A Speculative Account of the Effects of Iodine Supplementation at Different Doses

Screen Shot 2016-01-08 at 10.14.42 AMThe following Guest Blog Post was written by Malcolm Maclean, MD of the United Arab Emirates. Dr. Maclean serves as a Trustee and Medical Advisor for TPA (Thyroid Patient Advocacy) UK.

Dr. Maclean makes strong speculative proposals in this article as to why there are differing bodily experiences in the use of iodine and the doses used.

Take the time to read the below slowly and carefully–good points to consider!

NOTE: if you are receiving email notice of this blog post, a reply to the email goes nowhere. Instead, you need to click on the title of the blog post, which will take you directly to the STTM blog, and there you can comment.


The value of iodine

Most folk in the Thyroid Community understand the requirement for Iodine because the body uses it to synthesize thyroid hormone.

But a variety of cells require iodine for optimum function, as well (e.g. breast, ovaries, pancreas and prostate). So Iodine is important for the body quite apart from supplying the thyroid gland with Iodine. This view is not widely held in the mainstream.

Further, several scientific reports point to widespread iodine deficiency, particularly in the UK and parts of Russia, pointing to the value of Iodine supplementation, at least in some cases.

Yet a problem and a challenge

The capacity of Fluoride and possibly Estrogen Dominance to aggravate dysfunctional Iodine metabolism argue for close attention. Because for those who choose to supplement with Iodine (and there is a strong case for this to prevent breast cancer, plus those diagnosed with Hashimoto’s Disease, see below), the response to such supplementation (based on reported experience of those contributing to Iodine Forums) appears to vary according to:

  1. the baseline Iodine status
  2. the state of the adrenal glands (operating at full strength or in a state of “adrenal insufficiency”?)
  3. whether Companion Nutrients are simultaneously supplemented.
  4. the chosen dose of Iodine
  5. how it is taken (via skin/orally)
  6. the size of the dose
  7. how quickly dosage is introduced

Important Point: For those in the Thyroid Community who have been diagnosed as having Hashimoto’s Disease, Iodine has a reputation for exacerbating Hashimoto’s Disease. However, Iodine may be tolerated provided that the “Companion Nutrients”, referred to above, are in place.

Why are Companion Nutrients important?

Arguably, the adverse effects attributed to Iodine, when used in the situation of Hashimoto’s Disease, are caused by the Iodine-induced, unbalanced and exaggerated activity of the activity of an important and powerful thyroid enzyme: Thyroid Peroxidase, thereby a creating Oxidative Stress and the potential for thyroid cell damage. The Companion Nutrients are designed to support the body’s antioxidant System. Companion Nutrients are used here to prevent damage arising from the unopposed action of Thyroid Peroxidase, as and when Iodine is introduced to the Thyroid Gland, especially in the situation of an inadequate anti-oxidant System.

The purpose of this article

The purpose of this text is to examine the variable experience of those who have reported the effect of supplementing with Iodine and to attempt to explain those experiences according to how the body responds in different metabolic situations. Therefore the purpose is not to influence the reader in any direction (as regards Iodine usage) but to perhaps enable a speculative view of what might happen if/as and when, Iodine is supplemented and why.

I believe that no one should adopt Iodine supplementation without a good deal of reading around the subject, e.g on the STTM and TPAUK websites.

I apologize for the length of this contribution. However, it deals with the complex issue of Iodine effects and it is tricky to give a brief interpretation of this little-understood, but important area, especially for those whose metabolism is out of whack because of the toxic effects of mercury, which has the capacity to damage adrenal, thyroid and methylation function (at least).

So, this text has also been written for those with suspected toxicity (e.g. from dental amalgam) in the hope that the text might explain and emphasize components of the Shade Protocol (designed for the elimination of mercury), which might be ignored by those who, unwisely, are too hasty to get better.

The right dose of Iodine

I don’t think anyone fully understands what “the right” dose of Iodine is.

If your adrenals are out of whack, Iodine is liable to cause you to crash.

Nor is there agreement on what may be the further results of Iodine supplementation, especially at higher doses.

Some people assert that if you start supplementing with Iodine, two different effects may result, depending on what dose you start at:

Low Dose

Effect: Up-regulation of thyroid synthesis, especially for those who are Iodine deficient (many people are Iodine deficient, so that makes sense). However, if your adrenal function is down, the cells cannot handle the increased levels of stimulation (via thyroid hormone) without a correspondingly elevated level of cortisol.

It is known that thyroid hormone and cortisol work together. Hence, in the situation of adrenal insufficiency (possibly Mercury-induced in the first place, for some) there is the potential for an adrenal failure-induced “Crash” (= feeling dreadful +/- palpitations =”Thyroid toxicity”). So in these two situations… (a] adequate, vs b] inadequate adrenal function…taking Iodine may make you feel better or worse

High dose

Effect: Some people report benefit from the introduction of Iodine at a high initial dosage (going against the principle of starting low, increasing slow). This appears not to make sense.

