40% of IVF Treatments Are Unnecessary

Your entire body takes direction from your hormones. Hormones are secreted by your endocrine system and are responsible for telling your organs what to do and when to do it.1 They are essentially chemical messengers that travel throughout your bloodstream, working slowly over time to affect processes like growth and development, metabolism and reproduction.

Sometimes, these chemical messengers may get out of balance, and this leads to chronic disorders such as Type 2 diabetes, weak bones and infertility.2 Hormones may be secreted by your adrenal glands, endocrine-related organs, hypothalamus, sex glands and other organs.3

Progesterone is important to fertility and supporting a pregnancy. It’s a steroid hormone secreted by the corpus luteum and then by the placenta if you become pregnant.4 In some cases, when couples suffer from infertility, they choose in vitro fertilization (IVF).

This is a complex series of procedures in which eggs are retrieved from the ovaries, fertilized by sperm in a lab and then transferred into the uterus.5 One full cycle can take up to three weeks6 and cost $12,000.7 In response to her struggles with infertility, Amy Galliher-Beckley, Ph.D.,8 co-founded MFB Fertility and the progesterone test Proov.9

The Estrogen and Progesterone Relationship

Each of your bodily systems maintains a balance to help you maintain optimal health. Your reproductive system is no different. For a woman, there are several hormones affecting a complex system to mature an egg follicle and release an egg where it travels to the uterus. If fertilized, the egg must implant into the uterus, called the endometrium, where it begins to develop into a baby.

These events are controlled by hormones secreted from several sources in the body. The ovaries produce the eggs and are the main source of estrogen. The adrenal glands sit on top of each kidney and also make a small amount. Estrogen plays a role in physical changes during puberty; it also controls the menstrual cycle, protects bone health and affects your mood.10

The second hormone essential to fertility is progesterone, a steroid hormone that is first secreted by the corpus luteum. After the egg is released, the corpus luteum is left attached to the ovary, which functions as a temporary gland.11 These two hormones are controlled by the release of other hormones.

During the menstrual cycle gonadotropin-releasing hormone is secreted from the hypothalamus, triggering the secretion of follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) from the pituitary gland.12 This begins follicle development and triggers a rise in estrogen.

Luteinizing hormone (LH), also secreted by the pituitary gland, supports the maturation of the follicle and a trigger to cause the egg to be released. When estrogen levels get sufficiently high it signals a sudden release of LH, around mid-cycle, which triggers a set of events that ultimately release the mature egg from the follicle.13

Once released, the empty follicle becomes the corpus luteum, which produces progesterone. The release of progesterone triggers the uterus to develop a highly vascularized bed suitable for implantation of a fertilized egg.

Without fertilization, the corpus luteum begins to degenerate, the secretion of progesterone drops off and menstruation occurs. If pregnancy occurs then the corpus luteum produces progesterone for the first 10 weeks until production is taken over by the placenta.14,15

Not About Getting Pregnant, but Staying Pregnant

As Beckley explains in her interview with Forbes magazine,16 her test is not about getting pregnant, but rather staying pregnant. Progesterone not only prepares the uterus for the egg to implant; it also protects the endometrium from degeneration and menstruation. While the body is producing high levels of progesterone during a pregnancy, a second egg will not mature.17

In order to maintain a pregnancy, the corpus luteum must continue to secrete progesterone. This maintains the blood vessels in the endometrium to feed the growing baby. It is in these early weeks that women with low levels of progesterone may have difficulty, both conceiving and developing the right environment for a fertilized egg to grow.

Some women who do get pregnant are at a high risk for miscarriage.18 The test Beckley developed comes with sticks used in much the same way ovulation and pregnancy tests are used. These sticks measure the amount of progesterone metabolites excreted in the urine. To date, this is the first at-home, over-the-counter test used to evaluate a woman’s ability to produce progesterone.19 Beckley explains:20

“Low progesterone is the number one cause of unexplained infertility. Women who go through IVF protocols all are offered progesterone. If you are not going through IVF, most doctors don’t talk about progesterone, they don’t offer progesterone, they don’t test for progesterone. When your progesterone crashes too quickly, it is called a luteal phase defect.”

Luteal Phase Defect Increases Chances of Miscarriage

The luteal phase in a woman’s cycle begins after ovulation and represents the second half of the menstrual cycle. The luteal phase is named after the corpus luteum. Luteal Phase Defect (LPD) results in an abnormal endometrial growth that may not support a pregnancy.21,22

While researchers struggle to identify the underlying dysfunction and efficacy of LPD in supporting fertility, experts report women undergoing IVF always have LPD present.23 LPD is marked with a luteal phase less than 11 days. However, not all physicians believe the condition exists; reliable tests are lacking.24

Beckley developed the Proov urine test to help women identify a reduction in progesterone during their cycle. According to Beckley,25 her test gives women more knowledge about how their body works and provides a foundation for asking their infertility doctors better questions.

The test measures the presence of metabolites in the urine that should increase and remain elevated after ovulation. It may be used to confirm ovulation and confirm levels of progesterone afterward. A single negative test before ovulation followed by a single positive test will confirm ovulation for women trying to get pregnant.26

For women trying to conceive, the test is recommended four days after peak fertility and then for continued testing 10 days past ovulation.27 When questions arise about levels of progesterone to maintain a pregnancy, they recommend testing six days after peak fertility and as needed during the pregnancy since the test should remain positive.

Other Functions of Progesterone

Although LPD has a significant impact on a woman’s ability to carry a pregnancy, it is the subject of debate.28 In some cases, the ovaries release enough progesterone but the uterine lining does not respond.29 LPD has been linked to other health conditions, including:30



High levels of exercise


Thyroid disorders

Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)

High levels of prolactinemia (the hormone responsible for breast milk)

In some circumstances, when these conditions are treated, the LPD resolves.31 Later in life, if levels of progesterone decline, a woman’s period may become irregular, heavier and longer,32 increasing her chance of experiencing anemia, depending on the amount and length of her period.33

Variations in hormone levels after menopause may also influence cognition and mood.34 In a study of 643 healthy postmenopausal women, researchers found that while estrogen had little effect on tests of executive function or global cognition, progesterone concentrations were associated with verbal memory. The researchers suggest this positive association merits additional study.

Bioidentical progesterone, also known as micronized progesterone in the oral form, has been successful in helping relieve hot flashes and night sweats during menopause. Dr. Jerilynn Prior from the University of British Columbia Vancouver presented her study at an endocrine society meeting during which she compared the use of progesterone to placebo.35

The study assigned 114 postmenopausal women into one of two groups, a placebo group and another who took 300 mg of micronized oral progesterone daily. To be eligible for the study, the women had to be off hormone therapy for at least six months.36

At the end of the 12-week study, researchers found that the group taking micronized progesterone demonstrated a 56% decrease in a score reflecting the number and intensity of symptoms, while the women taking the placebo reported a 28% decrease.37

Age Does Affect Hormone Balance

As is borne out by the number of women struggling with hormonal imbalances as they age and those requiring fertility assistance to become pregnant after 40,38 Beckley is vocal about the difficulty women may have supporting a pregnancy after she turns 40.39

Beckley says,40 “The closer a woman gets to menopause, the least likely her body is going to be able to support a pregnancy.” Much of this is related to the imbalance of hormones required to successfully support a pregnancy that occurs as women age.

Her research in designing the progesterone urine test led Beckley to believe 30% to 40% of women who undergo IVF treatment to become pregnant ultimately do not need IVF.41 Instead, they may require progesterone to develop a healthy endometrial lining and support early pregnancy.

Overall Fertility Is on the Decline

Couples experience infertility for a number of reasons. In a study42 released in 2017, researchers evaluated 38 years of information and found sperm counts declined significantly between 1973 and 2011. The sperm counts declined 52% to 59% in men located in North America, Europe and Australia.

The Australian Department of Health reports 1 in every 6 Australian couples suffers from fertility problems, which they attribute to the decision to have children later in life as well as declining sperm count. Quality and lifestyle factors such as smoking, not eating healthfully, consuming excessive amounts of alcohol and not having a healthy BMI also affect fertility.43

In May 2019, the Pew Research Center reported that for the fourth year in a row, key fertility indicators for U.S. couples declined, reaching a record low.44 Two of the three indicators used to determine fertility reflected a decline in numbers.

The total fertility rate, or the estimation of the number of children a woman would have in her lifetime, was 1.73 children in 2018. This was lower than the estimate of 1.74 from the mid-1970s.45

Research suggests men’s fertility is affected by environmental toxins and chemicals you may find in your own home, which I discuss in a past article, “50 Percent Fertility Reduction Because of These Household Chemicals.”

Additionally, as described in the past article, “Birth Rate Reaches Record Low as Premature Deliveries Rise,” statistics from the CDC show the number of new births was down 2% in 2018 as compared to 2017, but the number of premature births was rising. Infertility and pregnancy are complex conditions that likely need a comprehensive approach to experience a successful outcome.

Source: http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2019/09/18/ivf-treatment.aspx

Introduction to Dysphagia: A Throat and Esophageal Disorder With Many Underlying Causes

Swallowing is a complex biological action that comprises more than 31 muscles and five cranial nerves1 all working together to facilitate nutrition. Its two main goals are to push food from the mouth into the stomach and to protect airways from foreign objects.2

The Process Model of Feeding was created to help people understand how swallowing works whenever solid foods and liquids are consumed:3

  1. Stage 1 (Transport) — Once food enters the mouth, the tongue carries it to the post-canine region to the back of the mouth to begin chewing.
  2. Food processing — In this stage, the food is softened by saliva for chewing until it reaches an optimal state for swallowing. When drinking liquids, the posterior oral cavity is sealed by the tongue-palate contact to prevent leaking.
  3. Stage 2 (Transport) — Once food is ready to be swallowed, it is placed in the back of the tongue to be propelled into the esophagus.
  4. Pharyngeal stage — This process occurs within a second upon swallowing. The soft palate elevates and contacts the lateral and posterior walls of the pharynx to help prevent food from going into the respiratory pathways.
  5. Esophageal stage — Once past the throat, the chewed food (bolus) travels down into the esophagus and into the stomach for digestion.

