I received an email from a woman that said:
“I was diagnosed with Hashimotos and have been on synthyroid for over 20 years. But I still am believing I can be healed and retrieve my thyroid. I feel like I’m getting so many confusing reports as to whether I should take iodine supplements or not. I thought with Hashimotos you had to be careful with iodine. But thyroid hormones are made of iodine and I don’t seem to get iodine in my diet otherwise. Could you help clear up this confusion.” Joyce
She’s not the only one that’s confused. I get emails all the time from people wanting to supplement with iodine. Here’s another one:
“I went to the doctor because of a rapid heartbeat, drowsiness and some other things and I knew it had to do with my thyroid. I told the doctor that I am taking Liquid Iodine along with my synthroid of 125 mcg. I told her that I wanted to go homeopathic instead of taking the pill. She seemed to think that it would be ok but then she turned around and said that she would like for me to stop the iodine for 3-4 months and then continue with the medicine until they found the right dose. So now I am waiting to hear from her about my TSH, T4 and T3 results. Do you have any suggestions as to what I should tell her about not stopping the iodine, and stopping the synthroid? I am trying to do this ‘your way’ meaning the clean diet, and do things naturally. Do I just tell her that I will not take the synthroid and stick to the iodine? I know the deathly consequence’s of not taking the synthroid. Its one of the things that killed my sister. PLEASE HELP!!!!!!” Rebecca
Iodine is essential for thyroid health and the proper functioning of your entire body. BUT, I do not recommend supplementation to any of my clients or students.
Unless there is a nuclear disaster where you live, I would NOT use supplemental iodine.
Let’s get clear on a few things. First and foremost, iodine is needed for the production of thyroid hormone. The body does NOT make iodine, so it needs to be an essential part of your diet. If you do not have enough, you cannot make thyroid hormone. A deficiency can lead to goiter (enlarged thyroid gland), hypothyroidism, miscarriage, and mental retardation in children whose mothers were iodine deficient during pregnancy.
For the participants in my Nourishing Thyroid Health program, I suggest they get their iodine through food (a healthy balanced diet), not through supplementation.
Too much, as in the form of supplements (including Lugols iodine and kelp tablets), can have as damaging an effect as too little. Excessive amounts of the element can induce hypothyroidism, goiter, thyroid antibodies and autoimmune thyroid disease (hashimotos, graves).
The foods I recommend for natural sources of dietary iodine are:
- Sea vegetables
- Nettles leaf
One of the reasons I like using sea vegetables is because of their cooling mucilaginous properties. That means they are not only a good source of iodine, they are also good for supporting and healing the gut and inflammation, which is often the case with autoimmune thyroid conditions.
I recently taught a Thyroid class in New York City and a young lady in the audience said, “I’ve been following your material and eating sea vegetables and my condition is getting worse.”
I said, “How much sea vegetables are you eating?”
She said, “I eat seaweed everyday, plus I’m taking a seaweed supplement.”
I said, “Oh my gosh! I only recommend eating sea vegetables 2-3x per week maximum, not every day, and I do not recommend seaweed supplements! Please reduce the amount of sea vegetables you’re eating ASAP.”
Sea vegetables are rich in iodine and a little can go a long way. I recommend using a small piece of kelp (2-3 inches) in beans, or soup. And, the recipes I share on my website and in my Nourishing Thyroid Health program reflect those doses.
It’s easy to take random information from the web and apply it incorrectly to your personal condition. I see it all the time. It’s one of the reasons why I created a four-month online program that guides participants toward understanding thyroid disease and how they can use diet, lifestyle, and consciousness to help heal it.
If you are stuck and not feeling any better, or if you’re trying to heal naturally and you’re actually getting worse, you need support and guidance. Opt-in to receive Thyroid Health information delivered directly to your inbox.
Andrea Beaman is an internationally renowned Holistic Health Coach, Natural Foods Chef, Speaker and Herbalist. Named one of the top 100 Most Influential Health and Fitness Experts, she is also a recipient of the Natural Gourmet Institute’s Award for Excellence in Health-Supportive Education and a Health Leadership award from The Institute for Integrative Nutrition. Since 1999, Andrea has been teaching people how to harness the body’s own preventative and healing powers using food, herbal remedies and alternative medicine.