An Iodine Primer

Allow me to go off topic for a post. While this has nothing to do with wheat and its destructive effects on human health, the issue of thyroid dysfunction and failed weight loss come up often enough that I thought it would be helpful to cover this important topic.

What if your diet is perfect–no wheat, no junk carbohydrates like that from corn or sugars, you are physically active–yet you fail to lose weight? Or you hit a plateau after an initial loss?

First think iodine.

Iodine is an essential nutrient. It is no more optional than, say, celebrating your wedding anniversary or obtaining vitamin C. If you forget to do something nice for your wife on your wedding anniversary, I would fear for your life. If you develop open sores all over your body and your joints fall apart, you could undergo extensive plastic surgery reconstruction and joint replacement . . . or you could just treat the scurvy causing it from lack of vitamin C.

Likewise iodine: If you have an iodine deficiency, you experience lower thyroid hormone production, since T3 and T4 thyroid hormones require iodine (the “3″ and “4″ refer to the number of iodine atoms per thyroid hormone molecule). This leads to lower energy (since the thyroid controls metabolic rate), cold hands and feet (since the thyroid is thermoregulatory, i.e., temperature regulating), and failed weight loss. So iodine deficiency is one of the items on the list of issues to consider if you eliminate wheat with its appetite-stimulating opiate, gliadin, and high-glycemic carbohydrate, amylopectin A, and limit other carbohydrates, yet still fail to lose weight. A perfect diet will not fully overcome the metabolism-limiting effects of an underactive thyroid.

Given sufficient time, an enlarged thyroid gland, or goiter, develops, signaling longstanding iodine deficiency. (The treatment? Iodine, of course, not thyroid removal, as many endocrinologists advocate.) Your risk for heart attack, by the way, in the presence of a goiter is increased several-fold. Goiters are becoming increasingly common and I see several each week in my office.

Iodine is found in the ocean and thereby anything that comes from the ocean, such as seafood and seaweed. Iodine also leaches into the soil but only does so coastally. It means that crops and livestock grown along the coasts have some quantity of iodine. Humans hunting and foraging along the coast will be sufficient in iodine, while populations migrating inland will not.

It also means that foods grown inland do not have iodine. This odd distribution for us land dwelling primates means that goiters are exceptionally common unless iodine is supplemented. Up to 25% of the population can develop goiters without iodine supplementation, a larger percentage experiencing lesser degrees of iodine deficiency without goiter.

In 1924, the FDA became aware of the studies that linked goiters to lack of iodine, reversed with iodine supplementation. That’s why they passed a regulation encouraging salt manufacturers to add iodine, thought to be an easy and effective means for an uneducated, rural populace to obtain this essential nutrient. Their message: “Use more iodized salt. Keep your family goiter free!” That was actually the slogan on the Morton’s iodized salt label, too.

It worked. The rampant goiters of the first half of the 20th century disappeared. Iodized salt was declared an incredible public health success story. Use more salt, use more salt.

You know the rest. Overuse of salt led to other issues, such as hypertension in genetically susceptible people, water retention, and other conditions of sodium overexposure. The FDA then advises Americans to slash their intake of sodium and salt . . . but make no mention of iodine.

So what recurs? Iodine deficiency and goiters. Sure, you eat seafood once or twice per week, maybe even have the nori (sheet seaweed) on your sushi once in a while . . . but that won’t do it for most. Maybe you even sneak some iodized salt into your diet, but occasional use is insufficient, especially since the canister of iodized salt only contains iodine for around 4 weeks, given iodine’s volatile nature. (Iodized salt did work when everybody in the house salted their food liberally and Mom had to buy a new canister every few weeks.)

Iodine deficiency is common and increasing in prevalence, given the widespread avoidance of iodized salt. So what happens when you become iodine deficient? Here’s a partial list:

–Weight loss is stalled or you gain weight despite your efforts.
–Heart disease risk is escalated
–Total and LDL cholesterol and triglyceride values increase
–Risk of fibrocystic breast disease and possibly breast cancer increase (breast tissue concentrates iodine)
–Gingivitis and poor oral health increase (salivary glands concentrate iodine)

(Naturopathic doctor Lyn Patrick, ND, has written a very nice summary available here.)