When Your Swallowing Muscles Experience Problems, Dysphagia Occurs

Your throat and esophagus are prone to many diseases and when either of them is affected, you may experience dysphagia, a condition marked by difficulty swallowing.4 It can be caused by a multitude of factors and disorders, and may lead to complications such as dehydration, malnutrition, pneumonia or an airway obstruction.5 Aside being unable to swallow, other prominent symptoms of dysphagia include:6,7

  • Gagging, choking or coughing while swallowing food
  • Drooling or having difficulty controlling saliva in the mouth
  • Unexpectedly losing weight
  • Frequent heartburn
  • The feeling that something is stuck in your throat or chest
  • Regurgitation of food
  • Hoarse voice

Risk Factors Associated With Dysphagia

Aging is the one of the top risk factors connected to dysphagia.8 As people grow older, their ability to swallow becomes harder due to wear and tear on the throat and esophageal muscles. Elderly citizens also have a higher risk of developing diseases that can cause dysphagia, such as esophageal cancer, stroke, multiple sclerosis and Parkinson’s disease.9,10

The onset of neurodegenerative diseases may also increase your risk of dysphagia.11 Stroke, for example, can cause paralysis that can affect any part of your body, including your throat, although it becomes minimal as time passes.12 In addition, those who suffer from cervical spinal cord injury13 and Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD),14 a genetic disorder, may experience dysphagia as a side effect.15

Learn How to Manage and Avoid Dysphagia in This Guide

While the complications of dysphagia are very alarming, the disease is fortunately treatable via a variety of approaches. Consuming a healthy diet, getting regular exercise and avoiding unhealthy vices can all help mitigate the risk factors associated with the underlying causes of dysphagia. In the following pages, discover which methods work best and the best practices you can implement to safeguard your health.


Dysphagia: Introduction

What Is Dysphagia?

Dysphagia Symptoms

Dysphagia Causes

Dysphagia Treatment

Dysphagia Prevention

Dysphagia Diet

Dysphagia FAQ

Next >

What Is Dysphagia?

Source: http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2019/03/17/xdjm18-dysphagia.aspx

Thyroid Deficiency Linked to Iodine Deficiency and Fluoridated Water

More than 66 percent of the U.S. population drinks water with added fluoride,1 despite the fact that studies continue to question its safety and usefulness for its stated purpose: preventing cavities. A number of countries — including Germany, Sweden, Japan, the Netherlands, Finland and Israel — have already stopped this hazardous practice, but many Americans are still at risk.

In Canada, nearly 39 percent of the population also receives fluoridated drinking water (compared with only about 3 percent of Europeans).2 It’s been known for years that fluoridated water consumption is linked to thyroid dysfunction and behavioral problems like attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and two new studies have added to the already apparent associations.

Exposure to Fluoridated Water May Disrupt Thyroid Functioning

Your thyroid gland, located in the front of your neck, influences almost every cell in your body. Thyroid hormones regulate your metabolism and are required for growth and development in children and nearly every physiological process in your body.

When your thyroid levels are unbalanced, it can lead to a cascade of problems throughout your body. In hypothyroidism, the most common thyroid disorder, your thyroid gland activity is suppressed.

Also known as underactive thyroid, many with this condition are unaware they have it, and another 4 to 10 percent of the U.S. population may suffer from subclinical hypothyroidism that is missed by testing yet associated with miscarriage, preterm birth and altered growth and neurodevelopment in babies.

Even moderately imbalanced thyroid levels may be associated with increased risk of metabolic syndrome, researchers noted in the journal Environment International, which is why “studying factors that contribute to low thyroid function, even at the subclinical level, is of high public health importance.”3

Notably, subclinical hypothyroidism is diagnosed by high serum thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) concentrations, and “fluoride in drinking water, even at levels as low as 0.3–0.5 mg/L, have predicted elevated TSH concentrations,” the researchers added. “Higher water fluoride concentrations have also predicted an increased likelihood of a hypothyroidism diagnosis among adults.”4

The latest study, which involved data from nearly 7 million Canadian adults not taking any thyroid-related medication, found that higher fluoride levels were not associated with higher TSH levels in the general population; however, when iodine status was accounted for, the results shifted.

Iodine Deficiency May Heighten the Risks of Fluoridated Water

Your body uses iodine across several organ systems, but it is most commonly known to synthesize thyroid hormones. Clinically low levels of iodine are associated with visible symptoms, such as a goiter (swelling of the thyroid gland), hypothyroidism or pregnancy-related problems. However, subclinical iodine deficiency can also interfere with your thyroid function.

Meanwhile, the Canadian study revealed that adults in Canada who have moderate-to-severe iodine deficiencies and higher fluoride levels tend to have higher TSH levels, which indicates they may be at an increased risk for underactive thyroid gland activity.5

It’s a startling finding, considering nearly 2 billion people worldwide don’t get enough iodine in their diet.6 As the researchers of the featured study noted, this means that those with iodine deficiency may be at an even greater increased risk from drinking fluoridated water:7

“Iodine deficiency can contribute to decreased thyroid hormone production and exacerbate the thyroid-disrupting effects of certain chemicals, as well as fluoride …

Fluoride exposures of 0.05 to 0.13 mg/kg/day have been associated with adverse thyroid effects among iodine sufficient people, while lower fluoride exposures of 0.01 to 0.03 mg/kg/day have been associated with these effects among iodine deficient people.”

The effects were so worrying that lead study author Ashley Malin, a researcher at the department of environmental medicine and public health, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, told Environmental Health News:8

“I have grave concerns about the health effects of fluoride exposure … And not just from my study but the other studies that have come out in recent years … We’re talking about potentially [more than] a million people at risk of an underactive thyroid due to fluoride exposure.”

In 2015, for instance, British researchers warned that 15,000 people may be afflicted with hypothyroidism in the U.K. as a result of drinking fluoridated water.9 In areas where fluoride levels in the water registered above 0.3 mg/l, the risk of having a high rate of hypothyroidism was 37 percent greater compared to areas that do not fluoridate.

Pregnant Women Drinking Fluoridated Water Have Higher Fluoride Levels

Fluoride exposure can occur from multiple sources, ranging from tea and processed foods to dental products, pharmaceuticals and fluoride-containing pesticides. However, research continues to show that drinking water remains a primary route of exposure, including in pregnant women.

In a study of more than 1,500 pregnant women living in Canada, those living in communities with fluoridated drinking water have two times the amount of fluoride in their urine as women living in nonfluoridated communities.10

“Research is urgently needed to determine whether prenatal exposure to fluoride contributes to neurodevelopmental outcomes in the offspring of these women,” researchers explained.11 In fact, research has previously revealed that women with higher levels of fluoride in their urine during pregnancy were more likely to have children with lower intelligence.

Specifically, each 0.5 milligram per liter increase in pregnant women’s fluoride levels was associated with a reduction of 3.15 and 2.5 points on the children’s General Cognitive Index (GCI) of the McCarthy Scales of Children’s Abilities and Wechsler Abbreviated Scale of Intelligence (WASI) scores, respectively.

Lead researcher Dr. Howard Hu, of the Dalla Lana School of Public Health at the University of Toronto in Canada, said in a news release:12

“Our study shows that the growing fetal nervous system may be adversely affected by higher levels of fluoride exposure. It also suggests that the prenatal nervous system may be more sensitive to fluoride compared to that of school-aged children.”

The findings were groundbreaking, as the study, which spanned 12 years and received funding from the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH), was one of the first and largest studies looking into this topic.

Prenatal Fluoride Exposure Is Linked to ADHD

The Canadian study on pregnant women living in fluoridated communities revealed levels of fluoride similar to those found in a study of pregnant women living in Mexico City, where the chemical is added to table salt. The same Mexican sample population has now been featured in another study, linking fluoride exposure to ADHD.13

The study, which involved more than 200 mother-children pairs, found that higher levels of fluoride exposure during pregnancy were associated with higher measures of ADHD, including more symptoms of inattention, in the children at ages 6 to 12 years. “[The f]indings are consistent with the growing body of evidence suggesting neurotoxicity of early-life exposure to fluoride,” researchers explained.14

It’s also possible that fluoride may contribute to or exacerbate behavioral problems such as ADHD by way of pineal gland calcification. Despite its diminutive size, your pineal gland tends to accumulate significant amounts of fluoride, which eventually causes it to calcify.

Besides ADHD-like symptoms, pineal calcification may also play a role in Alzheimer’s and bipolar disease. According to Frank Granett, director of clinical pharmacy operations at Behavioral Center of Michigan Psychiatric Hospital:15

“Located deep within the brain below the corpus callosum, which is the circuit connector for the right and left brain hemispheres, the pineal gland is responsible for the secretion of melatonin, the human body’s biological time-clock hormone regulating normal sleep patterns.

More importantly, the pineal gland plays a critical role in the enzyme pathway for the production of brain neurotransmitters including serotonin and norepinephrine. Additionally, the body’s antioxidant defense system is optimized by healthy pineal tissue, which helps eliminate free-radical toxin accumulation in the body.”

A review in Lancet Neurology also classified fluoride as one of only 11 chemicals “known to cause developmental neurotoxicity in human beings,”16 alongside other known neurotoxins such as lead, methylmercury, arsenic and toluene. Among the proposed mechanisms of harm, studies have shown fluoride can:17

Interfere with basic functions of nerve cells in the brain

Reduce nicotinic acetylcholine receptors

Reduce lipid content in the brain

Damage the pineal gland through fluoride accumulation

Impair antioxidant defense systems

Damage the hippocampus

Damage Purkinje cells

Increase uptake of aluminum, which has neurotoxic effects

Encourage formation of beta-amyloid plaques (the classic brain abnormality in Alzheimer’s disease)

Exacerbate lesions induced by iodine deficiency

Increase manganese absorption, which has also been linked lower IQ in children

Impair thyroid function, which can also affect brain development

Can Fluoride Be Removed From Drinking Water?

