Companion Nutrients: The Key to Success on the Iodine Protocol


Iodine experts will state that to succeed on iodine supplementation, it’s recommended to prepare with companion nutrients to help counter the detox that iodine can cause.

The following informative Guest Blog Post was written by thyroid patient Jane. She is a mother and a member of the Weston Price Foundation. Years of battling a very painful disease, and experiencing the indignity and futility of mainstream medicine for managing chronic illness, led her to a path seeking true health, which included her use of iodine. Jane states: The iodine protocol has given me back my energy, cleared brain fog and erased the pain of fibrocystic breast disease. After extensive reading and over a year on the high iodine protocol, I’m personally convinced it is one of the best things you can do to help solve a wide range of major health problems, and ensure good health for many years to come.


The entire body uses iodine, not just the thyroid. Various tissues and organs are designed to concentrate large amounts which are necessary for their normal structure and function. Conversely, low iodine levels are associated with autoimmune thyroid disease, breast cancer, thyroid cancer, goiter and fibromyalgia, as well as cysts and nodules of the breast, thyroid and ovaries.

Iodine researchers Drs. Abraham, Brownstein and Flechas tested 35,000 people — and 96% are deficient in this nutrient!

So why do so many people state that they cannot take iodine due to a reaction?

The answers may lie with what are termed the “companion nutrients”, which was coined by Lynne Farrow of the Iodine Workshop group. Each of these nutrients are critical to the success of the Iodine Protocol, and thus is essential to the proper working of your body. Those companion nutrients are as follows:

  • Selenium (see note below): 200-400 mcg per day
  • Magnesium: 400-1200 mg per day
  • Vitamin C: 3,000-10,000 mg per day
  • Vitamins B2/B3 (ATP CoFactors): 100mg riboflavin and 500 mg no flush niacin, inositol hexanicotinate form, 1-2x per day
  • Unrefined Salt (Celtic): 1/2 tsp. or more per day

Note: the above amounts are recommended dosages given in the writings and lectures of the iodine researchers listed above. They are not to be used as medical advice. For your particular health concern, you should consult an iodine literate practitioner — one who uses high amounts of iodine in their practice regularly and has read the research published at and in Dr. Brownstein’s book “Iodine: Why You Need It, Why You Can’t Live Without It”.

Note about selenium from Janie Bowthorpe: it can be important to test your levels before getting on selenium. Because of the MTHFR mutation, some people can have high levels, and being on selenium can make that worse with side effects to match, such as hair loss and more.

Here are the reasons why each of the companion nutrients are so necessary:


  • high amounts of iodine without selenium induces AIT (Auto Immune Thyroiditis) and goiter.
  • selenium + iodine reduces goiter and inflammation of the thyroid gland.
  • selenium supplementation reduces TgAb that may be elevated by taking iodine.
  • TPOAb antibody levels were inversely associated with selenium levels (if you have high selenium, you have low antibodies and vice versa).
  • selenium + iodine increases the regulatory immune cells which prevent the development of autoimmune diseases.
  • necessary for the body to produce glutathione peroxidase, which detoxes pesticides, mercury, chlorine and bromide.

Analysis of the medical literature is clear: selenium plus iodine is the best combination for thyroid health. When iodine has been shown in studies to be damaging to the thyroid, it appears that concurrent selenium deficiency is the true culprit.

Not only that, if you are iodine deficient, selenium supplements “induce a dramatic fall of the already impaired thyroid function in clinically hypothyroid subjects“.

Therefore, if you are already hypothyroid, taking selenium supplements while iodine deficient will make you MORE HYPOTHYROID.

***Please note that Brazil nuts are not a reliable source for selenium. You have no way of knowing if the soil they are grown in is sufficient in this mineral.


  • necessary for over 300 enzyme reactions in the body.
  • along with 100mg of iodine per day, improves patients self reported fibromyalgia scores.
  • along with iodine, improves autoimmune goiter, atrophy and fibrosis.
  • essential for the production of ATP, which is used for maintaining body temps and as a source of energy.

The iodine researchers found that what leads to development of autoimmune thyroid disease (Hashimoto’s, Graves) is magnesium deficiency together with low iodine, low antioxidants, and high calcium. Sounds like a description of the standard modern diet, heavy on the dairy and processed foods, doesn’t it?

Vitamin C

  • heals the iodine transporter system which may be damaged by toxic halides.
  • aids cellular uptake of iodine.
  • key antioxidant that supports detox.

The iodine researchers found that some of their patients were excreting large amounts of iodine which was not being absorbed by the body. Since these patients had known iodine-deficiency disorders, the doctors’ theorized that that they couldn’t possibly be iodine sufficient. This was thought to be due either to a “defective cellular iodine transport system”, or due to a body load of large amount of environmental goitrogens such as fluoride and bromide that prevented the iodine from entering the cell. Clinical improvements in their symptoms, and enhanced iodine uptake, was reached with 3 grams (3000 mg) or more of vitamin C in sustained release form.

[Author Note: If sustained release is not available, I split my daily dose and take with breakfast, lunch and dinner. And I always take it with bioflavonoids such as amla, camu or acerola powder.]

Vitamins B2/B3 (ATP CoFactors)

  • supports production of adrenal hormones.
  • stimulates mitochondria to produce more energy.
  • aids proper oxidization of iodine in thyroid for AIT patients.
  • clears brain fog, chronic fatigue, pain and other symptoms associated with fibromyalgia.

It is no surprise that the protocol improves fibromyalgia. The “striated muscles contain 33% of the total body iodine”. If the muscles do not contain a high amount of the natural mineral iodine like they are meant to, it would make sense to me why they would not function well. Perhaps iodine deficiency is the key to the mystery of this disorder?

Unrefined Sea Salt

  • supports adrenals and reduces oxidative stress.
  • kicks bromide out of the body through the urine.
  • relieves symptoms of bromide detox.
  • helps get iodine into the cells via the NIS (sodium iodide symporter).

Unprocessed salt is a necessary nutrient for many reasons — but on the iodine protocol, it can also be a real life saver! The chloride in salt competes with bromide in the kidneys, so a person who is low in salt will hold on to more body-busting bromide. At 6-10 grams per day, salt can increase the urinary excretion of bromide by up to 10 fold!

Salt Loading Protocol — Optional

From Dr. Shevin, based on the U.S. Military’s salt IV protocol for bromide intoxication. Relieves side effects that can result from bromide detox such as headache, acne, fatigue, etc.

Drink 1/4-1/2 teaspoon unrefined salt dissolved in 1/2 cup warm water, then followed immediately with 12-16 oz pure water.

Repeat in 30-45 minutes if needed. May repeat again until copious urination begins, or until symptoms are relieved.

On a final note, if you are having reactions, try Pulse Dosing.

This means that taking a break from iodine, while continuing to take companion nutrients and salt each day, can allow your body to clear toxins more efficiently.

Recommended by Stephanie Buist ND if having reactions to iodine: Take iodine for 5 days with 2 days off while continuing to take the companion / supporting nutrients along with one of the other liver supporting products (such as Milk Thistle, Dandelion Root Extract, and Liver Cleansing products like Pure Zen Health TLC, Metagenics, Ultra Clear Plus.”

LAST NOTE FROM JANIE, site owner and hypothyroid/Hashi’s patient: Experiences over the years seem to underscore that Hashi’s patients may want to go low and slow with iodine to prevent any detox issues—the latter which can push antibodies up!


References and more information

The term “companion nutrients” was coined by Lynne Farrow!

Clinical results and research of Dr. Guy Abraham, Dr. David Brownstein and Dr. Jorge Flechas

Iodine and Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis by Mario Renato Iwakura — Part 1 & 2

Salt Your Way to Health by Dr. David Brownstein

Iodine Yahoo Group

Iodine 4 Health Facebook Group

STTM Iodine page, plus more in the Odds and Ends Chapter of the STTM book.

**Have you Liked the STTM Facebook page? It gives you daily inspiration and information!

Important note: STTM is an information-only site based on what many patients worldwide have reported in their treatment and wisdom over the years. This is not to be taken as personal medical advice, nor to replace a relationship with your doctor. By reading this information-only website, you take full responsibility for what you choose to do with this website's information or outcomes. See the Disclaimer and Terms of Use.

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321 Responses to “Companion Nutrients: The Key to Success on the Iodine Protocol”

  1. Robert

    Hi guys. I have been dealing with some health issues over the past 10 years & haven’t been able to overcome them. Most of my issues are gut related. A few months ago I went to see a gastroenterologist & after some tests I was told I suffer from delayed gastric emptying. A severe form of it is called gastroparesis. I also have Sibo.

    My main symptoms are lots of bloating, constant burping/belching, acid reflux, low stomach acid, no real appetite(although I can finish a full meal). I also have noticed that I have a slower heart rate lately, flaky skin, low mood, anxiety, low testosterone, slight dizziness/light headedness at times, memory problems at times.

    I did have my thyroid tested & my T4 free & T3 free were in normal range & TSH was slightly low according to the chart. My TSH was 0.44 mU/L & the chart said it should be 0.55 4.78 mU/L.

    Anyway, after doing loads of research I learned that low iodine can cause many of my symptoms including delayed gastric emptying, low testosterone, slow heart rate, memory issues, low mood, dry/flaky skin etc.

    I am a 41 year old, male & not overweight. I started taking Magnesium 500mg per day about a month ago & I’m also taking berberine & neem powder for the sibo.

    I came across this article & saw that when taking Iodine it’s advisable to take the companian supplements like magnesium, selenium, vitamin C etc. Based on my symptoms, would you recommend that I start taking Iodine plus all the other companion supplements or should I just start taking Iodine on its own? Also, what dosage or dosages should I start with? I haven’t seen anyone mention when the companion supplements should be taken & if it can all be taken together or should it be taken apart & also how much Iodine should I start with, how much should I increase it to & over what period of time?

    Sorry for all the questions but I like to understand things fully before starting any new protocols. Thank you.

    • Janie Bowthorpe

      Being hypothyroid can cause low stomach acid. Low stomach acid can be the cause of your bloating and acid reflux. The free T3 and free T4 are not about being anywhere in the normal range, They are about “where” in the ranges they fall. Iodine is tested via the iodine loading test. Taking iodine causes you to detox.

  2. Lunarossa77

    hello i suffer from hashimoto’s thyroiditis i started the protocol since december i admit i didn’t take all the supplements right away, i’m still taking eutirox 75 my tsh jumped to 95. In addition to selenium, for two months I have added vitamin C 7 g a day in two doses, plus a vitamin B complex and magnesium chloride two cups a day. I take vitamin D 5000 u.i and k2 and ALA. I feel more energetic I have less anxiety, I rarely have tachycardia, I no longer have fibromyalgia pains but my hands and face swell so much, I know I have to add some movement like walking. Am I doing something wrong? What tests do I need to do to understand if I have any tired organs? I also struggle with periodontitis and would like to find my own healing path. Thanks for everything.

    • Janie Bowthorpe

      Hi. Based on 21 years now of patient experiences, we can surmise that your biggest problem is being on nothing but T4. Read this:

    • Peter C

      You say “ and magnesium chloride two cups a day”!! That can’t be right I have taken 1/2 tsp and even that can feel too strong sometimes. Where did you get that protocol from?

      • Janie Bowthorpe

        No, it’s probably not right for Lunarossa to say cups. I do know that some Europeans will often say they “drink” their meds. In the US, drink refers to a liquid. But it’s their term for taking something. Perhaps there is some different meaning for “cups”.

  3. Sally Wilkinson

    What do you do if you are sensitive to supplements and want to try the iodine protocol?

  4. joana

    Thanks for this wonderfull post.

    I would like to know if you have Dr John Myers fool protocol of lugol iodine on cervix for uterine fibroids.

  5. Kelly

    I need direction to get on the right track to health. In 2015 I was diagnosed with stage 4 ThyCa and upon wanting the large lump in the front of my neck removed the surgeon said that was not possible and they would need to remove my thyroid, remove ALL lymph nodes in my neck!, and I would also be required to have Radioactive Iodine treatment. I walked away and did many natural protocols and removed the large lump by using Black Salve. It took 5 months total and I endured a lot of pain to get the good final result. I had found and followed a very interesting forum by Stephanie Buist, but was still confused on what exactly i needed to do. She eventually said she needed to close down her site and spend time with family. Understandable. I did do some iodine intake, but I was not dumb and didn’t have thyroid blood tests run at that time.
    Fast forward to the middle of 2022. In June of 2022 I notice a goiter forming on the right side of my neck. It has become very large (fills my cupped hand) and I went back to my Chinese acupuncture/herbalist who has helped me with working on fixing my immune system and unclogging my digestive system (At age 3 (1963) I was diagnosed with Rheumatic Fever and hospitalized, given many Penicillin shots while hospitalized and then prescribed low dose Penicillin to take orally twice per day until age 18. My father stopped this prescription at age 12 (9 years), but only because we moved far away and he felt it was not really needed. I am not sure if this is a contributing factor to my thyroid dilemma in addition to causing the thyroid cancer I removed. I wanted to get back to the Iodine treatment but have really not found where I can get proper direction for my goiter and whatever other thyroid issues may be possible. I want to get rid of this gross goiter stat. I went to a neck surgeon about 5 weeks ago who was shocked at the goiter and told me it “is above my abilities” to which I said, “You’re a neck surgeon…” He said yes, but this is not usual and “You are too young to die, but it may be too late to save you.” His words did not affect me because I thought it almost comical that this highly trained surgeon was again, just like the one I saw in 2015. This surgeon also told me he’s concerned about my sanity, which was another very odd comment. What strange people we have in medicine these days!

    In reading on this site I see my Iodine supplementation needs to be different due to the large goiter or it can be made worse. Please help lead me. I will do what I need to do to get well. My husband and I have begun considering going all the way to Taiwan for surgery but really want to fix this issue properly and heal my body, not just remove a symptom, in addition to the very large cost making a trip like that would be.
    On January 5th, 2023 I had blood tests for Free T4 (1.1) T3, Free (2.5) TSH, High Sensitivity (2.05) I have had symptoms of thyroid problems my entire life but until I found Dr David Brownstein’s thyroid video in 2015 I never knew what to attribute them to.
    Thank you so much for your help,

    • Janie Bowthorpe

      Hi Kelly. If I personally was in your shoes, I would join as many iodine groups as there are, and see what others have learned for a situation like yours with now a large goiter. Also find out from others what doctor they are seeing, and if you can see any doctor remotely.

      Your labs show you to be quite hypothyroid.

      • Janie Bowthorpe

        Also, have you considered treating your hypothyroid state, as well? Staying hypo like that causes all sorts of other problems.

        • Kelly

          Hi Janie, Yes I will join iodine groups. Do you have recommendations for good ones?

          Also, I kinda thought iodine dosing was how to threat my hypothyroid state… what do I need to do for this differently? I am here to ask and learn. I thank you very much for your help and guidance.

          • Janie Bowthorpe

            It’s very rare for iodine alone to take away one’s hypothyroid state. Sure, there are some who say it did, but their frees show it hasn’t for most. So treating a hypothyroid state the right way helps a lot. We as patients have found that the right way is having T3 in one’s treatment and understanding this: But…you are hypo enough that you may have other problems that will need addressing, such as low iron and/or stressed adrenals. You could also have rising RT3, which is a problem. Here’s an informative page:

  6. serena

    Good day! I was wondering if one needs to take the companions supplements for life when taking iodine?
    Will we be able to overcome bromide toxicity will just iodine eventually? Thank you!

  7. Meg

    I have so many cherry angiomas, I read iodine can help. Do you know if this is true? Will these things go away if I follow this protocol?

  8. Kristin

    Is it possible to get optimal on just the iodine protocol? What would you recommend as a starting dose of Bladderwrack? Thank you for all your help!

    • Janie Bowthorpe

      There have been some who have stated that being on iodine helped them get off thyroid meds. But when we finally see their latest free T3 and free T4, they are in for a crash. They are still hypo.

      There has never been a standard dose of Bladderwrack. One site says to limit intake to no more than 2 cups a day or you might get too much iodine.

  9. Tina

    Can you take all of the companion supplements together with iodine?

  10. Shiro

    Is there an optimal ratio between the amount of iodine and selenium? For example, what’s the minimum quantity of iodine for 200 micrograms of selenium and vice versa? I currently take around 20 mg of iodine with 200 micrograms of selenium daily.

