodine. Bromide has replaced iodide in several food products over the years. We do not use bromide in the body. It sounds to me that you have a toxic level of bromide in your system and the iodine is kicking it out when you are exposed to iodine. Seawater is 4:1 ratio bromide:iodide, hence sea salt would be higher in bromide if that is the case. Remember these are halogens and probably evaporate greatly in the drying of sea salt. It would be interesting to test your levels of iodide vs bromide, mercury and other heavy metals which iodine kicks out of the body. just a thought.

  • Laura G November 5, 2013 at 4:03 pm

    I have Hashimotos thyroiditis-hypothyroid is where I go without medication. I noticed a correlation between any time I started ingesting a supplement that had high levels of iodine and my tsh suddenly skyrocketing and my normal dosage of thyroid replacement hormone becoming completely ineffective.
    It has happened when I drank Pure Synergy every day -a very nutritious green drink. Then again when I started drinking a kombucha drink that unbeknownst to me was also full of powdered sea vegetables AND when I took a probiotic supplement in pill form that contained extra nutrients. EAch time as soon as I located and eliminated the problem, I went back to a normal tsh and feeling fine. I changed nothing else other than my iodine consumption. I avoid it as a supplement like the plague and eat nothing from the sea. Otherwise I eat a normal, gluten-free, low dairy diet.
    I am very interested in this as some people claim it has helped their Hashimoto’s. Perhaps it is individual? Perhaps there are other factors?

  • Alice November 8, 2013 at 7:24 pm

    I have Hashimotos and vitiligo. My TPO’s go through the roof (>1300) but my TSH at highest has only been recorded at 14. I’m on thyroxin which has brought my TSH down. I love Japanese food, but cannot eat the green seaweed dish. Without fail it causes terrible stomach pains, general illness and diarrhea. I otherwise have an iron stomach and so I suspect the effect is caused by the high iodine. From my experience I therefore avoid iodine although i’ve mever tested any correlation between the Hashimitos indicators and my physical response.

    • Ashe April 1, 2014 at 3:09 pm

      My specialist has never told me about the connection between gluten and Hashimotos. Thanks for letting us know. I’ll be doing more research and start removing it from my diet.

  • Ellen November 13, 2013 at 1:56 pm

    I have had diagnosis hypothyroidism for many years but in 2003 while training for a marathon , and after completing the marathon I felt as though I ran into a brick wall, went to see my Endocrinoligist and TPO antibodies were 900 + and was diagnosed with Hashimotos , my thyroid felt nodular and was sent for US but by this time no swellings or nodules found just \”shrinking thyroid\” for the last several years I have suffered thru hypo to hyper lately mostly hypo Dr says thyroid non functioning now. Sometimes for no reason my levels change and I know I just want to sleep, hen a medicine increase and few weeks later it\’s like the light is back on. I do not like living like this I feel my family does not understand.

  • Mema November 20, 2013 at 10:04 am

    I think also what needs to be addressed here is the importance of SELENIUM supplementation along with iodine. When you supplement one without the other you can exacerbate the other deficiency which I wonder is possible why people have issues when supplementing iodine is because they aren\’t supplementing with selenium. The same goes with Zinc and Copper as well.

  • Jennifer November 30, 2013 at 9:18 pm

    I don’t know where to begin. I have Bipolar and a few years ago, after a mastectomy for breast cancer, I’ve been doing everything I can to stay away from psychiatrists and psych meds. I was doing pretty well with natural methods. My doctor suddenly died and I found a new one. 2-3 months ago I was put on Lugol’s, 8 drops a day. For the past couple months I’ve been feeling terrible. I often get unstable in the Fall, with the Bipolar, so that’s what I thought was happening. I’ve been having terrible “rapid cycling”. I didn’t know why it was so bad. I spend half the time in bed.
    I do eat Brazil nuts for selenium, but not consistently. I was to have blood work done, to check my hormone levels and asked the doctor to check thyroid also. It took several tries to get to the lab, I have so much trouble leaving the house. I’m 52 and was in very good shape. I just found out my Thyroid levels were bad, TG AB was high, 50.5 and T3 rev low at 6.5.
    I don’t know anymore if I have Bipolar. I know that the iodine sure made things worse and brought this “out”. God I hope I don’t have Hashi and Bipolar. I do know I’ve had IBS and suspected gluten problems. I’ve lost 20 pounds the past 6 months and didn’t need to lose. I’m 5-6 and weigh 115 now. I wish I knew of a good doctor in northern Indiana.

