When Iodine Might Be Bad For Your Thyroid

Iodine for Thyroid Problems-helpful or harmful

Iodine is often suggested for people who suspect that they might have problems related to a low thyroid levels. As I’ve recently been (finally) diagnosed with an auto-immune thyroid condition, I’ve been researching this subject a lot lately. I am not a doctor and this is not medical advice, I’m just sharing personal information that was helpful to me….

It turns out, there are times when taking iodine can actually do more harm than good…

Is Iodine Good or Bad for Thyroid?

It depends.

As with any medical condition, there are many variations that fall under the broad category of “thyroid problems” and they must be handled differently.

I found this out the hard way. I had the symptoms of low thyroid for years and from research, knew that iodine could be helpful for thyroid troubles. After much research and at the recommendation of a chiropractor, I started taking iodine and noticed that I felt a lot worse. I figured it might be some kind of adjustment reaction and continued taking it but eventually decided to discontinue it since I didn’t feel any better.

History and research verify my own experience in this…

Data from a number of countries shows that countries who started adding iodine to salt to combat hypothyroidism saw rising rates of autoimmune thyroid problems. Chris Kresser explains:

The following is just a sample of studies around the world demonstrating this effect:

Why does this happen? Because increased intake, especially in supplement form, can increase the autoimmune attack on the thyroid. Iodine reduces the activity of an enzyme called thyroid peroxidase (TPO). TPO is required for proper thyroid hormone production.

The Confounding Factor

In my own treatment plan, I now avoid iodine as my particular type of thyroid problem makes it more harmful that helpful. In fact, some research shows that those with auto-immune thyroid disease will see some benefit just from avoiding iodine.

On the other hand, those with iodine-deficiency induced hypothyroidism can benefit from *careful* supplementation, but given the research showing the increased risk of autoimmune thyroid problems that can result, it is very important to check with a doctor first!

Dr. Paul Jaminet also proposes another factor that affects the iodine/autoimmunity relationship is the presence of selenium:

“Excess intake can cause an autoimmune thyroiditis that bears all the characteristics of Hashimoto’s. However, in animal studies this occurs only if selenium is deficient or in excess. Similarly, in animal studies very high intake can exacerbate a pre-existing autoimmune thyroiditis, but only if selenium is deficient or in excess.

With optimal selenium status, thyroid follicles are healthy, goiter is eliminated, and autoimmune markers like Th1/Th2 ratio and CD4+/CD8+ ratio are normalized over a wide range of iodine intake. It seems that optimizing selenium intake provides powerful protection against autoimmune thyroid disease, and provides tolerance of a wide range of intakes.”

The Bottom Line

I’ll be sharing my own thyroid journey as it unfolds and the protocol I’m using to reverse my symptoms. Anyone who suspects hypothyroidism or thyroid disease should be very careful about supplementation and consider selenium with (or in place of) iodine to see if symptoms improve.

Thyroid disorders (and any hormone-related problems) are complex conditions and it is important to find a good doctor or practitioner who can test the proper thyroid levels and do a thyroid ultrasound to know what the proper treatment plan should be.

Sources and Additional Reading

Have you ever struggled with thyroid problems or suspect that you might? What has worked for you? Share below!

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Reader Comments

  1. I am very interested to read more about your journey, Katie! I have been on Synthroid for almost 10 years now, due to Hashimoto’s…and as I’ve learned more about nutrition and eating healthy, I became convinced I needed to act to stop the autoimmune attack, and deal with the root cause (before I developed other autoimmune disorders: MS, lupus, fibromyalgia, etc.) I have been on the GAPS diet for almost six months now, to deal with my Hashimoto’s. My thyroid antibodies has gone from 112 (pre-GAPS), to 22 (3.5 mos. into GAPS), and now to under 20 (considered normal). My doc and I have begun decreasing my Synthroid dose…

    • I was diagnosed with hypothyroidism at age 23 and was taking Synthroid as well for 1 year. I was so confused as to why I had this problem so I did some research. Although I was thin and taking a multivitamin daily I still didn’t eat enough veggies and consumed the typical American diet. So I decided to experiment and took 1,000mg of Kelp every other day for 3 months. With a busy and chaotic nursing career I stopped taking the kelp and hadn’t been on Synthroid for several months by that point. My follow-up appointment to check my tsh levels had come so I had my blood drawn expecting the worst. Well turns out my level was at the top of the normal range which amazed me. Anyway I continued taking my kelp as I had before and I feel great. I know everyone is different but I thought I would encourage others of the great benefits of kelp. It definitely helped me:)

      • What brand of kelp? What other vitamins do you take. I have gained a lot of weight since this bad surgery 11 years ago and sooooooo sick I need help. Please share things you do.

  2. I have been battling Hashimoto’s for several years and, although I wish you did not have to battle this disease, I am grateful to have a resource I can trust. I know how thorough you will be in your research. I am 3 years postpartum from my 5th child and thought I was finally in remission and feeling much better, but my TSH and antibodies have skyrocketed again. I have been on synthetic thyroid hormone for years and am going to try a natural source now, as I have been afraid to quit or alter medication when I was pregnant. If there is one thing that I need to be doing, what is it?

  3. the thyroid and hormonal problems are so complex that it can get a little confusing. Thanks for the article! Wellness MaMa, I would love your insight on this I have spider veins that are spreading like wild fire! Is there ANYTHING naturally I can do? They just keep spreading no matter what I do..

    • Megan, please look up Vitamin C and varicose veins. From what I understand, scurvy can affect the veins and cause varicose veins. If I had varicose veins it is the first thing I would try. Scurvy can actually affect so much. Vitamin C is cheap and easy to find. I believe up to 10 grams a day is what is needed. Granted not all at one time. Maybe a gram or two every 2 or 3 hours while awake. Then when My veins start to look better I would back off to a couple grams a day. Research it and see if it might work for you. Post back in a few months and tell us if you find relief and what you end up trying.

  4. Hi,
    I have Graves Disease. Or maybe I should say “had” because ever since I went organic vegetarian I’ve been in remission. That would be about three years now. My endo laughed at me and said one had nothing to do with the other. I fired him 🙂 Also, I do watch my iodine intake.

    • I had a similar experience!! I also have/had Graves (which is a form of hyperthyroidism for anyone who doesn’t know), starting in Aug. 2012. I responded well to meds (with adjustments) but about a year ago, in late Feb/early March of 2013, after about 6 months of meds, I read up about gluten and found out that it could be related to autoimmune disorders. So I started cutting out gluten and starting eating more & more whole foods, also added Vit. D because of mild winter depression as prescribed my my GP, little did I know it also is related to the thyroid!, and then my endo kept cutting my med dosage in half until Oct. of 2013 when I went into remission. Now–right before I started cutting out gluten I asked my endocrinologist if she recommended any dietary tips, things to avoid or eat more of, and I didn’t even get the question out when she cut me off and told me that is “Baloney. The only thing that is going to help you is the medicine.” Well, whatever. I didn’t bother telling her I went gluten-free because she probably will dismiss it too, but I definitely feel like cutting out gluten was a factor in my remission, and from what I’d read most Graves sufferers take 2-10 years to go into remission. Fingers crossed it’s still working for me, I get tested again soon but I feel fine so I think I’m still in the safe zone!