  11. Andrea

    I was wondering if anyone has any opinions of the Lugol’s formula sold by the Heiltropfen company in London?

    • Janie Bowthorpe

      The company seems to have good reviews.

    • MH

      I’ve been using it for a couple of years and I think it’s really great. I first found it on Ebay then on Amazon. They sell it in a big jug but I would recommend buying their dropper bottle first. It was only $10 a couple of years ago. Using that brand helped me overcome severe allergies to almost all fragrances real or artificial. It also helped with a breast cyst. I still have it but it doesn’t throb anymore and it’s much smaller.

  12. Brian Haviland

    Please add our Iodine group to your list. We recommend the Iodine Doctor’s Protocol and often refer members to your site and related groups. Thanks.

    Iodine Protocols Group… 

  13. Rachel

    So my natropath prescribed me Iodoral 12.5 about 6 months ago for a Iodine deficiency and I’ve been fine with them but I ran out of them about 4 days ago and yesterday I felt so so sick and very lethargic. Does anyone know if you get withdrawals from stopping this medication suddenly?

    • Janie Bowthorpe

      Iodine supplementation can, in some of us, result in needing slightly less thyroid hormones. So perhaps by stopping, it put you backwards into a hypothyroid state, especially if you never had T3 in your treatment (meaning you are only on T4), or were underdosed in the first place with your thyroid meds (meaning you were never optimal

  14. Trez

    I was taking 200mcg of potassium iodide on another protocol for roughly seven months along with selenium and my TPO raised to 4020. I felt good initially but then started developing sore aching throat so I stopped when realising TPO was high. I developed some cherry angiomas which I realised was probably detox bromide. Could the fact I wasn’t on the other companion nutrients be the reason for the high TPO or maybe because I was on such a low dose?

    • Janie Bowthorpe

      It’s definitely a possibility if not on the other companion nutrients. Plus when starting on iodine with also having Hashi’s, very important to go seriously low and seriously slow in raises, we have experienced as patients for years now.

  15. Chris

    How important are the Vitamins B2/B3? Is there something I can take instead? B complex gives me crazy anxiety…

  16. Chris

    Hello. I recently moved to a city that has fluorinated water and started after about a year having serious brain fog.

    I decided to get my iodine levels tested and I am deficient.

    I started taking a low dose of iodine (5mg) but get headaches and neck pain after a couple of days…

    I start to look sick (bags under eyes and dizziness) when taking more then 500 MG of vitamin c.

    And I get anxiety from B complex vitamins….

    Any idea why this might be?

    I am taking a full spectrum mineral (with 100 MG of selenium) and 150 mg of magnesium (more makes me drowsy in the morning)

    • Janie Bowthorpe

      For many, iodine use is about low and slow. Why? It starts detoxing you of Fluoride, Bromide and other toxins. I would personally start much lower than that, but that’s me. Also for me, I get terrible reactions if I take too much B6. So I have to also start really low, and find the highest amount I can take without the bad reactions. It turns out that too much B6 starts a VERY fast detox in me.

  17. Elizabeth Butterfield

    Can I get Luglows iodine in Australia? Is it suitable for Hyperthyroidism and Hashimotos?

    • Janie Bowthorpe

      If you can’t get Lugols in Australia, it can be ordered. Yes, suitable for either, but with Hashi’s, we do low and slow due to the detox it causes.

    • Stuart

      Yes, I bought some just last week. The brand I bought is David Craig. Just Google “Lugol iodine” and your location.

  18. Nicki

    Thank you for your great advice. I have a 6 year old client whose mineral results via an Oligoscan shows fluorine is too high while iodine low I would like to advise her mother how to adapt the salt protocol prior to giving iodine

    Your advice on age appropriate salting would be appreciated

    Thank you

  19. Kate

    Was wondering the difference between lugols and Nascent iodine please … which one would u recommend too please

    • Janie Bowthorpe

      From J.Crows:

      I have heard that nascent iodine may be better than regular iodine or potassium iodide. Is this true? What exactly is nascent iodine?

      Nascent Iodine is NOT the same as J.CROW’S® Lugol’s Solution, the original Lugol’s Solution. The term ” iodine ” actually describes a single atom of iodide bound to either another atom of iodide or to another compound. “Nascent iodine” was once used as simply another name for sodium iodide (an iodide atom bound to sodium). The term was then used by the American mysticist, Edgar Cayce, to describe a free form of iodine (i.e., a single atom of iodide unbound to any other atom) – apparently created by adding electromagnetic or another form of energy. However, when this free form of iodide is exposed to a positively charged ion, such as sodium or potassium, as it would be in a liquid supplement, it will bind with these to form sodium iodide or potassium iodide. Therefore, if you are buying a supplement promoted as “nascent iodine”, it is most likely sodium iodide or potassium iodide. Again, J.CROW’S® Lugol’s Solution is the original Lugol’s Solution containing iodine (I), potassium iodide (KI), and distilled water (H2O).

      There do not appear to be any published, placebo-controlled studies on “nascent iodine” for thyroid support or any other use.

  20. Shiro Misier

    Thank you for this thorough article, it was one of the better guides I’ve used since starting the iodine protocol.
    During the course of a year I built up to a dose of 50+ mg iodine and 200 mcg selenium in supplement form from selenomethionine with the rest of the co-factors. I maintained that for a while for the full detox effects and now I’ve tapered down to a maintenance dose of around 25 mg iodine with the same dose of selenium.
    I was wondering if there are any guidelines for the ratio between the amount of iodine and selenium, assuming there are no genetic mutatations like the MTHFR mutation.
    In my case for example: Should I still be taking the same amount of selenium (200mcg) for my current dose of 25 mg iodine even though it’s half of my previous dose of 50 mg iodine. Would 100 mcg suffice or should I keep it at 200 mcg? I don’t want to risk hypothyroidism.
    Thank you in advance!

  21. Johnny

    I have taken many times in past. First i tried iodoral, then lugols iodine and now iodoral again. I never had green/brown pee which apparently is sign of bromide, fluoride or chlorine coming out. I have taken iodine with selenium. I also took the cofactor many times but it seems that i have no effects to iodine. I thought maybe i am doing low dose, i have taken doses as high as 200-300mg for weeks but it seems i have no effect from it. I do fall asleep faster the day i take iodine. But i do not get any detox. Might i just be iodine sufficient? Because i do somewhat get cold hand/feet, taking iodine relieves it so i think i might not be iodine sufficient but no effects from iodine supplementation makes me think i might be sufficient. Am i missing something?

  22. DeAnna Eldridge

    After researching iodine deficiency, I did an at home iodine test by making a 3 inch square with 3 drops of iodine on the inside of my wrist. It completely disappeared within an hour. From what I read the quicker it disappears the more deficient you are, so I had my doctor do an iodine test. Although she argued that it was highly unlikely I was deficient, she did order one. Her nurse called me back a week later and told me to stay on the iodine supplement as I am iodine deficient. My question is do I take the nascent iodine or the lugol iodine? I started on 2000mcg of nascent iodine 3 weeks ago but now I’m seeing more mentioned about the lugol iodine and not sure if I should switch. I also didn’t realize what a small amount of iodine I am taking. What is the suggested starting dosage since I have hashimotos?

    • Janie Bowthorpe

      I would recommend joining a solid iodine group and getting feedback directly from them. Most of the time it’s lugol’s or iodoral that’s recommended. But there can be exceptions.

  23. Jennifer

    Ever since i got my period at the age of 12 years old i am now 28 and have had weight fluctuations, have been diagnosed with pcos due to insulin resistance, have also been diagnosed with primary hyperparathyroidism and i am having a hard time losing weight and growing back my once healthy hair. Could i take this product above and where would i purchase this as i live in canada. Thank you and god bless you.

    • Janie Bowthorpe

      Hi Jennifer. Do two searches for your peace of mind and to make a decision one way or the other:

      1) Iodine and PCOS
      2) Iodine and hyperparathyroidism

      There are several iodine supplements on Amazon and etc.

  24. Tina Beamer

    How much Iodine and what form should it be taken in for hyperthyroidism. I am purchasing all the correct supplements. I had a bad experience with a Doctor, who takes of extreme measures when God made everything we need. Please advise. And what form, pill or Lugols, and if Lugols, how many drops? Sorry for asking so much, I need to understand the proper way to achieve the best results.

    • Janie Bowthorpe

      If you mean you have Graves’ disease and are actively hyper right now due to it, start here and you’ll see mention of Elaine Moore, who is a Graves advocate and may be able to help:

    • Stefanie

      Hey Tina! I realize your post is a few years old… but for you or anyone else suffering from a hyperthyroid disorder…

      My husband was diagnosed with Grave’s Disease in January of this year (2022.) We believe he had it since May of 2021 (after getting the double Pfizer vaccine for COVID-19, but that’s a whole other story.) In those 8 months he had lost 50 pounds, including about 20 pounds of muscle. He was fatigued, muscularly weak, had sore joints, periodic stomach pains, high blood pressure and a high heart rate. He took a variety of supplements to help his Grave’s and went off gluten after finding out from a gut/stool test he had leaky gut. He also went off dairy after finding out from a food-sensitivity blood test he should not be eating that. These supplements helped mitigate all symptoms except halting and reversing the wasting away. We learned that a hundred years ago doctors would treat and cure Grave’s patients with high doses of iodine!

      In August of this year, he received the results of his 24-Hour Urine Loading Test from Hakala Labs and was deficient (which is anything less than a 90% excretion rate.) He began taking the companion nutrients (or adding in the ones he wasn’t already taking) and started on one drop of 2% Lugol’s Solution each day (in a smoothie) for a week. The next week he took 2 drops daily and kept titrating up by one drop each week. Almost immediately (at least within the first 2 weeks) he started to gain strength quickly and consistently every day that he was in the gym (roughly 4 days per week.) He also was gaining (muscle) weight for the first time in about 15 months. He’s up to over 50 mg of Lugol’s daily and in the past 4 months has gained 30 pounds of mostly muscle and has all his strength back! Iodine has been nothing short of a miracle for him. 🙂

  25. Skylar

    I would like to ask how do you take the companion nutrients?
    I read the books, watched youtube videos, read many articles and not even one mentions the order of taking these nutrients!
    For example, Vitamin C should not be taken at the same time as Iodine, but then there all the other nutrients, are they to be taken in the morning, evening, with food, no food…there is certainly an appropriate way of taking it, but there is no information about that,
    Would you kindly shed some light on the subject?

    Thank you.

    • Janie Bowthorpe

      These are good questions but you may get better answers by joining this:

    • Bree

      From: Stephanie Buist ND
      5. When should I take my supplements?
      a. Iodine should be taken with food. This seems to enhance absorption as well as
      protecting sensitive stomachs from a potential upset.
      b. The supporting nutrients can be taken with iodine and with food. There is no
      spacing or timing required. Some believe it is necessary to take Vit C separate
      from Iodine supplements. This has not been proven to be necessary as many
      have had success taking them together, so it is the individual’s choice as to what
      they do.
      c. Iodine should be taken earlier in the day (before 2 pm) because for some it
      increases energy so much that they are unable to sleep.

  26. v-rachen

    I’m a 43 year old male (pre-diabetic). During my regular annual check up, my T4 (Free direct) was 1.49 and TSH was 1.620. Iodine, serum was 38. Doctor has started me on Iodine protocol of 12.5 mg per day along with Selenium and Vitamin D3, C etc. So far its been 6 days. I sense some feeling in neck and have little cough(have to clear). Its not serious enough, but I’m worried. May be that I’m reading a lot on Iodine overdose and imagining things?. Should I be worried?

    • Janie Bowthorpe

      12.5 is definitely not overdosing. It’s small. But if you have Hashi’s, it could be making your antibodies worse due to the natural detox that iodine will cause with fluorides, cholorides, bromides, etc. Stresses make Hashi’s worse. So you have to go even lower and slower.

      • v-rachen

        Thanks for the fast response. I didn’t know about Hashi’s and just googled. I don’t have Hashi’s. Let me check with my doctor about reducing dosage. One last question, if at all if I decide to stop Iodine, how long should i take Selenium?

        I wonder why there are lot of scaring articles about taking Iodine more than 1 mg.

        • Janie Bowthorpe

          Sorry this didn’t go up sooner. I must have missed it!! I took selenium for over 20 years! Then found it slightly above range, so got off. Only recently starting it again. 🙂

          Iodine scares people to death. Opinions.

  27. Viola

    What would be the best strategy if iodine caused a Hashi flare up and pushed FT4 and Ft3 down (below range) and TSH way up(over 100)? It was totally my mistake, took iodine (50mg) for 6 months without being consistent with the companion nutrients. Big mistake, lesson learned 🙁 I felt great on iodine, my brain fog cleared up, energy came back, sleep became amazing, but then I had a very stressful January and my panic attacks, anxiety and air hunger came back from one day to the other. Is there anything I can do to turn things around? 1. Should I take take a break from iodine and work on the companion nutrients for 1-2 weeks and then reintroduce iodine? or 2. continue with iodine making sure that I take the companion nutrients as well 3. there is no hope, I need to see an endo and start thyroid meds. (I was never put on meds before as my numbers were never ‘bad enough’ for a referral.) Thank you!

    • Janie Bowthorpe

      Honestly not sure that all Hashi’s patients should go that high, in spite of recommendations to do so. There is just too much risk that it will cause flairs in some Hashi’s patients, even if some are fine. So staying lower for awhile may still give benefit. I personally go no higher than 12.5 mg and do quite well. 50 mg harmed me.

      But in your case, what happened to you may be more about your adrenals, i.e. panic attacks, anxiety, etc. Having either high or low cortisol due to stress will make you more hypo. If those symptoms are still here, might want to consider a saliva cortisol test–2 then compare the results to what you see on this page:

      • Viola

        Thanks Janie! I’ll give the lower dose a try, this time with all the companion nutrients and see if things’ll settle.

  28. Gina

    I am taking a thyroid suppliement with 150mcg of iodine, 400 selenium and ashwaganda and other herbs in it. I have been taking it along with my dose of NDT which was 120mg. I started getting terrible palps and insomnia so I cut back my dose of NDT to 60mg. This morning I woke with a headache. I’ve been on this supplement for over a week and I’m finally getting relief of my constipation and have lost some weight. I’m wondering if I’m experiencing a detox from this? My doctor says I don’t need iodine and shouldn’t supplement. He won’t test me because he says there’s no need as long as I’m eating eggs and fish which I am. I’m so confused. Should I stop taking this supplement?

    • Janie Bowthorpe

      If the palps and insomnia weren’t there before the iodine, and are there afterwards, might want to try a lower dose of iodine.

      • Ron Laukaitis

        I’ve had heart Palpitations due to dehydration and when I need magnesium. I also get anxiety. I’ve read where iodine needs magnesium and selenium to assist it’s uptake. I’m still learning about iodine. I just had a reaction to Iodoral 12.5 with 200 my selenium. I got red bumps and itching on my back. That was one day taking it. I had the flu and waited a few weeks and resumed the dose. All was great. More energy, cool. I decided to double the dose of Iodoral to 25mg around noon on in the following Monday. I was cleaning around the house like a madman. 3:30 comes, and I’m feeling off and anxious. 4:30 my girl comes home and said I look pale. I went to the clinic, and nothing wrong, all good. I’ll resume Monday with the 12.5. I love the energy I got. I know I need the iodine. I bet both reactions are just detox.

    • brenda daniels

      You can also get your own testing done. Life Extension ( has testing that you purchase, they will also evaluate your results but will not make recommendations.

    • 3qm

      What about B2/B3? Are u taking with iodine?

    • Stefanie

      Hi Gina! You can order your own 24-Hour Urine Loading Test from Hakala Labs. If your excretion rate comes back less than 90%, you are iodine deficient. Start on ALL companion nutrients and then add in 1 drop of 2% Lugol’s Solution each day for a week. Take 2 drops per day the next week…and so on.

