Why Iodine is Vital for Thyroid Function

Why Iodine is Vital for Thyroid Function

Iodine is vital for thyroid function because it helps in the production of thyroid hormone. According to The Iodine Crisis by Lynne Farrow, iodine is an essential micronutrient needed by every cell in the body. In recent years, iodine deficiency has become a public health crisis because iodine can displaced by environmental toxins. People are exposed to these bromine, chlorine and fluoride toxins every day through drinking water, medications, body products, make up, toothpaste and more. 1

Risks of Iodine Deficiency

The World Health Organization has recognized up to 72% of the world’s population is affected by an iodine deficiency disorder 2 According to Dr. Brownstein, iodine deficiency may result in the following severe medical conditions:

  • Cretinism
  • Mental Impairment
  • Reduced intellectual ability
  • Goiter
  • Infertility
  • Increased risk of of breast, prostate, endometrial, and ovarian cancer
  • SIDS
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • ADHD

Iodine is Vital for Thyroid Function

Iodine is not only necessary for the production of thyroid hormone, it is responsible for the production of all other hormones 3 Since the body does not make Iodine on its own, we need to get iodine from food or supplemental sources.

Brief History of Iodine

For over 100 years, iodine has been known as the element necessary for thyroid hormone production. 4 Records showing the use of iodine as a “universal medicine” date back 150 years. Archaeological records from over 15,000 years ago show iodine use in the form of seaweed [re]Farrow, Lynne. The Iodine Crisis. Devon Press. 2013. xviii.[/ref]

Since the 1970s, we’ve become iodine deficient because bromine has purged iodine from our bodies.[re]Farrow, Lynne. The Iodine Crisis. Devon Press. 2013. page 25.[/ref]

We know from world studies that if you give iodine during pregnancy the babies that come out are usually 20-30 point higher in IQ than their parents – Jorge Fechas, MD, MPH

Do I get enough Iodine from Salt?

First it’s important to know not all sources of salt have iodine. With salts that have added iodine, a significant amount of iodine may evaporate before the salt arrives in your kitchen. The longer iodized salt sits the less iodine remains. [re]Farrow, Lynne. The Iodine Crisis. Devon Press. 2013. page 166-167.[/ref]

In addition, according to Dr. Browenstein, the use of iodized salt has not eliminated iodine deficiency disorders. Studies by the NHANES show iodine levels have dropped 50% in the USA over the last 40 years. [re]Brownstein, David. Iodine: Why You Need It, Why You Can’t Live Without It. Medical Alternatives Press. 2014. page 44.[/ref]

Testing for Iodine Deficiency

Dr. Guy E. Abraham suggests The Iodine Loading Test to determine whether a person has iodine insufficiency. To order the Iodine-Loading Test try FFP Labs at 877-900-5556 or Hakala Labs. 5

Basics of the Iodine Protocol

Dr. Guy Abraham, MD, David Browenstein, MD, and Jorge Flechas, MD have used the Iodine Supplementation Protocol to treat over 4,000 patients with iodine. 6. Read  The Iodine Crisis to understand the Iodine Protocol. Here is a summary of the Iodine Protocol:

  • 50mg Iodine Daily in the form of Iodoral or Lugol’s Solution Tablet Formulation (starting at 12.5mg).
  • Some practitioners may recommend another form of iodine such as Lugol’s Solution Liquid or Nascent Iodine
  • Vitamin C: 3,000 mg per day in divided doses (more be necessary to detox bromide)
  • 300-600 mg magnesium in the form of magnesium oxide, magnesium glycerinate or magnesium citrate depending on preference
  • 200 mpg selenium (patients preferred selenomethionine)
  • 500 mg niacin (B3) twice a day (not niacinimde). Starting at a lower dose to avoid flush.
  • 100 mg Vitamin B2 three times a day, or use the ATP Cofactor instead
  • 1/2 TSP unprocessed sea salt added to meals
  • 1/4 TSP unprocessed salt in 8 oz. water twice daily or as needed for detox
  • A comprehensive vitamin and nutrition program

Lugol’s Solution

Lugol’s solution is a mix of elemental iodine and potassium iodine, first made in 1829. It was named after French physicist J.G.A Lugol. [re]http://alternativa-za-vas.com/en/index.php/clanak/article/lugols-solution[/ref]

Lugol’s 5% the strongest formula legally available in the USA contains Iodine 2.5 mg, Iodide 3.75 mg for a total of 6.25 mgs total per vertical drop.

