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Can Thyroid Patients take IODINE?

By Lucy Rose Clinic

November 22, 2020

Today I wanted to discuss things you need to consider when supplementing iodine if you are on thyroid medication.

There is a medical misconception out there that thyroid patients (particularly autoimmune thyroid patients) need to avoid iodine, when the truth is that they may desperately need it for optimal health.

On a Facebook group this week, I saw a lady comment that she couldn’t even take iodised table salt because her medical practitioner told her to avoid any and all forms of iodine.

Read my response below…

Iodine deficiency is present because our food supply is woefully inadequate in iodine. Declining mineral levels in our soil coupled with more pollution in the ocean create a perfect storm for iodine deficiency.

Dr. Brownstein says that we are seeing a rapid rise in autoimmune thyroid conditions due to this iodine deficiency coupled with higher exposure to toxic halides such as fluoride and bromide. Scientific studies have proven in animal studies that you can cause Hashimoto’s by creating an iodine deficiency by removing iodine from the diet, and then ingesting halides such as fluoride. 

A British population study from 2015 observed that iodine deficiency may be caused by extra ingestion of fluoride from treated water and is related to a rise in hypothyroidism. They found that in locales where tap water fluoride levels exceeded 0.3 milligrams per liter, the risk for having an underactive thyroid rose by 30 percent. They also found that hypothyroidism rates were nearly double in urbanised regions that had fluoridated tap water, compared with regions that did not.

If someone is told to supplement, often supplementation is not adequate to replenish the iodine status of the body, or is given incorrectly, in the wrong form, and the wrong dose for the individual, which then means it won’t give you the desired outcome. 

If there is already a burden of toxic halides or metals (flouride, bromide, aluminum or mercury) correcting iodine status in the tissues requires specialist treatment, specific nutritional dosing and therapy, and all nutritional co-factors must be present for success.

Can I take iodine if I am on thyroid medication?

Among our patients it is rare to meet a person who isn’t iodine deficient. The key to safely supplementing with iodine is to be tested using a 24 hour iodine load test. This is a urine test which shows you if you are iodine deficient, and also how well your body absorbs iodine from the loading dose. Iodine therapy is safe for patients if they have a deficiency. This test also indicates the level of toxic halides that are interfering with absorption.

Most commonly if people have detoxification symptoms from starting iodine, it is actually due to a release of toxic halides such as bromide and fluoride. Unfortunately, iodine gets the blame! Typically bromide detox signs include headache, nausea or a metallic taste in the mouth. Our patients will be supported with the most appropriate protocol to deal with a bromide detox safely and quickly, and not all people experience this.

Self prescribing iodine is not recommended as there are many factors to be considered before a dose is prescribed for you. The TGA has stipulated that a safe supplementary dose for the population is 150mcg. This dose is set to prevent goiter in the population, and does not support optimal health. We discover that much higher doses are usually needed to get good health results.

Iodine deficiency symptoms

  • Fatigue or Lethargy
  • Mood issues – depressed or anxious
  • Sugar or chocolate cravings
  • Brain fog
  • Mental slowness or forgetfulness
  • PCOS, fibroid, or other genealogical concerns (women)
  • Breast lumps and bumps
  • Enlarged prostrate (men)
  • Easily get a cold or flu
  • Thyroid band around the neck or enlargement of the thyroid
  • Teeth indents on the side of the tongue

Do you have a few of these signs? Book a call to discuss your findings with a naturopath.

Why does IODINE matter?

Iodine is known for it’s importance with thyroid health, but the rest of your body needs it as well. The thyroid is only responsible for using 20% of the bodies need for iodine.

Check out these iodine benefits – how many did you know about?


Iodine crosses the BBB (blood brain barrier) and too little causes mental impairment. In adults, symptoms include:

  • Brain FOG
  • Pituitary gland diseases
  • Slower mental recall
  • Losing words mid-sentence

Iodine and Autoimmune THYROID

Iodine is needed to keep all the glands of the body healthy, and an absence of this nutrient can allow viruses such as EBV to populate in the gland, causing autoimmune problems. Also, toxic halides and heavy metals can also settle in the tissues of the thyroid when iodine is not optimal, setting the scene for autoimmune, hypothyroid and hyperthyroid concerns.


Chronic hypothyroidism induced by iodine deficiency significantly attenuates HPA (hypothalamo-pituitary-adrenal) axis activity.

Iodine and DIGESTION

Iodine assists the correct pH in the stomach, which keeps issues such H. Pylori at bay, and protein digestion optimal. Having good protein digestion minimises risk of food intolerances, malabsorption issues, and digestive health complaints.

Iodine and OVARIES

After the thyroid, the ovaries contain the second highest concentration of iodine. Deficiency leads to cysts, PCOS, and other health imbalances.

Iodine and UTERUS and PROSTATE

Absence of iodine in these tissues allows tissue proliferation, such as nodules, fibroids, cysts, and growths. Instead, having the right amount of iodine in these tissues keeps the architecture of the tissues healthy.

Did you know?

The Japanese consume 89 times more iodine than Americans, due to their daily consumption of sea foods and sea vegetables. This equates to 12.5mg iodine a day. They have reduced rates of many chronic diseases, including the lowest rates of cancer in the world. Australian diet and statistics are relatively similar to America regarding iodine. 

Don’t like seafood that much? Then supplementation can meet optimal iodine requirement at a fraction of the cost.

Book a free 15-minute consultation to discuss our screening and treatments, and how we can assist your ultimate wellness.

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