The theory of taking high doses of Iodine

One theory involves acknowledging that Iodine may function as an antioxidant (that Iodine has antioxidant properties, is accepted, although, perhaps not widely so). The theory goes: Iodine exerts its antioxidant properties but only noticeably at higher doses.

Further, so the theory goes, that antioxidant effect at higher doses tends to overcome the blockage of adrenal function that is creating impaired adrenal function in the first place. Meaning: Low cortisol synthesis and low cortisol levels, because of Mercury blocking cortisol Synthesis by exerting stress on the anti-oxidant system (Iodine usage here, supporting the anti-oxidant system and opposing Mercury).

That too makes a certain amount of sense, because Mercury is known to be able to block cortisol synthesis by acting as an oxidant and exerting stress on the anti-oxidant system.

Speculatively, once your Iodine dosage has (according to this scenario) restored adrenal function by opposing Mercury effects, any further increase may start to be counter-productive (meaning onset of Iodine overdose).

Speculatively, according to dosage therefore, these situations may result sequentially:

1. Baseline: Iodine deficiency in the diet.

Sub-optimal thyroid function with, perhaps, symptoms of Hypothyroidism.

2. Addition of Iodine at low dosage

a) Improves you if adrenal function is adequate
b) Crashes you if you have adrenal insufficiency

3. Addition of Iodine at high dosage

a) Bypasses the “Crash” effects
b) Remits the oxidative stress which is causing the (Mercury-induced) adrenal Insufficiency (with knock-on low Cortisol levels), enables the adrenals to restore Cortisol synthesis:

Result? Feeling better

4. Supra-Optimal Iodine Dosage

Meaning: even higher dosage than that necessary to restore adrenal function and Cortisol levels:

Speculatively: Iodine Toxicity

Result: You start to feel down again.

Speculative summary of Iodine effects according to dosage

Starting at a “Low” baseline level (Iodine Deficient status) and from there, increasing daily dosage: Feels down-> Take more Iodine-> Feels better->Increase Iodine dosage. More iodine-> Feels worse-> Increase Iodine dosage. More Iodine->Feels better-> Increase Iodine dosage even further: feels worse

This is all theory and is provided for the benefit of those who speculate about what effects Iodine may have.

In preparing the description of this speculative scenario, I am indebted to the contribution (of a lawyer) to an Iodine Forum, who wrote interestingly on this topic as follows:

“Okay. This all-theoretical, mind you, but based on my experience, I think my theory may be correct. At lower doses of iodine, many of the symptoms labeled as bromide detox are identical to adrenal fatigue symptoms: air hunger, low blood sugar, weight gain, headaches, dizziness, fatigue, insomnia, anxiety, palpitations, etc. Another coincidence: the very things that Brownstein etc. recommend for bromide detox are actually things used to alleviate adrenal fatigue: Vitamin C, salt… This may explain many of the symptoms of detox at lower doses. It’s actually adrenal fatigue. Now, iodine can also act as an antioxidant, but only when the body uses excess iodine to make a lipid called delta-iodolactone. But the body will not make this unless it is such a high dose of iodine that the body feels confident that it has enough iodine for its basic needs, so it can use the excess iodine to make this antioxidant lipid. This antioxidant is like 300x more powerful than Vitamin C. I think that you have to take upwards of 100mg of iodine or higher for the body to make this. Because when I take 25mg, I have horrible detox symptoms, but when I take 100mg of iodine I feel normal. I think that at 100mg and up, the body makes delta-iodolactone, and this [is an] antioxidant . It’s the only thing that can account for the fact that people, who can’t take 25mgs without getting sick, can take 150mg without a problem. And there have been about 10 of us who have found this to be true”

The only difference between the lawyer’s interpretation of Iodine effect (at high dosage) and my interpretation:

My interpretation is that at high Iodine dosage, that strong antioxidant effect kicks in, thereby enabling Iodine to resurrect the adrenals (and thus cortisol levels) by opposing the strong oxidant and toxic effects of Mercury. The evidence for this speculation? At high concentration, iodine appears to tighten up the mitochondrial membrane, thereby preventing leakage of cytochrome C from the mitochondria, across the mitochondrial membrane into the cytosol (cytoplasm).

Result? Less in the cytosol diminishes oxidative processes in the cytosol.

Result? Less risk of the negative consequences of oxidative stress.

Result? Restoration of the important enzymes which have been suppressed by oxidative stress.

Result? Recovery of 17-Hydroxylase, 5′ Deiodinase, and Methionine Synthase, thereby contributing to the recovery of adrenal, thyroid and Methylation function respectively.

There are those, including myself, who attribute their thyroid & adrenal failure to Mercury toxicity (from dental amalgam). Importantly, this interpretation of Iodine effects draws attention to and emphasizes the importance of supplements described in the Shade Protocol (designed for the elimination of Mercury) and also described as the “Companion Nutrients” in “Iodine Context”.

To summarize: Iodine supplementation is a tricky area. Extensive reading prior to any usage is advised. Adrenal function should be good and the Companion Nutrients should be in place as supplements before embarking. Potential effects of Iodine at different doses have been speculatively described. Getting the right dose is especially tricky and there appears to be no way of knowing what is the right dose without just trying and seeing. Few would argue against a daily dosage of Iodine: one milligram per day, properly supported, as described above.