So how do you ensure that you obtain sufficient iodine every day? You could, of course, eat something from the ocean every day, such as coastal populations such as the Japanese do. Or you could take an inexpensive iodine supplement. You can get iodine in a multivitamin, multimineral, or iodine drops, tablets, or capsules.

What is the dose? Here’s where we get very iffy. We know that the Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA), the intake to not have a goiter, is 150 mcg per day for adults (220 mcg for pregnant females, 290 mcg for lactating females). Most supplements therefore contain this quantity.

But what if our question is what is the quantity of iodine required for ideal thyroid function and overall health? Ah, that’s where the data are sketchy. We know, for instance, that the Japanese obtain somewhere between 3,500 and 13,000 mcg per day (varying widely due to different habits and locations). Are they healthier than us? Yes, quite a bit healthier, though there may be other effects to account for this, such as a culture of less sweet foods and more salty, less wheat consumption, etc. There are advocates in the U.S., such as Dr. David Brownstein in Michigan, who argues that some people benefit by taking doses in the 30,000 to 50,000 mcg per day range (monitored with urinary iodine levels).

As is often the case with nutrients, we lack data to help us decide where the truly ideal level of intake lies. So I have been using and advocating intakes of 500 to 1000 mcg per day from iodine capsules, tablets, or drops. A very easy way to get this dose of iodine is in the form of kelp tablets, i.e., dried seaweed, essentially mimicking the natural means of intake that also provides iodine in all its varied forms (iodide, sodium iodate, potassium iodide, potassium iodate, iodinated proteins, etc.) This has worked out well with no ill effects.

The only concern with iodine is in people with Hashimoto’s thyroiditis or (rarely) an overactive thyroid nodule. Anyone with these conditions should only undertake iodine replacement carefully and under supervision (monitoring thyroid hormone levels).

Iodine is inexpensive, safe, and essential to health and weight management. If it were a drug, it would enjoy repeated expensive marketing and a price tag around $150 per month. But it is an essential nutrient that enjoys none of the attention-getting advantages of drugs, and therefore is unlikely to be mentioned by your doctor, yet carries great advantage for helping to maintain overall health.

This entry was posted in Iodine, Thyroid disease, Weight loss. Bookmark the permalink.

201 Responses to An Iodine Primer

  1. bill says:

    My levels:
    Free T4: 1.2 ng/dL Ref range 0.8-1.7
    T3, Total: 91 ng/dL Ref range: 80 to 190
    TSH, Ultrasensitive: 4.750 ulU/mL Ref range 0.350-5.500
    Is there anything to be concerned with?
    I can’t find where any of these numbers are explained.

    • Dr. Davis says:

      You have hypothyroidism, Bill, sufficient to add to cardiovascular risk. If we believe the data that already exist, there is as much as a 300% increase in long-term cardiovascular MORTALITY with this level of TSH.

      You need to find an interested, open-minded practitioner, preferably someone in functional medicine or naturopathy. Else you will get either indifference or ridicule, even if you have significant symptoms. Such is the sad status quo in modern medicine.

      • bill says:

        As you suggested, I went to a Nurse Practitioner who specializes in Thyroid.
        Now my numbers are:
        Free T3: 2.7 pg/mL
        Reverse T3: 298 pg/mL
        Free T4: 1.2 ng/dL
        T3, Total: 91 ng/dL
        TSH, Ultrasensitive: 4.750

        The NP says my T3:rT3 should be 0.018 and it’s 0.0090
        Therefore I am to start on T3 supplementation

        The NP also wanted to see my Lipid Panel:
        Triglyceride: 48 mg/dl
        Cholesterol: 326 mg/dL
        HDL Cholesterol: 62 mg/dL
        Non HDL Cholest Calc: 264 mg/dL
        LDL Cholesterol Calc: 254 mg/dL
        VLDL Cholesterol Calc: 10 mg/dL
        Chol/HDL Ratio: 5.3

        The NP is concerned that my cholesterol is high.
        I have been eating very low carb high fat for about 2 years.
        No grains or sugars ever. I’m 6’2”, 170 Lbs.
        I am not concerned with my high cholesterol number.