  29. Teresa Hobbs


    I’ve been on 7.5 mg of Iodine for over a year. I take Selenium, magnesium and have been a heavy Salter for years due to adrenal fatigue. I had a massive adrenal collapse 3 years ago and am slowly coming back. I’ve done well on this 7.5 mg dose (I’m not in a stable enough place to do the iodine protocol) but I recently had an iodine swab test where I absorbed it in 3 hours rather than the 18 they said was normal. The following 3 days after I was swabbed (I don’t know the amount in the solution) I added 1 extra drop over 3 days. By the 4th day, I was experiencing hyperthyroid symptoms (racing heart, pacic, extreme heat like a hot flash). I backed off the iodine for a few days but each time I add a drop back, the symptoms return. Now, 2.5 weeks later, I had a lighter than normal period, I’m still hot, my adrenals have crashed and I’m still having episodes of heart racing.

    I’ve assumed that my body will adjust back after giving it a break from the iodine. I wanted to know if this was common. It happened to me a year ago when I was experimenting with the iodine protocol and got to 12.5 mg/day. I backed off iodine for over a month and eventually was able to add it back in. I’m a bit nervous after this episode and just wanted to know what you have seen with others and perhaps your take on what is happening.

    Thanks so much!


    • Janie Bowthorpe

      In all probability, what you are experiencing with iodine is the detox of toxins like fluoride, bromide and etc. Thus if adrenals are already challenged, you probably need to be on something like adrenal cortex.

      • Teresa

        Hi Janie! Thanks for responding. I am currently on adrenal cortex, licorice and a whole adrenal glandular. At my worst, I was on massive doses of all of that plus Cortef. I’ve managed to reduce to a level of support for now but this just seemed to toss me off kilter.

        I found out at this same appointment that I have 4 massive cavitations above where I had my wisdom teeth pulled 18 years ago. This is most likely the main culprit of stress that has been undiagnosed until now. I have plans to get these fixed in October and after that, I hope to be stable enough to detox and start the iodine protocol.

        It’s interesting to note that detox reactions mimic hyperthyroid symptoms. I think I read that in Brownstein’s book but I don’t own a copy so couldn’t refer back.

        I just wanted to make sure that I didn’t break my thyroid! Thanks for your feedback.

        • Janie Bowthorpe

          Really not a good idea to be on a glandular–because it’s the entire gland, it’s also giving you adrenaline, which you probably make too much of as it is. Better to be on just straight ACE. And even so, it’s important to be doing your Daily Average Temps to find your right amount. This is mentioned in Chapter 5 and 6 in the revised STTM book.

          Licorice is more for slightly low aldosterone. But also know it can lower your potassium, which can push BP up eventually, so you’ll need to be on that with it.

        • Hélène

          How do u fix a cavitation? I have lost many teeth over the yrs.

    • Eva

      How long are you supposed to take the companion supplements?

  30. Heidi

    Hi again Janie, thanks so much for your previous responses. I’ve been on the iodiñe @ 50 mgs for three weeks now and doing great because I am taking the companion supplements. But today I started to have vaginal bleeding, and I am wondering if the iodiñe is waking up my hormones. I am a 56 yr old post menopausal woman in good health, so I have to assume it’s the iodiñe doing it. Should I cut back temporarily on my dosage? I feel so good on the iodiñe minus a few detox symptoms- but my sleep and my digestive issues are better than they’ve ever been. I’d like to continue with the iodiñe. Maybe I’ve just reached sufficiency already.

  31. Ella

    Hi – I’m trialling the protocol with companion nutrients and salt flushing – so far I’ve seen a significant improvement in energy, cognitive function, body temperature and even breathlessness. I feel like I’m waking up after walking through treacle. My only problem after some initial side effects is I my digestive system won’t tolerate high dose Vit C. What’s the minimal daily dose I need please? Many thanks

    • Janie Bowthorpe

      Hi Ella. It’s just a matter of starting low…slowly raising…and once an amount causes problems, go back down to the amount that didn’t. 🙂

  32. Hannah

    Hello, I have a client with hashimotos with low iodine levels 47mcg/L (range 100-199). I am keen to use the Lugol’s iodine protocol along side the supporting nutrients. However, her blood tests have shown elevated selenium of 193 ug/L (range 65-150). Before coming to see me she has previously been supplementing with 185mcg Se a day and eating brazil nuts daily. Can I safely use the iodine protocol without supplementing Se alongside it? I was considering recommending a multi-vitamin which contains 55mcg Se (and lots of the supporting B vits). Would this be sufficient or is 200-400mcg Se/day still needed? Any advise you can offer is much appreciated. Many thanks

    • Janie Bowthorpe

      We always have to decided if the high selenium is due to taking too much, or due to the mthfr mutation. But we do surmise that none at all may be fine if someone has been supplementing up to this point and selenium is high…or if there is suspicion it’s high due to not being broken down for use due to a methylation issue, just a small amount.

      • Heidi

        Hi Janie, I have started on 12.5 mgs of iodiñe a day and am doing fine. I’ve been eating 5 Brazil nuts a day for a week with my iodiñe. I want to increase my dosage now to 25 mgs of iodiñe a day. I do have the mthfr mutation. What should I do about the selenium issue? Should I take a smaller dose or not take it at all? Thanks!

        • Janie Bowthorpe

          Is your selenium level high? Having an MTHFR mutation doesn’t always mean your selenium will go too high, even if for others, it does.

          • Heidi

            No I don’t think my selenium level is high.About the companion supplements- I read on another website that taking vit c with iodiñe cancels out the iodiñe. Is this true? I don’t have time released vit c. I guess I should just take supplements away from the iodiñe in the morning? Also is it ok to take the selenium at the same time as the iodiñe?

          • Janie Bowthorpe

            Might want to do research on that. There is lots of research and articles that show Vitamin C enhances the iodine, not cancels it out. Yes, people have taken selenium with iodine without any negative issues.

    • Hannah

      Thanks for your response. That’s useful to know.

  33. Janice

    I bought Lugol’s nascent iodine 20% solution to treat thyroid nodules. I don’t know how much to use. Directions say one vertical drop equals 0.05g. I also suffer with severe muscle and joint pain inflammation. Can you help me decide on the drop dosage? Thanks.

  34. Tiur

    Hello everyone,

    Am so glad finding this site ! You guys are very informative ! Now I have an egg-sized fibroadonema in my right breast, 5 cm big. Also I’m having menorraghia for this 2 months. I believe it has something to do with my mineral deficiency like Iodine, magnesium, selenium etc. This ailments torture me ! Where can I find about my ailments in this site? This time I’m consuming Blackstrap molases which is rich in mineral. I also take ACV, VCO, Cayenne pepper and baking soda. So pls help me to get out of this ailments. Thank you.

  35. Karen M

    I am currently hypothyroid and taking 2 grains of NatureThroid daily. My doctor wants me to take Iodine CoFactors to help protect me against breast cancer and other issues from low iodine. Does that mean I only take the CoFactors and not the the Selenium, etc? I already take Magnesium every day, Vitamin C and D3. My family has a history of Graves Disease. I am a little concerned about taking the Selenium after what I read about it causing issues with hypothyroid.

    Selenium (see note below) — 200 — 400 mcg per day
    Magnesium — 400 — 1200 mg per day
    Vitamin C — 3,000 — 10,000 mg per day
    Vitamins B2/B3 (ATP CoFactors) — 100 mg riboflavin and 500 mg no flush niacin, inositol hexanicotinate form, 1-2x per day
    Unrefined Salt (Celtic) — 1/2 tsp. or more per da

    • Janie Bowthorpe

      Well, a lot of us take selenium without issue unless testing shows it to be too high…usually due to a MTHFR mutation.

      • Carol K

        Janie, on recent blood work, my B-12 was extremely high…do you know if this could be due to MTHFR? I am heterozygous C677t. Thanks.

        • Janie Bowthorpe

          Yes, it definitely can be. You may need folate to help get it down.

          For me, I had high B12 with only one copy of 1298, but my issue wasn’t that. I had low methionine, and once I got on that, plus treated my stress with adaptogens, down it came.

  36. Joy C.

    I’ve been searching here to see if anyone here has experienced the side effects I am going though now. After taking the skin test for Iodine deficiency, I bought Lugol’s 2%. I started with 5 drops (12.5mg) per day, 1/2 tsp Celtic salt, 200mcg (methylated?) selinium, and 3000mg Vitamin C. I was fine for almost two weeks, then woke up one day and was covered in welts/hives. My lip was swollen so badly. I went to Urgent Care (local emergency in my area) and the dr gave me an injection(some sort of cortisoid) to be followed for 5 days with prednisone. He said our bodies require very little iodine and we get all we need from food. I hear that from my primary doctor also, which is why I am doing this on my own. After 5 days (with a few flare ups) I think I’m back to normal. I want so badly for this to work so I am taking a break for one month and will try again. Should I consider Nascent brand of iodine? I read it is more gently absorbed. Also, the dr suggested I might be allergic to iodine, but I believe I dosed too high, too fast. I do have MTHFR (1298C) and take methylated vitamins also. When I try again, should I change brands, or stick with Lugol’s 2% but start with 1 drop a day for 3 weeks and gradually build. Doing it this way, would I need to salt also? I appreciate any advice as I want to take this slower so my body doesn’t react like this again. I am female, 63 years old. Thank you!

    • Janie Bowthorpe

      Hi Joy. I would join iodine groups and get their feedback. Two are listed on this page:

      • Gina

        I recently had my iodine tested at Hakala Labs and it showed that I did not uptake any iodine. I then ordered the NIS test and it showed a serious symporter idefect. My doctor wants me to take 50 mg of iodine a day along with the same recommendations above. I noticed after the first few days on 50mg I was waking up with anxiety and depressed, not unlike my Hashi symptoms. I am currently not taking any thyroid medication as T4 alone made my hyper within a few days so I stopped it. I want my life back. I follow an AIP diet, take lots of supplements and have made appointment with a Functional Medicine Nurse but I am not sure she knows much about the symporter defect. Should I just tough out the depression and anxiety and continue the iodine? I may have a Adrenal issues as any kind of exercise bring on anxiety about 12-24 hours later. Frankly, I am such a mess I am not sure of where to start.

        • Janie Bowthorpe

          Gina, if T4 made you hyper, time to evaluate your iron levels with ALL four iron labs, and your cortisol levels with a 24 hour adrenal saliva test…all based on years of reported patient experiences and wisdom. Start here: And once you discover one or both are problematic, you correct them and use Natural Desiccated Thyroid anyway, NOT T4.

          • Gina

            I really appreciate you taking the time to answer my post. Thank you so much! I will have theses test taken at my upcoming appointment.

      • Gina

        I recently had my iodine tested at Hakala Labs and it showed that I did not uptake any iodine. I then ordered the NIS test and it showed a serious symporter idefect. My doctor wants me to take 50 mg of iodine a day along with the same recommendations above. I noticed after the first few days on 50mg I was waking up with anxiety and depressed, not unlike my Hashi symptoms. I am currently not taking any thyroid medication as T4 alone made my hyper within a few days so I stopped it. I want my life back. I follow an AIP diet, take lots of supplements and have made appointment with a Functional Medicine Nurse but I am not sure she know much about the symporter defect. Should i just tough out the depression and anxiety and continue the iodine? I may have a Adrenal issues as any kind of exercise bring on anxiety about 12-24 hours later. Frankly, I am such a mess I am not sure of where to start.

  37. Hheyymom

    I have Graves Disease and my Dr. keeps wanting me take iodine supplements however when I have done so, my throat gets aggravated and I\’m trying to clear it constantly and its swells. I still take 200mg of selenium, 600mg of Mag Citrate and 1000mg of vit. C daily. Is there something else I should take or do you recommend staying off the iodine? Thx you.

  38. Helen O

    Hi hashis here but not yet on any thyroid meds. Read somewhere and for the life of me I can’t remember where (i’m usually good with my filing!) That either (a) I should start thyroid meds for a month or so before introducing the iodine protocol or (b) I should start the iodine protocol for a month or so before introducing the thyroid meds… Clearly it’s probably important to do it the right way round, if there is a recommendation one way or the other. Does anyone recall such advice? Many thanks!

  39. Cathy Leonard

    I\’ve been on the Wilking Protocol, (which mirrors the supplements above) for 2 mo. Started adding 2-3 drops of 2% Lugols and felt loopy, achy – so was advised to stop and pulse dose. One week later, same dose added and felt like my neck swelled, trouble swallowing and terrible neck and headache – they recommended read this article. Trying to figure what\’s going on. Anyone have this problem. I have The Iodine Crisis on order and have not ordered Brownstein\’s book, but really believe iodine is the missing link now. (I am 65, stopped Prilosec 3 mo. ago, low gluten diet, pescatarian, no eggs, no dairy (for the most part) gallbladder out 2 yrs ago – otherwise very good health.

  40. Kerri

    For quite some time, I have been the most stable I’ve ever been, physically, emotionally, mentally, etc. Starting at age 8, my health deteriorated slowly, until around 19-20, I was in bed for days at a time. At around 24, I wised up and saw an NP regularly, and gradually started to heal my body. Now, at 28, I am able to work nearly full time, go out for low key socialization, and have enough energy to be productive at home most days. I have been on Naturethroid, a very high quality multivitamin specific to my unique needs, as well as use targeted herbs for natural treatment if I get sick or have an extraneous issue. Recently, I have finally gotten the gumption to push forward and see how much better I can feel. Compared to previous years, I would be satisfied just staying as-is for the rest of my life, but I have been curious about working up to supplementing iodine since reading the first STTM; in the last year or so, I’ve had two medical professionals suggest I now have a goiter, so that is part of my motivation to start the protocol.

    In any case, for the last three weeks, I have been gradually adding in each of the companion nutrients, starting with Magnesium, then ATP Cofactors, now adding Acerola powder vitamin C (my multivitamin already has the required amount of Selenium).

    Within a week of starting the “companions”, I noticed my stool evened out significantly, sometimes using the restroom two times/day for “#2”. For a few days, it was relatively green. As of this morning, however, there was bright red in my daily morning bowel movement. I’m really hoping this isn’t TMI, but it was sudden enough that it concerns me. Is it possible that my system was just that toxic, that even the companion nutrients would cause such strong detoxing as to cause bleeding…???

  41. Carol

    Thank you Janie. I presume you are based in US, do you know of anyone with this sort of knowledge and experience in Australia? Preferably Western Australia, if possible. At last I can put a little salt back into my diet too!

  42. Janie

    Hi Janie:

    I have Hashimoto’s and I’m a natural nut as well. I take Armour, 1 tiny drop of liquid iodine (150 mcg), adrenal support and NAC twice daily. This is the protocol for my Hashimoto’s. I feel pretty good with 7 hours of sleep daily. Less than that can drain me though. I’ve learned to eliminate stress as much as possible. I don’t eat gluten and I’m pretty healthy. I wanted to know what your thoughts would be on including Celtic Sea Salt into my diet? I’m already taking the liquid iodine daily (which is from kelp). I heard great things about Celtic Sea Salt.

    I have thyroid disease eyebrows with very little there any more and I can’t get them to grow back. I know Celtic Sea Salt contains natural traces of iodine. Anyway, your thoughts would greatly appreciated.

    Your blog is awesome. Keep up the good work. I have a blog for those with older dogs and I teach people how to use natural methods for their old friend (herbs, etc.). If you want to take a look, it’s called

    Thank you for any help.

    Janie Knetzer

    • Janie Bowthorpe

      If your sodium levels are low, any salt is fine, actually! Or you can use Celtic Sea Salt just to salt your food, even if your sodium levels aren’t low.

  43. Cindy

    Maybe I am confused, but I have had an allergic reaction to an iodine contrast in the past. Does this mean I am allergic to the iodine suggested in this article or is iodine contrast completely different. I’d like to buy the book but would like the answer to this first. Have adrenal fatigue and Fibromyalgia, low blood pressure (90/60) and heart rate (50), no real diagnosis on the hypothyroidism but I take 1/2 grain naturethroid daily along with many supplements. Crazy fatigue that won’t stop, painful lump in my armpit for 6 months. No doctor can figure this out.

  44. Ivanna

    Hi Janie,
    Like so many people here I’m trying to get to the bottom of my Hashi’s. And have to do this on my own as for about 10 years now I’m being ignored by doctors. I’m trying to order Adrenal Stress Test via that you reccomended and it redirects me to Genova Diagnostics. When I called them to order the test they said that I need to give them number of the account that you hold with them… only then I can go through with ordering test…
    Can you explain it? Unless I missunderstood something. They are the cheapest, and with all the supplements and test’s that I’ve done (and will no doubt ‘ll have to do again) it puts a lot of pressure on our allready strained budget.