Buy Lugol’s Solution of Iodine 5%

Lugol’s Solution Tablet Formulation

The tablet formulation of Lugol’s Solution contains the same ratio of Potassium Iodine and Iodine in Lugol’s Solution liquid. Tablets can be more convenient for traveling.

Nascent Iodine

Nascent iodine is an atomic rather than its molecular form of iodine. Because nascent iodine is an iodine atom that has an incomplete number of electrons, it can hold an electromagnetic charge. Nascent iodine has a large energy release.

Since nascent iodine is recognized by the body as the same iodine that is produced by the thyroid, it is absorbed effortlessly by the body. 7.  Nascent Iodine is a highly stable mono-element, nano-colloidal iodine not bound by mineral salts such as calcium or potassium.  This formula allows the body to efficiently utilize every drop to support thyroid and cellular iodine levels.


  1. The Iodine Crisis, Lynne Farrow, p.219-229
  2. Brownstein, David. Iodine: Why You Need It, Why You Can’t Live Without It. Medical Alternatives Press. 2014. page43.
  3. Brownstein, David. Iodine: Why You Need It, Why You Can’t Live Without It. Medical Alternatives Press. 2014. page 25.
  4. Brownstein, David. Iodine: Why You Need It, Why You Can’t Live Without It. Medical Alternatives Press. 2014. page 24.
  5. The Iodine Crisis, Lynne Farrow, p.199-200
  6. Farrow, Lynne. The Iodine Crisis. Devon Press. 2013. page 201.
  7. http://drsircus.com/iodine/sources-and-uses-for-iodine-iodine-to-rescue/
Miss LizzyWhy Iodine is Vital for Thyroid Function
Three Medicine Options for Hypothyroidism

Three Medicine Options for Hypothyroidism

Hypothyroidism Medicine Overview

Three medicine options for hypothyroidism treatment include T4 medicine, Natural Desiccated Thyroid medicine, and T3 medicine. All three are prescribed by a doctor. Each medicine option for hypothyroidism has its pros and cons. Thyroid medicine can be complex to understand because each medicine works differently in the body.

T4 Medicine

Hypothyroidism medicine in the form of prescription T4 is called Synthroid, or generically known as Levothyroxine. T4 medicine contains only the inactive T4 thyroid hormone. Therefore T4 medicine relies upon the body’s ability to convert T4 to T3. Though T4 medicine has been considered the standard treatment for hypothyroidism by Endocronogists 1., there are many patients who report that T4 medicine does not work for them, only partly works, or makes their condition worse. 2.

Pros and Cons

The pros of T4 medicine is that it is taken once a day which makes this hypothyroidism medicine very simple. For patients who feel T4 works for them, then this is an easy option for treatment.

However, many patients taking T4 medicine report on-going hypothyroid symptoms. Consequently, these patients believe they are getting the right treatment for hypothyroidism but are actually not. In some cases, patients find their hypothyroid symptoms remain or get worse on T4 including hair loss, weight gain, depression, anxiety, cortisol issues, and more. 3. Each person is different.

Natural Desiccated Thyroid medicine

Natural Desiccated Thyroid medicine (NDT) is a hypothyroidism medicine that has been successfully used to treat patients for over 100 years. 4 The medicine is natural, not synthetic like T4, which means it comes from powdered pig thyroid gland. It is a prescription medication under the name Armour, WP Thyroid, NP Thyroid and others.

Patients like Natural Desiccated Thyroid medicine because it provides all the thyroid hormones naturally created in the body. These include T4, T3, T2, T1 and calcitonin.