        Does this sound reasonable?

        Thanks.

        • Jennifer says:

          Your TSH is still too high. The newer reference ranges have
          Been out for 10 years but most providers still use the
          Older ranges. Also your cholesterol levels are too
          High. Cut the saturated fats.

  2. Jessica says:

    I have Hashimoto’s. so does that mean I have to intake less iodine? My levels are minimally off so no change in meds but my weight is noticing it!

  3. James says:

    Hello doc,

    My wife has been WF for 12 days like me. I have lost > 6 lbs so far but she only lost little, maybe 2lbs at most. I know she has been suffering from hypothyroidism in the past (it runs in her family) but after the birth of our second child a year ago, she checked her hormone levels and all seemed fine, even though there’s a clearly visible bump just beneath her throat skin (~ 1 inch in diamater, which has been checked as well).

    However, she has lately been complaining about fatigue, cold hands and feet (she cannot seem to feel comfortable with our indoor temperature), headaches. With the slow weight loss, I started to think that maybe she is on the edge of HT again. So I measured my and my wife’s temperature when awakening this morning after I read one of your post telling about this trick. Her temp was about 36.3 deg. C, which translates to 97.3 F. OK, so I thought she maybe was close to HT. But to my great surprise, my temp was way below! It consistently read 34.5 – 35 deg C, so at most 95 deg F. Since I do not feel any of the typical symptoms linked to HT, I wonder how reliable the temperature at awakening truly is.
    Note that my temp did not increase 2 hours later after breakfast. I seem to be rather stable at 95 … my weight loss being quite dramatic, I can only assume that the body temp variance among people is simply too big to draw a specific conclusion.

    • Dr. Davis says:

      I think it is more likely that everyone in your household is iodine deficient. Not all people experience symptoms with mild hypothyroidism.

      Also, be sure to take temperatures IMMEDIATELY upon arising–no sip of water, no bathroom, etc.

      • James says:

        Hey doc,

        Thanks for your comment.
        I feel a little stupid about my original post because it was actually a thermometer issue … d’uh! :D
        My wife bought one of those fancy ones that you can stick in your ear and wait for 2-3 seconds for a temp measurement (she bough it because our kids don’t like the old-fashioned thermometer very much, as you can guess …). Turns out this device is quite unreliable and requires a few conditions to work properly … so much for the claimed convenience … :/

        However, I measured our temp. with a more conventional one and we are just fine between 98 and 99 F.

  4. Dianne says:

    Hello Dr. Davis,
    I have been wheat free for over 2 months now. Within days of going wheat free I noticed such a difference in my mood–fogginess lifted, happier, etc. And best of all, I wasn’t hungry all of the tiime. But I have not had any weight loss…the belly is still there! I am absolutely commited to wheat free diet and have no problem following it. I also rarely use any wheat substitutes. However I must say I am getting a little discouraged not loosing the belly.
    I just read about iodine deficiency but I don’t have any of the symptoms described. My thyroid has also checked out fine in lab tests. Could an iodine deficiency still be the reason I am not loosing any weight? Should I start taking an iodine supplement? Any other suggestions that may help me loose my belly?

    • Dr. Davis says:

      Yes, absolutely: Iodine deficiency is common and readily remedied.

      And don’t be so quick to accept the common “your thyroid is fine” pronouncement. I see people EVERY DAY who have been told that their thyroid was fine. Put them on thyroid hormones and their cold hands and feet warm up, their hair gets thicker, energy is normal, mood improves, cholesterol values improve, etc. In other words, they have low grade thyroid dysfunction.

      I will be discussing just this issue very soon on an upcoming blog post.