  45. Shauna

    I am clinically undiagnosed but have expected I am hypo for years…..cold (live in the tropics) low body temp (1-1.5 degrees f), low pulse, low blood pressure…..main issue is weight irregularity +/- 40lbs…I have lots of energy but when I checked possible symptoms, saw I had several. I expect I have low iron as well.
    A friend mentioned the possibility of an iodine deficiency. I don’t have access where I am to get tested.
    Is there a simple starting place? I had some ideas, but the more I read, the more complex it has become to the point I am nervous to try any supplements.
    I am making dietary changes to help increase iron, B vits, iodine (I eat a very healthy diet…no junk)
    Thanks for shedding some light and perhaps a starting point

  46. Tammy

    i started detoxadine about a month ago. 10 gtts per day. Along with 200 mg selenium, 15 sprays of magnesium oil per day, 3000 mg vit c, 4000 mg vit D, 2 caps milk thistle, I have been on sublinguinal methyl B 12 for about 2 yrs. Then on Saturday (3 days ago ) I started lugols 5% at 8 drops per day. and the ATP cofactors. I was losing my hair bad for yrs until I started washing my hair a month ago with baking soda. My TSP went from 3 in Fall of 2015 to 4 in spring 2016. But all numbers WNL. I have fibromyalgia and the fatigue etc that accompanies it. I noticed about the time I started the lugols (maybe a day or so before, not sure) that I started having some vaginal burning. My weight also continues to rapidly go up. a few lbs a week. I also eat plant based. Whats going on? I assume I need to continue the iodine, but I cant afford to gain more weight. I did a 30 day juice fast jan 2015 an lost 30 and later lost 10 more. I went from 225 to 183.5, but now back up to 199 on a 5’6″ frame. I did take the 1/2 tsp Real salt in warm water today. I also started brushing my teeth with baking soda about a month ago.

  47. Amy

    I an on levothyrocine 100mcg and have stable levels, but I had my thyroid removed due to a nodule that was cancerous. Is this something I should consider? Does it work for people with no thyroid?

  48. Heidi

    I want to start to take iodine again. More regularly.But I found out(after being tested) I have that MTHFR mutation you mentioned. I take folate supplementation for that. I do take a low dose of Iodoral (6.25) off and on, as well as selenium (maybe 3 x’s a week) I also take B vitamins, but not every day. I also take at least 3,000mg of liposomal vitamin C every day. I also take 400-800 magnesium a day.Should I stop taking the selenium since I have the MTHFR mutation, and just take the iodoral? Or just take the selenium maybe 2 x a week along with the Iodoral every day? I want to be able to take iodine more regularly. Thanks!

    • Janie Bowthorpe

      What informed folks with MTHFR seem to do is test their selenium levels to see if they are high or not already. Or, if they aren’t high, and they get on selenium, they retest it in a few months to see if the MTHFR caused it to go high…or not. The funny thing is that the MTHFR mutation seems to affect each person differently as to what metal will be high vs what will not be.

      • Heidi

        Thank you for your prompt reply! Guess I’ll have to have my selenium levels checked.

  49. Sarah

    Not to be super negative but I was feeling empowered and was just about to order the iodine as suggested for hypothyroid and then I read this article. So……..back to square one again with more tests that I don’t have the time to convince my Dr to order….otherwise, I may cause myself MORE damage? I feel even more helpless after reading this information. I also feel like have to be a scientists to try any supplements without harming myself. No wonder Dr’s won’t help, theres too many catch twenty two’s.

    • Fritzie

      I hear you. I’ve just been reading this page for the first time, and it’s overwhelming. I feel I’ll have to spend the rest of my life in med school. But surely we will be able to get past this feeling. (?)

      • LBCgirl

        It can definitely be overwhelming! I have spent many hours pouring over the website, books and other sources. But what I would highly recommend to anyone is go to the drop-down on the STTM site that says “Doctors.” On the “How to Find a Good Doc” link there is a link to a Yahoo group. Join that group and you will have access (under “Files”) to “The Good Doctor List.” Hopefully there is one is your area. They are not resistant to getting the level of testing you really need! And they will partner with you in your journey to get healthy. It’s invaluable to me to have the support of a medical practitioner.

  50. Donna Looper

    I was recently diagnosed with Dermatitis Herpetiformis, an autoimmune disease of the skin. Sometimes people with celiac disease also have DH, however, my bloodwork came back negative for celiac. My doctor suggested a strict gluten free diet to start and may consider an antibiotic (Dapsone) if the rash does not go away with the diet change. I have been doing some research of my own, of course and was wondering if you could tell me anything about how extended use of Vitamin B2 at a high dose (400mg/day) might effect skin issues, autoimmune issues, etc? I was directed by a neurologist about 6 years ago to try B2 for migraines. I have found that if I miss it for 1-2 days, I end up with a migraine. I have tried to alter my diet so that I can consume more riboflavin naturally, however, it never seems to be enough without the supplement. Can you tell me anything about B2? It’s relationship to iodine? Their possible relationship with skin problems or autoimmune issues? Thanks!

  51. Christina

    A while back I was taking Iodoral and worked my way up to 4 tabs without selenium, I developed extreeeemly dry skin, unusual dry skin that no amount of lotion would soften, it was very uncomfortable. Does that sound like common response? That’s really the only negative symptom I remember and it was so extreme. I stopped the iodoral, then added selenium while still not on iodoral. It did improve and I eventually stopped taking selenium because 1) I wasn’t ready to add iodoral back in and 2) I wasn’t sure I should continue to take selenium without iodine. Is it okay to take selenium without iodine? I know you shouldn’t take iodine without selenium, but should you also not take selenium without iodine. Thank you.

  52. Ann

    I have been taking iodine for the past year along with all of the companion nutrients. Vitamin C however, I can only take in small amounts (250mg) because of an oxalate issue. the vitamin C converts to oxalate crystals and causes me problems. Is there anything else I could take that would serve the same purpose.

    • Janie Bowthorpe

      Astaxanthin is said to be an antioxidant six times more powerful than Vit. C. 🙂

      • Ann

        Thanks. I will give it a try.

      • Ryan E

        So is Astaxanthin technically Vitamic C? I ask because you need the vitamin C to help the transportation of iodine, therefor I’m curious if Astaxanthin will do the same as Vitamin C when it comes to helping iodine absorption. Or is it something completely different?

  53. Melissa Hendricks

    I’m very allergic to iodine. Is there any other way I can substitute for this

  54. Nand kishore asnani

    Hi, do you have any an integrated medicine practice speicialising in thyroid ,autiinmune,hormonein barcelona or any city in spain please let me know.thanking you in advance.
    Nand kishore asnani

  55. Mel

    Hi, I’m so confused….my thyroid was taken out…I’m on 150 of armor thyroid ….2000 in of d…..and a b12 shot every other week….and estrogen … I still feel lousy, tired all the time. Can this help me? What tests should I ask for? Thanks in advance!

  56. Caroline

    Can you get the same results if you use Himalyan salt in place of sea salt to remove bromides or halides?

  57. Veronique

    thanks a lot!

  58. Veronique

    1) For the Vitamin C, does it need to be taken as a supplement or is via Food OK (I eat lots of fruit in the morning)

    2) Regarding the selenium for hashi patients, I am currently taking selenium 3 times a week (reason: I took it first daily, then my level was rather high and overdose can be harmful), is that fine? I mean if my selenium is sufficient, can I start with the Iodine?

    3) There is no doctor here I could find that is knowledgeable on iodine, can I start this on my own, taking iodine?

  59. Guy

    Hi – investigating iodine for headaches/energy (for me) and later for autism (for my son).

    For the supporting nutrients –

    SELENIUM – Thorne do a selenomethionine that looks good, but it doesn’t have an L in front of it. Is selenomethionine the same as L-selenomethionine??

    MAGNESIUM – Would magnesium Oil be a good alternative?

    VITAMIN C – I understand that ascorbic acid is actually very harmful to the body. If a natural and whole form of Vitamin C is taken instead (e.g. Camu Camu powder), which I understand is also MUCH better absorbed by the body, would a lower dose suffice?

    B-VITAMINS – Are these as important for non-AIT patients? I have seen these listed as optional elsewhere.

    DOSAGE – the dosages listed are for 25mg of iodine per day. If I start with less iodine, should I also start with less supporting nutrients?

    Thanks for any advice.

    • Janie Bowthorpe

      The written use of “Selenomethionine” is the same thing as l-Selenomethionine. Some do lIke magnesium oil..I personally got tired of the way it stung and felt like supplements worked better for me anyway. The claims about ascorbic acid vs. natural appear to be over-blown: The B-vitamins, especially B2 and B3, are still important, and no about less.

      • Guy

        Thank you for these very clear responses. It makes sense about the ATP – I just read what you wrote about them giving energy and clearing brain fog and fatigue, and this is exactly what I need. I will take 2 a day. I have just ordered all the co-factors (mostly from Thorne – I also found a good trace mineral product from them which contains selenium, but also several others in a highly absorbable form, so I guess 2 of these a day will be enough – I already get over 300mg magnesium through oil, but will take a pill as well. I have ordered Camu-Camu powder, and will take enough to get 3g Vit C.

        I found a good and very strong Buffered vit C from Thorne, which also includes 350mg magnesium, but it also contains the same amount of calcium (and no bio-flavanoids, though I guess I could take them with camu camu, as you suggest). Do you think that would undermine the protocol?

        Finally, on the form of iodine to use, do you have any recommendations? People talk a lot about Lugol’s (or Ioderol), but could this also work with Nascent? I guess you would need to take a lower potency? Or a combination? I seem to have a form called Iosol at home, which claims to be optimally absorbed. Do you have any thoughts on these? I plan to start taking iodine a few days after the co-factors arrive and I have started taking them.

  60. Lola Finley

    I have a question. If I’ve been on levothyroxin for a year can I get off it and do the protocol? Will it still work?

    • Janie Bowthorpe

      I personally wouldn’t get off but would find a way to be on a much better treatment with T3 added to that T4, or natural desiccated thyroid.

  61. Hundal

    R-lipoic Acid and Nacetyl Cysteine(NAC) are also very helpful during any detox and in my opinion should be part of the iodine protocol as well. These supplements will help to avoid painful detox symptoms by supporting the body’s detox mechanisms.

  62. Sharon

    Hi there, I have been taking lugols iodine 25mg per day, for graves disease, with all the above supplements for 3 months. My symptoms improved, and almost disappeared, but TSH, TT4 etc. stayed the same when I had a blood test. Is that normal? I have been off it for a couple of weeks, and just started again yesterday. Both yesterday and today my symptoms became really bad, a lot of tremors, headache, nausea but heart beat slowed down. Just wondering if anyone else has experienced this? What helped? I will cut my dose down tomorrow.

  63. Meryam

    How to do iodine protocol..? And one thing more amazon dont deliver here in turkey.please i want to try this protocol. THANKS AND GOD BLESS

  64. Lilian

    Thank you all for this amazing website.

    How much iodine should one take with 200 mcg of selenium?

  65. Sharon

    Hi I’ve just started taking Lugol’s Iodine for Graves disease, and have seen an improvement in symptoms in just a couple of weeks, I have however started bloating and putting on weight, I am taking a multi vit, selenium, magnesium and Vit C in powder form. Do I need to take higher doses of Vitamins if this is happening? and if I am taking magnesium (from marine salts) do I still need to take the salt? Finally, I’ve also read that you should take Vit C separately from the Iodine can anyone tell me if this is the case? Thanks.

  66. margarete

    I´ve started taking Lugol to try to shrink a myoma (I read about it in the internet), do you think in my case I need to take selenium? I have no problem in the thyroid, and after 1 month taking Lugol I had no symptoms that I can feel…

  67. Edith

    I had been doing the companion supplements for a few months before started taking Lugol’s iodine. I was building up slowly, and I was at 3 or 4 drops. Then I had a lot going on, had to find a place to live fast, moved 7 hours away, didn’t have access to my supplements, didn’t even have time to eat for 24 hours. Long story short, since I was so busy with the move, I took a one week break from iodine and the supporting supplements. Can I just pick up where I left off, or should I start taking the supporting supps only, for about two weeks, then start iodine again from a low dose?

  68. Jeannie

    Hi, also I worry adrenal fatigue a problem, was tested few years ago 24 hour urine test, gp said normal. B
    can I try selenium and iodine anyway, im so stuck with gps unwilling to listen. Wont selenium and iodine help my adrenal fatigue if have it too? Going to add vit e and vit d, but dont want to try too much at once, always have bad reaction to any tablets, big symptom is fluid retention, which gets worse with any tablet I try. I get hot alot. Do get cold feet though.

  69. Jeannie

    Ive read people take selenium 200mcg for years with iodine and do great. I really hope this helps me. If I have a reaction to selenium to I cut back,, or put iodine up. How will l know what to try? You have to take selenium with iodine right? Or if you start iodine you have to take selenium?

  70. Jeannie

    Im just about to start selenium, l stopped my kelp as l had a sore and swollen neck.Do l start the iodine once I start the selenium? Ive ordered nascent iodine to try, thought id start on a drop at 400mcg with 200mcg selenium. How do I know which has an adverse reaction. Im sure I have hastimto or hypothyroidism, ive been told over the years different times my thyroid results are just on borderline etc so its fine. Im sure its not. I was put on thyroxine at 17, but it worked for a while and gps said try antidepressants. Im sure if they had not dismissed my thyriod problems I wouldnt have been left thinking whats wrong and may of got a diagnosis, so lm trying to help my self. Ive been this way since I was 16 years old after a virus. Im now nearly 40. Its taken over my life being so unwell and lots of gps not looking into it all properly and just throwing anti depressents at me, saying its my mental state. So lm left to try and figure it out ,as I have always been trying to. I hope the selenium helps. Lm just worried as I need to keep an eye on how I feel, as I cant get levels checked as my gp wont help me.

  71. Lois

    Hi! I have a question. Is it possible to have bromide reaction from consuming seaweed and doing kelp foot soak? I am currently on a protocol under an ND’s supervision for leaky gut and candida (caused by antibiotic intake on/off for 3 years and birth control usage (taken for 6 months) and one of his recommendation was taking seaweed and doing foot kelp soak for thyroid however, i have noticed that i get really weird symptoms after consuming these (e.g. shoulder pain, rashes, cold extremeties, creepy crawling sensation and internal tremor). Please advise. Thanks!

    • Erin

      Absolutely you can have a bromide reaction from consuming seaweed and kelp. In the website I posted there’s an interview with Dr Mercola and Dr Brownstein…it’s either in the part 2 or part 3 where Dr Brownstein says that he has tested kelp and seaweed and said they were contaminated with Bromine due to pollution. And since Bromine displaces Iodine, the supplements are basically exacerbating the iodine deficiency. Basically just giving you bromine instead of the iodine that you are trying to achieve. Due to this day in age and pollution being basically everywhere, in order to get pure iodine it appears we might have to try other inorganic sources. Like Lugols or Nascent.I personally take Lugols 5% 4 drops a day.

  72. ChrisB

    Appreciate all the information! I have a question about the salt … you mention Celtic Sea Salt. Is Himalayan Pink Salt ok or does it have to be Celtic Sea Salt?


  73. Caitlin

    hi, i am just embarking on trying to reduce my multi nodular goiter naturally, i am going try lugol’s iodine along with the suggested companion supplement. my goiter is not that big, it gives my no symptoms, i’m on no medication, all I’ve had is 3 aspirations in 5 years and this has managed it thus far, however my THS levels are now borderline leaning towards hyper and i do not want traditional treatments if i can possibly help it. i have a few questions.
    1 i have ordered 15% lugol’s iodine (7.6 iodine per drop), how much of this do i take to start off with and do i just have the lower amount of recommended companion supplements and gradually build up?
    2 can i eat brazil nuts in replacement of supplements (i eat 4 per day anyway which equates to approx 2000mcg per day) will this be too much or will the selenium in the nuts vary too wild to be accurate enough?
    3 has anyone bought any of dr brownsteins books, if so which one is best for this type of thyroid complaint as i know he has written a few.
    4 has anyone any advice about cruciferous foods, either avoiding them or increasing them as i’ve found conflicting advice on the internet.
    5. has anyone done this and at first the swelling got worse before it got better, if so do you have any words of wisdom?
    and any other advice will be very welcome, kind regards,caitlin

  74. Monika

    I have iodnie induced AIT. I took iodine without selenium for fibrocystic breasts (did not do enough reserch). How to I correct my auto immune thyroditis with goiter. My worst symptoms are goiter and heart palpitations. I would be appriciate if anyone could help. Thank you.

