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Posted by: PCUK-Positive, Tuesday, October 4, 2011, 6:30pm
How to Self-Test for an Iodine Deficiency

1. Dip a cotton ball into USP Tincture of Iodine. (You can get iodine at the drugstore for under $1.)

2. Paint a 2 inch circle of iodine on your soft skin, like the inner part of your thigh or upper arm.

3. Wait. -- If the yellowish stain disappears in less than an hour; it means your body is lacking crucial iodine and has soaked it up. If the stain remains for more than four hours, you iodine levels are fine.

Why check your iodine levels?

Low iodine levels can zap your energy and make you feel tired, edgy and worn out. Low iodine levels can even prevent you from getting a good night's sleep. Before you go to your doctor with complaints of tossing and turning all night, aches and pains, and just feeling "blah," you may want to perform this self-test.

Because the symptoms of an iodine deficiency are classically identical to so many other illnesses (like depression, stress, chronic fatigue, or fibromyalgia,) many doctors either misdiagnose it or miss it completely and tell you there is nothing wrong.

Why are iodine levels so important?

Low levels of iodine mean your thyroid may not be functioning properly. The thyroid needs iodine to function as it helps balance hormones, regulate heartbeats, stabilize cholesterol, maintain weight control, encourage muscle growth, keep menstrual cycles regular, provide energy, and even helps you keep a positive mental attitude.

Women are naturally prone to iodine deficiencies. That's because the thyroid gland in women is twice as large as in men -- so under normal circumstances, women need more iodine. However, when women are under stress, the need for iodine can double or triple. Yet the foods we eat contain less and less dietary iodine. For example, back in 1940, the typical American diet contained about 800 micrograms of iodine. By 1995, that amount plunged to just 135 micrograms. That's an 83% decline.

Two thirds of the body's iodine is found in the thyroid gland. One of the best ways to boost your iodine levels is to add seaweed sea vegetables to your diet. Just one teaspoon of sea vegetables a day can help you regain normal iodine levels. Incorporating seafood and fish into your diet can also help. Other foods that contain iodine are eggs and dairy products, including milk, cheese and yogurt, onions, radishes, and watercress. Some foods, called goitrogens, should be omitted for awhile as they hinder iodine utilization. These included kale, cabbage, peanuts, soy flour, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, broccoli, kohlrabi and turnips.

To reactivate the thyroid gland, tyrosine, iodine, zinc, copper and selenium are needed so make sure that foods containing these nutrients are included in your diet.  However, if you have the immune system deficiency called Hashimoto's Thyroiditis, you should not supplement your diet with iodine as it may aggravate the condition.

There is an excellent free educational DVD by Dr. Eric Balcavage called BREAKTHROUGH TREATMENTS for Hypothyroid & Hashimotos Thyroiditis
Posted by: AKArtlover, Tuesday, October 4, 2011, 6:43pm; Reply: 1
I love this. Thanks for sharing.  :K)
Posted by: Goldie, Tuesday, October 4, 2011, 6:53pm; Reply: 2
Posted by: SandrAruba, Tuesday, October 4, 2011, 7:24pm; Reply: 3
PC, I take a drop of iodine in my morning water every other day (Kelp is an avoid for me, I found out recently). You state that 2/3 of the iodine is in the thyroid, in my case (most probably no thyroid or in best case scenario only half) where would it be?

Would it be worth the try to take more iodine? No matter how well I eat, how good I sleep (and I sleep pretty well these days), how well I exercise and am overall busy every day, I am still dead tired. I am mentally very clear and I can concentrate well, but my eyelids often feel really heavy and I just want to close them (not even feeling really sleepy, just the heavy eyelids).

If I do the patch test it's gone within 30 minutes. Could it be harmful to up my dose of iodine until the patch remains for more then 4 hours?
Posted by: ruthiegirl, Tuesday, October 4, 2011, 8:09pm; Reply: 4
The last time I did that test, I had an orangy-yellow stain on my skin for about 3 days. I should probably test my kids though.

Should I do a smaller patch  on a 70 lb 9yo?
Posted by: Goldie, Tuesday, October 4, 2011, 9:24pm; Reply: 5
Quoted Text
If I do the patch test it's gone within 30 minutes. Could it be harmful to up my dose of iodine until the patch remains for more then 4 hours?

the test used to be 2 hours for a patch 2x2 inches..