      • I also have Graves Disease but had radiation treatment to destroy my thyroid. I have been on Levothyroxine for 18 years now. I am wondering if you had radiation treatment and then were able to go into remission?


  5. I am so disappointed in this post. There are lots of people who would disagree and please consider their books as well. They make a very strong argument for iodine even in Hashimoto’s and there are plenty of testimonials on curezone.com who have seen great results.
    The Iodine Crisis: What you don’t know about iodine can wreck your life
    by Lynne Farrow
    Iodine: Why you need it and why you can’t live without it
    Dr. David Brownstein

    • Julie, reread the article. She mentions Selenium as the golden ingredient if you have symptoms of hashimotos. She actually agrees with Dr. Brownstein in his book about the need for selenium when taking iodine.

      Note: It is the Bromine leaving your body that causes all the symptoms of being allergic to iodine. Before taking iodine. People need to look up Bromine and all the havoc it causes to your body. Again, Dr Brownstein covers that in his book too.

    • Iodine must be balanced with Selenium – either way if they are not in balance can worsen the situation.

    • Bravoooooooo!!!!!!!!! Thank God someone else besides me knows the benefits of iodine. I would suggest that the author do “solid” research and read the leading authority on iodine (as mentioned) rather than just those who think it is not necessary or (yikes) harmful.

  6. Thank you for sharing all of this valuable information. I have autoimmune Hashimotos and I have not been able to tolerate thyroid meds. It has been 11 years or so now… I will be visiting my 10th or so endocronologist soon… as in my case it is difficult to find someone to work with me. They just want to give me meds and raise them, which causes heart issues, and becomes intolerable. I have learned alot from reading many thyroid books, and blogs like yours. It took me reading the book….Hashimotos Thyroiditis: Lifestyle Interventions for Finding and Treating the Root Cause by Izabella Wentz PharmD … recently… to decide I need to try selenium… Not one doctor in all these years has suggested that… or any other supplement, except Vitamin D. I have been to MDs DOs Hormone Specialists, Endocronologists, chiropractors, and a Biochemist…. acupuncture… Everyone needs to solve their puzzle… I am hoping this new doctor will be the one to walk this journey with me and direct me in the right path.. but it is articles like yours that are a tremendous help… I am looking forward to what you may share in the future. Thanks agian!! Angela

    • I’ve met Izabella and she is wonderful. Have you tried an autoimmune diet as well? best of luck on finding some answers!

    • Angela: I learned Selenium is good for thyroid on episodes of the Dr Oz show. 2 Brazil Nuts a day = recommended daily allowance of Selenium ! It’s such an easy thing to do .. & I just set 2 out on the counter for my kiddos to eat, too. Good luck !

      • If selenium isn’t present in the soil where the Brazil nuts grow, getting the right amount from 2 nuts per day may just not happen. Eat Brazil nuts because they are delicious but not as a guaranteed source of selenium- supplementation would be better for that.

  7. What supplements were you referring to? I have added kelp powder to our supplement regiment which is a source of iodine…wondering if I should omit this.

    • I don’t/can’t take kelp but for those with no autoimmune issues, it can safely be added to food in small amounts

      • Hi there, I have low thyroid too and taking Levothyroxine for 2.5yrs since diagnosed whilst pregnant. I also found out round the same time as thyroid condition that I’m allergic to milk protein & chilli, all part of autoimmune disease according to my naturopath at the time. I’ve had quite a few Drs pretty much laugh in my face regarding ever going off the thyroid medication & achieving health naturally. Currently try to supplement with FCLO & selenium (I often forget). I do frequently eat seaweed, would this be problematic for my thyroid condition?

      • I’ve been using nori Sheets to roll up my salad and meat in, I’m wondering if this small amount of iodine could be affecting my thyroid as my TSH levels have gone way up along with my cholesterol levels all since going gluten and grain free which is disappointing as I was expecting the opposite to happen

  8. I am so thankful you posted this! I love following your page and within the past year I have been on a journey of trying to learn more about my Hashimoto’s I have had for 7 years…at the beginning there were several people encouraging me to take Iodine and thankfully I only took a few pills before doing further research into how it is actually not helpful with our autoimmune disease.

    Good to hear it from you who I consider to be a trusted source! Thank you! I look forward to hearing more about your journey to see how I can implement changes that work for you in your life since I struggle with the same disease.

  9. Hi there,

    I’ll be following your healing journey. I love your blog. I too am on an auto-immune journey. My integrative doctor recommended The Immune System Recovery Plan by Dr. Susan Blum. I’ve found it very helpful. I’ll read your suggested readings as well!

    Good luck and I look forward to reading about your progress!


  10. Hey Katie. Recent follower with 2 young boys. Love your site. Quick question, currently being assessed and diagnosed with hyperthyroidism. Much less information available and was wondering if you had found anything interesting to help? Also have very high uric acid levels. Kat 🙂

    • working on an in-depth post but an autoimmune diet can sometimes be helpful from what I’ve read

      • Hi i have just found this site.Its full of wonderful information.i have Hoshimotos or at least i did . i haven’t tested for awhile .I have been a on a very long journey for three nearly four years trying to find informative information to heal me . I have put together my own file and could probably like most write a book .I was wondering however about maca powder . i have been taking this ,as i am high in estrogen and read it levels out your hormones .It has had some positive and negative effects .First two months my menstrual cycle was very light .yahoo as my iron levels are low so was thinking this is good.Then third month i got a woppa of a period that i have never had in my life .put me to bed .my question is the iodine in it .i am probably of the thinking iodine is not for me, but yet i am low in iodine , still making my mind up on that one. what are your thoughts on maca . my doctor has recommended a progesterone cream but not keen yet.

  11. Thanks for this. I have hypothyroidism due to chemo and radiation treatments on my neck/chest. I never could figure out if iodine was good or bad for me. There’s information that says “cures all ills!” and information that says it’s bad, this gives both sides.

    I haven’t used iodized salt in years, I just prefer natural gray sea salt. I’ll have to look into selenium.

  12. I love your site.. Thanks for all the great homemade recipes you share. I was also diagnosed with hypothyroidism and my doc wanted to put me on meds. I refused and wanted to treat it naturally. The doc agreed and gave me 6 weeks to try my approach. For 6 weeks, I only ate Organic produce (strict Paleo life), didn’t consume any goitrogenic foods, switched to ( you can also use himalayan salt )and took 1 or 2 Brazilian nuts daily, exercised daily drank 6-8 glasses of water and did yoga 2-3 x week. Went back to doc, got bloodwork done and to his surprise my thyroid was working again. After that he checked my thyroid level every 6 months and now he checks it once a year. I wish you all the best. Ps. This worked on my hubby too.

    • I was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s in 1989. Acquired Fibromyalgia in 2006. I am now free of both and all residual health issues. I take Iodoral and found it to be a huge boost to my compounded Armour (w/sustained release agent). I have to say that I also had all mercury amalgam dental fillings removed and went on a gluten free (no wheat, no corn, and other grains rarely). I also drink an alkaline water and add himalayan crystal salt to it. This is not a processed water (through a machine). There’s also an inexpensive Iodine urine test available through http://ZRTLabs.com PERSONALLY I think Iodoral has been a significant contributor to my recovery but do encourage self-exploration. Happy to see so many people taking responsibility and searching. Yay!!!