Further, importantly, this text is not a recommendation to start taking Iodine at massive doses, despite the fact that some report benefit from this approach. The reason for such caution is, as usual, that our metabolisms are all different.

Dr. Malcolm Maclean


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65 Responses to “A Speculative Account of the Effects of Iodine Supplementation at Different Doses”

  1. Rose

    Has anyone tried taking a high dose (like 50 mg) once a week? In theory, wouldn’t that benefit the body by bypassing the adrenal crash and definitely fulfilling one’s weekly need for iodine? Is there some reason iodine needs to be taken daily? Taking it once a week would ensure that you are not overdosing on it, correct?

    • Janie Bowthorpe

      Daily because the body uses it.

    • Monica

      I used it when I lived on the pacific coast after Fukushima. I didn’t know if radiation would come. I was bloating when I took it, but I noticed it immediately released my water & 10 minutes after I took it, I peed a lot. My face swelling went down after I peed, arms too. I did not expect that. It was only for Fukushima

  2. Joye

    I was on levothyroxine for 7 years and liothyronine for 3 years. I took myself off of them due to weight gain and feeling terrible. I also tried to get off my beta blocker I’ve been on for 30 years due to weight gain. I thought that was causing my insomnia, heart palps, etc. The neurologist, cardiologist or naturopath said nothing about my thyroid issues. Now my TSH is at 12, Free T3 is 2.80, Free T4 is 0.72. I tried to got on NDH and after 3 days, insomnia, heart palps returned. My blood cortisol came back ‘normal’ as did my iron ferritin. I realize the blood tests aren’t reliable. My iodine patch test went away after about 8 hours. Not sure what to do now? Try the minerals and Iodine and see how I feel, or do the saliva test for cortisol first? Thank you, Janie

  3. Henrietta Bruun

    So – if your bloods and saliva looks like this:
    Iron: 10 μmol/L
    Ferritin: 206 μg/L
    Saliva cortisol:
    Morning: Very LOW
    Noon: VERY HIGH
    Afternoon: HIGH
    Night: HIGH
    Iodin bloods are to be drawn next week though.
    I DO have major inflammation in body.
    Does all these things have to be in order before even thinking of trying Iodin?

  4. Tammy

    I have been researching iodine for hypothyroid. My cortisol levels were tested last yr and were OK but my TSH jumped from 3 to 4.1 in 8 months. I have most symptoms of hypothyroid as well. I recently ordered detoxadine before I found your site. According to what I am reading , many are having good results using 100 mg iodine. However detoxadine has 1950 mcg per 3 drops. Unless I am figuring wrong, or this iodine is different…I am getting approximately 52 drops per day to equal 100 mg. Is this correct?

  5. Susan

    Another update. I have cut back my Dr Wilson’s Adrenal Rebuilder — it was interfering with my sleep. I am sleeping much better than I have. I am losing weight. I increased my Lugol’s to 150 mg of iodine daily, no ill-effects whatsoever. I still get tired, but there is no comparison to six months ago.

    Perhaps it helped that I was already taking the companion nutrients as part of my supplementation. This protocol has been nothing but good for me, and I am anxious to learn more about iodine.

    • Rose

      Hello Susan,

      Are you still take high doses of iodine with good effect? T


  6. Susan

    Here’s my update. I’ve been taking 100 mg of Lugol’s solution iodine daily for a number of weeks. At first it was like increasing one’s NDT — I was full of beans! Then when things settled down, I did see an improvement. I’ve also been taking Dr Wilson’s Adrenal Rebuilder for over a year now, and that plus the iodine have improved my health a great deal. I pruned my blueberry bushes for the first time in years, and after spending the morning outdoors the other day I actually had a sense of well-being for the rest of the day, something I have not had for a long time (I have not been experiencing endorphins for quite a while).

    I only seem to have issues with sleep if I am being stressed, and the major source of my stress right now is the games my PCP is playing regarding my NDT. I am trying to find a better PCP and sympathize with everyone else who is struggling with this issue.

  7. Hadassah

    I wanted to share my experience with Iodine . I was taking Iodine at 12.5 Iodoral for months and started to have terrible low back pains . First I thought it was kidney related but then I realized it was my adrenals . I was so weak and in so much pain .
    I started to eliminate the Iodine slowly .First I took half and still did not feel right . I totally eliminated it and THANK G-D the pain disappeared and my energy returned . If and when you do decide to dose with Iodine be on the look out for any side effects . I don’t know why this happened .

  8. Susan

    Somewhere online I saw that the man who developed the TSH test said that temperature-taking was a better test for hypothyroidism. Does anyone know where I saw this? (I’m sorry but I find that those Yahoo groups are NOT user-friendly.)

    • Janie Bowthorpe

      Susan, Broda Barnes created the temperature test (but he wasn’t the one who developed the TSH lab test).

      • Susan

        I’ve read Broda Barnes’s book, but this was someone online saying that the man who developed the TSH and T3 tests has been recorded as saying that temperature taking is really a far more accurate way to test the thyroid. I would really like to have this record so I can print it out and send it to my provider.

