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A Case History of Iodine Supplementation

January 9, 2009 by  

A Case History of Iodine Supplementation

John, age 58, was diagnosed with fibromyalgia two years ago. This account is from the book Iodine, Why You Need It and Why You Can’t Live Without It, by David Brownstein, M.D.:

“I don’t know what happened. One day I was ok and the next day I ached all over and I was tired,” John said.

John saw numerous doctors who prescribed various medications. “The drugs did not help. I kept telling my doctors ‘I wasn’t depressed’ but they kept prescribing antidepressants. I finally got sick and tired of taking the drugs,” he said.

When John saw me (David Brownstein, M.D.), I found his thyroid gland to be enlarged. I ordered an ultrasound of his thyroid gland and blood work and diagnosed him with Hashimoto’s disease.

“When I found out I had Hashimoto’s disease, I couldn’t believe it. I had been seeing many different doctors and they couldn’t tell me what was wrong. They kept telling me I needed to be on an antidepressant medication,” he said.

After doing an initial history and physical examination, I tested John’s iodine level. John’s iodine loading test was found to be low at 45 percent (normal is 90 percent or above). John was placed on 75 mg of iodine per day, along with a complete nutritional program. After 12 weeks of taking iodine, a follow-up 24-hour iodine loading test was now normal at 95 percent excretion.

However, he did not feel better. John was still complaining of fatigue and body aches. Furthermore, John’s thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) increased from a baseline of 4 IU/L to 12 IU/L after taking 75 mg of lodoral for 30 days. John had normal T3 and T4 levels.

John’s endocrinologist placed him on thyroid hormone (Synthroid®) for the elevated TSH level. The Synthroid® had no effect on his symptoms.

When I saw John, I felt that he may be having an organification problem with the iodine. I explained to him that his cells were unable to effectively utilize iodine.

After placing him on vitamins B2 (100 mg) and B3 (500 mg) two times per day, John noticed an immediate improvement. “It was a miracle. With the second dose of the B vitamins, my head cleared and all my fatigue went away. I felt 20 years younger. I have never taken anything that works that quickly,” he said.

John has continued to take iodine (now 50 mg/day) in addition to vitamins B2 (200 mg/day) and B3 (1,000 mg/day). His thyroid antibody levels gradually lowered to normal levels over the next six months. Most importantly, John now feels well.

“I can’t believe how much energy I have. Everybody has noticed the difference,” he claims.

Bob Livingston

is an ultra-conservative American and author of The Bob Livingston Letter™, founded in 1969. Bob has devoted much of his life to research and the quest for truth on a variety of subjects. Bob specializes in health issues such as nutritional supplements and alternatives to drugs, as well as issues of privacy (both personal and financial), asset protection and the preservation of freedom.

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  • Diana

    I hope you get this because if you google autoimmune thyroiditis (Hashimoto’s) and iodine that the two do NOT mix. It is like throwing gas on a fire! It fires up the thyroid even worse.
    I tried 4 drops a day for 2 days and felt so very fatigued. It was crazy. I searched it out and found out it’s bad for this particular issue.

  • Bob

    I would like to ask if Dr. Brownstein also put John in selenium? With these “iodine reactions” I read about we need to ask if it really was iodine that is caused Hashimoto’s to get worse, or if it is the Rooster God being worshiped? Think of the Brazilian tribe that worships the rooster because its morning sound causes the sun to rise. Just because two things occur at the same time does not mean one caused the other. In all of these cases I have read about where Iodine caused Hashimoto’s to get worse all they looked at was Iodine. Blame iodine because it got worse at the time iodine was given. This is the same thing as looking at the Rooster when the sun comes up. It has been verified many times that people with Hashimoto’s in the United States are usually deficient in iodine. However, if they are deficient in iodine then they are almost sure to be deficient in selenium also. Selenium is what the thyroid uses to manage H2O2 so I would submit that it is low selenium that is causing these bad reactions, not iodine. Think about it from an evolutionary standpoint. If soil is low in selenium it is very likely to be low in iodine. If soil is low in iodine it is very likely to be low in selenium. As people evolved and moved around the world, they had to be able to adapt to either low selenium and iodine or higher selenium and iodine. What they did not typically have to deal with was high iodine and low selenium. That is until some “smart people” started increasing one without increasing the other. I have yet to read of a bad reaction to iodine if the person was first started in 200 mcg per day of selenium as L-selenomethionine and then iodine was increased. Several studies have looked at this and found that relationship. Of one that did not find this relationship, it appears the set up of the study was flawed from the start. They used 200 mcg of a selenium salt rather than normalizing the dose to provide 200 mcg of selenium. A dose 200 mcg of a selenium salt will contain noticeably less elemental selenium than 200 mcg and likely be noticeably less absorbable into the body that a form selenium bound to an amino acid.

    Also, iodine in salt is not enough due to people eating less salt plus the increase in Bormine chemicals that block iodine from the thyroid.

    So no, both an iodine/selenium deficiency can cause Hashomoto’s as can excess iodine without increasing selenium. People also point to Japan where the Hashimoto’s cases are somewhat similar to here. They eat a lot of kelp and other sea vegetables in Japan that provides a lot of iodine. HOWEVER, those plants provide far more iodine than selenium so it is still out of balance. Apparently, as Kelp moved along the evolutionary pathway it learned how effective iodine is as a defense against bacteria and other microscopic things that would otherwise kill it. What we do see in Japan is some of the lowest cancer rates in the world. That would appear to be due to the protection of iodine in their diet. They lose this cancer advantage when they move to another part of the world and adopt that diet.

    This is a good story, but if John was also taking selenium or was tested as having sufficient selenium, that is important information that needs to be added to this article. Otherwise someone else might jump on iodine without selenium and cause a problem for them self. But other than that, good story.

    Just google “Hashimoto’s iodine selenium” to locate the research on this.


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