Many people with Graves’ Disease and other hyperthyroid conditions are told to avoid iodine. Not only are they usually advised not to take any iodine supplements, but many are told to avoid foods that contain a lot of iodine, such as certain kinds of seafood. The reason for this is because many doctors assume that people with an overactive thyroid have an excessive amount of iodine. It might make sense, as iodine is essential for the production of thyroid hormone, and so if the thyroid gland is producing an excessive amount of thyroid hormone, as is the case with Graves’ Disease, then it’s easy for someone to naturally assume that there is also an excess of iodine.
I’m a healthcare professional, and when I was diagnosed with Graves’ Disease I thought the same thing. But after consulting with a natural endocrine doctor, and doing some research of my own, I realized that many people with Graves’ Disease and other hyperthyroid conditions are actually deficient in iodine. I personally was iodine deficient, and so I began an iodine loading protocol. The quality of the supplement is important, and I used an iodine supplement called Prolamine Iodine, which is manufactured by Standard Process.
Keys To Beginning An Iodine Loading Protocol
When beginning an iodine loading protocol, it’s important to understand that this is a slow process. I visited a blog recently, and someone was talking about using the Iodine Patch Test to determine whether or not he was iodine deficient. To be honest, I like the Iodine Patch Test, but I think it’s better used as a follow up test rather than an initial test to determine whether someone is iodine deficient. In case you’re not familiar with the test it involves using a 3% iodine tincture (the orange color) and painting a 2 x 2 square on your forearm, and then measuring how long it takes to disappear.
You ideally want this “patch” to stay on your forearm for at least 24 hours. If it disappears between 12 to 24 hours then according to this test you’re mildly deficient in iodine. If the iodine tincture disappears in twelve hours or less then the iodine deficiency is more severe. In any case, the “blogger” used the iodine patch test to determine that he was iodine deficient, and then ingested a large amount of iodine daily for about two weeks, and then did a follow up iodine patch test. When re-testing after two weeks he didn’t notice any significant difference with regards to how long it took for the patch to disappear.
However, one thing he didn’t realize is that you can’t force your body to “make up” for an iodine deficiency in two weeks by ingesting large amounts of iodine. It’s not that easy, as it usually takes months to correct such a deficiency. I personally began by taking a 3 mg tablet daily for one week, and then added an additional 3 mg tablet each week. According to “iodine expert” Dr. David Brownstein, you can take up to 50 mg of iodine per day, and even higher than this if you have an extremely severe deficiency.
Testing Iodine Deficiency Through The Iodine Loading Test
A more accurate way to determine iodine deficiency in someone is through an iodine loading test, which is a urine test that involves taking 50mg of iodine over a 24 hour period, and seeing how much is excreted (normally iodine excretion should be 90% or greater). I think it’s a good idea to do both the iodine loading urine test and the iodine patch test initially, relying more on the results of the urine test, but then using follow up iodine patch tests every month or so to measure your progress. This is definitely less expensive than having a urine test every month, although it’s not a bad idea to have a follow up urine test 3 months after beginning such a protocol.
Dr. David Brownstein has written a book called, “Iodine, Why You Need It, Why You Can’t Live Without It”. Even though it might sound like a boring book to read, it actually is very interesting, plus it’s an easy-to-read book. In any case, Dr. Brownstein has done a lot of research with iodine, and has determined that most people are iodine deficient. And this deficiency can lead to many different conditions, including certain types of cancer, as well as autoimmune conditions, such as Graves’ Disease. I promise you’ll be amazed at how important iodine is, and will also learn why most people are deficient in it.
Consider Consulting With A Natural Endocrine Doctor
Rather than put yourself on an iodine loading protocol, it’s a good idea to speak with an expert. More and more people with Graves’ Disease are consulting with natural endocrine doctors, since most endocrinologists and general practitioners would not recommend such a protocol, or any natural treatment methods for that matter. But even though Graves’ Disease is thought to be curable, many people, including myself, have restored their health back to normal through natural treatment methods. So whether you are iodine deficient are not, I highly recommend consulting with a competent natural endocrine doctor to find out if you are a candidate for a natural treatment protocol.
In summary, just because you have Graves’ Disease or another hyperthyroid condition does not mean you don’t have an iodine deficiency. Rather than making any assumptions, the best thing to do is to get tested to see if you’re iodine deficient. And whether you are iodine deficient or not, you really should consider consulting with a natural endocrine doctor to see if you’re a candidate for a natural treatment protocol. Although Graves’ Disease is a serious autoimmune thyroid disorder, in many people it is possible to restore their health back to normal, rather than taking anti-thyroid drugs or resorting to radioactive iodine.