  9. Sarah

    I just wanted to add that proper iodine synthesis requires ferritin to be in the (50-90) and if you are anemic and are low as was my case 15 you will crash because you will not gave enough free iron to allow t3 to bind to your cells to give you the energy you need. I started at 50 was great for a few days till the insomnia hit and then I crashed horribly complete exhaustion I also experienced once I stopped taking iodine a lack of efficiency at my once perfect dose of ndt and it is taking me quite a while to get back up to where I feel like I did before starting iodine. In addition, I am concerned that I will now need to increase my ndt dose because of this. I am hoping that once my iron comes back up I will be back to normal but am not sure.

    • Aurora

      Hello Sarah,

      Did you manage to get your haemoglobin levels up and restart iodine? I want to restart, but i have thalassemia and because of that i have ill effects from iodine due to oxidisation.

  10. Roman


    thanks for the article.

    I’ve read this article one week ago posted in a german facebook group.

    I also joined the groups in facebook and yahoo 3 days ago and it seems like I’m not getting accepted, maybe you can help me out.

    Since I’ve started taking 1 Grain of NDT and low dose cortisone on wednessday I started to have EXTREME irrational irritability and anger outbursts, mostly in the morning an I didn’t used to have before and my temperature seems to be ever lower than before I started. At 95.7 this morning.

    Any idea what I’m doing wrong?

    Thanks a lot for this website.

    • Janie Bowthorpe

      Hard to say. But two things we do know: it’s important to prove we do have low cortisol by using the saliva test. Guessing is too risky. Can’t tell if you did do saliva. Second, low dose HC doesn’t work, patients with low cortisol found out the hard way, and that may be why you had that reaction. . Study Chapter 6 in the revised STTM book. It’s important.

  11. Susan

    I am very interested in this iodine information. I tried contacting the iodine users group — it was shut down. I do not use Facebook because I do not like the invasive quality (receiving weird emails that say they’re from other people on Facebook). I have been taking 3 vertical drops of 2% Lugols solution for quite a while; I take 3 grains of NP Thyroid daily (first grain between 4 and 5 a.m., another grain 2 hours later, last grain 2 hours after that — have found this works for me based on indications of liver detoxification of thyroid hormone); I have adrenal fatigue. After starting Dr Wilson’s Adrenal Rebuilder almost a year ago, I find myself slowly, VERY slowly, improving; I actually worked in my perennial gardens this past summer, more interested in house, outdoors, etc. I’m now trying to follow Dr Wilson’s recommendation to be quiet between 7 and 9 a.m. I do use the companion nutrients — have terrible symptoms if I do not put Redmund salt in my water — but am thinking of trying a high dosage of iodine and seeing what happens. I am very body aware and would not repeat doses if anything bad happened. Do you have any suggestions?

    • Janie Bowthorpe

      Sounds like you are already on top of things. Hope the high dose iodine works for you!

      • Susan

        So I’m guessing you think I should try it. I tried what one woman said she did — stopping for two weeks then going to high dose — and that really did not work for me. Four days with no iodine and I was incredibly dizzy and craving sugar. I’m assuming if I start taking 100 mg iodine per day and feel terrible that will tell me what I need to know.

        • Bimmer

          Any update? I add salt to my water and get dizzy upon standing if I don’t. I’m currently taking between 12.5 and 25 mg of iodine per day and have been contemplating a higher dose (like 100mg) for some time now.

  12. Hadassah

    Dear Janie , can you PLEASE direct me with my T3 as I am very new to this 11/2 week and very confused . I break up my 5mcg in half .
    I take my T3 at about 6am; feel great until about 2pm when the palpitations start. Is that the drug just starting to work, or is that the effect of it wearing off? Seems to me unlikely to be the latter as I don’t have palpitations without it, but I would have imagined – as it is so fast-acting – that adverse symptoms would have been felt sooner than 8 hours later. Plus my basal temperature is 97:00 can’t get it higher . Does it take longer to go up since I took T4 (Synthroid) alone for 23 yrs .

  13. Lorraine Love

    Hi Janie, I have a client whose basal temp is consistently 97.4-97.6, FT4 .96, FT3 2.8, weight loss resistance despite moderate cal/whole foods diet and good exercise. I am supporting her with thyroid nutrients/and helping her with food sensitivities to decrease inflammation. But was thinking of a trial of Thyrogold -. There seem to be many contraindications – would this be a safe trial.

    • Janie Bowthorpe

      Hi Lorraine. Hard for me to say if it will be safe or not for any individual. All I know as someone who has spent years collecting reports from patients is that NDT, when raised to find one’s optimal dose….and in the presence of the right amount of cortisol and iron…has changed lives all over the world. And I have also heard of practitioners trialing NDT with their patients before, and perhaps she can work with her doctor on that. It would just be important to understand how to raise and what to look for. https://stopthethyroidmadness.com/natural-thyroid-101 And her labs scream hypothyroid anyway based on what we’ve seen in each other. https://stopthethyroidmadness.com/ndt-doesnt-work-for-me

  14. Hadassah

    I’m wondering how to dose with iodine . Do you stay away from certain supplements when you take it ? And I’m reading that it can lower thyroid meds ? If it is true then one needs to increase thyroid meds even more ? Does iodine help with adrenal fatigue . And I heard that people do put weight on is it on low dose or higher dose ? What’s the best way to get around that problem if at all ?