  13. I too read the same information in Maureen Pratt’s text (2003). On my health journey I am again reminded of balance and moderation (I am now applying that to my iodine intake). Granted I have not been diagnosed with any particular thyroid condition, only have had guidance through live blood cell analysis. Thank you for your post.

  14. I don’t have any kind of diagnosis, but supplementing with iodine was very rough for me and I only tried for a few weeks. I have been considering supplementing some of the water I use in my garden this summer, but I’m not really sure if it is a good idea/worth it. I thought maybe it would be a gentler way to add more iodine into the diet? Does anyone have any thoughts?

  15. Hi Katie!

    I’m also digging into this topic right now. One resource that I found helpful was the work of Dr. David Brownstein. Loved your post, thanks for the resources. I really like the work of Dr Jaminet as well, but haven’t read that post by him.

    Thanks for all you do!

  16. Hi again Katie… thought I’d provide more information after reading the post by Dr. Jaminet.

    I was listening to an interview last night with Dr. David Brownstein and Dr. Mercola where Dr. Brownstein recommends supplementing with 12-13 mg of iodine per day. He uses Iodorol, which is a supplement that Dr. Tent also recommends. That would be a dose of just one per day, and selenium seems vitally important, but it wasn’t mentioned in that interview.

    You can find both these doctors with a quick google search. If you haven’t watched Dr. Tent’s lecture on The Exploding Autoimmune Epidemic, it’s incredibly interesting, but I found it to be pretty disturbing as well and it made me suddenly want to move to Costa Rica, so watch that with caution. 😉

    Also, you totally don’t have to publish this comment, since I hesitate to recommend any dosage, I’m just passing what I’ve found along to you.

    Anyhow, thanks again for your post!

  17. Wishing I had the benefit of so much information a couple years back. My thyroid had to be removed as it was enlarged to the size of a small orange and was pressing on my carotid artery. Now taking synthetics. Wondering if I could have reduced it by natural means.

  18. Thank you for sharing. When I was pregnant with my son, my thyroid was enlarged. He was born with a thyroglosal duct cyst and his thyroid levels were high when he was born. His levels leveled out after a few days, and he had to have the cyst removed at 10 months due to it predictably getting infected. Under ultrasound my thyroid was unusually shaped, but functioning. So, they called it coincidence. It still makes me wonder. My pregnancy was aweful, with migraines and puking. But he is also my child with a severe dairy allergy. Recently I noticed if I have soy, my thyroid swells. Hmmm…. I’ll have to pay attention more.

  19. I have Low- Thyroid. I tried Iodine as well and it made be feel awful. I started eating 4 Brazil nuts daily for the benefits of the selenium. I as well rub peppermint oil mixed with coconut oil over my thyroid area. My thyroid level went down a point after doing this routine.

    • Did you continue with the iodine after you started eating the brazil nuts, or did you stop taking iodine and replace it with the nuts?

  20. Thank you so much for this. I am just beginning my dance with a thyroid diagnosis – and many of my problems began when I began supplementing with additional iodine. Now I have a massive, obstructive, nodular goitre, all the symptoms of hypothyroid (which I’ve had for years and which was dismissed by my doctor several times as all in my head, and fat people can’t keep blaming their weight on their thyroid) and Hashimoto’s, and am halfway through a slew of testing (including an awful double FNA biopsy), which may ultimately lead to thyroidectomy :/ But I needed some more reading, and I also needed to hear I wasn’t alone. Thank you 🙂

  21. Hi Katie,

    I’m very sorry to hear about your recent diagnosis. I too had those fatigue symptoms until I started taking kelp supplements. Kelp has iodine in it but is different from iodine supplements as the body only uses what it needs. I highly recommend kelp, which is derived from seaweed.

    In addition, all my friends who have taken xylitol, in gum or toothpaste have had fatigue symptoms and would have cold for months without recovering! Although the Internet says it is supposed to strengthen immune systems, I believe that it actually wreaks havoc on our immune system. Anyhow I urge you to see if perhaps xylitol is the root of your ills if you take it in any sort of form, also another substance is fluroide which makes people feel fatigued.

    In my opinion, autoimmune disease is actually derivative of an immune system that has been suppressed, despite what at all the doctors say. It is a kind of inflammation from too many toxins in the body.

    Thanks for all your informative posts!

    • Oh my God this site has some good information! Thanks I will continue reading your web site – keep it coming!

  22. This in incredibly interesting to me as I have a very unique situation surrounding this type of situation. My mother and her parents all had Hashimoto’s. I was the only child born to her after she had her thyroid removed and was on the medication, which ‘surprise’, turns out to be not such a good thing. From the research I’ve done, it can cause all sorts of problems for the developing fetus – as my numerous health issues can attest. Since I have a different kind of problem that arose because of this medication being introduced inutero, and there haven’t been any studies done on how to treat this, I have had quite the time managing and finding anyone who even wants to try. I’ll be very interested to see how it works out for you. Particularly with the selenium factor.

  23. I have been supplementing with Selenium for about 2.5 years. I seemed to have gotten a case of psoriasis after I moved to Idaho. It would usually disappear in the summer after exposing my skin to 30 + minutes of sunshine each day during the limited summer months (usually only 2). And then I would have a full outbreak on my legs and arms starting around November or December. Over time, it got worse. And finally, in the last three years, it wouldn’t go away no matter how much sun I got. I discovered that there was a depletion of selenium in the soil in Idaho. I started taking selenium with vitamin E, and vitamin D
    and noticed that I no longer got a full outbreak of psoriasis during the winter months. I started taking iodine for awhile, but never noticed any thing good or bad with it. I read some more about it and thought I should be careful and stopped. I’m currently finding what works best for my health and have been able to keep myself from a full psoriasis outbreak, even in the dead of winter. Now, I’m looking for that next step to completely get rid of this stuff once and for all.

    • Hi Kathy,
      2 years down the track and I am reading your comment. I am interested to know how your psoriasis has developed. My 10 year old has scalp psoriasis and slightly suppressed thyroid levels. Our integrative doc recommended she supplement topically with Lugols iodine but didn’t mention supplementing with selenium. I’m interested to hear your story.

  24. I also have hasimotos. .found out a year and a half ago bc of swelling in my fingers whixh was initially believed to be rheumatoid arthritis. I got the run around bc I was 27 at the time and they were unwilling to put me on medication. However, with my TSH hanging out at 6 it also meant I could not get pregnant. I have been put on synthroid and have been increased 3x and am still not at an optimal level 🙁
    thank you for the insightful information. 🙂 I feel like once I was diagnosed I have found out there are alot of people around me who also have this autoimmune disease.

  25. Well you are not a doctor & I appreciate you stating that. I take a subscribed medication for hypothyrodism for 9 yrs @ 112 mg & was tired of it & wanted to get off especially because I am a clean eater. I started taking iodine supplement from a highly respected health store with my subscribed medicatation, but took take the iodine every other day, with my doctors knowledge & within 4 months my meds are down to 88. So I am getting better. Before long I will take nothing.