It seems safe if not done every day.. but done here and there until it lasts 2 hours.. But it does rub off on clothes so put it on the inside of the leg ..
Quoted Text

Should I do a smaller patch  on a 70 lb 9yo?

I would only do it on a child once , and 1 x1 should be enough.. if it disappears then talk to the doc.. I would not self administer to a child exept to 'test'.. their system ought to get enough from iodized salt..
Posted by: Lin, Tuesday, October 4, 2011, 9:50pm; Reply: 6
Thanks, this is very helpful, I didn't realise lack of iodine could affect so many things in the body.  
Posted by: David, Tuesday, October 4, 2011, 10:02pm; Reply: 7
PC - "3. Wait. -- If the yellowish stain disappears in less than an hour; it means your body is lacking crucial iodine and has soaked it up. If the stain remains for more than four hours, you iodine levels are fine."

I had heard the iodine patch test is a process of observations over a period of days rather than hours.

Here is a link to info on the method.
Posted by: O in Virginia, Tuesday, October 4, 2011, 10:07pm; Reply: 8
This is interesting, thanks for posting info everybody.
Posted by: David, Tuesday, October 4, 2011, 11:10pm; Reply: 9
Consideration of Iodine it seems is only "comes to mind" when thinking of thyroid function.

In this article on iodine loading by Dr Guy Abraham and Dr Brownstein, they say:

Uptake and Utilization of Peripheral Iodide

The essential element iodine is present in every organ and tissue of the human body, not just the thyroid gland. (7) Several cells beside the thyrocyte concentrate peripheral iodide against a gradient. So far the list of these iodide concentrating cells besides the thyrocyte has increased to include: white blood cells, salivary and lacrimal glands, ciliary body of the eye, renal cortex, the pancreas, the liver, gastric, small, and large intestinal mucosa, nasopharynx, choroid plexus, skin, adrenal cortex, mammary gland, placenta, uterus, and ovary. (8) In the target cells studied, the mechanism used to concentrate peripheral iodide involved an energy-dependant transport of one atom of iodide sandwiched between two atoms of sodium across the cell membrane.
Posted by: PCUK-Positive, Wednesday, October 5, 2011, 1:07am; Reply: 10
I should point out that i put only a tiny amount on Emily skin, everything i do for her is reduced and we always take a lot of time over it, i always test myself first.

I am not an expert on iodine, i only have an interest in it. I have however read a great deal on the subject recently, As i do, and was just putting it out there for people information,

but it does seem to be important. and lacking in many people.

like everything it is important to get the correct level. and to not go over board. other wise it would be pretty logical that you could end up witha iodine overload, hyperthyroidism i think it's that way round. i will just be aware of it now and test again in a few days.

but my circle has disappeared completely

ambers is still there so there must be some mechanism for not overdosing , but we are all different so be careful..

Posted by: PCUK-Positive, Wednesday, October 5, 2011, 1:18am; Reply: 11
good links David thanks

I happened to be looking at how much iodine in food

random links not fully researched

just happened to be reading this by the way

"White fish is also rich in several essential minerals such as iron, phosphorous, selenium and iodine.

Selenium and iodine are important for the correct function of the thyroid and the immune system and a deficiency of these minerals can lead to a higher risk of infection and even of contracting certain forms of cancer. Recent research has shown that there is a decline in the intake in the UK of both of these important minerals. "
Posted by: dalkantrell, Wednesday, October 5, 2011, 5:13am; Reply: 12
Policychecker this is a great thread!  :D
Posted by: ruthiegirl, Wednesday, October 5, 2011, 4:20pm; Reply: 13
I did the patch test on DS yesterday, before David posted his link.

The patch didn't fade at all during the 5 hours I observed it yesterday afternoon. It was slightly faded but still very visible this morning (about 16 hours after putting it on.) I'll check it again after school.
Posted by: Symbi, Saturday, October 8, 2011, 3:35am; Reply: 14
Hi!  Glad to find this thread cos I was doing this lately too.

I was taking selenium when I found out I had antithyroid antibodies.  Then I added iodine as well in concern that just taking selenium could cause hypothyroidism (some studies showed that).  I used iodine tincture 1) to find out if I was deficient and 2) to treat that deficiency at the same time.  For a month or so I put a 3cm circle on different areas of skin (inner arms, stomach etc.) and watched how fast it disappeared.  Did feel an energy boost and a good taste in my mouth like I was getting something I really needed.  