  15. CB

    After reading some good and bad stories on the internet about using Iodine for fatigue, I have logged my Iodoral intake on an excel spread sheet and can view my progress with the bar chart the data creates. My fatigue gradually worsened (7 years ago) about 6 months after mercury amalgam fillings were replaced by dentist over a period of 2-3 months with mercury-free fillings (approx. 8!) I do not miss the metallic taste AT ALL! After trying many protocols, the fatigue and dizziness remained. The day I took 2 Iodoral will remain with me always. It was like the lights went back on. I then discovered companion supplements and decided to gradually work my way up. As of today its been 6.5 months and I have been able to manage 50mg + for only 2 months. Energy has been good at times which I’m grateful for. Each time I would go up, I might have a few days of feeling awful. If it was really bad, I went back to the previous level and felt better. I have been doing this up and down motion for 6.5 months with a one month break in November. I read somewhere the idea is to fire up your thyroid to work for itself again. I wanted to experience if my metabolism would work. Energy was good but digestion required magnesium for a few weeks. In the fourth week of being off Iodine, I was confident that I could come off it again and recover quickly. So I jumped back on and at 75mg dizziness went completely. Gone. Nothing! I can see clearly. I don’t bump into things. Memory is cool, fresh, quick and responsive. What is interesting is at 75mg, the second day I had five skin eruptions occurring on extremities of little red spots in the lymph node areas. For the first time in a long time, I feel in control, flushing out the unwanted. Despite the spots, I am clear thinking, my energy is consistently good ALL DAY! My sleep is deep and fantastic. Since going to 75mg, I added cleavers herb to ensure the lymphatic system is kept moving and with extra magnesium to ensure regular excretion, I am on the way back to my old self. I suspect in the first few months, I shrank a small node on my right thyroid which gave me awful pain. Swollen face (had for 5 years) has gone. I don’t recognise myself in the mirror at the moment! Iodoral (Dr Brownstein’s protocol) has been my liberation and I’m very grateful to Optimox and Dr. Brownstein’s research team. Will reply to any comments or questions gladly.

    • Leah

      Have you been monitoring your TPO antibodies the whole time you have been taking Iodine? Thanks

  16. Karyn

    The thyroid suppressing aspect of iodine is rarely discussed, and I feel it’s important to include it.

    “Iodine increases thyroid function if the individual is iodine deficient
    Iodine decreases thyroid function if the individual is sufficient.
    We don’t know the optimal dose or what individual factors affect outcome.”
    From a PP slide presentation on Iodine and Thyroid Function.

    This is from the company who developed the Thyrodine Quantitative Fluid Analyzer for Iodide. They test iodine levels in saliva, blood and urine. They state they plan to do future studies to determine if iodide supplementation above sufficiency levels causes thyroid disfunction. I look forward to these studies. My experience with iodine says it does.

    This is less of a problem when taking thyroid meds, because you’re already replacing what your thyroid would make. For those not taking thyroid meds, high dose iodine past sufficiency will probably eventually have the effect of inhibiting thyroid function.

    Consider that iodine is used to treat Graves disease. High dose iodine is one of the best thyroid suppressants available.

    How will you know when you’re sufficient? The Optimox Research papers state that sufficiency is usually reached in 3 months at 50 mg iodine a day. With 100 mg a day, you may be sufficient in six weeks. At 12.5 mg a day, it will take a year to reach sufficiency.

    Many people, including me, take high doses way beyond this point.

    I used high dose iodine to eliminate a 7.75cm multinodular goiter. This endeavor was successful in about fifteen months.

    I took 7 months to reach 250 mg iodine a day. That was when the goiter started shrinking dramatically, but my metabolism took a hit. I gained 6 pounds in a month.

    I continued with high dose iodine for the next 3 years, taking 125 to 175 mg a day. Unaware of the thyroid suppressing effect of iodine, I became more and more hypothyroid. I gained 20 lbs and eventually needed thyroid meds.

    Some iodine is good, in fact very beneficial. But you can overdo it with unsuspected consequences.

    My iodine experience follows the pattern described in this post. At first, I felt great, thyroid function improved, I lost weight, everything was good. But as I continued with the very high doses for years, I gained weight, thyroid function got a lot worse and I didn’t feel so great. Possibly this is the iodine toxicity described in this article.

    Now I take 12.5 mg a day and hope to regain the ‘feeling great’ I had before from iodine.