      • Dianne says:

        Hello Dr. Davis,
        I have started taking an iodine supplement and have a question. Is iodine something that needs to be taken for awhile for it “to work”? That is, if my thyroid really is the reason why I seem to be unable to lose weight (after losing the wheat), when will I notice any changes?
        I’ve been taking iodine drops–usually about 600 mcg per day and I have almost finished the bottle. I haven’t noticed any difference with taking them. Should I have noticed anything by now or do I persevere and continue taking?
        Thank you.

        • Dianne says:

          I apologize…I just found the answer in one of your other postings.
          3 to 6 months to restore thyroid health.
          I shall continue taking it.

  5. LORI DAVIS, RN says:

    Hello Dr. Davis…
    I have Hashimoto’s…. have been dx with hypo-thyroid since I had mumps on top of scarlet fever as a child. Switched to armour… adding cytomel to levo wasn’t working after the Hashi dx…. My TSH at dx was 29.5 and my antibodies for the dx were higher than they’d ever seen…. I just thought I was getting lazy!! I have always struggled with weight…. I have been gluten free for 2 weeks and def have changes in stool… no diarrhea and no long strings of mucus….. I also take porcine adrenal supplement….. I have recently started taking iodine.. but it’s a tablet (didn’t check first) and I think it is helping…… but you state people with Hashi should really monitor with adding the iodine….. Why is that??? Thanks for all your great advice!!

    • Dr. Davis says:

      Every once in a while, Lori, Hashimoto’s can be reactivated by taking iodine.

      All of us obtain at least some iodine from salt and seafood, as well as lower quantities in other foods. So you have been getting some iodine. But taking more just runs the small risk of reactivating Hashimoto’s, at which time you can stop the iodine. Rarely, further action needs to be taken during the flare-up, e.g., reduction in Armour dose.

  6. Jen says:

    Hello,

    I had a lobectomy about 8 years ago. I have had my thyroid numbers followed each year and been told I am fine. i talke no medication. Recently the past 12-18 months I just feel different, more tired, more anxiety, freezing when I used to be someone who was always hot, skin issues, I work out 6 days a week 1-2 hours, eat fairly healthy and no change if anything I gain weight. Well started researching thyroid tests and diet changes. I have found information on the foods to avoid and also going gluten free. Well I went to my ob and felt I had to fight to get all my blood tests done for the thyroid. She is convinced it is b12 or vitamin d deficincy. She said my tsh number was all that was needed and it was fine this summer. I did get her to order the tests and i am awaiting those results. I guess it is hard to know where to go. How do you find someone you can trust. Everyone i go to says exercise more and eat less or why would you eliminate gluten. And also told I read too much. With the condition of the health in our country i would think someone would be excited by someone coming into their office and asking questions and engaged regarding their health. She said a low gi diet was fine to follow did not understand eliminating gluten and told me it all sounded like a lot to think about.

  7. Joni says:

    Dear Dr. Davis,
    I had thyroid cancer in 2004 and take medication now. How do I find out if I am low on iodine? Can I take iodine?
    Thanks.
    Joni

  8. Ronda says:

    Hi Dr. Davis,
    My husband and myself have been wheat free for almost three weeks now. Hubby has lost a few kg’s but nothing for me. The program is not as hard as I thought it would be. But in trying to figure out why my weight hasn’t budged, I’ve been looking at some of your previous blogs. One talks about iodine deficiency. And while I don’t have cold hands or feet (probably because I’m dealing with menopausal issues) I do have some of the other symptoms. So, I wondered if I should take an iodine supplement, or just wait a while….I know three weeks isn’t much time to give the new eating plan. Also, other than menopause and my age (50) working against me for weight loss, I’m also hypertensive. I take Karveside 300/12.5. ( I live in Australia, so I’m not sure if your familiar with that medication) So that now leads me to my second question…Can I take iodine? I’ve seen on other websites that if I’m on blood pressure medicine that I can’t take iodine or potassium? Sorry, I don’t have any numbers to pass on to you. I had blood work done at the beginning of the year and was told that everything was okay but that my uric acid was a bit high and that it was due to my medicine. Karveside and a hormone replacement that I take two weeks out of the month is the only medication that I take. Can you pass on any advice?
    Thanks so much
    Ronda

    • Dr. Davis says:

      I can only comment generally, Ronda, not necessarily provide individual advice.

