Iodine for Thyroid Disease: The Right Amounts


The fact that burnt sponge was used as a treatment for goiter continually throughout history from 1600 B.C. One of the first documented cases of goiter treatment goes as far back as great post to read 1600 B.C. Much of its popularity arises from its use in treating goiters centuries ago. Iodine therapy has become quite popular as a “potential” solution for hypothyroidism today.

According to Dr. Alan Christianson, consuming the wrong amount of iodine is a primary driver of all types of thyroid disease and many thyroid growth abnormalities. Too little iodine, too much iodine, or fluctuations in iodine intake, can all disrupt thyroid function. The effects of excess iodine on those with thyroid disease has been studied by researchers.

It is important to speak with a trusted medical professional to determine if supplementing with iodine or removing excess iodine from your lifestyle will be of benefit to you and your health journey. It’s important to note that many hidden sources of iodine can add up to create an iodine excess, and you will want to look for iodine exposure beyond supplements. This urinary iodine to creatinine ratio is tested with a urine collection and can be done at home and mailed in for convenience. The test will not tell you how much iodine you are taking in, but if you are working to reduce iodine levels to help your thyroid function, it can help you determine if you have eliminated enough hidden sources of iodine. I’ve heard the argument that the Japanese population consumes a high level of iodine, due to their seafood-heavy diets, therefore everyone should be taking high doses of iodine.

These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration.

We do not aim to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any illness or disease. You must consult your doctor before acting on any content on this website, especially if you are pregnant, nursing, taking medication, or have a medical condition. As a functional medicine source practitioner, my job is to make you aware of just how much specific nutrients can affect your health — and iodine is the perfect example of this. For many, this is a temporary effect that subsides after the source of excessive iodine is removed.


The RDA is 220 μg of iodine per day for pregnant women and 290 μg of iodine per day for breastfeeding women. At her initial diagnosis, Jenny had many symptoms of hypothyroidism, including fatigue, excess weight gain, and hair loss. Jenny is an athletic dog lover who worked part time at her official statement family restaurant. She had been previously diagnosed with Hashimoto’s (TPO antibodies in the 800 IU/mL range) and subclinical hypothyroidism, with a slightly elevated TSH, and normal T4 and T3. Combining seaweed and fish can easily bring your iodine intake to 1,000 mcg, if not more.

Of the nine patients in the iodine arm, seven developed subclinical hypothyroidism, one became hypothyroid, and another hyperthyroid. Positive changes were also seen in TPO antibody levels as well as on the thyroid ultrasound. Three of the seven subclinical hypothyroid patients and the hyperthyroid patient regained normal thyroid function after iodine withdrawal. Iodine from foods and supplements is processed by the thyroid gland so that the body can properly use it.

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