    • linda

      Karyn makes a valid point -if you are already whole body iodine sufficient (w/low levels of bromine), then why take more than 12.5mg/day? The body will excrete the excess and excess amt may cause hypothyroidism which is noted in the article Orthoiodosupplementation: Iodine sufficiency of the whole human body (article indicates thyroid will downregulate if > 6mg (I) and whole body sufficiency achieved btwn 12.5mg-14mg (I)]) . My 24hr iodine loading confirms I’m whole body iodine sufficient w/low bromine, and I feel better not taking more than 6.25mg (Iodoral or Lugo) at a time compared to 12.5mg. So I will see what happens when I take 6.25mg (Iodoral or Lugo) upon rising [then wait 45mins before taking thyroid RX] and take another 6.25mg (Iodoral or Lugo) before lunch – similar to splitting thyroid rx dose either 2-3x/day instead of 1 big dose upon rising. I was told by 1 of the authors of the article that you should only need to wait 45mins-1hr before you can have calcium or iron, unlike thyroid rx which states 4hrs.

    • Deborah

      Wow, so too much iodine can be a problem for ones thyroid. I have no thyroid, removed 12 years ago from goiter with hurthle cells, and have been living in my recliner ever since. Started with one drop of Lugols and had energy, slowly increasing it, what happens should I decide to titrte upward to 50 – 100, as I have no thyroid to be compromised, I suspect may effect my adrenals? and I’m so glad that a maintenance dose of 12.5 works for you. I also worry about my daughter who just bought a bottle of lugols and has major adrenal issues and thyroid nodules, as she depends on my guidance. So confusing, but listening to your body is key. and if so many feel worse at low dose do to detox, shouldn’t they continue with the detoxing of bromides in order for the thyroid to heal once and for all. In other words, for those who went up to the higher dose and felt better, where did the bromide / heavy metals go, nowhere I suspect, but the thyroid got what it needed and just worked around those hallides?

  17. Mindy Elias

    I am not certain what is going on with me. I am doing 16gtts of 5% lugols daily. I have hashi and adrenal fatigue. Saliva cortisol was below on all yet followed the normal curve…..I want to know more about hc experience above and so am typing so I can follow and hopefully get some insight.

  18. Kim B

    I would have to say my experience with Iodine has been very similar. I have Hashimotos and was terrified to take Iodine. We always were told that it would be like throwing gasoline on the fire. My doctor and I were simultaneously treating my thyroid, adrenal fatigue (with hydrocortisone), and hormone imbalance. But I tried it. I started at 25 mg of the Lugols formula (I took the pill – Iodorol). I felt great. I had so much energy. I felt really good for ~ 2 weeks and then I started to crash. Fatigue like I hadn’t felt in years. I blamed the Iodine. I knew I shouldn’t have tried it and I stopped. About a month later, I still didn’t feel well and thought what can it hurt. I had read about others taking higher doses of Iodine and decided to try it. I started again at 25 mg Iodorol and once again it worked for ~2 weeks. This time, when I started feeling poorly, I decided to double down. I jumped to 50 mg Iodorol. That energy came back. The brain fog lifted and I felt great. Again after a few weeks (2-3), the fatigue starting kicking in again. I doubled again to 100 mg Iodorol. Same results – felt great. From there, I have played with my dose – going all the way to 200 mg at times. I felt no difference between 100 and 200 mg, so I have stayed at 100 mg. Once I hit 100 mg, I noticed that I would feel very shakey after I took my HC. So I started to decrease the HC I was taking. It didn’t take long for me to be HC free. I haven’t needed to start HC again. I still take my 100 mg of Iodorol (I switched to LugoTabs, but same Lugols formula). And I have been at 100 mg Iodine for over a year now.

    • Sandra

      Hi Kim,
      Thank you for sharing what you did in detail. Congratulations to you for being diligent and thus being able to wean off HC. Would you be able to share how much HC you were on and for how long and if you were to guestimate overall how long it took you to wean of HC with the iodine supplementation?
      thank you!

      • Kim B

        I was on 25 mg of HC. I weaned slowly. 2.5 mg at a time. I split my iodine dose. I found that worked best for me. I would take 50 mg am and 50 mg around lunchtime. It took a bit before I started weaning from the HC. I would find that after my iodine kicked in for the day, when I took my HC, I would get very jittery. So I just started slowly reducing the HC. I did reduce more than is normally recommended. 2.5 mg per day, but sometimes would do that several days in a row then hold for a bit. I started the 100 mg of Iodine in December and was weaned from the HC by March/April. I do still take HC when in stressful situations. I have tried ACE and it doesn’t work for me. It makes me more agitated. So when in stress, I will take 2.5 mg of HC – maybe 5 mg. at most. For a few days and then drop it again.

        • Sandra

          Hi Kim,
          Thank you for clarifying more what you did. I have been on HC for years now and have been unable to wean down and find this all very interesting. I am a thyroid cancer survivor since 1994 and switched to NTH and soon after HC about 6 years ago.
          I do take a small dose of iodine 6.5 mg on and off depending on how strong I feel and don’t have any reactions. It’s unfortunate that I cannot risk the up and downs of experimentation and so I guess I will stick with low dose and do my best to try and wean off HC slowly. I was down to 37.5 from 42.5 (I know I know that is quite high but I just couldn’t get it lower, had dental infection, family stresses, financial stresses) but then I got that terrible cold this past Christmas and did not raise for it until I ended up at the doctor who said I should have. Duh! So now I’m back to 40 mg after almost month. Sorry this has nothing to do with Iodine I guess but off topic I am actually doing much better after starting a new batch of Erfa’s thyroid when the past batches since 2014 (except one) were not working.
          Thanks again!