      Suffice it to say that EVERYONE needs iodine, just as everyone needs vitamin C, thiamine, zinc, and magnesium. Iodine is no different.

      It is odd that iodine has somehow acquired a negative reputation that is undeserved. The rare undesirable effects from iodine nearly always stem from having endured iodine deficiency for many years, with supplementation resulting in an overenthusiastic thyroid reaction.

      I have my patients supplement 500 mcg per day of an iodine supplement.

  9. Martha says:

    Dr. Davis,
    Since eliminating wheat (4 wks) from my diet, I seem to be warmer. Do find that hypothyroid patients on armour thyroid require a dose reduction when they go wheat free?

  10. Marjorie says:

    Dr. Davis,about 6 years ago I had Thyroid cancer and my Thyroid was removed. I have been taking Synthroid ever since. My husband and I have been off of wheat since the first of August 2012. We both have lost weight and are generally in better health than we have been in years. He has no knee pain, or back pain and my arthritis has improved greatly. As far as my loosing weight I seem to be at a standstill. I still would like to loose more. I was wondering if not having a thyroid might have an effect and my metabolism might be off. I would like you thoughts on this. Are there some natural things I could be doing to help my metabolism?

    • Dr. Davis says:

      Yes.

      Step 1: Get a new doctor, preferably NOT an endocrinologist.

      Step 2: Get your T3 thyroid hormone assessed, then corrected. You are taking the T4 thyroid hormone which, by itself, is inadequate for most people after thyroidectomy. T4 is supposed to be converted to T3, but this is impaired in many people today, mostly due to exposures to organotoxins (e.g., perchlorates from synthetic fertilizers, polyfluorooctanoic acid from non-stick cookbook that lingers up to 10 years after exposure, even if it was in restaurant food) that impaire the 5′-deiodinase enzyme that converts T4 to T3. The trick is to find a healthcare practitioner to do this for you, usually a functional medicine doc or naturopath.

      For more info, see Janie Bowthorpe’s excellent blog, Stop the Thyroid Madness.

      • Marjorie says:

        I will check out Janie Bowthorpes blog. Thank you. What is a non-stick cookbook? Was that an error? Since I don’t hsve a thyroid is thst ehy I can’t convert the T4 to T3?

        • Dr. Davis says:

          Ha ha! Non-stick cookware.

          The failure to convert T4 to T3 has nothing to do with having your thyroid removed, but with peripheral metabolism. All the same issues apply.

      • Marjorie says:

        My doctor is an ear, nose and throat should he know these things you mentioned?Or should I try a new doctor as you suggested? Are there some natural things I could do also?

  11. Adrian says:

    Dear Dr. Davis,
    My TSH is at 2.90. Otherwise, I have fibromyalgia, am about 60 pounds over what I consider my ideal weight of 138 (I’m 5’8″), can no longer take tramadol for pain (I suspect this is a blessing in disguise), have reflux that got worse with a flu I just had eating mostly the BRAT diet with a lot of saltines that when I started to eat them I found I could not stop. “Coincidentally” I happened upon your book and am now three days wheat free. Yesterday felt like I had the worst PMS of my life (I am fifteen years post-hysterectomy and take no estrogen) but today feel less agitated and so on and I am looking forward to continued benefits. But hands and feet cold, scaly dryness and bumps on my face (dermatologist called it perioral dermatitis but months on antibiotics have not touched it), once very thick hair somewhat thinning. I anticipate that WF will ultimately clear up the skin problems (and I have no problem at all avoiding other gluten-free high carbs, but would be very unhappy to have to give up milk and yogurt, though can easily limit these to 1-2 servings a day also; same with fruit). Would like to hear what you have seen in terms of WF helping with fibro. And, do you think that a reasonable place to start would be with kelp supplements and daily miso soup with seaweed, and then see about overall thyroid with my doctor? I can also tell you that I began the Furhman program last spring (fruits, vegetables, legumes and nuts only) and lost weight very rapidly but soon felt that I was starving, so went back on “normal” eating and gained back the 15 pounds lost within about two months or so. Thank you for any insight you may have, and thank you for this great work.

