You may worry about taking iodine if you have a thyroid problem. There are many horror stories about taking iodine that can make you think it is not good for the thyroid. It can be true for some people, but not for all. It really depends on your specific iodine levels. There is no one size fits all when it comes to treating your thyroid.
Is Iodine Necessary?
Iodine is actually really important for your thyroid health. It and tyrosine are the foundation for the production of thyroid hormones. Your thyroid converts tyrosine into thyroglobulin and attaches between one and four iodine atoms to create thyroid hormones ( T1, T2, T3, and T4). Without iodine, your body can not produce hormones.
It seems that lately iodine has been a hot topic and people are wondering if it is safe for them to take or if they need it. Some people see success with taking iodine and some do not. It is important to be careful when thinking about taking iodine because there is a fine line. You can cause both hyperthyroidism or hypothyroidism if your body doesn’t need it.
What conventional medicine doesn’t cover is that there are chemicals that we are exposed to that cause our iodine to become depleted.
Why Do I Have Low Iodine?
Your thyroid can actually have a hard time telling the difference between iodine and other chemicals that have similar structures to iodine. It is part of the halogen family, fluorine, chlorine, and bromine are also in that same family. When substances like fluorine, chlorine, and bromine enter your body your thyroid can mistake it for iodine and actually absorb it a place of actual iodine.
These chemicals will not help your thyroid produce thyroid hormones. If fluoride, chlorine, and bromine are replacing your iodine, you will not have enough to trigger the production of thyroid hormones. This typically leads to hyperthyroidism and Hashimoto’s. The more chemicals that you are exposed to the less iodine you are receiving.
Where Are These Chemicals?
As I discuss in the thyroid healing course fluoride has been added to our tap water for many years. It is added to help us with our oral health, but there is research that shows no tie to fluoride and the prevention of cavities. Fluoride has been proven to be an endocrine disruptor. Meaning it will affect your thyroid health. Many years ago this was used for the treatment of hyperthyroidism as it slows down the production of thyroid hormone.
Like fluoride, chlorine is also added to our water supply, as it has disinfectant abilities. It is used widely for water sanitation and also is the main ingredient in bleach. It is also used in other things like plastics, dyes, paper products, insecticides, and more.
Bromine is a chemical that is not often talked about. It is widely used as an additive to our foods and household products. Bromine is in flour (enriched flour), plastics, pesticides, citrus soft drinks, hot tubs, and flame retardant in furniture and upholstery.
I know you may be thinking that this chemical seems like something I can’t avoid. You are most likely right but there are lifestyle changes to reduce your exposure.
Keeping Your Idoine Levels Up
Before taking any iodine make sure you check your levels. You don’t want to take too much or too little. Also if you have hyperthyroidism, iodine is not needed.
Foods like seas veggies and saltwater fish have iodine in them naturally. These are great ways to increase iodine without taking a supplement. If you are supplementing you can take anywhere between 150 and 450mcg daily. If you are pregnant do not take anymore than 150 mcg a day. I would speak to your doctor with a suggestion of how much you should take based on your levels.
Filter Your Water
You can reduce your exposure to chemicals by filtering your water. I talk about filtering your water in this post check it out.
Make sure you are buying toothpaste without fluoride. Also filtering your water will limit this exposure as well.
Try to go as organic as much as possible because chemicals can be found in non-organic food. This will help reduce your exposure. If going organic isn’t something you can afford, meats are the most important. Also, I would check out the EWG Dirty Dozen List to see what foods have the most chemicals.
Limit Your Plastics
If you can, use glass instead of plastic. That is a great way to limit your exposure to chlorine and bromine in plastics.