    • Bettina Netri

      Kim, do you have hashimotos ? I was on 25 for almost 6 months and felt great, for some reason last week my thyroid enlarged and i started feeling awful so I am not sure if I should start increasing … i have felt awful for the past week… my thyroid still enlarged, i had done the salt loading but after a few glasses i start feeling sick in my stomach so I have to stop. I do the supplementation, does the protocol have to be taken at the same time? I take it with my superfood smoothies. Agh! 🙁

      • Kim B

        I do have Hashimotos. Due to long term damage, I really haven’t had high antibodies. But have had an ultrasound that showed Hashis damage. I know some have said their thyroid enlarged initially on Iodine because it had been iodine deficient. And then shrank on iodine. Mine did not (enlarge or shrink). I started LDN (low Dose Naltrexone) in September and since then my thyroid has reduced in size.

        I couldn’t take the liquid iodine. I took only Iodorol or LugoTabs – both Lugols formulation of iodine but in pill form. The liquid always made me sick to my stomach as well. I even bought capsules and tried to put the iodine in those and take it, but again, always had some nausea and upset stomach so I stuck with pills.

    • Amy

      I’m SO inspired by your story. I have adrenal insufficiency possibly steroid induced, I’m hypo at the moment and my hormones are totally out of wack, plus last checked I was iodine deficient, but I’ve been taking 3mg of iodine daily, along with 25-30mg HC plus my thyroid meds. My dr wants me to start weaning SLOOOOWLY from the HC but i feel like total crap with no energy. So my question to you, were you feeling good and stable on HC when you added in the iodine? Or were you feeling like crap too?..lol. And did you take selenium or any other sups to help with detox? I’m tempted to try more iodine, but when I first started with 6mg I had terrible fatigue and irritability.

    • Chris

      What’s HC

    • Leah

      Hi Kim, I am curious to know how all of the iodine effected your TPO antibodies? Do you get those tested often and did the HC play a role in lowering them if at all?

  19. Nicole

    This has been my experience, as well. When I tried to start low and titrate iodine up gradually I had a lot of detox issues and adrenal stress. When I jumped to high doses, I felt remarkably better. I’ve been taking 150-200 mg daily for a long time.

  20. Lisa

    This has been my experience as well. I started with 12.5 mg and tried working my way up but I experienced a pounding heart and some shakiness. I stopped iodine for about 2 wks and started with 100 mg and I have not had any detox or adrenal stress related symptoms.

  21. Jamie

    I’ve come to this same conclusion (meaning my experience backs this up) as what is in this article. Recently when I’ve tried to lower my iodine, I’ve gotten a lot of heart palpitations. If I keep it over 100 a day, I get very few. I’m interested to hear how many other people have had this same experience.

    • June

      I’m interested in the amount of iodine you took before you went upto 100. Is that drops? And what strength? Do you also have adrenal fatigue? I’ve tried taking iodine in the past but can’t get through the awful detox symptoms. It makes me feel very ill. So I don’t go there anymore. But if taking high dose bypasses this then it’s worth another go.

      • Jamie

        I think I took 50mg for a few day, but quickly went up over 100mg. with 5% it is about 6.25mg per drop, so 20 drops is about 125mg, that fills a 00 capsule.

  22. Michelle

    I gained 30 pounds in a little over 3 months supplementing iodine. I was up to 150mg at one point with no detox-type side effects except for the weight gain. I was using companion nutrients and salt loading but couldn’t take the weight gain so I stopped it. I very recently added 6.25-12.5mg dosing back and seem to be doing ok with it. I’m wondering how much of a part Lyme played in my reaction.

    • Tammy

      Michelle, have you been able to get a handle on the weight gain? I was taking 50 mg lugols and companions except salt ( i am having a hard time getting my head around adding that much salt) and was gaining as well. About 15 lbs in a month even on a plant based diet with almost no processed foods, oil and sugar. I have been off the iodine for about 3 weeks now while trying to figure out what to do.

      • Christen

        Did either of you figure this out? I have only just started taking Lugol’s at 1 drop and feel awful. I have finished a 2 year course of ABX for Lyme disease and struggling to get NDT dosage and everything under control. Weight is an issue – climbed right up when I started taking cortisol. NDT was put up – not an answer.

  23. Elvera Lemke

    Very interesting article.. I have hashimotos and secondary adrenal insuffiency and take a very small dose (2 drops of Lugol’s solution 2% per day) of iodide and iodine a day. I totally get that you don’t want to take iodine if your adrenal glands are not pumping out some cortisol and are very weak, however, I am taking 10mg of hydrocortisone per day as a replacement dose for the cortisol my body doesn’t make currently.. (I am weaning down to zero hydrocortisone slowly and retesting with saliva test in the future).. Is this dose enough to say that my adrenal glands can handle the iodine now with the addition of hydrocortisone?? I figured as I slowly went down in my hydrocortisone dose, I would have to temporarily stop the iodine I take , and I am wondering at what dosage of hydrocortisone per day do I assume that my adrenals cannot handle the iodine intake because it is simply to small of a replacement dose ?? Hope this makes sense.