Effective 2015, the level of fluoride in U.S. drinking water was reduced to 0.7 mg/L from a previously recommended range of between 0.7 and 1.2 mg/L. If you live in the U.S. and want to know fluoride levels in your water, the Environmental Working Group’s (EWG) Tap Water Database can help.18 This is important for everyone, but pregnant women and households mixing formula for babies should take extra care to consume fluoride-free water. EWG notes:

“Even fluoride levels of 0.7 ppm, the amount of fluoride in drinking water recommended by the U.S. Public Health Service, can result in too much fluoride for bottle-fed babies.

EWG recommends that caregivers mix baby formula with fluoride-free water. The National Toxicology Program is investigating the potential for low doses of fluoride to alter thyroid function and childhood brain development.”19

Unfortunately, fluoride is a very small molecule, making it tremendously difficult to filter out once added to your water supply. Any simple countertop carbon filter, like Brita, will not remove it.

If you have a house water carbon filtration system that has a large volume of carbon, then it may reduce the fluoride as fluoride removal is in direct proportion to the amount of fluoride and the time it’s in contact with the media. It’s just not going to get it all. Among the more effective filtering systems for fluoride removal are:

  • Reverse osmosis (RO). The drawback is that it will remove many valuable minerals and trace elements as well. RO systems also need frequent cleaning to avoid bacterial growth. So, use a tankless RO system with a compressor
  • Water distillation, which, like RO, gets everything out, including beneficial minerals. You then need to restructure the water
  • Bone char filters and biochar with activated charcoal

The simplest, most effective, most cost-effective strategy is to not put fluoride in the water to begin with.

Help End the Practice of Fluoridation

There’s no doubt about it: Fluoride should not be ingested. Even scientists from the EPA’s National Health and Environmental Effects Research Laboratory have classified fluoride as a “chemical having substantial evidence of developmental neurotoxicity.”

Furthermore, according to the CDC, 41 percent of American adolescents now have dental fluorosis — unattractive discoloration and mottling of the teeth that indicate overexposure to fluoride. Clearly, children are being overexposed, and their health and development put in jeopardy. Why? The only real solution is to stop the archaic practice of water fluoridation in the first place.

Fortunately, the Fluoride Action Network has a game plan to END water fluoridation worldwide. Clean pure water is a prerequisite to optimal health. Industrial chemicals, drugs, and other toxic additives really have no place in our water supplies. So, please, protect your drinking water and support the fluoride-free movement by making a tax-deductible donation to the Fluoride Action Network today.

Internet Resources Where You Can Learn More

I encourage you to visit the website of the Fluoride Action Network (FAN) and visit the links below:

Together, Let’s Help FAN Get the Funding They Deserve

In my opinion, there are very few NGOs that are as effective and efficient as FAN. Its small team has led the charge to end fluoridation and will continue to do so with our help! Please make a donation today to help FAN end the absurdity of fluoridation.

Source: http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2018/10/23/thyroid-deficiency-linked-to-iodine-deficiency-fluoridated-water.aspx

This Thyroid Condition Is a Top Public Health Issue

By Dr. Mercola

Iodine deficiency and the thyroid conditions related to it are a serious public health concern. Several studies published earlier this year suggest iodine deficiency is re-emerging. While about 40 percent of the world’s population is thought to be at risk of iodine deficiency,1 residents of developed countries are increasingly found to be lacking this essential nutrient.

Your body cannot produce iodine so you must get if from your diet. Iodine is necessary to make thyroid hormones, which control your metabolism and other vital functions. Because your thyroid hormones also support proper bone and brain development in utero and during infancy, the proper intake of iodine is critically important for pregnant women, nursing mothers and their babies.

What Is Iodine and Why Is It Important?

As mentioned, iodine is an essential element needed for the production of thyroid hormone. Because your body does not make iodine, you need to be intentional to ensure you obtain sufficient amounts of this nutrient on a daily basis. Although iodine can be sourced from the foods you eat or through a supplement, many people eating a standard American diet generally get enough iodine simply by using table salt. I’ll say more about salt later in the article.

When your body lacks sufficient iodine, it cannot make enough thyroid hormone. If your deficiency is severe, your thyroid may become enlarged, a condition also known as a goiter. Iodine deficiency can also cause hypothyroidism (low thyroid function). In some cases, lack of sufficient iodine can trigger intellectual disabilities and developmental problems in infants and children whose mothers were iodine deficient during pregnancy.2

According to the American Thyroid Association, iodine deficiency has also been linked to “increased difficulty with information processing, diminished fine motor skills, extreme fatigue, depression, weight gain and low basal body temperatures, among other things.”3

Studies Highlight Iodine Deficiency as an Emerging Problem in Developed Nations

A 2018 study published in the journal Nutrients4 involving 1,007 mothers who gave birth to 1,017 children (including 10 twin pairs; multiple births other than twins were excluded), suggests iodine deficiency is a significant public health issue in Norway. After collecting data multiple times during pregnancy, at birth and during four follow-up points until the babies reached age 18 months, the researchers concluded:

“[T]his study adds to the increasing evidence that pregnant women in Norway are iodine deficient and that the diet of pregnant women does not secure a sufficient iodine intake. There is an urgent need for public health strategies to secure adequate iodine nutrition among pregnant women in Norway.”

Another body of 2018 research, published in JAMA,5 implicated iodine deficiency as a factor associated with impaired fertility. The study included 467 American women who were trying to become pregnant during a four-year span. The researchers, who were associated with the National Institutes of Health, found:6

  • Slightly more than 44 percent of the women had urinary iodine to creatinine ratios (UI/Cr) of less than 50 micrograms (mcg)/gram (g)
  • Women with UI/Cr ratios lower than 50 mcg/g had a 46 percent lower chance of becoming pregnant in any menstrual cycle compared to women with normal iodine levels or those suffering from a mild deficiency
  • Those experiencing milder iodine deficiencies — between 50 and 99 mcg/g — also took longer to conceive than women with healthy iodine levels, although the difference wasn’t statistically significant

An earlier study published in 20137 found children of women with a UI/Cr ratio of less than 150 mcg/g during pregnancy were more likely to have lower scores on verbal IQ, reading accuracy and reading comprehension at age 8.

Iodine Is an Essential Nutrient During the First 1,000 Days of Life

In a March 2018 study published in Nutrients,8 researchers from the U.K.’s University of Surrey and Spain’s Hospital Riotinto observed the effects of a mother’s iodine deficiency related to various stages of child development — during pregnancy, breastfeeding and the first two years of life. About the outcomes, Health.News noted:9

“[The researchers] observed iodine deficiency could lead to cognitive consequences such as impaired speech development, learning and reading skills. The negative cognitive outcomes caused by iodine deficiency also led to an increase in behavioral disorders. This was associated with abnormal serum thyroid concentrations during the early stages of pregnancy.”

“Iodine is most critical in the early stages of development, as the fetal brain is extremely dependent on iodine supply and it cannot be replaced by any other nutrient,” suggests study coauthor Dr. Ines Velasco from the pediatrics, obstetrics and gynecology unit of Hospital Riotinto. “[A]n adequate iodine intake in pregnancy is needed to achieve optimal fetal neurodevelopment.”

Iodine Deficiency: Its History and Causes

You may associate iodine with salt. There’s a long-standing connection between the two mainly because beginning in the U.S. in 1924, iodine (in the form of potassium iodide) was added to table salt to address the skyrocketing rates of deficiency.10 Many residents of the Appalachian, Great Lakes and Pacific Northwest regions were plagued by goiters.

Due to the lack of iodine in the soil and the alarming rates of thyroid dysfunction found in local populations, these areas became referred to as the “goiter belt.” At the time, the addition of iodine to table salt, which was an idea borrowed from the Swiss who were adding it for the same reasons, had a noticeably positive effect, reducing the prevalence of deficiency.11

Now, decades later, iodine deficiency is once again showing itself to be a problem. About the issue, Dr. Jacob Teitelbaum, author and nationally recognized expert on chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia, pain and sleep, asserts:12

“In the last 30 years, the intake of iodine in America has dropped by around 50 percent. Iodine’s main role is to help manufacture thyroid hormones. That’s why a subclinical iodine deficiency — enough to prevent a goiter, but not enough for optimal health — can cause hypothyroidism, an under-recognized condition that is epidemic in America.”

Chemicals in Your Environment Can Block Iodine Absorption

While women have a greater incidence of iodine deficiency related to their hormone production, the bodies of both men and women are subject to the poor absorption of iodine and suboptimal use due to environmental contamination. Common contaminants that compete with iodine include:

  • Bromide: Bromides are known endocrine disruptors found in baked goods, pesticides and plastics, among other sources. Because bromide is a halide, it competes for the same receptors used in your thyroid gland and other body areas to capture iodine, thereby inhibiting thyroid hormone production and resulting in a deficiency.
  • Fluoride: Fluoride has long been known to displace iodine and studies involving both animals and humans have proven such. As cited by the Fluoride Action Network, Chinese researchers “have repeatedly found that an iodine deficiency coupled with fluoride exposure produces a significantly more damaging effect on neurological development than iodine deficiency alone.”13
  • Mercury: Iodine may help detoxify your body of mercury, which is found in dental amalgam fillings and fish like tuna, as well as in consumer products such as antiques, batteries, electronics, light bulbs and pharmaceutical products.
  • Nitrates: While there are healthy nitrates, such as from vegetables, including beets, the nitrites found in processed meats such as bacon, hot dogs, lunch meat and sausage may interfere with your uptake of iodine, so be sure to avoid them. Nitrates from agricultural fertilizer, present in contaminated drinking water, have also been implicated as a potential cause of thyroid cancer.14
  • Perchlorate: A contaminant found in groundwater across the U.S. and in measurable amounts in milk, fruit and vegetables. In high doses, perchlorate may inhibit the function of your thyroid gland. Even in low doses, it inhibits the uptake of iodine by your thyroid gland, leading to hypothyroidism.15,16

How Much Iodine Do You Need and How Can You Get It?