    • Elaine December 2, 2013 at 1:25 pm

      The varying iodine stories are interesting. However some clearly fare worse on it. Jennifer please read this blog article by Dr. Kharrazian on bipolar and Hashimoto’s. I’m not saying this is your mechanism, but it’s something to be aware of. http://thyroidbook.com/blog/when-hashimotos-is-misdiagnosed-as-bipolar-disorder/

      • Jennifer December 3, 2013 at 11:30 am

        Thankyou. For the past few days, all I do is cry on and off. Thinking about the last 12 or so years. How in 1999, I complained about fatigue, weight gain, and enlarged thyroid…my TSH was checked, it was 7.33. Then, that was in normal range. Eventually started the merry-go-round of psych meds after the fatigue and depression continued. The meds caused mania….one diagnosis was added on top of another….saw 6-7 psychiatrist, weight ballooned to 200 pounds…got a divorce, ex was tired of me being tired. Gave up and did nothing, was just disgusted with myself. So much self-hate. By the time I discovered the breast cancer it was huge and had spread to my lymph nodes. I didn’t care, wanted to die. Refused Chemo, radiation, etc….I’m crying now, because I do think it’s been thyroid all a long. I always have said, with my “bipolar” it wasn’t mood really, it was energy swings. Now I have to pick up the pieces of my life. I’ve wanted to tell people all along that this wasn’t ME. Inside I know who I’m suppose to be and I’ve lost so many years.

  • Elaine December 3, 2013 at 7:47 pm

    Jennifer I’m so sorry. It’s tragic and maddening how ridiculous the care is and how medical ineptness is passed off as the patient’s fault. How can a TSH of 7 be considered normal. Sadly there are many, many stories like yours. There is a thyroid patient revolution under way. It does sound a lot like it has been thyroid all along based on having read so many stories like yours. Dr. K is organizing a Thyroid Summit for next year and getting more advocacy and awareness going. Please check out Hashimoto’s 411 on facebook for more support. I understand the sorrow and grief but encourage you not to give up, there are many amazing stories of women turning their health around. Please keep in touch with us via the thyroid site email.

    • Jennifer December 12, 2013 at 12:47 pm

      I’m back. I will look at what you said. I just went and saw a wonderful new doctor. I’m feeling opitmistic. Have had some more labs done. Seeing now my free T4 is below normal. It’s all making sense. The fatigue has been so bad, feel like I have to drag my legs to walk. This week will see doctor again and start on meds. I’m getting prepared, reading, “Stop the Thyroid Madness” book. Thanks Elaine ( such a beautiful name ). We do need a revolution! I’m in!

  • Joleen December 18, 2013 at 9:15 pm

    I have hashi’s and tried a very small peice of bitter melon. Within 12 hours I felt like I was being chocked in the thyroid area of my neck.I couldn’t figure out why and then I remember I had bitter melon – the only different thing I had. My research showed bitter melon is high in iodine. I had a similar reaction to an iodine supplement – for me, iodine is an absolute no no!