  26. Hi.

    Glad to hear that you now know what you have to deal with. I have suspected a thyroid issue (hypo and hyper) over the years but I heard that the testing is not so accurate so I didn’t really bother until I could find a proper test to give an accurate diagnosis. Can you recommend a proper test to ask my doctor to administer?

    I wish you lots of luck during your journey!!

    • I’ll be doing a whole post on this soon but you can try some dietary changes in the meantime to see if you notice a difference

  27. Sorry about your thyroid issue but I am confident that God will guide you through your research on which treatment will be best for you. I currently have the same condition and started treating myself with Dr Christophers herbs thyroid activator and thyroid maintenance. Doing great so far. I had been on synthetic meds for a while and slowly weaned my self off and found dr Christophers products.

  28. Hello,
    I’m taking the iodine and selenium. Feel much better but still not losing weight! Before this I even tried the armour thyroid medication and felt worse. I am under a functional medicine doctor doing this. 🙂 Jeanne

  29. Hi Katie, I’m sorry that you are dealing with this. you sound relieved to have a name for your ailments and now can start your journey. Last year I was diagnosed with hashimoto’s – I had very low levels of antibodies though which is a good thing. At the time I had 5 other girl friends diagnosed with it as well – now that is another subject of conversation. I immediately started on a paleo diet (after being vegan for 20 years) and was able to reverse my numbers within a month! You are going to have success, too!

  30. Yes, Dr. Kharrazian has been cautioning about iodine supplementation, especially for women with thyroid issues, for years.

  31. Hi Katie,

    Fractionated, reductionistic approaches to nutrition will almost always cause problems. Adding large doses (or even medium doses) of one vitamin or mineral can upset the body’s balance, and it ignores the fact that humans need ALL essential nutrients in sufficient quantities for optimal functioning. By the way, selenium, like other minerals, is present in some soils and completely absent in others. Furthermore, our soils are low in minerals as they’re only fertilized with N, P and K. That’s why it makes sense to take supplements and to supplement with all essential nutrients in an a form and dosage the body needs. (I certainly feel better after doing so…)

  32. I also have a thyroid condition and felt much worse taking iodine. I’m curious if you believe you are getting adequate iodine from your diet alone or if you think you are actually getting less than the recommended amount? Also, are you concerned that in cooking with non-iodized salt, your family members who don’t have thyroid conditions are lacking in iodine? These are things I wonder about so I end up cooking with both iodized and non-iodized salt.

    • I add small amounts of kelp to my kids food (not too much though since high iodine levels can contribute to autoimmune issues if they ever have to deal with them in the future) but with eating regular seafood and occasional seaweed, I feel like my iodine is ok.

  33. Thanks Katie for sharing your own experiences and all the data and background you have researched. I take Armour Thyroid (30mg twice a day). Been on it for the last 5 years or so. Recentiy, with the approval of doc, I began taking a drop or two a day, with the knowledge that if I feel weird or hyper, to stop immediately. I am due to have blood work checked in a month or two and I wanted to see what it would do. It is too soon to know at present, but my doc looked at my markers and said that it would not hurt me to try it. I totally agree with you that you must talk with doc first. The hard part is finding a doc, who believes the same as we do AND on our insurance plans. They are worth their weight in gold, lol!!!!

  34. I just wanted to say thank-you for sharing this. I worked in a health food store for years and didn’t know this! I really appreciate your website 🙂

  35. Hi Katie,
    I’ve enjoyed your blog for a long while now. Such useful information, and my family enjoys so many of your recipes.
    This topic is one of particular interest for me, as I also have thyroid antibodies. I’ve been on the GAPS diet for several months now to address the thyroid autoimmunity and food sensitivities, and have seen improvement. I am just curious as to what you think brought on your thyroid issues? I know from your blog that your diet is wonderfully healthy. Not asking to be nosy….it’s just that I’m putting a lot of hope in healing through food and am a little surprised that someone who is as conscientious as you are would be dealing with this issue. (I know in my case, my issues were brought on by a lifetime of unhealthy eating.) I know you are familiar with the GAPS diet. Do you plan to do the diet to address your thyroid autoimmunity? Thanks so much for your feedback. I wish you the best in addressing your thyroid disorder. And thanks for blessing the rest of us with the information in your blog. Wishing you abundant rest and health,

    • I’ll definitely be sharing more details as I go. I have a really strong family history of thyroid problems and my last pregnancy seemed to be the springboard for me (plus a lot of additional stress). I’m on a modified autoimmune diet now (stricter than GAPS) but am seeing great results. Hope that helps for now but I’ll definitely be sharing a lot more in the future

      • Katie,
        Thanks for your reply. My thyroid issues also began, or at least became apparent, after my third baby and a period of prolonged lack of sleep and somewhat increased stress. I have been very cognizant lately of the effects of not enough rest and too much stress on the body. Homeschooling a family of 5 is enough to keep me constantly busy. I admire your ability to do all that and keep up with your blogging activities! I hope your future posts include your thoughts on exercise. Before this thyroid business began I was a runner, which I suspect is not a great idea for me now. Now I’m somewhat in a no-man’s land of no exercise apart from a little bouncing on a mini-trampoline occasionally. I value your opinion and would love to hear your thoughts on how much/when exercise is appropriate when dealing with an autoimmune thyroid related situation.
        Many blessings:-)

  36. How do you find a doctor that knows what he’s talking about…I am tired every morning and drag through the day, have insomnia, always wanting a nap, have put on 40 lbs. in 4 yrs, hair has thinned drastically on forehead and sometimes my joints ache so bad I only want to go back to bed only it hurts to bad to lay there either….etc… I told the doctor everything and he checked my thyroid checks, my hormone checks and decided that my thyroid levels although a little low wasn’t significant enough to be the problem. So he checked my testosterone and it was 6 . He put me on testosterone injections. now I have all the problems from before plus I’m hairier on my face arms and legs….ugh! Would some one please help me.

    • It is tough! Took me years but I’m working on putting together a resource guide for this. Personally, an autoimmune paleo diet was really helpful in reversing my symptoms…

    • Judy,
      I would HIGHLY suggest seeking some natural-based professional help, like someone at a health food store for starters. Doctors view the body differently that someone in holistic medicine. I am no doctor, but from my experience within the herbal world it sounds like you have a hormone imbalance, an giving you a hormone not meant for your feminine body was NOT the answer. I would definitely seek and read through Katie’s other posts specifically about red raspberry leaf tea, nettle, and a natural food base. If there is any type of diet soda, beverages with dyes (like Mio or Crystal Light), or regular processed foods in your diet, this alone can REALLY mess up your entire system. I hope this helps!
      In Him who reigns,

  37. Hello thanks for posting about the Iodine thing it is a topic which recently came up in our household as well, as it seems many people here in Ca have implemented Iodine supplements into their diet in the recent years due to the radiation threats. I’m not a doctor either but i’ll bet there’s records somewhere of a massive increase in thyroid related problems due to this. My ladies doctor told her keep taking Iodine and i felt that she didn’t account for the problems caused by it.