    • Dr. Davis says:

      Hi, Adrian–

      A few thoughts:

      1) Iodine is necessary for every human. I have patients supplement 500 mcg per day, e.g., as kelp tablets. However, this may not be enough to fully correct thyroid, as you likely have mild hypothyroidism. Note that most people’s hypothyroidism is NOT corrected with levothyroxine, but a combination of levothyroxine and the T3 thyroid hormone, liothyronine. However, you will need a healthcare practitioner versed in this, e.g., functional medicine doctor or naturopath. Whatever you do, don’t waste your time with an endocrinologist who should all be banished from the country along with terrorists and other misfits. It would indeed be reasonable to start with a trial of iodine for a few months then re-evaluate.

      2) You have been experiencing wheat-withdrawal, the withdrawal from the opiate in wheat.

      3) We’ve witnessed many, though not all, cases of fibromyalgia respond positively to this approach. Note that there are no prescription, no procedures, no “cleansing,” etc. to find out: Just eat no wheat!

      • Adrian says:

        Thank you! I have started the kelp supplement, and on this the fifth morning of no wheat, starting to feel clear (and though no weight lost so far, my belly about half the size it was last week). I’ll ask for a new thyroid panel in a couple of months, and hopefully will have some sense of how this helps the fibro by that time, too. (And, I feel about “cleansing” the way you feel about endocrinologists, so no worries there!)

        Thanks again!

  12. Jackie says:

    Dear Dr. Davis,

    I always thought there was something in my diet that was making me fat and feel sluggish so I was thrilled to realize that it was a simple as eliminating wheat from my diet. My husband and I have been wheat free since October. For years I have also suspected that I have a thyroid problem and as you point out over and over again, doctors just won’t listen. I haven’t lost any weight in years even though I am very careful about what I eat. I work out regularly and have for years. I went in for my annual physical last week and after testing my thyroid yet again, my doctor’s advise (again) to get my weight moving was to work out 5 days a week rather than 3 (I currently work out 3 days a week for an hour but am more active in the warmer months). Here is my thyroid history (TSH levels only): April 2005 – 1.48, June 2008 – 1.80, December 2010 – 2.68, December 2012 – 3.79. It scares me that it is been increasing so dramatically! In April of 2008 I weighed 155 pounds; I now weight 180. I’m 5′ 5″, 51 years old. I started taking 750 mcg of kelp in November. I recently doubled that.

    Do you think I need to push for medication or should I keep taking the kelp for a while longer to see if it will eventually help? Or could there be something else going on?

    Thank you so much for this work and the research you have done. You’ve helped my husband and I so much. His blood sugar is way down and continuing to fall. The last reading he took showed it at 110 – down from 124. He’s lost 7+ pounds and his blood pressure is also improving. My 77 year old parents are also wheat free and continue to feel great.

    • Dr. Davis says:

      It’s great that you signed your family onto the wheat-free life, Jackie!

      Yes, I would push for better answers for your thyroid, particularly if you have cold hands and feet, constipation, or low energy in addition to your stalled weight. However, it is highly likely that you need a new doctor to do so, preferably someone in functional medicine or naturopathy. Push your current doctor, but if he/she balks, go someplace else. It’s sad, but it should not be our jobs to educate my colleagues, but such is the sad state of affairs in thyroid management.

  13. Beverly Haddad says:

    I started WF two weeks ago. Coicidently had my annual exam that week. Cholesterol over 300 with LDL at 242. Could that high number be from my body releasing fat faster than usual? My tricycerides were 44 and HDL was 72. Also discovered a 3.4 cm nodule on my thyroid. She wants me to see an endrocrinologist ASAP. In a previous post you stated to stay far away from them and that they should be banned. Where do I go to find out if its cancer?