Pros and Cons

There are many pros to taking Natural Desiccated Thyroid medicine. Many patients report hypothyroid symptoms improve including weight loss, hair growth, depression lifting, warm hands and feet, and many more. The cons to Natural Desiccated Thyroid medicine is that it needs to be taken several times a day, it can reveal issues with low or high cortisol which need treatment. In addition, on NDT patients sometimes report pooling or Reverse T3 which causes hypothyroid symptoms to return.

Patients report taking Natural Desiccated Thyroid medicine anywhere from one to several times a day. Spreading the medicine out through the day seems to help patients with maintaining energy levels.

Typically patients start at one 60/65mg pill (also called grain) and increased up to two or even three pills a day. This medicine increase is reported to take anywhere from 4 to 6 weeks. Patients increase their medicine based on the elimination of hypothyroid symptoms, and increased body temperature.

In terms of how to take Natural Desiccated Thyroid medicine, foods and supplements can interfere with the medicine. As a result, patients prefer to let the pill dissolve under the tongue, called sublingually. Taking the thyroid medicine sublingually allows the medicine to go directly into the blood stream (not through the stomach. This means patients can eat and take supplements immediately before and after taking the medicine. 5. A terrific resource for patient to patent experience is the Stop the Thyroid Madness book.

Support Groups

For Natural Desiccated Thyroid medicine support join this group on Facebook, based on the book Stop the Thyroid Madness. Make sure to read their rules for posting.

T3 medicine

T3 medicine is the active thyroid hormone at the cellular level in the body, known by the name Cytomel, Cynomel and generic Liothyronine. If patients are on T4 medicine but not feeling well, they might benefit from adding T3 medicine or switching to a T3 6

After years of trying Synthyroid and NDT, Paul Robinson discovered that he had issues converting T4 medicine. As a result he switched to T3 medicine and wrote Recovering with T3, a through resource for patients with similar T4 conversion issues.

Pros and Cons

Both a pros and con of T3 medicine is that it is fast acting. T3 medicine lasts about 4-6 hours in the body consequently T3 doses need to be taken through the day. In addition, patients need to be very careful to monitor their body symptoms to find the right T3 dose.

Patients who don’t convert T4 medicines (including converting T4 in NDT) report success on T3 once they find the right dose. Through his research, Paul Robinson discovered T3 medicine helped strengthen the adrenals in patients who have low cortisol. His treatment solution is called Circadian T3 method which uses T3 medicine to support the body’s natural cortisol cycle.

Support Groups

For T3 medicine support join these T3 groups on Facebook. Make sure to read their rules for posting.



  1. https://www.endocrineweb.com/conditions/hypothyroidism/synthetic-t4-supplements-hypothyroidism
  2. https://stopthethyroidmadness.com/t4-only-meds-dont-work/
  3. https://stopthethyroidmadness.com/t4-only-meds-dont-work/
  4. https://stopthethyroidmadness.com/natural-thyroid-101/
  5. https://stopthethyroidmadness.com/natural-thyroid-101/
  6. https://www.verywell.com/t3-natural-desiccated-thyroid-treatments-3233007
Miss LizzyThree Medicine Options for Hypothyroidism
Reverse T3 (RT3) when normal thyroid treatment isn’t working

Reverse T3 (RT3) when normal thyroid treatment isn’t working

If you are taking the right dose of thyroid medicine, and perhaps are even getting adrenal support, but still have many hypothyroid symptoms you may have Reverse T3 (RT3).

This information came from the experiences of other patients on the RT3 Yahoo Group and specifically patient Nick Foote who did some great work compiling a Question and Answer site about Reverse T3 (RT3).  Please read the entire page for important information and cautions.

What is “Resistance” caused by Reverse T3?

“Resistance to thyroid hormone” refers to people that don’t respond properly to thyroid hormone supplementation (such as natural desiccated thyroid medicine like Naturthroid or Erfa), and continue to have hypothyroid symptoms and normal blood test results.

Why does this happen?

