When you spend some time online researching the question “is it safe to take iodine when you have Hashimotos” you will soon realize there are conflicting opinions, and information about how much iodine is safe to take.
If are feeling confused, you are not alone. It can be a challenge making sense of it all. For this reason I would like to answer this important question from my Naturopathic perspective.
Firstly let’s take a look at some facts that we all know to be true
+ Your body does not make iodine. Consequently, this mineral must be derived from the diet or from an iodine supplement.
+ Your thyroid requires a constant supply as iodine is an essential component of your thyroid hormones.
+ Nutrient rich blood continuously circulates through your thyroid so iodine is simply absorbed as required.
+ About 80% of your body’s iodine stores are held in your thyroid.
+ When your thyroid has enough iodine it stops absorbing iodine from the blood supply.
+ This mineral is normally only required in trace amounts. Adverse effects are more likely when excessive amounts are taken.
+ Iodine deficiency is a common world health problem.
+ Iodine is critical to overall health, not just the thyroid. For example, iodine plays a role in the immune response, is essential for normal growth and development of a developing baby, and is particularly important to safeguard breast and prostate health.
+ In Australia, iodine supplements, or thyroid supplements that contain iodine usually supply microgram, not milligram quantities of iodine.
+ A microgram measurement of iodine is routinely abbreviated as ‘mcg’ or ‘µg’.
+ It’s important to know 1000 micrograms equals 1 milligram.
+ The Australian National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) and the US Office of Dietary Supplements, National Institutes of Health (NIH) have both set the safe upper level of intake from all sources at 1,100 micrograms (1.1 mg) daily.
+ Hashimoto’s disease is a complex autoimmune thyroid problem. It’s associated with chronic inflammation which over time can lead to destruction of the thyroid gland.
There is no evidence to suggest that iodine alone will solve a complex thyroid disorder such as Hashimoto’s
It’s true, iodine alone will not help heal your thyroid. However it is still an important nutrient for day to day function of the thyroid.
If your iodine stores get too low this will place further pressure on your thyroid. Taking what is considered a safe amount of iodine is usually necessary to support ongoing thyroid hormone activity.
Single iodine may not be the solution
Iodine is ideally best taken in combination with selenium. In fact, selenium is an important nutrient to consider if you have a diagnosed autoimmune thyroid disorder.
Ongoing research shows selenium can help reduce raised thyroid specific antibodies. This is promising research for those with Hashimoto’s.
Selenium helps reduce the risk of iodine aggravating your thyroid if you did opt to take a sudden and excessive amount of iodine.
When I hear someone with Hashimoto’s report a bad experience with iodine it does raise two key questions in my mind. Did they take too much? Were they also low in selenium?
A good quality thyroid health formula contains both iodine and selenium. The nutritional panel or supplement facts section on a label is the best place to check the amount of iodine and selenium.
You may already know that here in Australia nutritional companies are not permitted to recommend more than 300 micrograms of iodine, and 150 micrograms of selenium per day for adults.
Your take home message: not too much, not too little
It’s a myth that any amount of iodine is dangerous when you have Hashimoto’s. In truth, it’s really about balanced intake. The controversy is centered on how much iodine is safe to take.
Studies do indeed confirm taking iodine well above what is generally recommended can trigger an autoimmune reaction, particularly if selenium is in short supply.
Yes, you can get too much of a good thing and opting to take extreme amounts of iodine may be harmful when you have diagnosed Hashimoto’s disease.
An iodine overload could actually cause a flare up, and worsen your hypothyroid symptoms. As with any type of autoimmune condition tissue destruction is at an all-time high when you experience a flare up.
Watch this Video Below Here – Hashimoto’s: Should I Take Iodine for my hypothyroid?
In summary…is it safe to take iodine when you have Hashimotos?
+ Iodine supplements can help prevent and treat an iodine deficiency.
+ Iodine supports ongoing thyroid hormone production and is normally only required in trace amounts to be effective.
+ Selenium is a mineral that safeguards your thyroid. Adequate selenium intake can also reduce the risk of iodine aggravating your thyroid if you opted to take excessive amounts.
+ When you are taking a prescribed thyroid medication your medical practitioner can advise if an iodine supplement will be suitable for you.
Watch this Video Here – Are Iodine Supplements Safe for Low Thyroid (Hypothyroid)
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Louise O’ Connor, the author of The Natural Thyroid Diet –The 4-Week Plan to Living Well, Living Vibrantly, who is a specialist in Thyroid Health. She is a highly regarded Australian Naturopath and founder of Wellnesswork.
The Natural Thyroid Diet goes beyond diet advice and offers practical and effective ways to achieve healthy thyroid levels within just a short period of time. For more details, Click on The-Natural-Thyroid-Diet.com