Iodine – the medical scapegoat

Naturopath Lisa Fitzgibbon takes Lugols high dose iodine solution every day.

Disclaimer: Whatever happened to being innocent until proven guilty?!

I wrote this article for two purposes.

The first one being that it’s informational for you.

The second purpose being that it’s therapeutic for me. Writing this wee rant enables me to get some stuff off my chest before I burst.

I am so sad — and sickened — that modern medicine continues to treat (orally consumed) iodine as an unfounded scapegoat. Over the years I’ve seen doctors, and specialists, blame this mineral for causing cases of Hypothyroidism and Hyperthyroidism.

Hell, I’ve even seen doctors blame completely unrelated health conditions such as migraines and diverticulitis on iodine when they don’t know why the patient is experiencing a health concern, after learning that they are taking this mineral. 🤦‍♀️

Recommending high dose iodine is hazardous to my health

A regular client of mine recently informed me that he’d been diagnosed with Hyperthyroidism by his doctor.

Hyperthyroidism (aka over-active thyroid function, or Thyrotoxicosis) means that the Thyroid is producing too much Thyroid hormone, therefore speeding up the various systems within the body.

Symptoms may include: nervousness, anxiety, irritability, increased perspiration, heat intolerance, heart racing, hand tremors and frequent bowel movements may occur (diarrhoea is common).

Among other natural therapies, this client of mine receives high dose iodine. Now, as you may know, I’ve written four articles about this mineral, and I’ve made no secret of the fact that iodine therapy is controversial.

So as you can probably imagine, the news of my client’s diagnosis nearly caused me to exhibit the symptoms of Hyperthyroidism myself… as I braced, and waited for the Endocrinologist to (unfairly and inevitably) blame my client’s condition all on my high-dose iodine therapy, and on well, me.😬🥵💩

That's what she said.

My client has been with me since 12 July 2017.
He has been on Lugol’s since 31 January 2020.
During this time he’s had four repeats of this mineral.
He believes high dose iodine helps with his sleep and his energy levels — which is why I kept providing repeats, and monitoring his Thyroid via blood work. (His last Lugol’s repeat was 5 August 2022.)

In October 2022 he contracted a ‘bad’ respiratory virus. (The whole family had it.)

From this time he began to experience marked lethargy, weight loss (5kg), and heart palpitations.

In late October 2022 he was diagnosed with Hyperthyroidism.

In early November 2022 the doctor prescribed the standard medication for this over-active Thyroid function:

10mg 2x daily — an anti-thyroid hormone
10mg 3x daily — a beta blocker to calm the heart.

The doctor also referred my client to an Endocrinologist for further investigation in early February 2023.

I also told my client to come off Lugol’s as his body wouldn’t support this mineral because his Thyroid Stimulating Hormone (TSH) was too low at this time.

My client weaned himself off these medications over a couple of months because he was feeling so much better — and because he didn’t have a repeat script (and didn’t want to take more drugs).

He’s been feeling well ever since — no rebound affects — and he’s put the weight back on, and he’s back doing his physical activities. He’s no longer exhibiting any overt signs of Hyperthyroidism.

To me, the obvious correlation/conclusion was right there! It was a clear case of (post viral) silent Thyroiditis (inflammation of the Thyroid brought on by an immune challenge; the respiratory virus). This was particularly because his condition was self limiting; this type of Thyroiditis generally only lasts for 2–5 months.

That's not what he said.

Unfortunately, the Endocrinologist saw things a little differently to me…

Here are some extracts from his report.

Note: I italicised one sentence for much needed emphasis.

“There are several diagnostic possibilities, although it is most likely that it was iodine induced. What is unusual is the delay in its onset given the fact that he has been on iodine supplementation for a few years.”

(Hmm, funny that.🤦‍♀️)

“Other possibilities include: (post viral) silent Thyroiditis, Graves’ disease,  and toxic nodular disease…”

It would seem this hormone specialist, had made up his mind before even checking for Graves’ disease — which is the most common cause of Hyperthyroidism. (It later transpired that my client didn’t have this auto-immune disease after having his blood work finally checked for this antibody.)