It helps to first understand the relationship between the thyroid hormones T4 and T3 in the body. T4 is the main hormone that is produced by the thyroid gland. This hormone is totally inactive biologically. It’s only after an iodine atom is removed, making it into T3, that it has an effect on the body. T4 is a storage hormone and lasts for weeks  in the body. T3 has a life of a few days in the body, but it is the important catalyst that the body needs to progress at the right speed. Without enough T3 people experience Hypothyroid symptoms  (cold, tired, and lethargic, etc..).

Reverse T3 (RT3) is what is made when the “wrong” iodine atom is removed from T4 which results in blocking the action of T3 on the body. This means  that your body doesn’t respond properly to T3 leading to hypothyroid symptoms despite a normal TSH, T3 and T4 lab levels.

This is what they refer to as “Tissue Resistance to Thyroid Hormone.” According to Nick Foote’s website, doctors will say this is very rare, but that’s because they don’t look for it!

What are the symptoms of Reverse T3 (RT3)?

Hypothyroidism that won’t respond to desiccated thyroid treatment (at a proper dose).  It may sound similar to Chronic Fatigue Symptom.

Unless you have a very clued in Doctor this disgnosis will probably get missed. It can by picked up by blood tests, but only if they do the right ones and then interpret the results correctly.

How is Reverse T3 (RT3) diagnosed?

The initial sign tends to be that normal thyroid treatment doesn’t work. Other signs of possible RT3 problems are low but stable temperature, Ferritin of at least 70, Free T3 (FT3) near the top of the range (which varies by lab).

RT3 can be accurately diagnosed by calculating the ratio of Free T3 to Reverse T3 from your lab results. Simply divide the Free T3 number by the reverse T3. It should be 20 or greater. If the ratio is less than 20, its very likely you have an RT3 problem.  Please note: lab ranges vary so look at the ratio instead.

If you only had a T3 lab test (but not a FT3), then divide the T3 by the RT3 result.  The ratio should be 10 or greater.  Less than 10 likely means an RT3 problem.

A FT4 reading that is over 1.4 is a marker for potential high RT3.

What causes Reverse T3 (RT3)?

The body naturally produces some RT3 and this is fine for many people. The problem arises when the Free T3 to Reverse T3 ratio is too low (below 20:1) because the RT3 then gets in the way of the T3, causing hypothyroid symptoms. Here are some common causes for a low FT3/RT3 ratio:

  • Extreme dieting, the RT3 increases to slow the metabolism and make better use of the available food
  • Low Ferritin
  • High cortisol, this disturbs the balance of the thyroid hormones
  • Low cortisol, this again disturbs the balance of the thyroid hormones
  • Insulin dependent Diabetes
  • Low Vitamin B12 levels

How is Reverse T3 (RT3) treated?

The treatment for too much RT3 first involves stopping more RT3 being made and waiting for the RT3 already in the body to decay or be excreted.

This is relatively easy but there are pitfalls along the way. A lot of Drs are worried by people doing this as things happen too quickly to be done by lab tests.  Patients need to adjust the dose by symptoms and vital signs.

RT3 is only made from T4. If you get rid of T4, both from your own thyroid and from supplements, then no more RT3 gets made. In order to do this and stay alive an alternative source of the bio-active T3 is neededthrough synthetic T3 hormone.

The basic treatment is to stop all medicine containing T4 (such as Naturthroid, Armour, Erfa, etc..) and start T3 medicine instead. Slowly increase the dose of the T3 medicine week by week as the T4 levels in your body diminish. After about 6 weeks, the T4 and RT3 levels in your blood will be very low. It takes about a total of 12 weeks for the RT3 to clear the receptors.

During this time, its very likely you will experience Hypothyroid symptoms.  To help with this you can increase the T3 medicine levels but be prepared to drop the dose as soon as the thyroid resistance clears because this can happen dramatically and suddenly. Overnight you may very well have to drop you T3 medicine dose almost completely. Then ramp back up to about half the previous dose until you stop feeling hypothyroid. So its very important to carefully watch symptoms, including pulse and body temperature, especially around week 12.