    • Dr. Davis says:

      It sounds like you may have a genetically-determined reason for the really high LDL. However, if weight loss is ongoing, it is virtually impossible to decipher a lipid panel due to the marked shifts in these values with the flood of fatty acids that is part of weight loss. I always ask patients to have the blood work repeated after weight loss has plateued for at least 4 weeks.

      My choice: an ear, nose, and throat specialist. They can do everything that an endocrinologist can do for this issue, but with none of the useless BS.

  14. Gaylyn says:

    I take 100MCG of Levothyroxine daily. Is it safe to also supplement with iodine tablets? I am starting my Wheatbelly journey today. The number one reason is stalled weigh loss. I am 47 and in the middle of perimenopuase. I also am looking to feel better and have some skin issues that i hope will clear up. My doctor has been pushing Wheatbelly for some time. Thanks for the cookbook Dr. Davis it has inspired me!

  15. Dee Burr says:

    Dr. Davis,
    You have commented in several posts to NOT go to an endocinologist. I have been going to one and have felt much better with my thyroid issues.

    I am just beginning my wheat free /grain free journey and have lots to learn. I’m clearing the house of the bad stuff and trying to get in the things I need to cook. Its going to be a radical change from the typical diet my husband and I have.

    I have fibromyalgia and osteoarthritis.. I live in pain daily. My husband has arthritis and Type II diabeters. I am determined to get us as healthy as possible with food…and reduce what medications I can. This Wheat Belly seems so doable. I’m looking forward to my book coming in.

    Thank you

    • Dr. Davis says:

      Hi, Dee–

      You must have one of the VERY rare reasonable endocrinologists!

      Hang onto him/her. They are truly rare. And let us know what you experience with your wheat-free adventure!

  16. Lisa says:

    Good Afternoon Dr. Davis,

    I read your article on Iodine. I do have Hashimoto’s thyroiditis and my multi vitamin contains 200 mcg of iodine. Do I need to be concerned about it and switch my multi. I’m taking Armour 1 1/2GR. My levels were normal when last tested. Would that show in my thyroid tests?

  17. Kathy says:

    Hello Dr. Davis,

    Some background on me about 9 years ago I was diagnosed with Graves’ disease. After spending the first year going through 3 endocrinologists that only wanted to treat me with killing off my thyroid with radiation.
    I finally found a endocrinologist that is and has been treating me with medication after a year with this endocrinologist my thyroid has normalized and I eventually weened off the medication. 
    The past 3/4 years my thyroid did dipped under active for few months. I started taking Levoxyl and I am still on it now. My thyroid has been in the normal range, but on the low end of normal. (sorry I don’t have my last test results on hand at the moment).

    With being diagnosed with Graves’ I did my best with staying away from iodine, I switched to Sea Salt which says it has “no significant amount of iodine” and the rare occasions I ate shrimp or canned tuna I normally stay away from seafood. I am wondering if I should add iodine back into my diet? 
    These past 3/4 years I have gain a lot of weight and I feel don’t have a  lot of energy. At the time I thought maybe it was birth control which I haven’t been on any for the past 2 years or that maybe I am entering premenopausal I just turned 42 last week.
    I should also mention my last blood test I am Vitamin D deficient. 
    Which I find strange since I do eat a lot of eggs at least one every day. I am suppose to take a Vitamin D3 supplement, but I’ll admit I do forget to take it. 
    ( I know bad me) With the Levoxyl I am not suppose to take vitamins or supplements until 4 hours later, so I do forget a lot.
    Thank you!

    PS. I just got your cookbook and I am for some of the ingredients to be shipped to me, I will be starting my Wheat Free living this week or next week.

    • Dr. Davis says:

      If there’s something wrong with your program, Kathy, it’s the failure to address the T3 thyroid hormone.