    • The massive increase in thyroid related problems are going to occur due to the Fukushima radiation!

  38. Greeting what are the ladies thoughts about babies eating sand,grass ,leaves, chewing on pencils(non toxic) , as far as being ok? Besides obvious choking hazards is there a benefit to teaching to not put certain things in their mouth now at young age (nine months),or is it better to let them experience things.Thank you

  39. Hi Katie,
    I was wondering for your condition, what too much iodine is? For example, a few weeks ago, you sent a post on how to make sol, are you drinking sol daily? Also, are you using sea salts that have iodine on your food, or have you changed to salt with no iodine? I was diagnosed with hypothyroidism a few yrs ago but the medical drs are not interested in finding out why I have it, but I do take synthroid every day. I recently tried taking 2-3 tbls of coconut oil to try to improve my TSH in hopes that I could decrease my synthroid dose but I only lasted a month, unable to tolerate the taste. I still use lots of coconut oil in most of my cooking but that’s it. I also saw an expensive naturopath for several months a year ago which got me on the what seems to be the GAPS diet which did wonders for my digestive system but has not helped my thyroid function. He also had me take some also expensive homeopathic remedies for quite a while as well as a product called thyroid PX but it only minimally helped and was not sustainable financially. I would be interested to know what things you find work for hypothyroidism. Any help would be appreciate greatly. Thanks!!

    • I use himalayan salt (not super high in iodine) for all of my cooking now. For me, I even have to avoid vitamins with iodine in them, as even small levels can cause a problem. I’ve been using a modified autoimmune paleo protocol, plus natural thyroid supplementation plus coconut oil and exercise and am seeing a big difference in how I feel 🙂

      • Katie, what is the name of the natural thyroid supplementation you take? Is it on Amazon. Is there a book of the auto immune diet? What is the name? Is it on Amazon?
        I lived in an apt with toxic mold for three years and found out about the mold when it was too late. The first symptom was increased weight and fatigue which I got almost immediately. That was 9 years ago. I have all the symptoms of hypothyroidism, approx. half of my eyebrows are gone, but every time I get tested the doctors said I don’t have it! It is reported that mold in an apt. can harm the thyroid and give you hypothyroidism, besides other problems!

        I took iodine and gained weight from the iodine! I drank barley water for a few days and gained pounds in a few days from the barley water! I did the first stage of the GAPs diet for approx two weeks and to my horror gained approx. 20 pounds and five inches on my waist! I eliminated all processed foods, sugar and junk food years ago. Nothing I have ever done has helped me. I take Coconut Oil daily. It hasn’t helped! The selenium has never helped. I need to lose approx 50 pounds! The fatigue is extremely severe. My body doesn’t provide me with the energy I require! Despite having gotten much worse, I believe that God will heal me.

        • I had to have a thyroid antibody test and a thyroid ultrasound (which showed tiny nodules) to finally get a diagnosis. It can be hard to find a doc that will do those test and who understands how to interpret the results (I had “normal” T3 and T4 for years before finally getting the rest of the tests done). I take Wp-Throid and a cortisol reducing supplement right now, but both are prescription. I’m going to try to interview my doctor to get a protocol that other can take to their doctors to hopefully get some answers. Have you ever tried an Auto-Immune protocol?

  40. I have Hashimoto’s, 1.5 years after being on hormone replacement and the right selenium. I fell for the chiropractors out there attempting to practice medicine & telling folks to use iodine. What a nightmare that was! It “might” help someone who is hypothyroid, not in the high doses recommended, but for Hashi’s sufferers, some of the worst advice ever. LDN is helping me alittle bit. So far 1.5 years into Paleo has not helped me at all either. I’m in menopause and I suspect a lack of estrogen jumpstarted my autoimmune disease. No luck in finding a Dr. who really knows how to utilize bioidentical hormones.

  41. I have also experienced this poor affect supplementing iodine for my hypothyroid condition. I have to stay away from iodine! There is another practitioner in my area and I’ve been to many of his talks. Dr Datis Kharrazian wrote a book Why Do I Still Have Thyroid Symptoms?
    When My Lab Tests are Normal
    Feel free to share that resource. I’m finally happy on my dose of 120mg Armour but also have to work my diet to the best advantage. Good luck with your journey. And it IS a journey!

  42. I’m interested to know how this relates to Nascent Iodine. My husband has started taking this to help with fluoride poisoning that has caused him joint pain for several years.

  43. Hi Katie,

    I am following your blog since last few weeks. I am from India.
    I have recently been diagnosed with autoimmune hypothyroid and Vitamin D3 deficiency. My antibodies and TSH levels are very high. My doctor has put me on external thyroid supplements which he keeps on increasing every week I go for a check-up. I have been told that this type of thyroid is non-curable and I will have to take the supplements for whole of my life (just the dosage may vary).

    I am not interested in being on medicines and would infact prefer to reverse the problem in a natural way.

    Can you please suggest some natural tips on what can help me in my problem. The more I read on internet, the more I get confused. Your blog is one source which I can trust. Moreover, how can I understand whether a particular change is improving my situation or not.

    Waiting for your detailed post on thyroid.


  44. I was diagnosed with autoimmune hypothyroidism 4 years ago after the birth of my daughter. My TSH was incredibly high, 150, and was having very extreme symptoms. I didn’t believe the doctors when they said that taking Levothyroxine for life was the answer. So I went on and am still on an nutritional and alternative quest. Since being gluten free, juicing and generally looking after my health my levels are 1.7 TSH and I have no auto-immune issues. I am also now pregnant which took me a long time to achieve and even ‘specialists’ here in the UK didn’t really seem that specialised when talking to them about the condition, nutrition & pregnancy.
    I believe everyone is completely different and a ‘one size doesn’t fit all’
    I found that Maca totally through me out and made me feel awful while a little bit of iodine was ok. I think we just need to find our own solutions and take our health into our own hands.

  45. I was interested in the part of this post that talked about iodine added to salt did not work for people with thyroid issues. I, too, have been on a journey of working on helping my hypothyroidism, and with the help of my midwife my husband and I have come to understand that there are different forms of iodine, and more specifically, the kind in iodized salt is synthetic and therefore not recognized by the body. My midwife has me on Prolamine Iodine from Standard Process and I have seen a huge turn-around in the three C’s of hypothyroidism (craving caffeine, chocolate, and always feeling cold). Maybe don’t give up on iodine just yet, but remember you might have been given the wrong kind. 🙂

    • Definitely true, but for those with autoimmune thyroid (a different animal) even a good form of iodine can be really harmful 🙂

  46. Hi! First off, I love your blog. All the crunchy recipes are fun!

    Secondly, I have hashimoto’s disease, as well as an IBD. I am treating my diseases the natural way as well, and it is going pretty well thus far. Recently, I’ve been researching essential oils for thyroid support. This might be a subject you could look into (for your own use, as well as for the purpose of an interesting article). I have just began to use essential oils for thyroid support and am really hoping to see some results within the next several weeks!