  75. Susan

    I am really confused! The iodine protocol supplementation states selenium and then says if we are iodine deficient taking selenium will induce a dramatic fall in the already impaired thyroid. ??? I thought doing the iodine protocol was for deficiency. Maybe I’m reading something wrong? I am taking selenium so I hope I’m not doing something wrong.

    • Shelly

      I have the same question concerning Selenium. Do you or don’t you take selenium?

      • Janie Bowthorpe

        Shelly, Hashis patients repeatedly report that Selenium lowered their antibodies! So for that alone, it can be worth it.

        • Beverley

          I have Hashi’s and take 400mcg of Selenium daily. My antibodies are very low now. So low it doesn’t even look like I have Hashi’s just hypothyroid.

    • LISA


  76. Denise

    whats the dosage of iodine?

  77. Jeanette

    Note for type 1 and 2 diabetics, and folk suffering from autoimmune issues:

    Vitamin K2 production in the body can be very low, alongside D3 and retinol (Easily absorbably vit A).
    Vit K2 is essential to kidney health. Bromide and floride detox happens alongside dieoff symptoms (of intercellular infections like excess candida yeastiebeasties- these drive up insulin resistance and the many symptoms of diabetic problems like renal damage, loss of eyesight, etc.) when you take aggressive iodine dosages.

    In trying Iodine, I’ve found a b-complex vitamin with co-enzymated B’s (very important) works perfectly with the magnesium recommended above (in magnesium taurate form), and do not raise blood sugars.
    As a type 1 diabetic, my kidneys have been complaining a lot about passing toxic halides and oxylates and infectious-agent dieoff material, when on higher doses of Iodine. The emotions swing a good deal during the iodine treatment too, because many halogens get shunted back out of the brain.
    K2 has been a lifesaver for me when my kidneys started complaining, and it stopped the tooth-looseness and many of the mental strains of clearing out unwanted halides. I find the MK4 form to be most effective, in doses higher than 1000mcg a day. K2 MK4 is metabolized from K1 from dark green vegetables, but diabetics have a lower ability to create this vitamin- it’s especially used in the kidneys to prevent the formation of kidney stones, together with magnesium.

    Boron is also a co-factor of iodine, and prevents the spillage of magnesium and K2.

    In general, use discretion and patience with supplementing- iodine is exceptionally powerful, and it’s freaky when you don’t quite know how to analyse the situation. Keep looking for information and reading! The iodine VWT support team forum on the curezone website is especially helpful reading.

  78. Cortnee Ingram

    Hi there. I recently added selenium to my regimen and both times I’ve tried it I get really angry and tired. Why would this be when it’s supposed to be a super supplement for people with hashimotos?

    Any help would be great. I am seeing a functional doctor and she has me on all the right supplements but this one my body can’t handle? My husband is always wanting to leave me cause I’m so mean. I hate myself too. It sucks!!

    • Shilah

      Cortnee, sorry about your difficulties. I do sympathize ! …please read that part again, from the section on Selenium : “…Therefore, if you are already hypothyroid, taking selenium supplements while iodine deficient will make you MORE HYPOTHYROID….” in other words, makes you WORSE OFF. Sounds to me like that may be what happened then ? You are a complicated marvel of design, delicately balanced; usually there is more than one factor to take into account. Did you take selenium with an eye towards also staying balanced re. iodine intake? Are you supporting your adrenals? do you have a hidden candida problem? are you iron-deficient? do you have too much estrogen? have you been on birth-control in the past couple years? (it took me 2 full years to recover HALFWAY from being on the pill for just 2 years)… please look into it, you are worth it & your hubby will benefit so much from having you in his life. 🙂

      • Jill

        So does this mean she should stop selenium until her iodine levels are up? But iodine may not be as well received without selenium? What is the concrete recommendation here? I think I have had similar issues with adding in selenium, so am curious what to do! THanks!

        • LISA


      • Kimberly

        I’ve read extensively on Hasi, hypothyroidism and iodine. I can’t find one research study that says selenium alone will increase hypothyroidism….it’s always the opposite. Selenium can cut Hashi titers in half. This post could be detrimental to many

        • Janie Bowthorpe

          There is a research study listed in the article above that states that. It’s about taking high dose selenium when iodine is low that may cause it according to the study. It’s just worthy to note, just in case. But yes, selenium with the right amount of iodine does lower TPO antibodies, we’ve noted.

          • Kimberly

            Thank you, Janie…you are always so gracious. I see the one small study from Zaire but it’s hard to know what other factors played into the result….nutritional status, other health factors like adrenals, etc. I was just very surprised to see you giving a thumbs down to selenium. Most of the studies I’ve seen have overwhelmingly shown a decrease in titers, even with selenium alone. So much to know with this complex subject!

          • Janie Bowthorpe

            Hi Kimberly. You misunderstand. I am very pro-Selenium. The study was just mentioned by the writer that selenium could be a problem in the presence of low iodine. Otherwise, selenium has always done a bang up job lowering TPO antibodies and so much more.

          • Gina

            Hi, I am new here… I have been on a merry go round for 5 months now…. I never had a full Thyroid taken… I am 53 TSH always good. 3 months a go had a complete thyroid done… After having an root canal pulled and being on Antibiotics. My body fell apart after that?? So got my results… Thyroid all normal.
            High TPO 450
            The other one TGlobulin1 I think its called was normal
            I also had high selenium and b12 and found out I have MTHFR one side the 50/50 one
            I am so lost… Losing my hair aging over night it seems my right eye has always been a bit lower than left and is now really worse than ever… I have the Thyroid that is called NP Thyroid…. I have not started… I think I need to do the Iodine first with supported detox supplements suggested before starting this medication? Have bought thousands of dollars in supplements over the years and to date… Have not felt right since a young girl. Any suggestions. Have been diagnosed with HYPERHIDROSIS sever sweating of hand feet and under arms… Thank you and I am so glad I found this site!!!

        • Cheryl

          I am suffering greatly I do not have a thyroid I had thyroid cancer they removed all that and a lymph node since then I am on Armour Thyroid 90 I feel awful overweight losing hair wherever I look for help no one ever addresses help for people who don’t have a thyroid is iodine good for me What happens to people who don’t have thyroid how do we feel better please help

          • Janie Bowthorpe

            Hi Cheryl. Yes, people in your shoes DO feel better! The problem is that you are probably seriously underdosing yourself, which also makes us worse!! Study this page and see where it talks about what “optimal” is: It’s NOT about the TSH either.

            Yes, iodine use has more benefits that just what it does for one’s thyroid. It’s also stated to be anti-cancer, and in many women, has gotten rid of fibrocystic breast disease, including me!

      • Lilly

        Cortnee, also consider iodine kills Candida, and Candida die off can cause all kinds of issues, including irritability.
        Make sure you are taking all companion nutrients, but also go very slow. You could try taking some activated charcoal or good bentonite clay to help with possible die off too.

    • paul

      can’t say this will solve your problem but…

      i tried for a couple of years to get the right selenium/iodine ratio. when i searched the forums for the correct ratio or protocol to ramp up i just found others with the same problem.

      later i started preformed vitamin A from fermented cod liver oil. then i started to hide grass fed organic beef liver (preformed vitamin A) in my chilli at the rate of 1part liquified liver to 10 parts ground beef (for its texture).

      some time later just for the hell of it, i tried lugol’s iodine and selenium glycinate again. problem solved. since then i’ve tried and succeeded with 2-12 drops of lugol’s with 200-800 micrograms of selenium glycinate — maybe once every week or two. no tiredness at all which just wasn’t the case before.

      my theory is that getting the load off my thyroid to convert beta carotene to vitamin A somehow resolved the earlier problem. i am surmising.

  79. Jolene

    My ten yr old son was diagnosed with hypo about 3 months ago. He is on 25 mg of lexo Im looking to change meds but cant get into a endo for 2 more months. He is still gaining weight and his anxiety is still very high. I would like to start this iodine protocol but are the dosages the same for kids? Thx for any help

  80. Cindi

    If you suspect Hashi’s I would definitely start the co-factors first especially the selenium by at least 2 weeks. If you don’t have a Dr to guide you, get Dr Brownstein’s book, that Janie mentions above and follow his recommendations. It is now available as an ebook download from his website, in case you can’t get it where you live now.

  81. Abby

    Hi, please help if you can. I am 28 years old and for years have thought I have thyroid issues. Hair loss, difficulty losing weight and low body temps in the morning. I got a blood test about 3 years ago and the natural doctor said he thought I was hashi. Shortly after we moved to indonesia for missions work and I had no support for treating my condition. I am still so confused on what to do. I am GF now (for about 2 months) with no difference in hair loss or weight. I have never been on any meds for this. I want to do the Iodine protocol but don’t know how to do that with no doctor around to help me in indonesia. Where do I start? I am losing so much hair and its so scary… please help. Should I start with selenium and magnesium and vit c/b and then add iodine later?

    • AnnaMaree Downing

      I wanted to let you know that i have an integrated medicine practice speicalising in thyroid, autoimmune and hormones, in Ubud , Bali, Indonesia, if this helps ( i also do email consulting).. you need to get some baseline blood tests first : TSH, Free T3, Free T4. Vitamin D3, … miniumum , I personaly have hashimotos, and alopecia, , and am vital and healthy :). take care AnnaMaree

      • Colin neil

        We are coming to ubud in february where is clinic and contact details . Partner has over under active thyroid with over active symptoms . On thyroxine hope to get her off this asap . Contact details of clinic etc and any website thanks

      • Gina

        Hi, What are you doing to be this way? TU

    • Michelle

      Abby hair loss can also be from low iron, low biotin, b12 deficiency, and too little or excess copper. Inability to lose weight can be from low D or low taurine. My .02- pay for a hair test, the best (and cheapest) one I’ve seen is $129, it shows you your levels of EVERYTHING, and then you’ll know what to do and which direction to take.

    • Jackie

      I just want let you try organic coconut oil it helps take it in the morning cause it gives you energy as well so dont take at night you might havedifficulty sleeping😀

    • Tammy

      For the hair loss try washing your hair with baking soda instead of shampoo. I am 56 yo. I have been losing my hair by the fistfulls for a few yrs. It was so think I could see my scap on top and at the crown. I have tried everything, but within 1-2 weeks of baking soda wash the excess hairloss stopped. Now its just a normal amount. I just use about a tsp baking soda in a glass of warm water pour it slowly over areas of my hair and massage in the rinse thoroughly. I also added few drops rosemary and lavender EO.

  82. denise

    I copied this from that article. So I dont understand. I thought I needed selenium and iodine but I am hypothyroid (no autoimmune)so how do I use this protocol?
    Not only that, if you are iodine deficient, selenium supplements “induce a dramatic fall of the already impaired thyroid function in clinically hypothyroid subjects”.
    Therefore, if you are already hypothyroid, taking selenium supplements while iodine deficient will make you MORE HYPOTHYROID

  83. Sherri

    I have Graves disease and had my thyroid radiated 20 years ago. Should I take the iodine, selenium, and other things listed? I recently asked my endocrinologist and he said no to iodine but it seems like I should. Would love your input.

  84. Leslie

    Thanks for the original info. I haven’t read through all of the comments so I apologize if I missed this info, but how much iodine does one take for underachieve thyroid w/ goiter? I got all the companion dosages but didn’t see a dosage for the iodine.

  85. Alan

    I stumbled on all of this from a course I am doing, as the teacher suggested Stephen Langer’s book for general knowledge on the thyroid. Then I found out my mother and one sister (at least) are on Synthroid. I am 61 and healthy, ride my bike frequently and am healthy otherwise.

    Thanks for the site BTW it is very helpful. Seems to be mostly a women’s site tho, understandably as HT tends to be more common in women, but certainly not exclusively by any stretch. After reading about HT, I notice that just about everyone I know of both genders and all age groups are HT nowadays. I live right next to the ocean and have not experienced the effect of iodine in the air.

    I am currently taking iodine from iodinesource. I find it works well, as I felt an amazing feeling within about 5 minutes of taking it. Luggols gives me a major headache.

    The IS iodine is only 1% as that is what Edgar Cayce suggests. I am also doing the protocol 12321 (very roughly and generally a bit more) taking the weekends off.

    I did the salt protocol three times, but salt is not my friend. I am an Ayurvedic practitioner and have a lot of Pitta in my constitution, so salt is like throwing gasoline on a fire for me. Makes me sweat like crazy, but possibly that is throwing off the bromine.

    I read Stephen Langer, Mark Starr and am in the middle of Broda Barne’s book(s) and listened to Dave Brownstein and Lynne Farrow on HT and I am around 97.1 F in the AM.

    My temp seems to be slowly crawling up from around the late 96s. I have not tried the other nutrients like Mg, but I do eat a brazil nut a day.

    Thanks again for the info.

    • Janie Bowthorpe

      Hi Alan. Actually no, the information on STTM relates to men as well as women! There are a great deal of male hypothyroid sufferers out there! By the way, though Langer’s book is great, I think you will be more even intrigued by the revised Stop the Thyroid Madness: a Patient Revolution Against Decades of Inferior Treatment. It’s from years of worldwide patient experiences and wisdom concerning thyroid treatment and all related and what has worked. Glad the iodine you are using works so well!!

  86. Miriam

    I have a question when I take the lugos 5% solution along with selenium. Do I take with it magnesium, niacin, b2, b3 all together, and through out the day the 8 Oz of water with the proper salt. I have hashimotos. Thank you in advance

  87. Kim

    Has anyone heard of i-Throid Iodine?
    Also, Dr. Mercola has stated that the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition has said the if you take 400 mcg or more per day, you may develop subclinical hypothyroidism. I already have that, yet a Naturopath just Rx-ed the i-Throid (6.25 mg twice a week). Anyone have feedback? Thanks!

    • Jane (the author of this article)

      Again, Dr. Mercola is a great example of someone who is not an iodine researcher. Yes indeed it does IF you only look at TSH. And IF you do not use selenium. Only looking at TSH shows a temporary rise in some people, some quite high. I got up to 18, vastly different than my usual 1.7 TSH or so. My functional medicine doctor freaked out. Until we read the work of Dr. Brownstein. Also, my free numbers didn’t change all that much.
      What is forgotten by most MD’s is seems is that there is another, different and entirely normal function of TSH to stimulate the NIS, sodium iodide symporter, that gets iodide into some cells of the thyroid gland. TSH going up is normal, natural and desirable when you start a high iodine protocol. It in fact, shows that your body is working correctly to absorb the iodine it so desperately needs.

  88. Ren

    I’m self-treating. Am on 3 gr NDT and have added I-Thyroid 12.5 mg, 4 drops Thyadine, D2 100 mg, D3 500 mg, Vit. C, multivits. An NP has me on probiotic and enzymes to treat possible leaky gut. NP knows nothing about treating with NDT and scant knowledge about hypothyroidism… My temps are still high 96s, low 97s. I’m still maintaining 50+ lbs of mucin. I don’t know where to go from here. Am considering increasing the Thyadine. NP decreased my NDT from 4 to 3 gr because TSH was <.01. My TPO is 356–so she thinks I have Hashimoto’s. She tried to change me to Levo, but I refused. I feel I have to hold on to a relationship with her because I can't get labs done without a script. What is your protocol to treat with iodine while one Is taking NDTs?

  89. Tse

    Hello everybody,
    I have diagnosed with endemic thyroid, have a large goiter plus nodule for many years. Can I start Iodine with supplement, and will it treat my ailment? Any advice thought would appreciated.

  90. Athena

    SIGH…feeling very defeated. Please answer what you can. I will try and be very succinct- even though that’s not my nature, lol. My questions at the end.