      You are taking T4: levothyroxine. But most people do best by taking both T4 and T3: weight loss, increased energy, increased warmth. You will likely have to find a new doctor to do this, but the rewards are substantial.

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  19. Connie says:

    Dear Dr. Davis

    I recently purchased your book, I am taking my vacation in a few weeks to just read through it all and try all your recipes, I cannot wait. I did get a chance to read the first pages regarding wheat and I know consuming wheat is a problem with me. I had been allergy tested several years ago and Wheat, rye and Barley showed up very high. I also had for four years straight a rash on my face and forearms that wouldnt go away, although never properly diagnosed, my own research led me to dermatitis hepeformis (I know I spelled that wrong) I had been to so many dermatologists, medications, treatments etc in the four years. It finally went away on its own, After I started watching what I was eating. It all came back to the gluten. Which I now know is not the only culprit it itself. I am also hypothyroid, diagnosed in 1998. Actually, I have Hashimoto’s. They initially started me on Synthroid. It helped a bit. My symptoms would not go all away -brain fog, fatigue, weight, so they increased it. I was overwhelming tired then. A new doctor put me on the Armour. Although my tests results for all thyroid came back okay, in range, and the doctor was very proud of himself for getting everything in range, I was sitting in his chair in near tears saying, ” I am still overweight, didnt loose a pound, my hair is thinning and falling out, my skin has problems and I am crawling out of my skin with anxiety. And I still had overwhelming fatigue. Here is the question. Each time my thyroid peroxidase antibodies test and my Immunoglobulin E wouild come back elevated. The Thyroid peroxidase was >1000 and the Immunoglobin E was >391. Doctor said it was allergy. I told them to take me off armour. I insisted on the Synthroid BUT, I wanted the dye free Synthroid. (the 50mg tablet has no dye) since I am on .125 mg, I take two and split the other in half twice. My test came back within range again, I felt a little better but not quite. Doc then prescribed the T3 cytomel .05 very small dose and told me to play with it. find my dose, if I did better, he would up the dose. BUT the T3 caused me to crawl out of my skin again. So we withdrew it. —Is it possible for a thyroid patient who still has their thyroid NOT need a T-3? Could my thyroid still be making it? And since I do have the high antibodies indicating an allergy (wheat) wouldnt that be the reason for my thyroid malfunction? By decreasing the wheat and grains, I could possible look into deceasing meds (doctor approved of course) does that happen? As for the iodine. I tried using kelp tablets and the iodine makes me break out something terrible. I then try to take fish oil gels for the omega-3, and they have iodine in them as well, it causes face and chest to break out terribly. Could I just be getting to much Iodine with the Synthroid AND kelp tablets?
    Also, do you know if there could just be a Reverse T-3 uptake problem, what would cause that?
    Thanks for listening.
    Connie

  20. Tracey Zwozdesky says:

    Have been hypothyroid since my first baby (20 yrs. ago) and on medication all these years. Now I understand that if the Dr. would have waited a few months, I probably would not have been put on medication and my thyroid hormone may have leveled out. Anyhow, I am 48 yr. old female, have always struggled with weight loss despite following a clean diet, and exercising 4-6 times per week. My last blood work was:
    TSH 1.05
    T3 1.49
    T4 1.33
    In Canada, so don’t know if we show our lab numbers the same as the US, but hopefully you understanI tried taking iodine tablets last year, and my TSH skyrocketed to 8.57. I went off the iodine and it came back down. My question is whether or not I should try the supplementation with T3, and why the iodine had such an effect? I just started reading your blog, very interesting, and just ordered the Wheat Belly books. Plan to give gluten free a shot and see if it can kick start my weight loss. Over the last year and a half, have lost 40 lbs. with plenty of hard work and clean diet, but since December just cannot lose a thing. Tried increasing/decreasing calories, increasing type/frequency of workouts, eliminating all sugar. etc., etc., etc., but could definately use a second opinion. Also, I am either freezing all the time, or having hot flashes (menopausal), other than that I feel pretty good. Thanks in advance.