According to the National Institutes of Health, the recommended dietary allowance (RDA) for iodine is:17

Age RDA for Iodine

Birth to 6 months

110 mcg

7 to 12 months

130 mcg

1 to 8 years

90 mcg

9 to 13 years

120 mcg

14 years and older

150 mcg

Pregnant women

220 mcg

Breastfeeding women

290 mcg

I always recommend you get as many nutrients as possible from the food you eat and your intake of iodine is no exception. Always choose fresh, organic fruits and vegetables and raw, organic, grass fed dairy. Below are some of the foods known to be rich in iodine:18,19


If you are able to tolerate dairy, you’ll be pleased to know raw, organic, grass fed cheese is high in iodine. For example, a 1-ounce serving of raw cheddar cheese contains about 10 to 15 mcg.

Cranberries and cranberry juice

Although about 4 ounces of cranberries contain 400 mcg of iodine, as with any fruit, I suggest you consume fresh, organic cranberries or cranberry juice in moderation due to their fructose content. To avoid added sugar, you may want to make your own cranberry juice or buy a brand containing 100 percent juice and no added sugar. (Avoid cranberries if you have urinary tract stones or take a blood-thinning medication like warfarin.)


One large organic, pastured egg contains about 24 mcg of iodine.

Lima beans and navy beans

One cup of cooked lima beans contains about 16 mcg of iodine; one-half cup serving of navy beans contains 32 mcg. While beans are also a great source of fiber, be advised they contain health-damaging lectins. To reduce the lectin content, always soak beans overnight and change the soaking water a few times. Using a pressure cooker can help reduce lectins. Eat beans only occasionally.


A medium-sized baked potato contains about 60 mcg of iodine, making potatoes one of the richest sources of iodine among vegetables. Because potatoes are heavily sprayed with pesticides, be sure to purchase organic potatoes. Due to their high starch content, I recommend you eat potatoes in moderation.

Sea vegetables

Sea vegetables such as arame, dulse, hiziki, kelp, kombu and wakame are excellent sources of iodine. Kelp, which boasts 2,000 mcg per a 1-tablespoon serving, is the best source of iodine on the planet. At the low end of this group, wakame contains about 80 mcg per tablespoon, a level that outpaces many other sources of iodine.

You can read more about the restorative benefits of kelp in my previous article, “Kelp or Kale: Is Seaweed a Superfood?


One cup of strawberries contains about 13 mcg of iodine. As with cranberries, be mindful that strawberries contain fructose. Because strawberries are sprayed with pesticides, always buy organic.


As a superb source of natural probiotics, a 1-cup serving of yogurt provides approximately 90 mcg of iodine. Choose yogurt made from raw, organic, grass fed milk and keep in mind that store bought varieties typically contain added sugar, artificial colors and flavors and other unhealthy ingredients. For the best yogurt, you may want to make your own. Check out my recipe “How to Make Fresh Homemade Yogurt.”

Health Effects Associated With Iodine Deficiency

Even though the inclusion of iodine in table salt was an effective strategy used to increase iodine levels for decades, it is no longer having effects for a growing portion of the U.S. population. The main reason is that table salt has endured a major loss of popularity and many are choosing to forego this once ubiquitous staple, particularly in developed countries in which other salts have increased in popularity.

In recent years, unprocessed salts, such as sea salt and mineral salts like Himalayan pink salt, which is a personal favorite, have become more popular. While mineral salts are wonderful sources of trace minerals such as calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium and vanadium, they may leave you short on iodine since it is not added.

In years past, iodine was also added to flour, but has since been replaced with bromide and chlorine, which only exacerbates the problem. As noted by Teitelbaum, chlorine further depletes your body of iodine.20 The most common symptoms/outcomes of iodine deficiency include:21

  • Cancer: Your iodine intake is directly tied to your breast health because this mineral provides a host of antioxidant benefits. Iodine deficiencies are linked to both breast cancer and thyroid cancer. The good news is iodine is involved in apoptosis — programmed cell death that is necessary for the development of new cells and the elimination of diseased cells.
  • Fatigue and weakness: Because iodine is important for your body’s energy production, a lack of it can cause you to feel fatigued and sleepy. Its absence may also cause you to feel cranky and moody.
  • Goiter: Simply stated, a goiter is abnormal swelling of your thyroid gland due to insufficient iodine. Not only will a goiter cause a noticeable protrusion at the base of your neck, but more serious types may result in a cough and may even make it difficult for you to breathe and swallow.
  • Infertility: Given its importance for regulating your thyroid function and hormones, iodine also plays a role in infertility.
  • Other concerns: Because iodine is crucial for proper thyroid function, a lack of it can trigger hypothyroidism. An underactive thyroid gland can cause constipation, dry skin, fatigue, hair loss and unexpected weight gain, among other symptoms.

Given the increasing rates of thyroid deficiencies worldwide, especially in developed countries, you’d be wise to ensure you are getting sufficient daily amounts of iodine. While I do not recommend table salt because it has been stripped of many of its nutrients, there are plenty of healthy sources for iodine. If for any reason you are not able to consume any of those foods, talk to your doctor about taking a high-quality iodine supplement.

This vital mineral is much too important to ignore. If you have any symptoms of iodine deficiency, you can take one or both of the following actions to determine your iodine status:

  • As explained in the video above, conduct a simple skin test at home using an orange-colored iodine tincture
  • Ask your health practitioner to check your iodine level using an iodine-loading test or through bloodwork

Source: http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2018/07/23/iodine-deficiency-top-public-health-issue.aspx

Why Screening and Commonly Prescribed Thyroid Drugs Often Fail to Relieve Symptoms

By Dr. Mercola

Your thyroid gland, located in the front of your neck, influences almost every cell in your body. Thyroid hormones regulate your metabolism, and are required for growth and development in children and nearly every physiological process in your body.

When your thyroid levels are unbalanced, it can spell trouble for your overall health and wellness. Evidence suggests nearly 60 percent of people with suboptimal thyroid function are unaware of their condition.1 While prevalent, it is often easily treatable and may reverse symptoms of other health conditions.

Poor thyroid function is linked to health conditions such as fibromyalgia, irritable bowel syndrome, eczema, gum disease and autoimmune disorders. Symptoms of low function and the health conditions affected by low levels are varied, as the hormone is used throughout your body.

Women are five to eight times more likely than men to have low thyroid function and 1 in 8 women will develop a thyroid disorder in her lifetime.2 Understanding the basics of how your thyroid functions and what may cause a dysfunction is important to your overall health.

Thyroid Function

Your thyroid gland is shaped like a butterfly on your neck just under your voice box and secretes four hormones: T1, T2, T3 and T4. The number indicates the number of molecules of iodide attached to the hormone. These hormones interact with other hormones, such as insulin, cortisol and sex hormones.

Your hypothalamus secretes thyrotropin-releasing hormone (TRH) that triggers the pituitary gland to release thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) that then causes your thyroid to release T4. Almost 90 percent of your thyroid hormone is released in an inactive form of T4. Your liver then converts T4 to T3 with the help of an enzyme. T2 is currently the least understood form of thyroid hormone and is the subject of a number of ongoing studies.

When everything is working properly, your body makes enough T4 that is converted to T3 to control the metabolism of every cell in your body. T3 is critical in the communication of messages to your DNA to increase your metabolism by burning fat. In this way, it helps keep you lean. Nutritional imbalances, toxic exposures, allergens, infections and stress can disrupt this hormonal balance, leading to a series of health complications including hypothyroidism, hyperthyroidism and thyroid cancer.

Thyroid Cancer Acts Differently Than Other Cancers

You may have been swayed by advertisements from an industry-funded foundation3 to be screened for thyroid cancer, but the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force has added this screening process to their “don’t-do-it category” in recommendations published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.4

The task force believes the consequences of thyroid cancer screening far outweigh the benefits. Although most cancer screenings help detect early disease and increase the potential for successful treatment, in this case early screening may actually backfire.

In many cases thyroid cancer screening will yield a false positive result, finding cancers that would never grow into life-threatening tumors.5 However, once discovered, most physicians feel obligated to recommend treatment, which often includes removal of the thyroid gland, and which may have significant side effects.

Surgeons may accidently sever nerves that control speech and swallowing, or remove the parathyroid gland that regulates calcium levels in your body. In an accompanying editorial, Dr. H. Gilbert Welch, of Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice, discussed problems with overdiagnosis of thyroid cancer.

Data from the SEER program demonstrated the incidence of thyroid cancer had remained relatively stable until 1990, after which it tripled.6 However, more interesting is that despite this rapid increase, mortality from thyroid cancer has remained stable, an indication cancers are identified and treated that don’t require treatment. Welch said:7

“Patients with newly diagnosed thyroid cancer typically have been treated aggressively. As of 2013 in the United States, over 80 percent underwent total thyroidectomy and subsequently required lifelong thyroid replacement therapy.”

Do You Have Underactive Thyroid Function?

In this informative video, Dr. Jonathan Wright discusses the measurement of thyroid function and how it should be compared against symptoms you may be experiencing. This was demonstrated in a recent European study in which researchers compared results of treatment against lab testing and symptoms.8

The authors were interested in the clinical effectiveness of treatment with the drug levothyroxine (Synthroid) after patients were diagnosed with low thyroid function. The number of people diagnosed in the U.S. has risen to the point levothyroxine is the most prescribed medication, outdistancing statins in 2015.9

A study from Johns Hopkins found nearly 15 percent of all older Americans were taking levothyroxine.10 However, as popular as this medication appears to be, the European study found the drug had no significant effect on older Europeans with mild symptoms of hypothyroidism.11 Physicians often order a TSH test as part of a routine panel of blood tests, prescribing drugs when the numbers are slightly elevated, although the patient may not complain of significant symptoms.