  47. I highly recommend Dr. Sandra Cabot’s book, ‘Your Thyroid Problems Solved.’ Holistic Solutions to improve your thyroid. Dr. Cabot has books on several subjects, and she is known as ‘the liver doctor.’ I love her holistic approach. Not only do her suggested methods work, they are empowering. You don’t feel like a victim who hasn’t a clue about what is happening to your body. Good luck everyone, improving your health! Oh, and you may want to look at diatomaceous earth as a supplement, as well.

  48. I’m wondering if you can tell me what your symptoms were when you took iodine & felt ill? Last summer I took 1 drop/day of 7% Lugols iodine everyday with selenium…I had great energy (I suspected I had ME or subclinical hypo) & I was never ill, which was fantastic. THEN my throat swelled. I stopped iodine supplementing immediately, continuing selenium. I’m now due to see an Endo next Wednesday & will need a FNA. I’m suspecting Hashi’s diagnosis. There is so much conflicting advice about kelp, iodine for people with Hashi’s, it’s a minefield. I am annoyed at myself for getting into this situation…your upcoming posts will be greatly appreciated!

  49. What selenium supplements would you recommend to use?

  50. Rather interesting vitamin by Standard Process … Antronex.
    …contains a special liver extract which the Japanese called Yakriton. This enzyme is a natural anti-histamine. It can be safely used for people who have histamine toxicity like people with asthma and allergies. It has also been shown to help regulate blood pressure and clear extra thyroid hormone from the blood.

  51. I haven’t read all of the comments, but have you read this book? http://amzn.to/1UKRcc3
    It’s a real eye-opener and applies to any type of autoimmune disease. I just recently read it because I know too many people with AI Disease and wanted to know if there was any hope for finding the cause (my only child has Type 1 Diabetes). There are a lot of amazing medical studies to support the information in the book, and good advice even for people who don’t have AI Disease. And it’s all based on good, traditional food.

  52. I also have hashimotos and have had great results by removing gluten from my diet as well as a few other supplements. I totally agree that iodine only makes it worse! I see a specialist who told me at my first appointment diet could not control my symptoms or my thyroid but I proved him wrong! I am now completely off of my medications and feel much better!

  53. I’ve seen you reference the autoimmune paleo diet which I have recently come across. Does this mean you avoid night shades, raw milk, grass fed butter? I’m trying to go paleo but get confused which one is better when I could go “real food” or do I need to never have dairy or things that autoimmune paleo take out?

    • It really depends on your body and your specific conditions. You could always try the autoimmune protocol for 30 days and then reintroduce the foods and see how your body responds..

  54. I was initially told at 17 that one day I’d have a thyroid problem (childhood family doctor told me this). I was not able to get an official diagnosis for nearly 15 more years and it (tests from an endocrinologist) said I did have hypothyroid disease. However, medication available then did not help me. Another 15 years, and a few doctors later, it was via first a thyroid online group to learn more and then begin to get properly treated in 2006. An eye doctor told me she is certain that I have the Hashimoto’s version of the disease, thus my autoimmune system is really shot. I am interested in anything about the disease and I thank you for another helpful piece of information.

  55. Dear Katie,
    Have you had your adrenals tested? There is a saliva test that is very useful, it tests your cortisol and DHEA levels (morning, lunch time, efternoon and evening)
    I found it extremely helpful.
    Kind regards,

  56. Hi there, do you know anything about hyperthyroidism? There is not much info online about it since most people have hypo… Every time I google it, all I get is info on hypo… I know I need to balance my hormones somehow but can’t figure out the right protocol… A few major symptoms I have are, acne since age 12 now 29… Can’t gain weight, heart palpitations etc… My dad had this condition…made him really sick… His thyroid was killed when drs have him radioactive iodine… He has struggled with hypo since then.

    • Have you heard anything by Dr Sherri Tenpenny, DO? Someone else on these comments posted this link, and it has been really helpful for me and my hyperthyroid issues. https://youtu.be/hMjKmi12UX0

  57. Hello,
    I was diagnosed with hypothyroidism 10 years ago. My TSH result was a little over 20, and the nurse who called me told me my thyroid failed and I’d be on thyroid medication the rest of my life. My former MD never tested my thyroid antibodies so I never knew I had Hashimoto’s Disease.
    I met a wonderful holistic doctor 6 years ago. He tested both of my thyroid antibodies, and they totaled over 14,000. My immune system was very aggressive. My holistic doctor suggested that I get a thyroid ultrasound which I never had done before. I haven’t had a nodule that could be felt, but my whole thyroid gland is covered with microscopic nodules.
    My former endocrinologist back in 2011 wouldn’t even order my thyroid antibodies tests for me. She said that once you have antibodies you always will. She had told me that she had never weaned anybody off of medication (How sad is that?). I told her that a pill will not cure you and I know the cause of my Hashimoto’s (mainly gluten) so I needed to keep track to see if they would come down more. Well I only saw her twice.
    My great holistic doctor helped me tremendously with all my health conditions. His protocols worked for me (no gluten and dairy, take certain supplements which included selenium, detox, healing my small intestine, etc…) I am still stunned at how my health has turned around. I also now currently have a great MD who has a holistic approach to treatment. He orders my thyroid antibody tests! As of April 2013, my thyroid antibodies totaled 3600. My goal is to recover from Hashimoto’s. I am currently studying holistic nutrition so I can help others in the future. My advice to people is to see a doctor who practices holistic treatments so you will find the causes of your symptoms/diseases. Then you will be on your way to recovery.

  58. Hi Katie!

    First I want to tell you I LOVE your blog. I’ve recently just come across it, but now i’m hooked 🙂 I love all of your natural health & beauty recipes. Thank you for sharing.
    I was diagnosed with hypothyroidism when I was just 2 days old, I am now 24 and I have struggled with the up & down symptoms all my life. It wasn’t until a year ago that I stumbled upon the Paleo diet which has changed my life. Since cutting out gluten, dairy, processed sugar, soy & eating a clean diet I have reached a healthy weight and have been able to decrease my dose of synthroid. What I find baffling is not once in my 24 years of seeing endocrinologists did any of them mention anything about certain foods negatively impacting thyroid symptoms. Thanks to my husband, who has been doing a lot of research with me we’ve found so much information on things that will benefit me.
    My next goal is to try armour thyroid, made from natural pig thyroid. I’ve been told that it’s nearly impossible to get a traditional doctor to prescribe :/ I have also just within the last week starting supplementing my daily diet with Selenium. I will be following your journey, I am glad To have a resource like yours. I wish you luck!

  59. Have you read any of Dr. Brownstein’s books on iodine? How about Dr. Abraham and Dr. Jorge Flechas? They have informative videos on you tube also. It might be a good idea to take a look at what they have found in their years of research before you discount the benefits of iodine supplementation. Take care!

    • I agree that there are times when iodine supplementation can be good, but I know for me it has negative effects (even shown on blood work)

  60. I wish I could find a good doctor! I have been through at least 10 doctors in the last 30 years. At last count I have 19 symptoms of hypothyroidism. A couple doctors have been willing to do a basic blood test. If the results were .01 lower, I would be below normal range. I have not been able to get one doctor to do any specific tests or refer me to a specialist. All I can do is try and figure it out myself. I thrive on posts like this to help me.