At first it barely lasted 6 hours, in the end it was still there slightly after 24 hours, so I guess it did the job, but.... during that month I also had itchy skin and a rash which was diagnosed by Dr as Eczema.  Ended up taking antihistamines for a while but was still itchy.  The last day I used the tincture it left an itchy red circle on my stomach.  After reading this info here ( I gave it up altogether and got iodised salt instead:

Quoted Text
Tincture of iodine has generally been replaced by povidone iodine for topical use, because iodine is a strong oxidant and can be damaging to the skin. Povidone iodine releases the iodine slowly. In 1990, the FDA banned many ingredients used in psoriasis products, citing a lack of evidence for effectiveness. One of the ingredients reviewed and dropped was povidone iodine. Iodine 2% solution is available everywhere, but be cautious about experimenting. Talk to a doctor about the possibility of Thyroid complications if that could be an issue. Staining may be a major problem.

On wikipedia page about iodine tincture
Quoted Text
"Iodine tincture is not a recommended source of solely-nutritional iodine. Nutritional iodine is better supplied in the form of the less toxic iodide (see SSKI) or iodate salts, which the body can easily convert to thyroid hormone."

That might be just my sensitive skin.  Maybe it's okay to use occasionally to test how you're iodine level is, but for me, I can't use it everyday!
Posted by: Possum, Saturday, October 8, 2011, 5:35am; Reply: 15
Good info here PC!! & nice pic Symbi!! RE: "I gave it up altogether and got iodised salt instead"
"Based on serum iodide levels measured after iodized salt consumption, Abraham estimates that only 10% of the iodide in iodized salt is absorbed. There is 30,000 times more chloride than iodide (on a molar basis) in iodized salt, and chloride competes with iodide for absorption in the intestinal tract."
Posted by: AKArtlover, Saturday, October 8, 2011, 10:25am; Reply: 16
Posted by: PCUK-Positive, Saturday, October 8, 2011, 11:52am; Reply: 17
doing a drop of 15 % iodine in a glass of water in the morning when i remember. seems to be enough as i am also taking DR D's Supps which have iodone i them.

also now getting a regular supple of fresh fish
Posted by: cajun, Saturday, October 8, 2011, 10:56pm; Reply: 18
I agree with Possum...lovely picture! :)

I test with iodine tincture about once a week. It seems to fade in a few hours.
Any suggestions on what to add to my diet that is compliant for my bloodtype...(Ao)?
Posted by: PCUK-Positive, Saturday, October 8, 2011, 11:51pm; Reply: 19
get the gut right and the rest will follow - but polyvite A, for starters i would say.

and reduce sugar.

If you can manage it get the whole Type A supplements Poluvite A, phytocal A, polyflora A, live cell A, Defect A, and choose a variety of A foods.
Posted by: AKArtlover, Sunday, October 9, 2011, 1:12am; Reply: 20
Ok, second thoughts because I'm questioning all non food (derived) sources of nutrients today.  ;)
Posted by: Symbi, Sunday, October 9, 2011, 11:39pm; Reply: 21
AKArtlover - you're not the only one questioning non-diet items - On many threads I've listed side effects and reactions to supplements, e.g. vitex, black cohosh, mao inhibitors of any kind, echinacea (member of ragweed which I react to - also includes chamomile and dandelion (which I only just found out about and might be why it gave me reflux!)).  Well there are some diet items there (allergies are individual) but you get the point!   ::) Symbi's back warning against taking something again!  ;)
Dulse?  I'll have to check that out.  Learn something new everyday so that's one seaweed that isn't an avoid for me.  

BTW the reaction I had may be cos of my sensitive skin but could also be anti-thyroid antibodies playing a part?  Hashimotos have to be careful supplementing iodine.

Thanks for the comments Possum and Cajun!  It's our engagement pic from good times before the depo provera had it's evil way of blowing me up but the diet has undone that and I'm pretty much back to that now (maybe a few laughter lines ;))   :)

PC - fresh fish yum!    