The study participants had higher than normal TSH level at least twice and had complaints of being tired. The researchers assessed cognitive speed, hand strength, weight and blood pressure prior to splitting the group, giving half levothyroxine and half a placebo. After one year of intervention, the researchers found TSH levels returned to normal in the group taking the drugs, but the participants’ complaints did not improve over the year in either group.

Flame-Retardant Chemicals Affect Thyroid Function

The researchers attributed the changes in TSH levels to age in the population studied, as the average participant was 74 years. However, other research has demonstrated environmental toxins may be responsible for a change in your thyroid function, and even for an increasing number of papillary thyroid cancer.12

Lead researcher Dr. Julie Ann Sosa, professor of surgery and medicine at Duke University School of Medicine, said, “Recent studies suggest that environmental factors may, in part, be responsible for this increase.” The research focused on polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs), a class of flame-retardant chemicals.

Previous animal studies had demonstrated a link between PBDEs and thyroid function, so Sosa and her colleagues collected dust samples from the homes of 140 participants already diagnosed with papillary thyroid cancer who had lived in their home an average of 10 years.

The researchers used blood samples to assess exposure to PBDEs and found those living in homes with high levels of BDE-209 were twice as likely to have thyroid cancer. Those with high levels of TCEP dust were four times more likely to have large aggressive tumors.

Water Contamination May Trigger Thyroid Disease

Nearly 100 percent of people living in the U.S. have perchlorate in their body, but according to scientists, Arizona is one of the six most perchlorate-polluted states.13 As perchlorate remains stable in water, it may easily invade drinking water supplies. The chemical is known to disrupt health by preventing iodide uptake at the thyroid gland. Your thyroid gland requires iodide in order to produce thyroid hormone.14 Thus if the perchlorate prevents iodide uptake, it reduces the amount of thyroid hormones in your body.

Perchlorate may also slow brain development in infants. C. Loren Buck, Ph.D., of Northern Arizona University,15 will lead a two-year study to evaluate the effects of the chemical on citizens in Yuma, Arizona. The process for the biomolecular substitution of perchlorate for iodide is called the Finkelstein Reaction.16 This reaction is not limited to perchlorate in the thyroid gland, but also occurs with other additives found in city water, namely fluoride.17,18

A British study found a strong correlation between areas where fluoride content was highest with higher risk of developing underactive thyroid function. In fact, in areas where the levels of fluoride exceeded 0.3 milligrams per liter (mg/L) the risk of low thyroid function rose by 30 percent.19

In the U.S., the minimum standards for drinking water fluoridation are set at 0.7 mg/L by the U.S. Health and Human Services.20 This means the risk of low thyroid function as a result of poor iodide uptake may be even higher in Americans than those found in the British study, based on higher levels of fluoridation.

Natural Strategies to Support Your Thyroid Function

A diagnosis of suboptimal thyroid function is best made with a combination of blood testing and screening for clinical symptoms. Symptoms of low thyroid function may include:

Unexplained fatigue


Dry skin


Feeling cold

Brain fog

Unexplained weight gain

Low libido

Hair loss

There are several natural strategies you may consider to help support your thyroid function and improve your health. These include:

Water filtration

As I discuss in a previous article, “Why Filtering Your Water is a Necessity,” fluoride is not the only chemical polluting your drinking water. While filtering the whole house is important to prevent chlorine from evaporating or aerosolizing into the air, fluoride removal is most important in your drinking water.

Unfortunately, most tap water contains a vast array of disinfection byproducts, chemicals, radiation, heavy metals and even pharmaceutical drugs. Fluoride, which is still being added to many municipal water supplies, is yet another factor that can make the water you drink each day more harmful than healing.


An herb native to Asia and India, it has been a powerful tool in Ayurvedic medicine for thousands of years. It functions as an adaptogen, meaning it helps your body adapt to challenges by balancing your immune system, metabolism and hormonal systems.21

The root contains the highest concentration of the active ingredients in the plant and helps modulate hormone balances, including your thyroid hormone. It has also demonstrated positive effects on estrogen and progesterone balance as women move toward menopause.

The root reduces cortisol levels, restores insulin sensitivity and helps to stabilize your mood, even if depression isn’t part of your thyroid condition.22 Other research indicates it may protect your brain from oxidative stress and improve your energy level.23

Natural desiccated thyroid

Natural desiccated thyroid (NDT) is a prescription medication that may be referred to as natural thyroid, thyroid extract, or by the brand names Nature-Throid or Amour Thyroid.24 NDT contains T4, T3, calcium and other elements a natural thyroid gland would produce.

In a randomized, double-blind, crossover study, researchers compared NDT against levothyroxine in 70 patients, ages 18 to 65 years, who suffered from primary hypothyroidism.25 The patients took either medication for 16 weeks.

Afterward, patients were asked which they preferred and nearly 50 percent preferred the NDT versus 19 percent who preferred the levothyroxine. Those taking the NDT lost an average of 3 pounds while those taking the levothyroxine didn’t lose any weight.

Another study in the New England Journal of Medicine demonstrated a natural thyroid supplement was better at controlling mental functioning as it supplied both T3 and T4; T3 does 90 percent of the work of your thyroid hormones.26

If your doctor or endocrinologist will not consider switching you from levothyroxine to an NDT preparation, you may want to share this article and some of the available research with them, as a synthetic preparation is rarely the best choice to treat hypothyroidism.


This is a requirement for normal thyroid hormone function. In this video Dr. Jorge Flechas discusses the rampant iodine deficiency that plagues industrialized nations and the doses that may be necessary to reverse this trend.

Avoid sources of bromine

Bromine appears to play a large role in the rising number of people suffering from iodine insufficiency. Bromines are found in pesticides, plastics, baked goods, soft drinks and fire retardants.

Vitamins and amino acids

Vitamins B1227 and A28 with amino acid tyrosine29 have demonstrated beneficial effects in people who suffer from suboptimal thyroid function.


This is an extract of the sap from an Indian myrrh tree, which enhances the conversion of T4 to T3 in your body.30 Traditionally, the supplement was used to treat low metabolism, a symptom of suboptimal thyroid function. In an animal model, researchers found rats given guggul had increased uptake of iodine from their food and increased activity of thyroid enzymes with increased oxygen consumption.31

The supplement also demonstrated increased blood concentration of T3 hormone from T4 conversion,32 and increased the activity of the enzyme responsible for converting T4 to T3.33 It is likely unsafe during pregnancy and you should thoroughly evaluate the interactions with your physician before using it.34

Korean ginseng

This is an adaptogen like ashwagandha and contains properties that block production of excessive amounts of reverse T3 (rT3). Asian practitioners developed a fermented ginseng preparation that was absorbed better, faster and stayed in your body longer.35

A human study looked at the impact of this preparation on thyroid hormone levels and found that treatment by injection resulted in better clinical outcomes, healthy increase of T3 and T4 levels and a reduction in rT3.36

Source: http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2017/05/31/screening-thyroid-drugs-often-fail-to-relieve-symptoms.aspx

Effective Treatment Protocols for Hypothyroid and Hyperthyroid Disease

By Dr. Mercola

Thyroid disease is one of the most common health problems we face today. From a practical standpoint, there are many ways to approach this issue. In this interview, Dr. Jonathan Wright, a pioneer in natural medicine, shares his protocols for addressing thyroid dysfunction.

Hypothyroidism, or underactive thyroid, is a very common problem, and there are many reasons for this, including drinking chlorinated and fluoridated water, and eating brominated flour.

Chlorine, fluoride, and bromine are all in the same family as iodine, and can displace iodine in your thyroid gland.

Secondly, many people simply aren’t getting enough iodine in their diet to begin with. The amount you get from iodized salt is just barely enough to prevent you from getting a goiter.

A third principal cause of hypothyroidism is related to elevated reverse T3 levels. Interestingly, 95 percent of the time, those with elevated reverse T3 levels will see their levels revert back to normal after undergoing chelation with EDTA and DMPS, which draw out cadmium, lead, mercury, and other toxic metals. In essence, heavy metal toxicity can cause a functional form of hypothyroidism.

“It’s very well-known that lead and cadmium interfere with testosterone production,” Dr. Wright says. “What’s not so well-known is that reverse T3 is stimulated by toxic metals, so up it goes.

In effect, we can have levels that are so high, they way outnumber the regular T3. You’re functionally hypothyroid even if your TSHs and free T3s happen to be normal.”

How Much Iodine Do You Need for Thyroid Health?

In Japan, the daily dose of iodine obtained from the diet averages around 2,000 to 3,000 micrograms (mcg) or 2-3 milligrams (mg), and there’s reason to believe this may be a far more adequate amount than the US recommended daily allowance (RDA) of 150 mcg.

Some argue for even higher amounts than that, such as Dr. Brownstein, who recommends 12.5 milligrams (mg) on a regular basis. Another proponent of higher iodine amounts is Guy Abraham, an ob-gyn and endocrinologist at the University of Southern California.

“Oddly enough, he didn’t publicize [his publications] much until he retired from the University of Southern California. But after that, he came out with a wonderful website, optimox.com, where you can read a lot of stuff for free,” Dr. Wright says.

“There’s a fairly careful study showing that the thyroid gland does not start to downregulate until we get to 14 or 14.5 milligrams of total iodine and iodide. This is probably why Dr. Abraham first, and then others, have designed both liquids and tablets that come out with 12 or 12.5 mg.

Oddly enough, in 1829, Dr. Lugol put together a combination of iodine and iodide. Two drops of that stuff equals exactly to 12.5 milligrams. How did Dr. Lugol know? We don’t know. But it works so well for people ever since 1829 that it’s still available (with a prescription) as Lugol’s iodine…

Usually, in my practice, I’ll say, ‘One drop of Lugol’s, which is six milligrams; six and a quarter.’ Or for the guys, who don’t have as much massive breast tissue, let’s stay with three milligrams. [To] prevent cancer, I want more than three milligrams for the ladies.”