    In 2012 a doctor ran my complete thyroid labs- everything was “normal” except for TPO..that was positive. Doctor said thyroiditis – pointing to Hashi. Went for a thyroid ultrasound- no nodules but one side is slightly larger than the other. I started reading and after talking with my chiropractor went on Prolamaine Iodine ( Standard Process) via a protocol from another chiro who treats with this product. I was also taking other vitamins ( D, C, A ). Within 8 weeks I had dropped over 10 pounds- in total I lost 25 ! I was feeling great…still a bit tired and took an adrenal support formula. I felt better but never really got over ‘tired mountain.” I just recently, after searching far and wide ( ya’ll know what I mean), THOUGHT I found a doctor- into “alternative” stuff and an Integrated Doctor!. At 1st appt I saw the PA , told her everything I was taking/how much. I stressed wanting the full thyroid labs and iodine levels. I told her my TSH would be high due to iodine supplementation. I have never been SO disappointed, she never wrote for iodine level to be tested. This office scans your test results to their patient portal, so what did she write on them??? She wrote HYPOTHYROID and my iodine is not working. Maybe it isn’t..I really don’t know. Let me add quickly that I’ve gained back most of the weight I lost..and I have no clue why.

    Exactly as shown on lab sheet:
    TSH was 36
    T3, Total 97
    T4 , Free is .48
    TPO is 206 ( I do not know what the level was prior, only that it was positive)

    So doctor says my iodine is making me WORSE ( I just won’t believe that) and I need to STOP taking it altogether. We had a slight argument- and this was the first time I met the man! He pushed for me to get on the synthetic meds because the dosage is easier to tinker with ( that’s a piss poor reason IMO). I said no. Once he learned I did have some knowledge he rolled his eyes at me, lol. He sent over a script for Nature throid – which I haven’t picked up yet because they had to order it. I am so stressed that this is NOT the doctor for me after all. Everyone says Endos are worse..I have no clue at this point. I also have female issues which they totally ignored and when I brought them up again he said “well you come back in 3 months, we can take care of those then.” Uh…what???

    So my questions- if anyone has an answer:

    1 ) how did my T4 go from normal to not normal? natural progression?
    2) should I switch to Lugol’s? I do want to lower TSH ( I know it’s not reliable and all that but while I yet again look for a new doctor, I will have to go for blood work in 6 weeks I
    need to have some improvement there).
    3) Is there another way to lower TPO and raise T4 without medication?
    4) would it be beneficial to start the Nature and take a break from iodine and do a week maybe on the salt protocol?

    I also have gluten issues so I am GF. Yay for another auto-immune disorder 🙁

    Thanks in advance!

  91. Yael

    Thank you for this important article and your comments to the readers! My question is: I have Goiter/nodules for about 15 years (they began after my 3 childbirth), and when they do ultrasound they say that the other thyroid gland is extremely small. I suffer from low energy, tiredness, dizzieness, brain fog, ringing in ears, poor sleep…cold hands and feet / sensitivity to cold. Have been very deficient in Iron and B12 but got IV Iron and B12 shots and its better now. Also had Gastritis but the symptoms are much better after changed diet.
    I very much want to start iodine, I have the lugol’s 5% but am not sure if with the goiters it is ok to take it. I have been taking magnesium for the past couple of months which helps with my sleep and a bit with energy. I have been taking selenium and vit c last couple of weeks as well, and am beginning dental treatment to remove amalgams (one gone already!! 6 more to go..) Im also supplementing with B12 Methylclobamin daily, and eating an organic plant based diet with eggs and fermented dairy. Taking Betaine HCL with my protein as well.

    So long story it OK to start the iodine? should I start a drop a day and move up gradually?

    Thank you!

  92. justin

    Janie, do you have any info regarding my question ?

  93. cjean

    Does anybody know if Thyro-Gold raises T3 levels? I’ve ordered it and hoping it does my hmo doesn’t “like testing for t3,rt3 just t4, so I’ve been overweight, unhealthy, on anti-depressants off and on and Levothyroxine, 0.1 MG for about 14 years and its only (up till lately) stopped my feet from freezing! I’m on a retired fixed income so outside testing is out of the question so I’m trying to make changes on my own.

    • Janie Bowthorpe

      Thyrogold comes from the thyroids of New Zealand grass-fed cows, so yes, it will raise T3, since a thyroid contains T4, T3, T2, T1 and calcitonin. Congrats on using ThyroGold! And remember: you need good iron and cortisol to get the best effect from NDT.

  94. Justin

    Will your tsh rise from iodine supplementation if you are on a suppressive dose of thyroid ? Brownstein says that he often sees a tsh rise (albeit temporary) from iodine supplementation. I would like to supplement, but don’t want to stimulate remnant tissue.

  95. janella brown

    I’ve just bought Lugol`s iodine (15%), how many drops should I be taking. The bottle say 6 drops per day?

    • Janie Bowthorpe

      Janella, not sure about your 15%, but the 5% contains 6.25 mg iodine per drop. So because iodine causes detoxing of chemicals like Bromide, patients usually start low and build up.

  96. Lee

    I am preparing to start the Iodine Protocol in Australia, and have been on the accompanying supplements for a couple of weeks. I just bought the B2 & B3 cofactors (separately). I asked at the health food/supplements shop for the non-flushing niacin (B3), but when I got home I noticed that although it is non-flushing, it is nicotinamide (not inositol hexanicotinate). What effect will that have when taken in conjunction with the other supplements?

  97. Liviu

    Everything sounds OK till it comes to treating. Any of you felt good after taking iodine. Because so far everyone is complaining or buying books.. The problem is very few actual doctors post these info. The info they get is very different than all others “naturocrap” self called doctors. So anyone felt good after iodine supplementation?

    • Amy

      In reply to Liviu, You are right there is a lot of complaining and no body telling about their good results. I have been on the iodine protocol for 3 weeks. I started with 12.5mg of iodoral with companion nutrients and upped the dose every day until i got to 50mg. The day i reached 50mg was the “boing” day that i read about in the books. I had so much energy i cleaned my entire house and its 3500sqft. The brain fog had lifted and i felt great! I noticed that i could breath a little easier, my aches and pains in my joints had disappeared. After a about 5 days on the program i increased to 75mg because i noticed my energy go down in the afternoon. A few days later i went down to 62mg because i was getting jittery. Overall i feel better than i have in about 10 years. My sister started the same day i did and she has had similar results.

  98. Julya

    I want to try this protocol before I see my naturopath because I’m very comfortable with my body and I will have my blood tested again very soon!

    (1) Do I take Lugol’s iodine in ADDITION to all these things, even the SALT? Or is the salt acting as the “iodine”?

    Selenium — 200 — 400 mcg per day
    Magnesium — 400 — 1200 mg per day
    Vitamin C — 3,000 — 10,000 mg per day
    Vitamins B2/B3 (ATP CoFactors) — 100 mg riboflavin and 500 mg no flush niacin, inositol hexanicotinate form, 1-2x per day
    Unrefined Salt (Celtic) — 1/2 tsp. or more per day

    (2) Can you send me a link to the vitamins that YOU take? I want a reliable source/brand.

    (3) If you were trying this on your own before seeing your naturopath, please tell me step by step what you would do on this protocol. Starting from when you wake up, to when you are finished with the protocol for the day. Example: 8:00 wake up, take thyroid meds. 9:00 take lugols iodine + other vitamins. 10:00 eat breakfast. 12:00 do salt protocol. Thanks!

  99. Michelle

    Thanks so much for your reply Janie. 🙂 Do you recommend a specific form of Selenium like Sodium Selenite?

    I have another question: On different websites I read the following:

    “The idea that Japanese people consume 13.8 mg of iodine per day appears to have arisen from a misinterpretation of a 1967 paper.6 In that paper, the average intake of seaweed in Japan was listed as 4.6 g (4,600 mg) per day, and seaweed was said to contain 0.3% iodine. The figure of 13.8 mg comes from multiplying 4,600 mg by 0.003. However, the 4.6 g of seaweed consumed per day was expressed as wet weight, whereas the 0.3%-iodine figure was based on dry weight. Since many vegetables contain at least 90% water, 13.8 mg per day is a significant overestimate of iodine intake. In studies that have specifically looked at iodine intake among Japanese people, the mean dietary intake (estimated from urinary iodine excretion) was in the range of 330 to 500 mcg per day,7,8 which is at least 25-fold lower than 13.8 mg per day.”

    Whats your opinion about the above statement? Thanks.

  100. Michelle

    Hi and thanks for the article. I have a Fibroadenoma (cyst in my breast), I have one in my uterus and a knot/lump in my thyroid. I am 99% sure that I have an iodine deficiency. Had a blood test for iodine which came back normal but now I know that a blood test is useless. The size of my thyroid is only 4.3 ml and my endo told me that apparently I had Hashimoto’s before but right now my thyroid looks normal, just very small. I am taking a Natural Desiccated Thyroid med (Nature Throid — 3/4 grain per day) and would like to know if I still can try the iodine protocol? I definitely want to get rid of those cysts!

    Do I have to take the iodine (I ordered Lugols iodine 2%) together with Selenium or should I avoid taking it at the same time? I also ordered the book of Dr. Brownstein but did not receive it yet.

    Any comments would be highly appreciated. Thanks so much!

    • Janie Bowthorpe

      Michele, yes about doing iodine and yes, you can take them together. You may end up being amazed what the iodine will do for your breast cyst as other women have. 🙂

  101. Betty

    this thread is depressing. where are the miracles? who has done this protocol and feels good? there are no doctors here in Boston who are familiar with this. I have searched high and low.

  102. Linda M.

    Thanks Janie, I’ll take the book with me to my next appointment (August 7th).

  103. Linda M.

    These were my initial 24-hr saliva test results from 1/11/14 (reference ranges in parentheses):

    DHEA: 96.36 (106-300)
    AM Cortisol: 10.24 (5.1-40.2)
    Noon: 2.97 2.97 (2.1-15.7)
    Evening: 1.34 (1.8-12)
    Night: 0.65 (0.9-9.2)

    The lab was Labrix. She first started me on HC 5mg twice/day, then she had me do serum AM cortisol, DHEA, and they were still low, so she later upped the dose and switched to cream… but still only 10mg in the AM and 5mg in the PM. When I asked her about increasing to 25mg/day, this was her reply:

    “For the hydrocortisone dose, our body normally should produce about 20mg per day. So, 25mg per day is too much in my opinion. I’ve spoken with a lot of adrenal experts about this and they never go above the 20mg per day. Above the 20mg can cause problems with immune suppression, abdominal weight gain, block thyroid function and even cause loss of skin elasticity. I’m happy with you increasing to 15mg to 20mg at this point though. So if you would like to increase it my suggestion would be to take 10mg in the morning, 5mg mid afternoon and 2.5 (1/2pump of the cream) early evening.”

    There is no “half-click” option w/ the cream dispenser so I’ve only been doing 10mg AM and 5mg at Noon.

    When I asked about increasing the Nature Throid dose, she replied as follows:

    “You need to be careful increasing the nature-throid because of the concomitant adrenal fatigue and low cortisol. If adrenally fatigued people take too much thyroid hormone it can actually make them feel worse – anxiety, insomnia, irritable, fatigue. I’ve seen this so often.”

    These were my lab results from April 2014:
    DHEA: 50 (<430 ug/dl) My result was 62 in Jan '14
    Progesterone: 1.0 (result was 1.2 in Jan. '14)
    VitD: 36 (20-79 ng/mL) (result = 30 in Jan '14)
    Cortisol, Total AM: 9.9 (8.0-25.0 / 9.9)
    Ferritin: 15 (22-291 ng/mL)
    Free T4: 1.0 (0.8 – 1.7 ng/dL) [ 1.1 in Jan '14]
    T3, Total: 87 (50 – 170 ng/dL)
    TSH: 1.25 (0.10 – 5.50 uIU/mL) [1.2 in Jan '14]
    TPO AB: 248 (<=35 IU/mL) [329 in Jan '14]

    She was stumped by these results but still barely upped my dosages, and I wasn't convinced by her responses to my emails — I just get the feeling she doesn't know what to do with me and is too scared to get more aggressive with the treatment. I'm desperate to see someone else but they charge so much and I have no idea where to go!

    Thanks for your help.

    • Janie Bowthorpe

      Our experiences as thyroid patients with nutrient mal-absorption issues (which is VERY common due to our low stomach acid) have repeatedly shown us that her opinion about 20 mg is quite wrong. Read Chapter 6 in the revised STTM book. Underline it. Highlight it. Dog-ear the pages! It explains how we’ve successfully treated cortisol as low as yours. And by the way, you can’t go by blood cortisol. It’s measuring both bound and unbound cortisol, which explains why it is often so different from our saliva results–the latter which seem to conform to our symptoms. Here is where you’ll find great patient groups to help further (under #2):

  104. Linda M.

    I just started Iodoral a week ago– I’ve worked my way up to 50mg every morning. I gained 1# since starting it, and I can’t afford to gain more weight since I’m already obese. I’ve been on Nature-Throid 32.5mg twice a day, plus hydrocortisone cream twice a day for a few months now, and started Iodoral in hopes it would help w/ my Hashimoto symptoms. But only thing I’ve noticed is the weight gain!

    I’m taking the companion nutrients at the doses mentioned in the post… should I change the dose of one of the supplements or should I just stop Iodoral? 🙁

    • Janie Bowthorpe

      Linda, you are on a starting dose of Naturethroid, which you should have been raising upon. Staying on a starting dose for more than a few weeks makes most more hypothyroid, which can explain your weight gain. Also, we’re learned so many times that no one should be on hydrocortisone without having done a 24 hour adrenal saliva test to see if they were bad enough to need it. If saliva proved that, we don’t dose just two times a day. You would benefit by reading the STTM book!

      • Linda M.

        I have read the book, and did do a 24-hr salivary test. My starting dose of Nature-Throid was one-half of a 16.25mg tablet ONCE day, because when I tried it twice a day my blood pressure went up, so I had to taper up slowly. My follow-up adrenal testing was via AM Cortisol blood draw (my naturopath said a blood test was sufficient for follow-up). The blood test came back low and my naturopath switched me to hydrocortisone cream, but still a very low dose… she’s kind of scared, and I’ve mentioned the STTM book to her a couple times, but hasn’t really commented. She also has me using DHEA and Progesterone creams.

        Sometimes I wonder if she’s dosing me this low to string me along and keep me having to come back for return appts — she’s not cheap, but I’ve gotten father w/ her than w/ my traditional Western medicine doctors. Still, I’m frustrated that the only change in symptoms I’ve had on my current treatments is that I’m no longer cold all the time. My other symptoms persist: waking up at 3-4am (for which I now take 3 diphenhydramine tablets a night to be able to sleep), hair loss, brittle nails, zero sex drive, prolonged and irregular periods, occasional blurred vision, etc.

        As for the weight, she put me on a Candida diet, which only made me crave and binge on what I was not “supposed” to eat. So I started HCG on May 3rd, which she approved as she puts some of her patients on it. I didn’t buy it from her though because I found it cheaper elsewhere. I mostly started HCG because I thought it would be the best way for me to force myself to stay away from the bad foods.

        I weigh once a week and am down 17.4lbs, my last injection will be June 18th… what I’m nervous about is what happens after that. She sent me for a blood test for food sensitivities (and who knows if those are accurate), but I tested highly sensitive for dairy, nuts, lamb, eggs, yeats, malt, and bananas, with slight sensitivities to other foods like carrots, and avocados. She told me to avoid the foods I’m highly sensitive to, so I’m going to try that and see if indeed I can keep the weight off by avoiding those foods.

        My next appt w/ the naturopath is August 7th. Her name is Kristy Vermeulen, and she just published a book called Happy Hormones. If anyone can recommend a good naturopath/functional medicine doc in San Francisco (or near SF), please let me know, because I’m losing confidence in mine… maybe she’s too caught up w/ her new book. I don’t know, I just feel doomed to have these symptoms forever 🙁

        • Janie Bowthorpe

          No, a blood cortisol test is not sufficient! Patients found out the hard way that it’s lousy. And the only reason to start on HC is if saliva testing shows extremely low results at least 3 out of the 4 tests….and even then, we do not start on a low dose! That suppresses more than replaces and causes excess adrenaline. You need to order and do your own saliva testing.