(If you are worried about this you can keep the T3 dose lower but it means feeling hypothyroid until the RT3 clears. If you need to get on with life and can’t afford to stay hypothyroid for another the three month clearing time, then increase the T3 dose as noted above).

 What lab work do I need?

Lab work has a lot of value to it but needs to be interpreted carefully, just because the results are “in range” doesn’t mean you will feel well, they need to be in the right part of the reference ranges. There are some excellent resources on lab work, including many that you can order without needing a Doctor. See STTM Lab page.

RT3 and FT3 tests can be ordered without a doctor and there are sources of this in the Yahoo RT3 group files area for members. IMPORTANT NOTE: To calulate the RT3 ratio, the Free T3 and RT3 lab work has to be done at the same time.  

Econolabs and Life Extension are currently the cheapest sources for RT3 testing.

What is T3 medicine?

T3-only medication include brand names like Cytomel (American), Cynomel (Mexican), or Tertroxin (UK). The Chemical names for this are Liothyronine sodium or triiodothyronine. See Wikepedia for more information

What if I am already on Thyroid medicine?

If you are on synthetic T4 medication such as Synthroid, or Natural Desiccated Thyroid such as Armour, Naturthroid or Erfa, these all contain T4.  During the 12 weeks or so that you clear the RT3 from your body, you will need to change your medication to a T3 only medicine (noted above).

Do I want/need Sustained Release T3 (SRT3)?

According to Nick Foote’s site, no, sustained release is not necessary.

Do I need T4 at all?

When it comes to RT3 people, NO, T4 is not needed. For these people, T3 only is the protocol. There are people who have been on T3 only for 20 years without ill effects.

DANGERS, Please read!

Once you are on T3 only it important to stay on it, or if you are switching medicines to change very gradually. If you suddenly stop taking T3 you could be in a myxadema coma within 24 hours. Its well worth carrying a medical warning note that you are on T3 only and the dosage in case you are rendered unconscious in a car accident.

Stopping Meds before Lab Tests

When performing lab tests you sometimes need to stop your medication before the blood draw. This is a list of the common withdrawal periods. Unless specified otherwise you only have to stop taking the hormone being tested for.

Thyroid Medicine
Don’t take any thyroid medication on the day of the blood draw. Consider not taking any T3 after lunchtime the pervious day, especially if your Dr gets concerned by over range FT3. You can take your HC as normal on the day of the blood draw if you are on it.

Cortisol/Adrenal Support
The “gold standard” for Adrenal hormones is the “4 times a day saliva test”.  If you have taken any cortisol (HC), Isocort or had Licorice 2 weeks before testing the results will be inaccurate.

Sex Hormones
If you are supplementing sex hormones using creams applied topically then saliva tests are not accurate. Blood tests remain accurate if you are supplementing but none should be taken on the day of the test.

Ferritin/Iron Panel 
Stop all iron supplements 5 days prior to blood draw.

Where can I get more help on Reverse T3?

Join the 1200 members on Yahoo’s RT3 group.


Please note, I do not suffer from RT3 (at least from what I know) but wanted to share this information from Nick Foote’s site because it seems so important, and everyone is different. Good luck!


Miss LizzyReverse T3 (RT3) when normal thyroid treatment isn’t working

Iodine and Thyroid Health

Thiodine Lugols 5% Iodine –

Iodine is necessary for the thyroid gland’s proper performance. The human thyroid gland is located in the front of the lower part of the neck. All the blood in the body passes through the thyroid gland every 17 minutes. Because the cells making up this gland have an affinity for iodine, during this 17-minute passage the gland’s secretion of iodine  kills weak germs that may have gained entry into the blood through an injury to the skin, the lining of nose or throat, or through absorption of food from the digestive tract. Strong, virulent germs are rendered weaker during their passage through the thyroid gland. With each 17 minutes that rolls around they are made still weaker until finally they are killed if the gland has its normal supply of iodine. If it does not, it cannot kill harmful germs circulating in the blood as Nature intended it should.