Iodine Helps Protect Breast Health Too…

From Dr. Wright’s experience, there are no adverse effects from taking upwards of 12.5 mg of iodine per day, and in some cases higher amounts may benefit more than your thyroid. There’s compelling research suggesting that iodine is equally important for breast health, and that iodine – not iodide – combines with a lipid to form molecules that actually kill breast cancer cells.

“Breasts are big sponges for iodine,” Dr. Wright notes. “Not iodide so much; that’s the thyroid gland. But if you have enough iodine, why, those molecules are just sitting there ready waiting to kill new breast cancer cells!”

According to Dr. Wright, iodine is also crucial for other breast-related problems, such as fibrocystic breast disease, for which iodine works nearly every time. Interestingly, for severe cases, it’s recommended to swab the entire cervix with iodine.

“For bad cases, you got to work with your doctor. Get the iodine swab done,” Dr. Wright says. “The worse the fibrocystic breast disease is, the more treatment it takes. But that one, I can almost give a money-back guarantee… because I never would have to give you your money back.”

That said, it would seem prudent for most to avoid taking such high doses unless they were using it therapeutically, for a short period of time. I personally feel that supplementation at a dose 10 times lower, or a few mg, might be best for most.

Good Sources of Iodine

Besides Lugol’s, seaweed or kelp is a great source of iodine. One that is oftentimes recommended by herbalists for thyroid health is a seaweed called bladderwrack (Latin name: Fucus vesiculosus). You can find it in either powdered form or in capsules. If you want, you can use it to spice up your meals, as it has a mild salty flavor. The downside is that to reach three milligram dose, you’ll need to take at least a couple of teaspoons per day.

Another concern is the potential radiation issue from the Fukushima reactor, which has contaminated much of the Japanese seaweed. So make sure you look at the source of your seaweed. Try to get it from the Norwegian Coast or as far away from Japan as you can get. While manufacturers have not started labeling their products as “radiation-free,” you could simply check the bottle with a Geiger counter before taking it.

Dr. Wright’s Thyroid Program

Dr. Wright always begins with a physical exam, where he looks for signs of thyroid dysfunction. This includes symptoms such as dry skin, thinning of the outer margins of your eyebrows, subtle accumulation of fluid in your ankles, constipation, lack of sweating, weight gain, and high cholesterol. An older yet helpful test is to take your temperature every morning and observing if your temperature registers close to 98.6.

This test stems from the work of Dr. Broda Barnes back in the ’30s and ’40s. Dr. Barnes found that if the temperature was low, it was a reliable indication of an underactive thyroid (hypothyroid). “These days, with all the other things going on, I find that sign useful in some people but not in others,” Dr. Wright says. “But I do want it for everybody.”

As for laboratory tests, the complete thyroid panel includes thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH), total T4, free T4, total T3, free T3, and the reverse T3. He cautions against trusting the TSH test as a primary diagnostic tool, despite that being the conventional norm. He bases his recommendation on research by Dr. St. John O’Reilly, an expert on thyroid health at the University of Scotland, who has shown that the TSH test virtually never correlates with the clinical condition of the patient.

According to Dr. Wright, the TSH level doesn’t really become a valuable indicator of hypothyroidism unless it’s high, say around 5 or 10. Thyroid therapy has been around since the 1890s, and until the TSH test became the norm, the average dose of thyroid given was almost exactly twice what the average dose became when everybody started paying attention to the lab test rather than the clinical signs. Dr. St. John O’Reilly recommends basing the diagnosis on the physical exam and the Free T3 level instead, which is the protocol Dr. Wright follows in his clinic.

“The Free T3 is, of course, the free hormone, not the one bound up on the thyroid globulin, where it’s temporarily inactive,” Dr. Wright explains. “The Free T3 is the one that helps us to burn energy; it’s the active hormone. The Free T4 is waiting to become active, but it’s not active yet. It signals back to the TSH. But the Free T3 doesn’t signal back to the TSH as much as the Free T4 does.”

Meanwhile, the T4 is the type of thyroid replacement that is typically and traditionally given by almost every conventional physician. In my experience, it’s one of the primary ways you can differentiate between a natural medicine physician and a traditional conventional physician: the type of thyroid replacement they prescribe.

Complicating Matters: Autoimmune Thyroid

Unfortunately, most people who end up on thyroid hormone replacement are placed on synthetic thyroid hormone, again, typically T4, commonly prescribed under the brand names Synthroid or Levothroid. Traditional doctors almost always prescribe this, and anyone who doesn’t prescribe it is oftentimes severely criticized, and may even be called before their state medical board.

That actually happened to me, and I wasn’t even prescribing it. I have stopped seeing patients, but have written about it in this newsletter. I was called before the medical board to defend my position on prescribing bioidentical whole thyroid hormone rather than Synthroid or Levothroid—even though my article was supported by a study reference from the New England Journal of Medicine, a very prestigious journal. Dr. Wright also prefers bioidentical thyroid replacement, and typically starts patients out on whole thyroid derived from animals (typically cow, sheep, or pig).

“In the whole thyroid are all the things that nature and creation put into whole thyroid. That’s what we should be using unless you happen to have an autoimmune problem. Many people with… Hashimoto’s disease… make antibodies to thyroid. If you’re making antibodies to thyroid, I’m not sure that we should be putting in whole thyroid right away… because there is a small chance – it’s not a large chance – that we’re going to stimulate more antibody formation,” he says.

In those with Hashimoto’s disease, where your body is making antibodies against your thyroid hormones, Dr. Wright will typically start you out on T4 and T3, which are only two of the 12 iodinated substances your thyroid gland makes, and which are all found in whole thyroid.

The Role of Heavy Metal Toxicity

As mentioned at the beginning, one of the principal causes of hypothyroidism is related to elevated reverse T3 levels, which can become elevated in response to heavy metal toxicity. In such cases, Dr. Wright recommends detoxifying before beginning thyroid treatment. The detoxification protocol will vary depending on your level of lead, cadmium, mercury, and other heavy metals.

“Some people get these efficiently out of their bodies within 10 to 15 chelation treatments. There are other people, particularly those who lived in major metropolitan areas all their lives, where it takes 30 or 40 chelation treatments to pull out all the toxic metals,” he notes. “When doing that, you have to make sure you’re seeing a doctor who follows the procedure put out by the American Board of Chelation Therapy (ABCT).

Chelation pulls out toxic minerals. But no one has yet discovered a chelation material that pulls out toxic metals without pulling out normal metals, too – calcium, magnesium, zinc, and copper, the whole works. The doctors doing the chelation must be reinfusing normal minerals periodically according to his or her reading of the initial chelation test. The initial chelation test on page one shows all the toxic metals that are or not coming out. Page two, which should never be omitted, should always be done. It shows the normal minerals.”

In the meantime, while you’re trying to clear these toxic metal stores to bring the reverse T3 down, opinions are mixed on whether you should be treated with thyroid medication or not. Some believe it’s beneficial to add in regular T3, but if the chelation rectifies your reverse T3 level, then by adding regular T3, you may simply end up with too much free T3. Others recommend waiting until the chelation is done to reevaluate, and if needed, put you on whole thyroid later on, provided you don’t have a family history of autoimmune disease or have Hashimoto’s.

“It simply takes the doctor’s judgment and skill in deciding which way to go,” Dr. Wright says.

Eliminating Heavy Metals Requires Special Care

Clearly, this is a process you’re not going to be able to do by yourself. You really need to have a health coach, a trusted and respected healthcare clinician, who has the capacity to perform these relevant tests and procedures, who can also prescribe the appropriate supplements and thyroid hormone replacement, which you cannot obtain over the counter.

Elimination of carbon-based toxins, such as herbicides and pesticides, can be promoted through sauna-induced sweating. The Hubbard Protocol takes it a step further, and involves the use of niacin, high-intensity exercises, and sauna on a regular basis to help mobilize and eliminate toxins. Unfortunately, sweating doesn’t readily eliminate toxic metals. For those, you need a more aggressive approach, such as chelation.

One option that can help minimize the loss of crucial microminerals is to use chelating suppositories. They will still pull out minerals from your system, but you don’t have to worry about it nullifying the nutritional value of the food you just ate, which is a concern anytime you take an oral chelating agent. One drawback is that it takes a bit longer. “I’ve seen some people who have to do rectal suppository stuff for a couple of years to get all their toxic metals out,” he says. “And yes, we check their normal minerals fairly routinely, every couple of months, just to make sure it’s not being overdone that way.”

Recommended Types of Thyroid Medications

Once your reverse T3 is normalized and any autoimmune issues have been addressed, Dr. Wright goes on to prescribe a thyroid hormone replacement, such as:

  • Armour thyroid
  • Nature-Throid
  • Westhroid

The Armour Thyroid has one disadvantage: despite it being practically a generic now, it costs twice as much as the other two. But unless cost is a major factor, there are several types of tests to check for compatibility, to determine which one is likely to work the best for you.

“We’ve all heard of muscle testing. We don’t have to employ that, but some doctors are very skilled at it,” Dr. Wright says. “We use other sorts of compatibility testing to check for energy flow in the acupuncture meridians and how it’s impaired or not impaired by certain types of thyroid. We’ll go with the one that’s compatible with that individual. But we do respect if people say, ‘Look, I’ve heard that Westhroid and Nature-Throid are half the price of Armour Thyroid. Let’s stick with those if we can.’ We do respect that.”

As for fine-tuning the dose, there are a wide variety of symptoms that can help you gauge whether you’re getting enough of a dose—or help you determine whether you might have a thyroid problem to begin with. To learn more, Dr. Wright suggests picking up Dr. David Brownstein’s book Overcoming Thyroid, Dr. Mark Starr’s book Hypothyroidism Type 2: The Epidemic, or Dr. Ridha Arem’s book The Thyroid Solution. All of these books contain checklists of symptoms to look out for.