  105. judy

    A word of caution to anyone who underestimates the importance of the companion supplements and salt loading… not. A few years ago, I half-heartedly (half-assedly?) started taking Iodoral without consistently following the rest of the protocol. About six weeks into it, my hair started falling out like crazy. Thank God I started with a head of thick, coarse Irish hair, or I’d probably be bald today. As it is, I’m left with thin, baby-fine hair. It scared me so much that I just quit altogether, but I think I’m continuing to lose hair although not as rapidly as at first. I’m thinking that I may need to start the protocol again and follow the rules carefully, but I wish that we had an iodine-literate doctor in this state. I’m still a bit nervous about doing this on my own.

    • Mary

      I don’t see where you got an answer. I am in the exact same spot! What did you do?

  106. SusanH

    I was working my way up on Armour and was taking 150mg AM and 120mg PM in addition to Lugols and feeling marginally better. Then I got Brownsteins iodine book and added Riboflavin and Niacin and I immediately got wildly overactivated and I have had to stop the Armour due to panic attack feelings, like I am super caffeinated or something. Has anyone else had this happen? It seems like the final addition of the niacin is what activated me.

  107. susan

    anyone show high levels of uranium?? i do and my son does as well

  108. susan

    sounds like selenium is necessary– i had labs done over a year ago for another reason and i was very high in selenium (they dr said it is in the soil our west) I don’t have the money to do the labs again right now but would like to start the protocol– any thoughts?

  109. Catherine

    Hi all, Thank you for your wonderful and informative support. I have come across the supplement Zestlife Iodine plus Support. Can you tell me if you the source of iodine in it which is kelp is any good? Perhaps even a good place to start?

  110. C. A.

    Greetings to Mrs. Bowthorpe and to Jane the thyroid patient,

    I have been diagnosed with low thyroid, adrenals and iron. Because I have been unable to tolerate the prescribed medications (that is- Cytomel, Armour and Cortef) an Herbalist recommended I try Iodine.
    Is an Iodine Loading Test really necessary before beginning an iodine regimen? The brand of iodine I have is Ener-G Iodine. Have you or your readers had experience with that kind?
    Please note that for the low iron I am taking 15 mg(15mg of elemental iron) a day of Ferritin by Cardiovascular Research Ltd. . The last doctor I had recommended that dosage and brand as I had trouble tolerating higher dosages and other brands. Would adding Swanson’s Desiccated Beef Liver be recommended? I am also taking the companion nutrients mentioned in the article.
    The last test for iron was on Nov. 7, 2013 — fasting 37. Blood pressure on Nov. 25, 2013 — 89/57.
    Please respond. Thank you.

  111. Jason

    I believe there is clinical evidence as to the reaction between iodine and Vitamin C supplementation. Any idea on how far apart someone should take vitamin c supplements from iodine to prevent iodine from morphing into iodide?

    • Jane (the author of this article)

      There is. Some people don’t separate them and the protocol works fine for them. I was working on breasts (which use iodine) so I separated by an hour. I don’t believe I’ve seen any official recommendations. I also think this is for Lugol’s only, as Iodoral releases further down in the intestines and may not be effected.

  112. Lynn

    This is all very interesting because I just finished a 2 1/2 month Parasite Cleanse (ParaMax by Advanced Naturals). The herbs are iodine like and kill the parasites because they don’t like it and they leave the body. Worked great but before the cleanse I was on 60mcg of Cytomel daily for my Hashi’s (tried dessicated many times but kept getting RT3 and concluded that I’m not a good converter). I was using the CT3M for over a year with great success. The RT3 cleared, my hair loss stopped, my energy was great. But this cleanse has messed up my system, or my ability to dose with my meds. Halfway through the cleanse I noticed that I started waking at 3am every night (I also noticed my thumb nail started splitting, something still not healed). I decreased my Cytomel to 50mcg, then thought it was my adrenals (it wasn’t) so I just decided to put up with the waking and waited to finish the cleanse. I started back on the 60mcg Cytomel and within a week my neck was swollen and PAINFUL. I stopped the Cytomel completely for 4 days and on days 3 and 4 I finally slept through the night. On day 5 I felt the weakness and knew I needed the T3 again. Problem is, I cannot get to a stable dose. Either I’m too hypo or too hyper. I think the iodine in the cleanse has affected my body and I don’t know how to get stable. It’s very frustrating. I’ve joined the iodine group so hopefully they may know more about this. I’ve read your book, and all your links have been very helpful in my journey. I learned all about dessicated, Hashis, adrenals, low iron, selenium use. The list goes on and on. I just never learned about iodine because everything I’ve read says don’t use iodine with Hashis. I never worried about it but now must learn all I can. Izabella Wentz’s book, Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis Root Cause says iodine isn’t good for Hashi’s, but she also states you might need a parasite cleanse (most of which are iodine like herbs) to clean up the gut so that’s a slight conflict in her book. I decided to work on my gut, which I’ve been doing since last summer. Of course I am gluten, dairy, corn & soy free. I use bioidentical estradiol, testosterone, & progesterone. Take iron, selenium, magnesium, Vitamin C, digestive enzymes, probiotics, betaine HCL, Vitamin D, (Vit B12 is always too high so I don’t take that currently) and have used celtic sea salt on and off (not using currently). My adrenals were repaired with CT3M, thanks to your blog about that book. Janie, you’ve made a HUGE difference in my life and I thank you for it. I’m now onto learning more about iodine and Hashi’s. I guess this is the year for me to learn about iodine because I am forced to based on my hypo/hyper swings that I’m currently experiencing. If it’s not one thing it’s something else with this disease!

    • Jane (the author of this article)

      Dr. Brownstein’s book addresses how low iodine leads to Hashi’s/Graves. Also the article written by his mentor Dr. Abraham, is at the very bottom of Janie’s main article on iodine.

      also on page 8 of Stephanie Buist ND’s Guide to Supplementing with Iodine quotes Dr B’s book

      Dr. B and his colleagues have had clinical experience with thousands of patients and the protocol. But it takes a lot of learning to counter the prevailing (false) wisdom on iodine that exists now. That’s the only reason why I can think why so many people you are mentioning, and more, do not understand the reasons why low amounts of iodine, and taking it without the companion nutrients, can cause problems.

      Good luck to you. 🙂

  113. Cristina

    First of all thank you very much for such an wonderful site!
    I had a thyroidectomy for benign nodules about 1year and a half ago. Can I take iodine? Should i take it or do i need to get tested first?
    Also, in your experience, do you think that digestive symptoms could be associated with hypothyroidism? After the thyroidectomy i got all the digestive symptoms you could imagine…IBS, acid reflux etc.
    Thank you very much, I live in Spain and here the information is very limited…
    Kind regards,

    • Jane (the author of this article)

      In my opinion based on many years of researching iodine and reading various iodine patient groups – I think the iodine protocol is a must for you. You had a disorder that is clearly connected to low iodine, and the entire body needs iodine. Especially breasts and ovaries. I’m sad that you had a thyroidectomy and that most mainstream doctors do not know about the research on iodine deficiency disorders.

      Many patients do not take a loading test, but I’d encourage you to read Dr. Brownstein’s book and decide for yourself. There are many patient forums to go to for help.

      Most definitely I think digestive symptoms are a classic sign of hypoT. Thyroid hormone is needed by all epithelial cells of the body. I’ve read it described as hypoT causes leaky gut b/c the junctions cannot be knit together without thyroid hormone. Are you on T4 only? Perhaps you do not have enough to replace a normal working gland.

      Also iodine, magnesium and other nutrients can effect whether you can produce enough stomach acid – see this page

  114. Brenda Kiphen


    Help! I am 60 years old and have been experiencing slow hair loss since my teens. I was diagnosed with Hypothyroid in teens and been on Synthroid all my life, low doses, but the past few years on Generic Levothyrozin 0.088MG. As most, been to several Doctors for answers with none. The standard, hereditary. stress etc……I truly believe it is my Thyroid. Not really having major symtoms , as we know the “mood gland” except for may some lack motivation, not really that tired, just the hair loss. It has just been devistating for me……..Not sure of the type of the Thyroid Test they are running on me but want to know from you where do I start, what type of test do I need to get done to see if my Thyroid is truly out of wack. Major question tho do you believe Thyroid issues contribute to Hair Loss?

  115. sissy

    I started iodine and all the stuff that goes with it and I am gaining one pound a day. Any ideas or suggestions? And I have the mthfr gene so detoxing is a issue.

  116. Donna

    Sorry about the name mix-up, Janie! I re-looked at the first sentence and it all makes sense now. 🙂 Hope to hear from Jane, too. But thank you for clarifying about selenium and iodine! It sounds like starting with Selenium and the rest of the co-factors for a few weeks and then adding iodine is the way to go.

  117. Donna

    Hi Janie, Could you clarify something for me, please? 🙂 In the Selenium section above, it says: “Analysis of the medical literature is clear: selenium plus iodine is the best combination for thyroid health. When iodine has been shown in studies to be damaging to the thyroid, it appears that concurrent selenium deficiency is the true culprit.

    Not only that, if you are iodine deficient, selenium supplements “induce a dramatic fall of the already impaired thyroid function in clinically hypothyroid subjects”.

    Therefore, if you are already hypothyroid, taking selenium supplements while iodine deficient will make you MORE HYPOTHYROID.”

    I’m Hypothyroid, on Synthroid, and don’t know my Selenium or Iodine levels, but am wanting to do the Iodine protocol, see if it improves my health, and hopefully wean myself off Synthroid. I’m a little confused about the statements above. Are you saying that I should start Selenium and the other co-factors first and then add Iodine a few weeks later? However, if that’s the case, the statements also say that adding Selenium if Iodine sufficient will make me more Hypothyroid. So if adding Selenium first can make me worse, and adding Iodine first and adding Selenium later will make me worse, and adding them at the same time doesn’t work either, I’m not sure what options are left. lol. I must not be understanding the statements correctly, because the statements almost seem to contradict each other. 🙂 So what is the solution?

    • Janie Bowthorpe

      I, Janie, didn’t write this blog post. It’s written by patient “Jane”. I think she’ll see this and will hopefully clear this up. P.S. Lots of folks who started on Selenium first, yet needed iodine, have not seen themselves get even more hypo. There are gray areas.

      • Jane (the author of this article)

        My understanding is a few weeks or a month is not a problem, if ending up following the ongoing protocol with both selenium and iodine.

        These studies were in populations with long standing selenium or iodine deficiency.

  118. karen

    tina your dr sounds great to try nutrition to help instead of starting on medication .what a great dr to have !
    i would say also to be careful not to eat any GMOS. including hidden GMOS [say yougurtmade with milk form cows fed GMO feed or somehting made wiht eggs form chickens fed GMO feed .GMOS ive read and i thoguht too on my own, have caused the food intolerances becuase thye damage your digestive system.i keep finding hidden GMOS even in tihngs like vitamins.

  119. Tina

    Thanks for clarifying that Janie (and for your info) and thanks – Jane – for the information also! After my last post, I started reading even more on this site – and the bottom line is I have so much to figure out. I’ll keep reading…. 🙂

  120. Tina

    I am loving this information, Janie! (And I now realize Jane and Janie are the same person. 🙂 ) I went and really looked at the NDT options and I see there are many. Looking forward to getting the book – so I can learn more. Realizing there is so much much to my problem than the TSH. Although I am not tired really, I have noticed my hair thinning some. So, I am definitely wanting to start something besides the diet and exercise now…would I be a good candidate to start a NDT at this time? And, which one would you choose if you were me? Plus, I’m still all over the place about a multivitamin. I just take a one a day brand for women over 50 – plus an extra vitamin B and two biotins a day (for my hair/nails). Now I am unsure about all of that. Thank you for all of your help.

    • Janie Bowthorpe

      No, “Jane” is another person. 🙂 She’s a patient who worked to become informed about iodine use. And yes about NDT, and some would say you could try iodine first. As far as any vitamins, I like food-based.

  121. Susie

    I was on one grain of Armour and then prescribed 2 grains, (60 mgs.) because of a body temperature around 96. Some time ago, my hair started falling out. The only thing I took was the Armour, so I stopped and started taking biotin, selenium, folate, and it improved. Around the same time, I took 2% Lugols iodine, 2 drops working up to 12 drops, with the companion nutrients. I got my first low TSH test results, then did these labs. Is it an indication of Graves’, where the iodine is collected and stored in the thyroid? I also have 3 thyroid nodules, but my imaging 6 months ago was fine. I stopped taking Lugols 2-3 weeks before the labs. I am now taking nothing. What do these test results mean? Is this a pituitary problem?

    TSH 0.052 LOW 0.450-4.500 01
    Thyroxine (T4) 7.5 4.5-12.0 01
    T3 Uptake 29 24-39 01
    Free Thyroxine Index 2.2 1.2-4.9 01
    T4,Free(Direct) 1.25 0.82-1.77 01
    Thyroglobulin, Antibody 2.4 HIGH 0.0-0.9 01
    Low positive Thyroglobulin antibodies are seen in a portion of the
    asymptomatic populations.
    Antithyroglobulin antibodies measured by Beckman Coulter Methodology
    Reverse T3, Serum 18.3 9.2-24.1 02
    Triiodothyronine (T3) 117 71-180 01
    Thyroid Peroxidase (TPO) Ab 13 0-34 01
    Triiodothyronine,Free,Serum 3.1 2.0-4.4 01

    • Janie Bowthorpe

      Hi Susie. Actually, Armour didn’t cause that hair loss. What it does is “reveal” another problem that causes the hair loss, which is usually low iron. Or…you were simply on too little. Armour will suppress your feedback loop, which in turn will make you even more hypo (which can also cause the hair loss) if you aren’t on enough, so you needed to keep raising if that was the case. So you may have fallen in two areas, i.e. hair loss can be because 1) a patient doesn’t have optimal levels of iron, or 2) a patient didn’t raise high enough to find their replacement dose. Try to find yourself here: You are also getting the wrong labs. You don’t need a T3 Uptake, Free Thyroxine Index or simply the total Triiodothyronine (T3), we have learned as patients. You just need a free T3 and free T4, which you have to teach your doctor.

      • Susie

        Yep!! You are right on. I dug out a few of my recent labs. Here they are. I guess I’ll correct my iron first and then re introduce armour. I’m already taking 4mg Blue Bonnet iron each day.

        Iron Bind.Cap.(TIBC) 240 LOW ug/dL 250-450 01
        UIBC 174 ug/dL 150-375 01
        Iron, Serum 66 ug/dL 35-155 01
        Iron Saturation 28 % 15-55 01
        Ferritin, Serum 67 ng/mL 15-150 01
        I take 4 mg Blue Bonnet chelated iron every day,
        Vit B12 501 200-1100 pg/ml
        Folate, serum 8.7 ref range Normal >5.4

  122. Tina

    Oops and I think the last reply to me was from Jane (the author – not Janie) – but thanks to both of you for your information and help!

  123. Tina

    Do any of you know of a good multi vitamin? I have been searching and trying to figure out what to do about that part and I am unsure what to get. I am learning a lot about nutrients and the importance of specific ones at higher dosages – but wondered if there is something out there that is a good overall supplement. There are so many – I am overwhelmed. Thanks!

    • Janie Bowthorpe

      Food-based vitamins.

      • Tina

        Thank you. Do you have a particular brand in mind? There are so many and I am overwhelmed with the choices I see.

        • Jane (the author of this article)

          Megafood is a good brand of food based but I have not used their multi. It’s so hard to find a multi which has the certain amounts I need of particular nutrients, the companion nutrients I list above in particular.
          And I don’t need Calcium. Most people have too much Ca and not enough Magnesium.
          And IMO high vitamin cod liver oil is essential. There is no multi which provides the nutrients of the several teaspoons to 1T. I take a day of Twinlab non emulsified cod liver oil.