 Two drops of Lugol’s solution of iodine works equally well in an adult. When the stress and strain of daily living create a load that is difficult to carry, producing a state of anxiety, and when the day’s problems make it difficult  to relax and sleep well at night, then one appreciates the aid that iodine gives. -D.C. Jarvis, MD from “Folk Medicine”

Folk Medicine in Vermont is interested in three R’s-Resistance, Repair, and Recovery. First the individual asks himself whether his resistance to disease is as it should be. Next, is he able to repair tissue injury due to accident should it occur? Finally, if sickness should come, is his body able to bring about recovery? Somehow during the passing years he has learned that iodine is related to the ability to resist disease.

We learn in Vermont folk medicine, however, that this gland performs other functions besides killing harmful germs in the blood. The first is the rebuilding of energy with which to do the day’s work. There is a definite relationship be-tween the amount of energy you have and your iodine intake.

Buy Thiodine Lugols 5% Solution of Iodine

The first question in the presence of a condition of depleted energy is, Is the soil of the state in which one lives iodine-poor? Second, is the deficiency being made up by supple-mentary means?All soils containing granite are iodine-poor and Vermont is one of them. This fact is very important to people living in Vermont and well may be important to those living elsewhere. When energy and endurance run low in relation to doing the day’s work, then the taking of iodine needs to be considered.

A second function of iodine is to calm the body and relieve nervous tension. When nervous tension runs high there is irritability and difficulty in sleeping well at night, and the body is continually on a combat basis, organized for fight and flight. All these points stress a body’s need for iodine to lessen nervous tension, relax the body and enable it to or-ganize for peace and quiet, by the building and storing of body reserves against time of need. I have learned through Vermont folk medicine that it is possible to repeatedly change an irritable, impatient, and restless child under ten years of age into a calm, patient individual within two hours’ time by giving one drop of Lugol’s solution of iodine by mouth in a vegetable or fruit juice or in a glass of water made acid in reaction by adding a teaspoonful of apple cider vinegar. I have repeatedly prescribed this in order to make it possible for a mother of a racehorse-type little boy or girl to be able to live comfortably with the child. I have never seen it fail to calm down a nervous child.

 In an adult two teaspoonfuls of apple cider vinegar and two of honey are added to a glass of water. The honey is there because it is a sedative. Then add two drops of Lugol’s solution of iodine to the glass containing the vinegar and- honey mixture, stir it, and sip it during the meal as you would coffee or tea.  Taken apart from the meal it can be sipped like a cocktail. Soon your motor will have slipped into low gear. Your problems and their solution will seem less difficult, and the day’s load of responsibility easier to carry.  In this age of anxiety  the combination of iodine with vinegar and water  will give the harassed individual increased energy and the endurance necessary to carry the daily load. You will find that the wear and tear of daily living is considerably reduced. – D.C. Jarvis, MD, from “Folk Medicine”

A third function of iodine in the human body relates to clear thinking. The mind simply works better when the body is supplied the iodine it needs. Then there is the matter of the storing of unwanted fat. Iodine is one of the best oxidizing catalysts we have. A catalyst is the match which touches off in the body the fire that burns up the food we take in each day. If this food is not properly burned off, it may be stored as unwanted fat.

As you study yourself you will soon learn to tell when you need iodine. When a night’s sleep does not bring you to the beginning of the new day with the energy you are accustomed to have, you will begin to think of iodine. If you learn how to use it, it will restore the capacity to bounce back and sustain your well-being.  D.C. Jarvis, MD, from “Folk Medicine”

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Here is a collection of articles about Iodine, Hypothyroidism, Women’s Health:

Thyroid Disease ‘Raises Birth Risk’ Dr. Mercola

Iodine May Improve Mental Performance Dr. Mercola

Australia is adding Iodine to their bread Stop the Thyroid Madness

A toxin which could explain why SO many of us have Thyroid Disease Stop the Thyroid Madness

Causes of Hypothyroidism (including Iodine Insufficiency)

Thyroid Supplements on Stop the Thyroid Madness

Relationship between Iodine and Thyroid Health

Breast & Womb – What I’ve Learned about Iodine Supplementation

Miss LizzyIodine and Thyroid Health