If you’re on thyroid hormone replacement, two key signals that you’re taking too much are excessive sweating and rapid heartbeat or heart palpitations. If you get either of those symptoms, you’re getting too much thyroid, and you need to cut back on the dose.

It’s also worth noting that in some cases, if you’re borderline hypothyroid, you may only need an iodine supplement rather than a thyroid hormone replacement. “Some people ask that very question. They’re close enough to normal and they say, ‘I could feel a little better. My test could be a little better. But can I just try some iodine?’ They try and sometimes it succeeds. That’s another option. Sometimes you could normalize with nothing more.”

Treating Overactive Thyroid

At the other end of the spectrum of thyroid dysfunction, you have hyperthyroidism, where your thyroid is overactive. It’s far less common than hypothyroidism, but it’s no less of a problem when it happens. “It’s not common. No. But we should let everybody know that there is an effective treatment out there,” Dr. Wright saysThis is particularly important in light of the conventional treatment options, which are really poor. Typically, you’re looking at using radioactive iodine, which is a disaster, or surgery.

In the video clip above Dr Wright reviews the treatment that originated at Walter Reed Army Medical Center (WRAMC), at their department of thyroid. They had enough people with hyperthyroidism there that they were able to divide them into four treatment groups. One treatment group received lithium. A second group received Lugol’s iodine. Group three took lithium first and then, three or four days later, started iodine. Group four took Lugol’s iodine first, and then three or four days later started taking lithium.

When the statistical dust settled, what they found was that the group that started with Lugol’s iodine and finished with lithium did significantly better than all of the other groups in getting the hyperthyroidism under rapid control. More than two decades ago, The Mayo Clinic also published an article on the treatment of hyperthyroidism using lithium. Here, they used lithium alone, and were also able to bring abnormally high T3 and T4 numbers down to normal within a week to 10 days. It didn’t work on everybody though.

According to Dr. Wright, Walter Reed’s system is profoundly effective. Of all the people treated for hyperthyroidism in Dr. Wright’s clinic, amounting to about 40, there have only been two cases where the protocol failed. Normal levels can often be achieved in less than two weeks. In summary, the treatment is as follows:

  • Patient starts out on five drops of Lugol’s iodine, three times per day
  • After four or five days, patient starts receiving 300 mg of lithium carbonate, one to three times per day

Take Control of Your Thyroid Health

Hypothyroidism is far more prevalent than once thought. Some experts believe that anywhere between 10 and 40 percent of Americans have suboptimal thyroid function. Thyroid hormones are used by every cell of your body to regulate metabolism and body weight by controlling the burning of fat for energy and heat. They’re also required for optimal brain function and development in children. If you feel sluggish and tired, have difficulty losing weight, have dry skin, hair loss, constipation, cold sensitivity, and/or lack of sweating, these could be signs of hypothyroidism.

Iodine is the key to a healthy thyroid, and if you’re not getting enough from your diet (in the form of seafood), you’d be well advised to consider taking a supplement, ideally a high-quality seaweed supplement (be sure to check its source to avoid potential radioactive contamination), or other iodine-containing whole food supplement.

Source: http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2014/06/15/hypothyroid-hyperthyroid-disease.aspx

The Simple Fibromyalgia Treatment that’s Nearly Always Overlooked…

Dr. John Lowe is a skilled clinician, recognized as one of the leading experts on treating thyroid disease with natural medicine. In this interview, he discusses hypothyroidism and the lesser known thyroid hormone resistance, and how thyroid disease is connected to fibromyalgia.
Source: http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2011/02/26/dr-john-lowe-on-thyroid-disease-part-1.aspx

Cookware Chemical Linked to Thyroid Disease

nonstick pannonstick panA study links thyroid disease with human exposure to perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA). PFOA is a persistent organic chemical used in industrial and consumer goods including most nonstick cookware and stain- and water-resistant coatings for carpets and fabrics.

The study included nearly 4000 adults aged 20 and older whose blood serum was sampled between 1999 and 2006 for PFOA.

The researchers found that the individuals with the highest PFOA concentrations were more than twice as likely to report current thyroid disease.

Previous animal studies carried out by other scientists have shown that the compounds can affect the function of the mammalian thyroid hormone system. This system is essential for maintaining heart rate, regulating body temperature and supporting many other body functions, including metabolism, reproduction, digestion and mental health.

Source: http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2010/02/13/cookware-chemical-linked-to-thyroid-disease.aspx

The Menopause Thyroid Solution

Mary Shomon, menopause, thyroidBy Dr. Mercola

Mary Shomon is one of the top leaders in the field of thyroid research. She is the extremely popular About.com thyroid guru, as well as my go-to person when I’m looking for thyroid-related information.

Already a New York Times bestselling author, Mary’s latest book, The Menopause Thyroid Solution: Overcome Menopause by Solving Your Hidden Thyroid Problems, deserves a place on every woman’s bookshelf. It’s a landmark study in the vital role your thyroid plays in helping you manage even your most difficult menopausal symptoms.

Are You Experiencing Menopause … or “Thyropause”?

If you’re a woman in your 40’s or 50’s and are feeling fatigued, depressed, and are gaining weight, you’re not alone. Forty million other women in the U.S. are suffering right along with you with what most assume are the symptoms of menopause.

But are your symptoms really menopause related?

Did you know the drop in reproductive hormones beginning at middle age (and sometimes much earlier) often triggers a reaction in your thyroid? Mary calls this thyroid slowdown “thyropause,” and as she explains in her new book, the changes in your thyroid may actually be the cause of your symptoms.

If you’re taking hormones for menopausal symptoms, natural or prescribed by a doctor, you may be taking unnecessary medication. What you may need to do instead is to investigate what’s going on with your thyroid.

In The Menopause Thyroid Solution, Mary shows you how to distinguish between thyroid and menopause symptoms. She also helps you with food choices, medication options, supplements, and lifestyle changes you can make to alleviate symptoms, improve your metabolism and increase your energy level.

Connecting the Dots

The conventional approach to medicine is to treat each of your symptoms as completely independent from the others. The fact is, symptoms do not occur in a vacuum, but most traditional practitioners are just not interested in hearing about anything other than your most bothersome complaint.

This is especially counterproductive when considering the cause of your menopausal-type symptoms.

Your hormones are part of a network, your endocrine system. Yet if your problems seem to be hormone-related, the majority of allopathic MDs will treat you very specifically for either menopause, or thyroid problems.

This tunnel vision approach is unlikely to work for long, if at all, since there’s a high probability your symptoms are both menopause and thyroid related.

What Mary does so beautifully in her new book is connect the dots for you, using a holistic approach that covers everything from determining the cause of your hormonal-based symptoms and understanding how they overlap, right through a wide range of steps you can take to heal yourself and dramatically improve the quality of your health and your life as you age.

Her book also explains the pros and cons of traditional, natural and bioidentical hormone treatments for estrogen, progesterone, testosterone, DHEA, pregnenolone, and cortisol imbalances. This information couldn’t be timelier given the latest serious threat to the production of natural hormonal remedies.

Mary Shomon’s latest effort is an empowering book which helps you take better care of your own health as you age, as well as arms you with the information you need to get the most out of visits to your doctor or other health care provider.

I highly recommend The Menopause Thyroid Solution to women of all ages, and especially those of you who are entering or are in perimenopause or menopause. To learn more about the book, visit menopausethyroid.com.

Source: http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2009/12/15/the-menopause-thyroid-solution.aspx

Iodine Deficiency: Signs, Symptoms, and Solutions for Poor Thyroid Function

By Dr. Mercola

burned out, tired, fatigueHypothyroidism is far more prevalent than once thought. The latest estimates are that 20 million Americans have hypothyroidism, but the actual numbers are probably higher.

Some experts claim that 10 to 40 percent of Americans have suboptimal thyroid function.

Thyroid hormones are used by every cell of your body to regulate metabolism and body weight by controlling the burning of fat for energy and heat. Thyroid hormones are also required for growth and development in children.

Iodine is Key for Thyroid Health

Iodine is the key to a healthy thyroid and efficient metabolism, and even comprises a large part of the thyroid hormone molecule itself.

Even the names of the different forms of thyroid hormone reflect the number of iodine molecules attached — T4 has four attached iodine molecules, and T3 (the biologically active form of the hormone) has three — showing what an important part iodine plays in thyroid biochemistry.

Iodine deficiency is one of the three most common nutritional deficiencies, along with magnesium and vitamin D.

Since iodine is so important for thyroid function, wouldn’t you expect to see an increase in hypothyroidism with insufficient iodine levels?

Yes, and that is exactly what we have seen.

This means that your thyroid problem could actually be an iodine deficiency problem.

If you feel sluggish and tired, have difficulty losing weight, have dry skin, hair loss, constipation or cold sensitivity, it could all be related to hypothyroidism.

More than 100 years ago, iodine was shown to reverse and prevent goiter (swelling of your thyroid gland) and to correct hypothyroidism. But we now understand that iodine’s effects are much farther reaching.

Iodine has four important functions in your body:

  1. Stabilization of metabolism and body weight
  2. Brain development in children
  3. Fertility
  4. Optimization of your immune system (iodine is a potent anti-bacterial, anti-parasitic, anti-viral and anti- cancer agent)

While iodine levels have fallen, there have been simultaneous increases in rates of thyroid disease, breast cancer, fibrocystic breast disease, prostate cancer, and obesity in American adults, and an increase in mental retardation and developmental delays in American children.

Why are Iodine Levels Dropping?

Iodine deficiency is on the rise in the United States. Simple supplementation may not be the answer as the following issues also need to be addressed.

Recent national survey data suggest that just over 11 percent of the total U.S. population, and over 7 percent of pregnant women, and nearly 17 percent of all reproductive-aged women, are deficient in iodine.

The Total Diet Study, performed by the FDA, reported an iodine intake of 621 µg for 2 year-olds between 1974 and 1982, compared with 373 µg between 1982 and 1991. During this same time period, the baking industry replaced iodine-based anti-caking agents with bromine-based agents.