          • Tina

            Thanks Janie. I have ordered your book (the 2nd edition) and I’m waiting for it to arrive. My doctor has recommended that I research and find out what I need to do to support my thyroid without going on medication at this point (which I greatly appreciate that he is not always just pro meds). I am hypothyroid – my TSH is 6.79 (and I am learning that a lot of experts disagree on whether or not that is a scary number). I do not have Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis. I am changing my diet based on some of the things I have been reading regarding foods that are bad for the thyroid, also exercising more consistently, etc. But I am just super overwhelmed with all of the choices/recommendations with multivitamins and supplements. It seems like whenever I read something about a certain supplement being helpful – then there is something else I read that scares me out of taking it! In all of your research and experience – although I know my thyroid is higher than it should be – what “category” of high does my number fall into? Also, thanks for your feedback about the brand of multivitamin to look into – that gives me a starting point! 🙂

          • Janie Bowthorpe

            Hi Tina. I think it’s always worth a try to see if you can make iodine and focused nutrition work for you! 🙂 But I want to prepare you that many have tried it and still ended up on thyroid meds, which is not a bad thing. You’ll have to find out for you–it may work, but if it doesn’t, it’s all still easy to treat with NDT. And by the way, though your TSH is high, yes, and reveals how hypo you are, it’s really the free T3 and free T4 you need to look at from now on, not the TSH. The latter is a pituitary hormone, not a thyroid hormone.

          • Maria

            Jane, where do you get your no emulsified cod liver oil from?

    • julia

      Try “signature swanson lee line” its rated 5* based on the quality. The only downfall is that you need to take 14 pills a day. But they are loaded in everything you need for the day!

  124. Arlene Kakavas

    I am currently on Armour. Have noticed an imporved difference than with Synthroid. My Doctor has suggested to drink 2-3 drops of iodine in water daily. In the past, I have had allergic reactions to shrimp which has iodine…. So, I am a little bit confused. I read somewhere that it may not be the iodine but a protein in the shrimp that can cause allergic reactions. I would really like to get my thyroid back on track and would like to get on a supplement regimen along with my Armour intake. Your thoughts and feedback are appreciated. Thank you.

    • Jane (the author of this article)

      It is almost impossible to be allergic to iodine. It’s a natural mineral that is essential for life and the composition of the body. It’s like being allergic to calcium. T4 and T3 refer to the 4 and 3 molecules of iodine which make up thyroid hormone for example. And you cannot live without thyroid hormone.

      Yes, being allergic to shrimp or another food, such as nuts, is because of the food protein itself.

      2-3 drops of Lugol’s 2% solution would be 5 – 7.5 mg of iodine. Many people believe 50mg is the minimum daily dose and many take much more than that.

  125. LMarie

    Hi, so I have had thyroid issues for about 17 years, am 53, suffered infertility before being diagnosed, and have yet to have any relief of symptoms. I additionally have Mitral Valve Prolapse, autoimmune issues, and a teenage son who had to have a lobe of his thyroid removed, and has Celiac.
    I thank you for your book, which I read with much interest, and website, which I hope will help turn things around for me. After much searching, through helps found in your book, I found a General Practice Dr. that agreed to try me on Armour, after being on generic Synthroid 100mg over the last 14 years. I was one month on 30mg thyroid, then 60, then 90mg armour thyroid. I have yet to see any improvement at these levels. My blood tests on synthroid were within range. My current bloods are as follows:
    Free T4 at 30mg -.8 at 60mg – .9 at 90mg – .8
    Free T3——– 2.4———- 4.8———– 2.9
    T3 total———59———-174———- 113
    TSH ——— 4.49 ———3.52 ——— 0.21
    My General Dr. seems to be unsure as to where to go from here…. suggesting I may need to go to an Endocrinologist, but previously, I couldn’t find one to treat with me with Armour. Cytomel & Synthroid together were also suggested? Do you have any suggestions? I worry of the TSH getting even lower if the Thryoid dose is upped. Yet I think I may need more Armour, as symptoms; mainly pretty constant fatigue, continue, and may be even worse than before I started this switch a few months ago. Any advise or help is very much appreciated.

  126. Susie Lee

    Well…I have run the gambit of thyroid meds and gone full circle. Let me try and keep this brief.
    In my 20s: diagnosed and treated for a couple weeks for hypothyroid then taken off the meds.???
    In my 30s and 40s: hair loss, tired…went to a dermatologist. Asked her to test me for thyroid problems…you guessed it…old panel…oh you’re thyroid is fine. You have female pattern baldness that will “probably” not get much worse than this. WHAT!!???
    In my 50s…under great family stress with elderly parent who has dementia. Started suddently getting joint pain, heart palpitations and dry skin and out of control weight issues. Went to a doctor who said…you have hypothyroidism. Hashimotos Disease. Put me on a very low dose of synthroid (lyvoxelthrine). 25 mcg then upped it to 50….then to 75…was told to exercise more and eat less. (Is this classic or what?)
    No matter what I did, I couldn’t lose weight or feel better. So then…..(you saw this coming, didn’t you?) he said maybe you’re depressed. If your symptoms don’t begin to change we will assume that and start you on a low dose of antidepressant.
    Bells and whistles began to go off in my head, as my husband and I searched for more answers online. We found a website hat sold Iadoral and I began taking that. At first with the thyroid meds. I weaned myself off the meds and was taking 4 Iadoral daily. Still a hypo mess. Then…
    (Sun beaming down and angels singing) I found Dr. Brownstein’s books and orderd them. Overcoming Thyroid Disorders and Iodine, Why You Need It. I devoured the books and since I could not get in to see Dr. Brownstein, found a local holistic Dr. That was recommended to me by my chiropractor. I feel I’ve already been on a very loooong journey at this point.
    This doctor seemed to adhere to Dr. Brownstein’s methods and I was thrilled beyond words that I was. Finally going to get somewhere. She did some bloodwork, started me on a low dose of Armour and upped it in 7 days. I had so much energy I was euphoric! And I was taking supplements like selenium and sublingual B12, CoQ10 Mega Red, a daily multi vitamin supplement that she recommended…just to name a few.
    Upon My next visit to her, she revealed that I was intolerant to gluten, eggs and dairy. 😩 no!!!!!! I’m italian!!!! Well, I kind of knew how to do the because I’d been successful on the Suzanne Sommers diet before. But no eggs! ? No dairy! ? This was challenging.
    Upon my next visit (approx.2 mos later) I had developed a head to toe itching that at times felt like pin pricks, and something crawling on me and bites. (No I don’t have bed bugs). I googled a few things and found I wasn’t alone. There are many people who, upon taking Armour Thyroid, began to itch so badly they went off. No!!!!! I felt so good!!! I stuck it out, itching and all until several months later she switched me to NatureThroid to see if it helped. She also did a food allergy test which revealed pork as being on the borderline for intolerance. Well…if Armour and Nature are both made com pigs? Hello? Needlesstosay….the itching continued and now I have this fine rash going along with the itching all over my bleeding and scratched body. I went to the store and got a back scratcher (my new best friend), as my husband just wasn’t understanding the intensity to which he needed to be scratching my back. LOL. The man needed a break. Ok…fast forward a few months to the present. I saw her Tuesday. She said we need to try and get this itching stopped for you. (Oh, ya think?). Let’s go off EVERYTHING. Vitamin supplements, aspirin, iodine, … and I’m going to start you on a combo of synthroid and Cytomel, so you’ll be getting the T4 and 3. It’s possible, she said, that you can’t tolerate the desicated thyroid because of the bovine. Only thing she wanted me to take is evening primrose oil, to help alleviate some of the itching and Krill oil for my sticky blood platelets.
    So….I’m on day 3 of the new regimen. Day two, I came down with a terrible flu, with full blown coughing, aching, fever, etc. while I had the fever I had a minimal amount of itching. Nearly nothing. I thought WONDERFUL! Now were getting somewhere. After the fever broke and the aches subsided a bit, the itching resumed. That was yesterday. Today, I’m itching like always. Ready to jump ship here. Can anyone address these issues? Sorry for the lengthiness…and thank you for reading. Any answers certainly appreciated.

    • STTM

      Hi Susie. This is probably more complicated than a blog can help with. I think you need to schedule a phone coaching call with Janie, who is pretty helpful unlike any others because of the long time she’s been doing this:

    • Karon

      I had inching all over and triple dose B-complex for a week. It went away.

    • Cathy

      Your symptoms match Lyme disease aswell, it can affect any organ in the body . Whenever you change any type of protocol be it food or natural medicines it will kick back with many unusual symptoms. However, if you your temperature goes over 103 and reaches 104 you will kill off the active spirochetes and get relief for a while. Ring for a lyme testing kit from MD Labs, NJ, and have it sent to your doctor. Have the blood drawn and put in the phial by the nurse, or get a script and have it drawn at an independent lab, then you mail it back yourself. The cost is reasonable and the result will be accurate. Hope this helps.

  127. Elaine S. Dodd

    I first discovered the Thyroid mystery from Dr. Brownstein. His findings concur with yours. I was amazed about the salt, eyebrows etc.
    It is sad that doctors don’t use the full thyroid test; I begged for years to have the full test but never got it & tested “normal” w the standard test. My new doc did the real test and results were hypo.

  128. Diana Shirley

    Ok so I am Hypothyroid,I currently tale Eltroxin 0.5 mg. I am researching information on this subject as my family dr doesn’t even know if reports that thyroid patients should avoid soy or not are true. I take iron supplements as my dr says my iron is low, I also starting taking kelp supplements( sans dr’s advice). If I am reading this page correctly should I be taking selenium as well, plus vit c and magnesium? If I am taking Iodine supplements, does not taking selenium hinder the benefits? I am going to ask my dr to refer me to either an endocrinologist or an integrative doctor as I am looking for more help with this condition. I am tired more days than I am not tired.

    • Janie Bowthorpe

      Hi Diana! Yes, because doctors aren’t as knowledgeable as we are, you are doing the right thing to learn from STTM. Here’s info about soy: Here’s about selenium and iodine: And be VERY careful with Endos. They tend to be obsessed with T4 and the TSH. Finally, here’s why you need to move from Eltroxin to Natural Desiccated Thyroid (NDT): And here’s how to use NDT:

    • Jane (the author of this article)

      I would not take kelp.

      According to the iodine researchers quoted above, Lynne Farrow’s book, Iodine Crisis: What You Don’t Know About Iodine Can Wreck Your Life, and also the studies quoted here:

      – kelp can be contaminated with heavy metals, bromides and oil dispersants. There is many many times more bromide in our oceans than iodine now. There is also no way to determine how much iodine is in a certain amount of seaweed, and how much has evaporated.

      Small amounts of iodine can aggravate the thyroid. We need larger amounts to stock all our body parts that utilize it, and kick out the bromide, fluoride etc.

      Yes the companion nutrients are vital to allow the body to use iodine.

      • Donna

        Can you tell me more about how small amounts of Iodine aggravate the thyroid? And would you define ‘small amount’, please? I was talking with a naturopath and she highly encouraged me to stick with the RDA dose and not go as high as Lugol’s doses. She said that can cause problems. So now I’m confused and not sure what to think…I have Life Flo liquid iodine (150 mcg). Is that the kind of dose you’re saying is too small and will only aggravate the thyroid? Or is that ok to use to begin with and build up my dose from there? (I’ve also started the Iodine protocol companion nutrients, so they’re on board).

        • Jane (the author of this article)

          It depends on the person how much is needed per day. What we learned from the iodine researchers and clinicians based on their thousands of patients is that mcg. amounts do not stock all of the iodine receptors in the body not only thyroid but breasts, ovaries, prostate, stomach, brain, eyes, skin, muscles, etc.

          This is due to the overwhelming amount of halides in our environment – bromide, fluoride, perchlorate and chlorine that kick iodine out of the body and in some cases are stored there in its place. These toxic halides are in food, water, pesticides, additives, flame retardants (carpets, cars, furniture, mattresses, clothing, TVs, computers, smartphones), pool and hot tubs chemicals, etc.

          The iodine researchers are gradually finding that people may need a minimum of 50 mg. per day to neutralize the continued assault on our bodies. EWG shows that Americans have much higher amounts than Europeans for example.

          Have your ND read up on their research here:

          She will find that historically, high doses of iodine were common – before RAI and goitrogenic drugs were developed. And the fear of iodine was based on an incorrect assumption called the Wolff Chaikoff effect. Based on rats which didn’t even develop goiter or hypoT in the first place as a response to high iodine!

          And in Dr. Brownstein’s book:

        • Jane (the author of this article)

          and re: small doses aggravate the thyroid.

          The researchers also found that high doses are needed to turn on the protective iodolipid that turns off the oxidation in the thyroid gland that leads to the damage of the TPO enzyme, and the development of autoimmune disease.

          There is more info in Dr. Brownstein’s book. A relevant section is quoted starting at the bottom page 8 of Stephanie Buist, ND’s The Guideline to Supplementing Iodine. Dr. Brownstein is her mentor, and she runs the Iodine Yahoo group and Iodine Facebook group.

  129. Lisa Parker

    I highly recommend to everyone that you have all of what the article mentioned in place BEFORE EVER trying an iodine protocol. Also, from my experience, you better have your adrenals supported with Hydrocortisone or whatever is needed, or you will crash. This was my experience in taking the iodine. Also, Dr. Brownstein found in his research that a combination of iodine and IODIDE was necessary. Please investigate this thoroughly before taking. I didn’t and crashed my adrenals badly when I took iodine. I felt like someone shot me out of a canon with energy for a number of hours and was then in bed for weeks. Just hoping I can keep someone from repeating my own mistake. Best wishes!

    • Jane (the author of this article)

      Yes that is good advice indeed, Lisa, thank you. Doing the companion protocol including salt, for a few weeks to a month before starting iodine has been recommended by many.

      And yes “iodine” is used as a catch all term. Lugol’s or Iodoral contains both iodine and iodide so that is why the iodine researchers recommend them. Iodine is important for the breasts. Iodide for thyroid and ovaries among other parts.

      There are other supportive measures for the adrenals which you can do such as the Adrenal Cocktail

      1/2 tsp Celtic sea salt
      1/2 tsp cream of tartar
      1/2 cup orange juice (I do acerola powder for the natural vit C plus a little honey instead)

      Also I think the Circadian T3 Method shows that it is low thyroid hormone that causes low adrenals, they are so intertwined.

      • Carol n

        Hi Jane,

        Thx for this excellent overview. I started a week or so ago taking the supporting supplements, prior to taking iodine. But I am concerned about the link you have saying that taking Se wo iodine can lower thyroid function. What r your thoughts pls?

    • Janet G

      high amounts of iodine without selenium induces AIT (Auto Immune Thyroiditis) and goiter. This happened to me and then the nodule was cancerous. My Holistic doctor who follows Dr. Brownstein did me a disservice and now I have hashimotos and 1/2 a thyroid. Be careful with Iodine supplements. When I developed the nodule she told me to stop the iodine immediately and take selenium, vit c, b-12, magnesium double dose to stop the attack.

      • Lynne Farrow

        Hi, Janet. I’m sorry for your experience. I’m not clear what your original diagnostic situation was, but clear that you were prescribed some form of iodine without selenium or the other companion nutrients which are very specific in dosage and include a salt loading protocol. I’m sorry your doctor was not aware of the protocol from the begining.
        Stopping iodine does not usually stop the attack. The iodine has to reach a higher level in Hashi’s patients in order to be protective. Also, what was diagnosed as a goiter may have just been the thyroid swelling to trap iodine after a prelonged deficiency.
        Please don’t give up on iodine. Hundreds of patients have gotten rid of their Hashi’s (including me) by learning how to supplement iodine in a systematic fashion. Please join us on the Iodine Workshop Facebook Group.
        Remember, there are lots of us veterans out there to help.

        • Monte

          I’ve been reading about how important iodine is, and casual mentions of companion supplements, but this is the fist site I ran across that actually listed them and why they are important. Thanks.

          I wonder how many people actually drank iodine directly from the bottle after hearing how important it is without knowing anything about the companion supplements and doses? If some is good, more must be better – not. There are a lot of irresponsible and ignorant sites out there that are excited about iodine, but not really helping. They treat iodine more like a conspiracy instead of a part of your overall health you should monitor.

    • Pam

      Thank you for your information.

    • Bex

      Thanks for thenFYI…… looking into safe wyantomintain iodine , I use Spirolina nutrient supplement. As it is afer then straight iodine and since Inhave no way to take blood samples to. Easure my results, I totally appreciiatee your experiance ….. sticking to kelp,rich foods for iodine needs my be the way to go safely

  130. Yvonne

    This is a brilliant post, useful and helpful. Thanks so much for this!

  131. Lynne

    Janie, thank you for this valuable information.


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