  • Gloria January 19, 2014 at 6:07 pm

    I have Hashimoto\\’s and Grave\\’s disease. My thyroid was killed by radioactive iodine 3 years ago. My endocrinologist prescribes T4 Synthroid only and will not listen and allow me to try natural thyroid when I tell him I have hypothyroid symptoms….fatigue, coldness aI have gone to a new doctor last week and she started me on 65 mg of Naturethroid with 12.5 mg of iodine daily.I am concerned after reading the many responses that I may worsen my Hashi\\’s or cause other damage. I was not given a baseline blood exam by my new doctor. She is going to do this next week. Her explanation was that I would have to be off Synthroid 3 weeks before getting any type of reading.I do not know of I will be given blood tests to monitor my auto antibody levels….So much to think about…does anyone have similar experiences? In my experience as a thyroid patient, I have always had to stop any thyroid medication 24 hours before having my blood work done, then the doctor adjusts the Synthroid up or down depending on TSH levels………this was new…not having a baseline blood done……

    • Elaine February 9, 2014 at 3:35 pm

      Perhaps you need a new doctor!

  • Rosalind February 3, 2014 at 1:17 am

    I have high level antibodies – so, Hashimotos. My doctor put me on Armor (1 grain). I put on weight while on it, my energy did increase and now I’m off it I can feel the my energy has lowered.

    My question is – Should I take Armor and up the dose to (??)or should I just concentrate on fixing my adrenals and probable leaky gut and leave the Armor alone??


    • Elaine February 9, 2014 at 3:36 pm

      This really depends on your history and what your TSH levels have been, etc. In his book he says if you need thyroid hormone medication than you should take it as every cell in the body needs thyroid hormones. Whether you need it depends on the degree of damage to the gland.

  • Brad February 23, 2014 at 1:06 pm

    Does anyone know or have any experience ordering the antibody test in Canada specifically Ontario. Family DR won’t do it and unable when I contacted Apex Energetics. Thanks

  • Chris March 6, 2014 at 9:47 am

    The iodine stroy was very helpful and i will suggest this to all my friends. Also interested in some knowing some latest detox diet scam then visit http://www.detoxdietscam.com

  • liz March 7, 2014 at 7:56 pm

    I used to be high energy and active, but feel like I’ve been horribly deteriorating for the past decade. I went on strict gluten free dairy free diet 8 years ago, which improved me slightly to a functional level, but still suffering through life. I went to literally dozens of doctors, mostly endocrinologists, who said my thyroid levels were all within the normal range, but I was still barely able to function every day; can’t work, marriage split years ago, I’m isolated because I’m too tired to do anything. I recently found an internist who tested my antibodies in addition to the standard thyroid panel, and my thyroid antibodies was at 2795! She also ordered an ultrasound; my thyroid is covered with small nodules and cysts and one side is enlarged. A surgeon told me the growths are too small to remove now, but if I don’t get my Hashimotos under control, I’d be back in a year to either remove the growths or possibly the entire thyroid. This was the first time in a decade that anyone had named my condition (besides telling me to just relax, and try to ply me with antidepressants and sleeping pills). The internist now wants to put me on 6 months of steroids to suppress my immune system. I refuse, believing that will make me worse, and too weak and vulnerable. She put me on iodine supplements, and after 5 days I was completely debilitated. I am now much worse than I was before when my antibodies were already at 2795! I desperately need help getting my autoimmune condition under control! I have multiple vitamin deficiencies, adrenal fatigue, extremely low levels of neurotransmitters, and insulin resistance. I put myself on SCD diet past 2 months and have less gas and bloating and no longer have 6-10 bowel movements/daily, only about 3, but no improvement in other symptoms including inability to sleep more than 1 hour at a time, brain fog, weakness, joint pain, and what seems like dementia (I’m only 52), to name just a few, and I can feel the symptoms of hyperactive thyroid and fear the autoimmune attack continues to accelerate. Can anyone please help me? I also take some supplements, including Bs, D3, zinc, fish oil and probiotics; but I don’t think I’m absorbing them. I don’t know where to turn for help to stop this autoimmune runaway train!!!

    • Dr. Kharrazian, DHSc, DC, MS, MNeuroSci March 12, 2014 at 2:28 pm

      Sounds like you need help that also includes some functional neurology and taming out of control inflammation. If you email into brainhealthbook.com perhaps you can get a suggestion for someone in your area who specializes in that. Have you tried the autoimmune diet? Sometimes diet isn’t the whole ticket, but you still may be missing something.