  61. Hi Katie,
    I’ve had Hashimotos since I was a child and I agree Iodine is not for everyone! The last six months i have seen the most amazing improvement with my thyroid. Previously I was following a traditional, then paleo, then autoimmune paleo diet for quite some time. To cut a long story short it made things worse, it took me a long time to admit that. If what we are currently doing and eating is WORKING FOR OUR BODIES then they should be improving these disease states.
    I have recently discovered the work of Ray Peat and have been implementing his recommendations under the guidance of a natural doc. He (and a number of other scientist) have the answers on thyroid health.

  62. I’m so glad I found this post. I am in the process of being diagnosed with an auto immune disease. My doctor is leaning towards Lupus, but sounds like it’s a lengthy process depending on how often I flare up and continual blood tests. Anyway, I am not one to sit idle while I wait on the doc to figure it out and then just medicate me, so I was going to try your 9 tips for balancing hormones to see if it would help my fatigue and joint pain. I’d also be interested in reading more about your thoughts on managing AD. I asked my doctor what I could do to prevent flares and she said there was nothing I can do. I don’t like that answer. I don’t agree with that answer. Thanks for all the info you provide!!

  63. Hello Katie,

    I have been following your site for a couple years now and love it. I just had my Thyroid Panel done and my TPO was high (59) possibly indicating Hashimotos. I have not been seen by an Endocrinologist yet but was wondering if during your journey to find your diagnosis- was your White Blood Count low as well. I have had a low white count since Sept 2013 (2.8, now 3.3) but still low. I’m just wondering if you had a similar experience. Also, can you recommend a functional medicine or holistic practitioner who might be able to help me remotely? I do not want to go with the traditional medicine root if possible. I believe- you might have mentioned, Dr. Kalish or Dr. O’Bryan helped you with your protocol. Thanks

    • My white blood cell count wasn’t low. I’m working on figuring out how to get you guys in touch with my doctor. His name is Dr. Christianson and he is in Arizona.

  64. Hi everyone, this is my first time posting. I too have hypothyroidism and hashimotos. I was diagnosed about 10 years ago. Even though I’ve been medicated with Synthroid for the past 10 years, I’ve still never felt right. Foggy headed, tired, depressed, etc. I’ve had all sorts of meds pushed on me by various well meaning Dr’s, but to no avail.
    I finally found Dr. Brownstein’s book on iodine and it’s a life changer! Please folks, read his book. I know that you guys may have had a negative reaction to iodine but that’s because you MUST take the companion nutrients with it to help avoid detox symptoms. Bromine is a poison that is everywhere and we are all toxic with it. When we start supplementing with iodine, it starts to move the toxic bromine out of our bodies, which can cause all sorts of yucky symptoms if you aren’t prepared for it. But if you are mindful of these things and follow Dr. Brownstein’s protocol to a T, magnificent things will happen for you. I have never felt so wonderful in all my life. My brain is sharp again, I have energy, aches and pains are gone, I don’t feel depressed anymore, and I actually want to do stuff!
    Every cell in your body needs iodine, not just your thyroid. Your breast are also a huge iodine user and without enough iodine, you can end up with breast cancer or cystic breast. Did you know that us hypo’s are more likely to end up with breast cancer? I had painful lumpy breast before I supplemented with iodine and I didn’t even realize what the problem was! Do some research on iodine and breast cancer and you will be shocked.
    I’m begging y’all to please reconsider iodine. Do your research before trying it again and I promise you will be healthier than you’ve ever been. Please read his book or go to https://sites.google.com/site/iodinereferenes/home for more detailed info on how to take iodine properly and informed. There are also discussion boards on Curezone.com pertaining to iodine that are maintained by very knowledgeable people. Love this blog!

  65. Recently found your blog and I am IN LOVE! I had (though still lingering) a horrible stomach virus and used some of your remedies. I was 20 times better so thank you! I have a question. I know you are not a doctor but I have hashi’s as well with suspected PCOS. My doctor prescribed me 75 mcg iodine with selenium and zinc in a single supplement. Is this the same thing as taking iodine alone? I am SO nervous. I have been taking it for close to 2 months and I don’t feel worse on it but Im going into physical therapy school and the last thing I need is to get hit by a brick wall in a month.

    Also, can I take elderberry syrup for flu and stomach viruses? I know you advise caution but is it detrimental? Thanks so much!

  66. I have Hypothyroidism. I never had any thyroid issues until I got pregnant. I have two kids (3.5 yrs and 11 mo.) I’ve been working recently with my doctor to try and figure out how to heal my thyroid. She is an integrative family doctor, so she has a lot of knowledge about natural treatments. We recently tested to see if I had antibodies to see if my hypothyroidism is caused by an autoimmune disorder like Hashimoto’s. The results were negative and I do not have an autoimmune disorder. I am wondering what your thoughts are on my type of thyroid problem. I am considering taking a Selenium supplement, but maybe I should have my levels tested first? I do not want to go the Iodine route either. Other factors my doctor said could contribute are… toxins in my environment, stress, hormone disrupters like BPA. I live very naturally and eat organic foods and make my own natural cleaning products. My home is very natural. I don’t use deodorant, commercial shampoos or soaps, etc.

  67. I haven’t read all of the comment, but wondered how much kelp should one take? I just bought a bag of kelp powder & I have hashimoto?
    Thanks, in advance

    • That is a question for your doctor, but I have Hashimotos and have been told absolutely not to take kelp

  68. Thyroid issues are very complicated as there are so many different types of issues, and so many possible causes. It’s important to try to get everything in balance and do lots of research rather than just jump onto one possible magical cure or another, as some recommendations may end up making you worse if it is not the right thing for you. For example, iodine and selenium must be in balance in the body, so you will make it worse if you just try taking one or the other without knowing which you need. Selenium is often very short in our soil nowadays so we often don’t get enough, from veg or eggs – unless perhaps you have all organic and free range.

  69. I am curious how it works with your dr being in Arizona. Do you travel there? Does he take insurance?

    • No, but we are members of a healthcare sharing organization and I choose to just self-pay anyway. It has actually been cheaper than our co-pay and percentages when we used insurance.

      • Do you have to travel to Arizona? Can you share the information on the healthcare sharing organization?

  70. Will DE bring on Graves disease if you are in remission??

  71. Has anyone else taken Thytropin PMG by standard process?
    I have Hashimoto’s and took synthroid for years until I started seeing a holistic nutritionist who recommended Thytropin. Its from bovine thyroid but all thyroid hormone is removed, and it protects the thyroid from antibodies and helps repair it. My thyroid levels are all normal now, which means my thyroid is producing enough hormone on its own without me having to take T3/T4. I also am on the autoimmune diet. There’s lot of discussion about natural forms of thyroid, but I’ve heard little about Thytropin from others.

    • Hi Marie, My holistic doctor has me on that too. I am waiting 3 more weeks and will see how my blood is. She told me it was not supposed to bring thyroid levels up or down just help heal the thyroid itself. I will be sure to keep you posted if you like. Cheers and best of luck also.

  72. First of all, when you want advice about medications, don’t ask a chiropractor. At least go to a medical doctor, or ask a pharmacist since this is their area of expertise.

