Are you wondering whether you can use an Iodine Supplement if you are taking thyroid medication?
That is a common question, so let's dig in!
First, let me explain that I am a HUGE nerd about Hypothyroidism and Iodine, so I love talking about it.
But please remember I am not a medical expert. So, of course, always consult a doctor for specific treatment and advice.
How the Thyroid Works
Let's start by talking about the thyroid gland and how it works. The primary role of the thyroid gland is to help make thyroid hormones. The thyroid hormones are called T4 and T3, and they have a vital role in how your body feels.
Thyroid hormones help you with energy, metabolism, reproductive health, cognitive function, immune health, and so much more. Without sufficient thyroid hormone production, you may not feel so great (and not know why).
What is Hypothyroidism?
Okay, so, let me explain. When the thyroid gland isn't producing enough of these thyroid hormones, you may develop a condition called Hypothyroidism. When this happens, people may experience all or just a few symptoms, including:
- Low body temperature
- Feeling cold
- Fatigue, exhaustion, low energy even with plenty of sleep
- Hormone imbalances
- Dry hair, skin, and nails,
- And the worst is weight gain
Some people with Hypothyroidism may eat a healthy diet and still struggle with weight. I know, I've been there!
Thyroid Hormones and Thyroid Goiter
For people who aren't producing enough thyroid hormones, another condition called Thyroid Goiter may develop. Thyroid goiter means swelling of the thyroid gland, which may cause difficulty swallowing; it may put pressure on the throat, or feel uncomfortable. When a Thyroid Goiter gets large enough, it may be visible on the throat, or you may feel it at the base of the throat.
How the Body Makes Thyroid Hormones
Now you know how the thyroid works. So, what can happen if it doesn't make enough thyroid hormones? You may be wondering how does the body make thyroid hormones?
The nerd in me is jumping with excitement to share this next part.
For the body to naturally make thyroid hormones, the thyroid requires a vital mineral.
That's right. The thyroid requires Iodine :)
In fact, the body can't make a single thyroid hormone without Iodine. As you can see, Iodine is a vital mineral for thyroid function. Unfortunately, contrary to popular opinion, many people may not get enough Iodine and, as a result, may not make enough thyroid hormones.
Thyroid Medications Explained
Okay, so back to the main question. If you're taking thyroid medicine, it's likely to be a medication with just T4 or a medication that has both T4 and T3. Some people (like me) take T3-only medication, but that's another whole topic.
Remember above, where I mentioned how the thyroid gland makes T4 and T3 hormones? That's what thyroid medications do when the body isn't naturally making enough thyroid hormones. And the reason they are called "thyroid hormone replacement medications." They replace thyroid hormones when your body doesn't make enough.
How the Body Makes Thyroid Hormones
Again, to make those thyroid hormones naturally, the thyroid requires Iodine. It also requires adequate levels of Selenium, and it requires Tyrosine. In this article, we are focusing on the role of Iodine, which is like the master fuel for the thyroid gland.
What the Experts Say
Now that you understand the relationship between the thyroid, medications, and Iodine, you might be wondering, "Do I need medication if I take an Iodine Supplement?"
According to a leading Iodine expert and best-selling author of "Iodine: Why You Can't Live Without It," Dr. David Brownstein said the answer maybe.
Working with thousands of patients in his practice and using Iodine Supplementation as part of his protocol, Brownstein explains that his patients fell into one of three categories:
- Some stayed at the same thyroid medication dose but benefitted in other ways from Iodine
- Some were able to lower their medication
- Some were able to go off their medication
However, Brownstein said they couldn't predict which category. That's where working with a doctor is so important.
Finding a Doctor
Perhaps the hardest part for our customers is finding a practitioner who is well-versed in Iodine. That can take some research, but as a start, Dr. Brownstein's book is an excellent read.
Now you know a lot more about Iodine and Thyroid health than a lot of people. Welcome to the Iodine Nerd Club!
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