Will keep that in mind about not absorbing from the salt, Possum.  That'd be right another thing competing for absorption!  ::)  I eat lots of other sources, daily yogurt and mozzarella (spelt pizzas bennicimo!).

Here's some one size fits all info about sources of iodine
Quoted Text
Sea vegetables are an excellent source of iodine. Yogurt, cow's milk, eggs, and strawberries are very good sources of idone. Good sources include mozzarella cheese.

Cajun - since we have so many simularities do you have thyroid problems too (also low iodine may point to that).  I've had deficiencies in iron and vitamin A and zinc which probably didn't help, so I address those now and my thyroid last checked was great (except antibodies  :().

Yeah on the good side my fibrocystic breasts have been far less painful and the lumps seem to be dissipating so go iodine!
Posted by: Curious, Monday, October 10, 2011, 12:10am; Reply: 22
You can do a urine test for iodine. This test is accurate.
Posted by: ruthiegirl, Monday, October 10, 2011, 12:49am; Reply: 23
Another thing to be careful of if you're thinking of using iodized salt: most iodized salts contain dextrose, which is corn derived. If you're not allowed corn on your food list (BTD, GTD or SWAMI) then you shouldn't be using iodized salt.

I've stopped using iodized salt years ago, and eat sea vegetables for my iodine intake.
Posted by: Damon, Monday, October 10, 2011, 11:00am; Reply: 24
Does anyone know if Dr. D has written anything about how to deal with (possible) hypothyroidism? Would he recommend supplementing iodine in any way, or is 'follow your SWAMI' directions enough for long-term 'healing'?
Posted by: Lola, Monday, October 10, 2011, 3:51pm; Reply: 25
check out his health series

check out his online protocols

use the search feature, find older posts on the subject

ask away.......some Samaritan is bound to come along
Posted by: ABJoe, Monday, October 10, 2011, 3:56pm; Reply: 26
Quoted from Damon
Does anyone know if Dr. D has written anything about how to deal with (possible) hypothyroidism? Would he recommend supplementing iodine in any way, or is 'follow your SWAMI' directions enough for long-term 'healing'?

I know he spoke of thyroid issues in the Encyclopedia - I don't have mine available now to discuss what it says specifically...
Posted by: PCUK-Positive, Monday, October 10, 2011, 6:16pm; Reply: 27
1 metabolic enhancement protocol

2 Detoxification protocol.
Posted by: PCUK-Positive, Sunday, November 13, 2011, 1:27am; Reply: 28
further reading

"From the published data, the skin iodine patch test is NOT a reliable method to assess whole body sufficiency for iodine. Many factors play a role in the disappearance of the yellow color of iodine from the surface of the skin. For example, if iodine is reduced to iodide by the skin, the yellow color of iodine will disappear because iodide is white. In order to regenerate iodine on the skin, one needs to apply an oxidant such as hydrogen peroxide, complicating the test further. The evaporation of iodine from the skin increases with increased ambient temperatures and decreased atmospheric pressure due to weather conditions and altitude. For example, the yellow color of iodine will disappear much faster in Denver, Colorado at 5,000 feet above sea level then Los Angeles, California at sea level, irrespective of the amount of bioavailable iodine. The iodine/iodide loading test (4) is much more accurate and it is now available from two laboratories:"
Posted by: David, Sunday, November 13, 2011, 5:30am; Reply: 29
PC, nice article! Before that conclusion, he also says:
One can conclude that skin application of iodine is an effective if not efficient and practical way for supplementation of iodine with an expected bioavailability of 6 to 12% of the total iodine applied to the skin. The serum iodide levels were 10 times higher 2 hr post intervention with oral ingestion of 100 mg iodide than with 160 mg iodine applied to the skin.

a site that does iodine loading says: the body is deficient until it reaches the point that 90% of ingested iodine is excreted in the urine.

"Ideally, all patients should have an iodine loading test prior to orthoiodosupplementation. This test is one in which 50 mg of iodine is given after discard of the first morning void. All urine is collected for the next 24 hours including the first morning urine void the next day. The urine sample is then sent to my laboratory, FFP Laboratory for testing (21). The lab is a CLIA approved high complexity testing laboratory in the state of North Carolina. The testing that is done is using the method as described in previous articles . To date we have done over 3,000 loading tests. Iodine therapy is then instituted using 50 mg/day. The body becomes iodine sufficient in about three months.
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