In addition to iodine’s disappearance from our food supply, exposure to toxic competing halogens (bromine, fluorine, chlorine and perchlorate) has dramatically increased.

You absorb these halogens through your food, water, medications and environment, and they selectively occupy your iodine receptors, further deepening your iodine deficit.

Fluoridation of water is a major contributor to iodine deficiency, besides being very damaging to your health in many other ways.

Additional factors contributing to falling iodine levels are:

  • Diets low in fish, shellfish and seaweed
  • Vegan and vegetarian diets
  • Decreased use of iodized salt
  • Less use of iodide in the food and agricultural industry
  • Use of radioactive iodine in many medical procedures, which competes with natural iodine

Crying Wolff

A huge reason why iodine fell out of favor is the “Wolff-Chaikoff Effect,” which has been a disaster for public health.

An experiment was done that resulted in a case of hypothyroidism, which researchers misinterpreted as being caused by excessive iodine intake. However, the individual was given intravenous radioactive iodine — which is toxic. It had nothing to do with food or supplement iodine intake, and the two are completely different.

Yet, tales of this experiment quickly spread, creating a fear of iodine that caused it to be removed from the American food supply for the last three decades.

Iodine deficiency is particularly profound in the Midwest and Great Lakes region of the United States because iodine is typically found only in soils close to the oceans, whereas soils of inland areas are iodine deficient. In fact, that region used to be called the “goiter belt” because of its extremely high incidence of people with goiters.

The Toxic Halides — Iodine’s Fiercest Competitors

Iodine is a member of a class of related elements called “halogens” that includes bromine, fluorine, and chlorine. When they are chemically reduced, they become “halides”: iodide, bromide, fluoride, and chloride. These are the forms you usually encounter in your foods, medications and environment.

Iodide and chloride are beneficial in small amounts, but bromide and fluoride are toxic. They grab onto your iodine receptors, blocking the action of iodide and thyroid hormones, resulting in, or at least contributing to many serious diseases.

One of the main problems is that the toxic halides become stuck in your body.

There is no known detoxification pathway for bromine and fluorine — your body simply cannot break them down. So, they build up in your tissues and wreak havoc on your health.


Bromides are a menace to your endocrine system and are present all around you.

Despite a ban on the use of potassium bromate in flour by the World Health Organization, bromides can still be found in some over-the-counter medications, foods, and personal care products.

The use of potassium bromate as an additive to commercial breads and baked goods has been a huge contributor to bromide overload in Western cultures.

Sodium bromate can be found in products such as permanent waves, hair dyes, and textile dyes.

Benzylkonium is used as a preservative in some cosmetics. Even trace amounts of bromine can trigger severe acne in sensitive individuals. And who needs skin care products that cause acne?

Bromine is also found in fire retardants used in carpets, mattresses, upholstery, and furniture and some medical equipment.

Based on animal research, bromides have been linked to behavioral changes and neurodevelopmental disorders, including Attention Deficit Disorders, in children.

The United States is quite behind in putting an end to the egregious practice of allowing bromine chemicals in your foods and products whereas other nations have taken the bull by the horns:

  • In 1990, the United Kingdom banned bromate in bread
  • In 1994, Canada did the same
  • Brazil recently outlawed bromide in flour products
  • The European Union has banned some PBDE compounds (polybrominated diphenyl ethers)

What’s taking us so long?

Again, corporate profits trump health concerns when it comes to doing what is best for the public.

Great Resource for Learning More

Author and patient advocate Mary Shomon is one of the leading educators on thyroid health in the U.S. and has led the most popular consumer forum, the About.com thyroid guide. Mary cautions thyroid patients not to run out to the health food store and load up on iodine or iodine-rich supplements like kelp and bladderwrack.

According to Mary, in someone who is not iodine-deficient, excessive iodine supplementation can actually worsen a pre-existing thyroid condition, or trigger further thyroid dysfunction. The key is in getting the right amount of iodine — not too much, not too little.

The way to evaluate your iodine intake is a test that measures how much iodine you are excreting in your urine.

The general protocol requires you to take a dose of iodine, collect your urine for 24 hours, and then send the sample off to a lab where they calculate your iodine level based on how much iodine you are spilling into your urine. If you are interested in being tested for iodine deficiency, this urine iodine challenge test is the most accurate way to assess your iodine status.

Getting Your Iodine Levels Up

If you are iodine deficient, I recommend adding sea vegetables to your diet.

The best source of organically bound iodine that I know of is non-commercially harvested seaweeds. The dose is about 5 grams a day or about one ounce per week, so a pound would last about two months.

It is typically better to obtain a nutrient from a natural food whenever possible than from a supplement, so use supplements only as a last resort.

Some patients also report that they respond better to food-based forms of iodine — like seaweeds — than the supplement forms. However, if you are going to use a supplement I would strongly advise using supersaturated iodine (SSKI) which is available as an inexpensive prescription. Typically 1-3 drops a day are all that are required.

Please avoid using Lugol’s solution or iodine, as that can actually worsen your thyroid condition.

The fact that your thyroid only transports iodine in its ionized form (i.e. iodide) is straight out of the textbooks.  Your thyroid reduces iodide (I-) into iodine (I2) for use in formation of thyroglobulin.  Your body doesn’t utilize iodine directly. It has to split the I2 into two I- ions, which is an oxidative reaction that causes oxidative stress. 

Iodide transporters are located in other areas of your body besides the thyroid gland, including your breasts and colon. One family of iodide transporters is called the sodium-iodide symporter, and the other is called pendren.  Dr. David Brownstein (see below) discusses the sodium-iodide symporter but doesn’t mention pendren.  However like all ion transporters they too require a charge in order to move a molecule across the membrane, which means iodine must be in its ionized form.

It’s possible that some may see good results using Lugol’s for some afflictions, but according to autism expert Catherine Tamara,  in her experience it is very clear that children with autism, and their mothers, do fine with iodide, but not necessarily with iodine.

For more information about the research that makes me question the recommendation for iodine and Lugol’s solution, please see these studies:



Keeping your iodine levels optimal is particularly important if you are a women that is contemplating pregnancy, or are already pregnant Make sure you are taking seaweed or a prenatal vitamin with the right amount and form of iodide, not iodine, to help protect your baby.

Tips for Optimizing Thyroid Function

David Brownstein, M.D., has written several books on thyroid and iodine, which are a valuable resource for those of you who want more information.

Also, Dr. Hyman has made some good recommendations if you have a sluggish thyroid:

  • Identify and treat underlying causes (e.g., iodine deficiency, hormone imbalance, environmental toxicity, inflammation)
  • Adjust your diet and understand the role of nutrition (iodine, as well as tyrosine, selenium, vitamins A and D, zinc, B vitamins, and omega-3 fats), food allergies, gluten intolerance, and foods that contain goitrogens, such as soy, which interfere with the utilization of iodine
  • Get plenty of exercise
  • Reduce your stress
  • Enjoy saunas and hot soaks for detoxification,
  • Use supplements, if necessary for nutritional support
  • If you are on thyroid hormones for less than five years, most people find that they respond far better to natural thyroid hormone supplementation that has both T1, T2, T3 and T4, not just T4 like Synthroid. Armour Thyroid and Nature-Thyroid are the best known, but compounding pharmacists can also produce natural thyroid hormone prescriptions.

The more you can rid your body of the toxic halides, the more iodine your body will be able to hang onto, and the better your thyroid will function.

Laura Power, MS, PhD, LDN, offers these suggestions for increasing secretion of fluorine and bromine::

  • High-dose iodine
  • High-dose vitamin C
  • Unrefined sea salt
  • Epsom salts baths
  • Sweating in a far infrared sauna

The Future of Natural Thyroid Drugs

This is a surprising and shocking injustice that is occurring in the U.S. right now.

The FDA has shut down natural desiccated thyroid drug production and distribution by three major firms, and is now calling the century-old natural remedy an “unapproved drug.”

One of the ways you can typically differentiate a natural physician from a conventional one is by the type of thyroid hormone replacement therapy they prescribe. Natural physicians will almost exclusively used desiccated thyroid hormone products like Armour Thyroid.

I have put thousands of patients on this and it was my consistent experience that most did far better on these than the synthetic versions. About the only exception were people that were taking synthetics for longer than 10 years. Seems like their body had a tough time adjusting back.

Taking desiccated thyroid hormone off the market will cause harm, danger and damage to hundreds of thousands and perhaps more than that, unless they are allowed access to this safe and superior thyroid replacement.

Two other major manufacturers/distributors now have long-term backorders for their bioidentical hormone products, which include Armour, Nature-Throid, and Westroid.

The uncertainty about the future of natural thyroid drug options has many patients and practitioners concerned, and the Save Natural Thyroid Coalition has been formed in response.

Along with recently holding its first kickoff teleconference to discuss the future of natural desiccated thyroid (NDT) drugs, the Save Thyroid Coalition has also created the Save Natural Thyroid YouTube channel, where patients and practitioners can create and post videos supporting natural thyroid.

I am actually serving on this committee and going to support it with as much media exposure is required to prevent this travesty of justice. It is depriving patients of a valid and natural way to support their thyroid function that has typically been damaged by toxins and stress.

They’ve also formed a Save Natural Thyroid Facebook Group to strategize and help keep thyroid patients informed. If you or anyone you love uses bioidentical hormones, you may want to join this group to keep up on the latest updates.

If you’re newly diagnosed with hypothyroidism, or have not been on synthetic hormones for very long, I strongly recommend Armour Thyroid — a natural porcine thyroid extract, which provides not only T3 and T4, but also T1 and T2, which will help normalize your hormone response.

The fact that the FDA may now severely limit, or eliminate, this option is distressing, as it is clearly the best option for many people.

Source: http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2009/10/20/signs-symptoms-and-solutions-for-poor-thyroid-function.aspx