    • Kimberly

      You and I are in a very similar situation. I take 7.5mg HC. My very experienced Naturopath told me I should take Lugols since my iodine saturation urine test was only 59%. However, he wanted my 1.5 Tsh to drop below 1 so he raised my t3. I’m taking 12.5 Lugols. All I can say…I have less brain fog and more energy than I’ve had in a year. I am, however, barely sleeping and I’m having low blood sugar…which is an adrenal distress symptom. I’m so confused…not sure if the bodily distress is Lugols or more T3. Reluctant to stop either … It’s so Great to have energy!

      • Elvera Lemke

        Hi Kimberly…. If I were you, I would definitely get my cortisol levels checked to see how my adrenal glands were functioning.. Its my understanding that iodine is very hard on the adrenal glands, so if they are working fine, then its fine to add in iodine, however, if your body is barely pumping out any cortisol due to weak adrenal glands, then you may want to temporarily stop the iodine .. that’s what I had to do… Just an idea…Its like a rubics cube… Everything is connected to everything , and if one thing like the adrenal glands is not doing its job, you cant just add in other things until it gets fixed… it sucks, I know…

  24. linda

    Thyroid RX (both NDT and synthetic) causes/exasperates adrenal fatigue. How can your adrenals 1st be healed if you need to take meds that DAILY cause/exasperate adrenal fatigue?
    It’s a vicious cycle.

    • Kimberly

      I thought my adrenal fatigue was primarily auto-immune. For me, it appeared before need for thyroid meds. Would love to know more about why you think thyroid meds cause AF.

      • Janie Bowthorpe

        Addison’s disease of the adrenals is said to be most commonly caused by an autoimmune process, yes. You may have that.

        But for those thyroid patients who get low cortisol, their low cortisol state is more about over-worked adrenals to compensate for being on a poor treatment with T4-only meds like Synthroid or levothyroxine. The last chapter in the STTM II book brilliantly explains what happens to a lot of poorly treated patients, causing their low cortisol.

      • linda

        I do not have hashi’s or addison. I also think my adrenals were fatigued prior to beginning thyroid rx, however my MANY years of cortisol & thyroid testing supports my theory that thyroid rx causes/exasperates adrenal fatigues – as I’ve slowly reduced my thryoid RX, I do not have as significant cortisol drop 3-4 hrs after taking thyroid rx. Further, all the mfr pamphlets – both NDT and synthetic – state thyroid rx contraindicated for those w/adrenal issues (why? IMO, because thyroid rx causes/exasperates adrenal fatigue by causing hepatic over-clearance of cortisol on a daily basis, thereby fatiguing adrenals). So you then need more HC to compensate for the over-clearance, which then leads to the need for more thyroid rx – a vicious cycle, a ladder to disaster.

        • Janie Bowthorpe

          Most people can’t take more thyroid, though, in the presence of low cortisol. The low cortisol makes them go hyper i.e. excess adrenaline due to either T3 going high in the blood due to low cortisol (https://stopthethyroidmadness.com/pooling), and/or rising RT3 when raising NDT in the presence of low cortisol which makes one more hypothyroid, thus excess adrenaline (https://stopthethyroidmadness.com/reverse-t3).

          • linda

            As I decreased my Thyroid RX, both my FT3 and RT3 improved, my noon cortisol also improved, BUT my TSH increased and I got very hypo. So how can I get TSH to optimal (for me it’s 0.8 – 1.5) without decreasing my FT3 and increasing my RT3 and NOT fatiguing my adrenals?

          • Janie Bowthorpe

            They improved because by lowering the T4 in the thyroid med, you will lower the conversion to RT3, which in turn enables some T3 to get to the cells better since high RT3 serves to block T3. But…you still have an issue causing that RT3 in the first place which you need to fix. And you can’t go by the TSH! So anyone in your shoes has to adequately treat those adrenals, first by doing saliva, then treating the results.

        • linda

          Since the Thyroid RX is CAUSING my adrenals to fatigue, the only way to heal my adrenals is to wean off of thyroid rx – so I got down to 37.5mcg w/some up-n-down TSH, but now too hypo. I look at all the major thyroid indicators, not just TSH, however I’ve previously felt better when my TSH was btwn 0.8 – 1.5 although my FT3 and RT3 were sub-optimal. I have most of my thyroid gland (part of RT lobe surgically removed in 1997, but U/S last yr in 2015 shows tissue regenerating) and multiple testing during several different yrs indicates I do NOT have Hashi’s (but I do have hi EBV counts).

          So how do I successfully wean off thyroid RX so my adrenals can heal? Thx!

          • Janie Bowthorpe

            Linda, no, you misunderstand. The thyroid meds are NOT “causing” your adrenals to be fatigued. They are instead just worsening what was already going on. So patients stay low on NDT, and some add in a little T3 to tolerance, and correct the adrenal situation.

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