  • Dr. Kharrazian, DHSc, DC, MS, MNeuroSci March 12, 2014 at 2:28 pm

    And i’m sorry you were put on iodine, unfortunately that is not uncommon for it to throw things out of control.

  • Jennifer March 14, 2014 at 12:34 pm

    I was just reading what Liz wrote. I can relate. I have struggled for the past 12-15 years? Was told I had Bipolar and was tried on every psych med there was. At one point, my weight balooned to 200#s. I went through a divorce and just gave up. I stopped seeing docters. All I ever had complained of was the disabling fatigue. I did my best to be a good mother and ignored the changes in my breast. I was disgusted with myself. I hated myself. I ended up with stage 3 cancer and had a mastectomy. I didn’t care, I thought it would be good to die. I refused all the chemo, radiation, Tamoxifen….I sort of fell into doing natural remedies and actually found some hope again.
    I found a helpful doctor and lost weight. He had me on T3 15 mcg slow release every 12 hrs. Then he died suddenly.
    It took awhile, but found another docter. She put me on hormones, the Wiley Protocol and Lugol’s (50mg). Oh my God, did that mess me up. I lost most of Oct to Dec with discovering what went wrong and changing docters…all the time being mostly in bed. Then all the stomach problems and quitting gluten….my weight hit a low of 113#! I’m 5-6.
    This new docter started me on GAPS diet and thyroid supplements….but kept having trouble and lots of hair loss. I didn’t realize the Wiley Protocol had me so overdosed on hormones it was confusing everything! I kept thinking it was thyroid related! I’m just now getting off the hormones. Another set-back. I still don’t know what I’ll end up on. BUT, thank God for Dr. K !!!!! I have both his books and he tells it ALL !!! It’s everything I ever needed to know. THANKYOU, THANKYOU…Dr.K. We need you so much.

    • Jennifer March 14, 2014 at 12:40 pm

      Oh, Liz…I’m also 52! had always been a very active and young for my age type of person. The saddest part is how many years of time I have lost. It’s been 5 years, since my divorce and it’s like I still can’t have fun and date. I want to be able to have a relationship and live a productive life!

  • Ashe March 31, 2014 at 6:05 pm

    I have had Hashimotos for more than 30 years and seem to be one of the lucky ones with 200micros of Thyroxine daily, after it was settled, have had no issues. It is interesting to find out about all the potential things that others are going through with this disease. Thank you for sharing this blog with us.

  • Susan Cranshaw April 11, 2014 at 9:59 am

    I have been on Sythroid since January 2010 for hypothyroisim. I have gained 50 lbs, I am cold, have dry skin, my eye lids are heavy over my eyes, i don’t concetrate very well sometime. I exercise and eat well and organic most of the time. I want to stop taking Sythroid and try something else. Help!

  • M April 21, 2014 at 8:11 am

    There is an elderly integrative doctor in our city who is a legend. He is the one other doctors send their loved ones to privately while accusing him of being a quack publicly. Anyway, this doctor’s advice concerning breast cancer prevention is vitamin D and iodine. There is also another famous integrative physician in another city who discovered that iodine resolves fibrocystic breast disease in 15 minutes, applied correctly. If iodine perfectly resolves fibrocystic breast disease, what is someone with Hashimoto’s supposed to do?

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  • Adrea August 5, 2013 at 10:57 pm

    While I very much appreciate all the information, I have yet to read where someone says how to balance the need for iodine to protect against breast cancer….with someone who has Hashimoto’s. Is there science here? What does one do? I’ve a two time breast cancer patient, with apparent Hashimoto’s, which we’re testing for again. She’s been taking Magnascent iodine, which is supposed to be a unique and special kind. We’ve been told the body eliminates what it doesn’t need.

    Help here would be greatly appreciated, and mailed to my email address is fine.

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