    Second, iodine is highly toxic in large doses, to anyone, regardless of whether they have any kind of thyroid condition or not. You should never, ever, start taking iodine unless you know with absolute certainty that you have a deficiency, and then only take as directed.

  73. Hello Guys.,

    I new to this so bare with me., I noticed changes maybe 5 years ago, when I lost dramatic amount of weight, went to the doctor and they said you have Graves Disease (ok) I figure he didn’t give me much to work with so I done my own research. Found an Endo in Lafayette, LA and about 3 months ago got the Iodine Radiation done, went back 6 weeks after that my levels haven’t changed one bit but I did manage to lose like 6 pounds. Fast forward, to end of June I weighed myself and notice I had hit over 200 pounds, I’m like wow so not me, this is the biggest I’ve ever been in my life this is a miserable feeling. Just last year I managed to drop 40 pounds, working out and eating healthy so I figured I’ll do that again, started in July but haven’t lost a singal pound. Go back to the Dr., Friday and he will tell me what my levels are and if they changed, I’m debating on whether I want to have thyroid surgery or not. Please Help. My recent diet consist of eating 1200 calories a day, and walking 2 miles, nothing has came of since I started and that was three weeks ago.

  74. Thanks so much for this post! I was tested for Hashimoto’s and told I don’t have it. But I do have low thyroid and am on Levothroid. Years ago I started snacking on those seaweed snacks that you see in health food stores. After a while I started having flu-like feelings and my throat started to feel as though I was being strangled. The doctors couldn’t tell me what was wrong. This would happen when I ate anything high in iodine: coconut, seaweed, dairy products and sometimes potatoes. The symptoms go away when I avoid these products. I am feeling poorly today because I discovered that there is kelp in a superfood greens powder that I add to my morning smoothie. I didn’t know about Selenium balancing things. I’ll go take some selenium now! Thanks!

  75. I have an underactive thyroid and before I was tested I lost 5 stone in weight with a healthy eating plan 4 years ago I went to the doctors and was diagnosed with my thyroid condition and was put on meds for life and then the weight started to pile on and on I try to be good but so hungry all the time….my blood test keep on changing and my meds are changing all the time my dose is going up and down i recently had surgery on my leg and have had iodine dressing and my neck is sore is this the iodine or me just being paranoid as I know it’s iodine related xx

  76. After watching an episode last night on the Truth About Cancer…I was geared up on taking an iodine supplement…so today I figured I’d try to find which to take…after slim reading your article before work…I’m wondering if I should wait…unfortunately I don’t have a dr and my midwife/OB isn’t so holistic…any furthur suggestions on the mixed controversy?

  77. I thought it was good to take kelp in preparation for pregnancy. In the summer my TSH was 2.25. After upping my kelp to around 2000mg per day my TSH is now 3.65, 5 months later. I have just had two miscarriages back to back, one in Dec. and one in Feb. and finally clued in that excess iodine may be the reason. I have been commenting how I feel my thyroid working so hard and I notice that my thyroid seems to be slightly inflamed..I kept thinking more kelp was the answer but now realize I had a serious excess. Happy to have figured it out but so sad about the losses. I had my thyroid antibodies checked and they are negative….so hopefully when I go off Kelp I will go back to normal. I have used high doses in the past after a miscarriage and carried a baby to term taking 2000mg a day….my thyroid TSH was 3.85 and luckily everything was fine. I have two other children that I never supplemented at all for.

  78. I was diagnosed with Graves last fall, after a scary 3 trimester (bleeding which seemed to be triggered by my rh shot-anyone else have this happen with rophylac?) of pregnancy and preterm labor and delivery. The endo kept increasing my dosages of methimazole, but it made me feel really bad. I haven’t found anyone else online (except for some statistics about methimazole causing liver toxicity, liver failure and death-I hope that’s not what’s going on…) saying that methimazole had any of the side-effects that I was experiencing which were most prominently gut pain- (with and without having eaten gluten, there seemed to be no rhyme or reason the food triggers, and the pain goes when I stop taking it and comes back when I take it again) and extreme fatigue. (Is there anyone else out there with this experience?) So, I stopped taking it for awhile, which was probably stupid of me, but I didn’t really have hyperthyroid symptoms when I stopped taking them, just gut pain and fatigue which I truly didn’t need with a toddler and a newborn to take care of.

    I have been reading up on iodine/iodide too, as well as D3/K2/A. I’m beginning to wonder if my particular gluten intolerance symptoms aren’t just a reaction to potassium bromate.

    I know that I have some serious sensitivity to fluoride. A few years ago I was getting the most debilitating headaches, that would sometimes last several days. I finally traced it back to fluoride, through a strange series of events, and they have pretty much disappeared. I still get sinus headaches though…

    I actually stumbled on iodine when I started taking a bladderwrack tincture and found that my symptoms almost disappeared. I ran out of the bladderwrack, and I hadn’t realized that was what had made me better until it was gone and so was my betterness.

    So I did some research and am now taking iodine in the form of kelp, a relatively low amount compared to what Abraham says most people could use and I have noticed some more intense hyperthyroid symptoms lately, enough to make me take methimazole again. I have also just gotten over some kind of crazy sinus thing, which included a non-stop runny nose (which I got shortly after starting kelp).

  79. Wellness Mama: Keep in mind that your reaction of feeling worse with iodine use (I assume it was a combination of iodine AND potassium iodate) was mote than likely due to your body’s detoxing efforts–we’re quite toxic with the other halogens: chlorine, bromine and fluoride. I would be very surprised if your body has anywhere near enough iodine/potassium iodate for its vital needs. Just saying….

  80. Diagnosed with Graves Disease and subsequently having RAI treatment, the Dr. told me NOT to eat anything with iodine in it! No junk food because all contained SALT WITH IODINE. Even ketsup! to be wary of food at a restaurant and to order according to diet needs. Best still to eat homecooked meals. Not to eat any kind of shell fish or seaweed products. I am contantly shocked to find that on the sites that say they are soooo healthy still have recipes for seaweed, kelp or nori wraps and etc. Of course, I know that making a nice sushi style treat can be done riceless with veggies AND wrapped with a of a slice of cucumber. But why don’t more people seem to be aware of this aggravation to the thyroid or the lack of one but still with the antibodies present in system. Also, thank you Katie, for the WP thyroid suggestion! I finally talked my Dr. into this since Armour had gotten more expensive and has more fillers. I feel so much better!

  81. What if you’ve had a Total Thyroidectomy? Would iodine be harmful then? The same for L-Tyrosine?

  82. Having RA, GWI and Hashimoto’s, I find this an interesting post. I’m not sure exactly what I believe about iodine supplementation at the moment. However, I have almost completely kicked RA to the curb by addressing the cause with antibacterials, probiotics and immune building supplements and foods (No crazy diet changes however). I further believe that Hashimoto came into play due to my primary bacterial (Mycoplasma) infection and am hoping that as I clear it out, it will also, over time, repair my thyroid. I am currently supplementing with a thyroid supplement (That does contain selenium and iodine) as well as with a drop of Nascent Iodine daily. Currently, I feel absolutely great.

    Good luck to you all.