The specialist also decided his ‘likely’ diagnosis without asking my client how much iodine he actually takes, or without testing for iodine in his urine. Where was his proof?

FYI: If it were toxic nodular disease my client and I would have found that out very quickly after he started taking high dose iodine therapy. Because iodine really pisses off a toxic/hot nodule 🤬

(I have actually used high dose iodine, with the client’s consent, to prove that they had a toxic/hot nodule that was going undetected by modern medicine, which was why she perpetually had a low TSH reading.)

Here's a couple of interesting observations I've made over the years, Mr Specialist

Number one
I get new clients who come to me who have been diagnosed with Hyperthyroidism, who’ve never taken an iodine supplement in their lives. I have never had someone come to me with iodine induced Hyperthyroidism. However, stress, inflammation, infection, autoimmunity, and poor liver function are rife — which can all contribute to this health condition.

Number two
I’ve been dealing with this mineral for eight years now, and I would say that in 95% of cases, most clients are ignorant about this mineral, and thus have never supplemented with it… so where exactly are you getting all your experience with this mineral causing Hyperthyroidism?

Number three
As I said, I’ve been dealing with this mineral for eight years, and I have numerous clients who have been taking high dose iodine for this amount of time — including myself. And, we’ve never suffered from Hyperthyroidism. Some of these clients even take it alongside Thyroid medication and still have never exhibited Hyperthyroidism.

Number four
If you thought it was my iodine that caused my client’s Hyperthyroidism then why not just take my client off this mineral, and see if his symptoms abated? Why did you have to to over-react and drug him? I’ve seen hormone specialists do this in the past to a small handful of my clients, and cause them to go too far in the opposite direct — into Hypothyroidism! Then I’m supposedly responsible for both conditions 🤦‍♀️

Iodine solution being dropped into a wine glass of water

Lisa says:

I hate to think that I may have had clients experience Hyperthyroidism while taking high dose iodine...

But I’ve never seen them back at OOMPH, because their doctor, and subsequent specialist, convinced them that the ‘likely’ cause was the high dose iodine that I recommended to them! 😩

Note: I cannot prescribe high dose iodine in New Zealand. Only Pharmacists can. I’ve queried the Pharmacists that I’ve dealt with over the years, and they have never had any concerns with any of my clients.

I have had a handful of clients over the years come back to me and let me know that they have been diagnosed with Hyperthyroidism. I appreciate this very much — as I encourage them to let me know whenever they have any health issues.

When the client contacts me early (before they decided to proceed with remedial modern medicine).
I assess the actual-probable cause of their Hyperthyroidism. And while I take them off iodine as a precautionary procedure, the cause is generally stress, infection, inflammation, or poor liver function. When we get that under control, the Thyroid function returns to normal.

I retain these clients.

When the client contacts me after-the-fact (after they have proceeded with remedial modern medicine).
Here the client eventually comes back to me to let me know that based on what their doctor or specialist said, my iodine caused their Hyperthyroidism. 😬  And because of this they had to take medication to get their symptoms under control. When I try to investigate the situation, the client can’t provide me with the answers (the proof!) that I’m looking for… and that’s because the doctors couldn’t provide it to them.

So what did their doctor or specialist go off in order to make this diagnosis — or, rather, this bold statement?

The problem being there is NO evidence to suggest that iodine is to blame — and stress, infection, inflammation, or poor thyroid function is generally not factored in at all — only Thyroid antibodies (Hashimoto’s or Graves’ disease).

So, sadly I lose these clients as they believe their modern medicine practitioners; who essentially pin-it on my iodine. Rather than believe me; who versed them on iodine, and who warned them that modern medicine is notorious for this scapegoating of iodine… they decide to believe ‘people’ who cannot be bothered to look for further answers… because their drugs can control the symptoms. So, who cares, right?

I do!

I care a lot about my clients.

And, I am the leading Natural Health iodine advisor in New Zealand — well, in Auckland, anyway. And how do I know this? Because the Compounding Pharmacy in Auckland tells me so. So, why aren’t these doctors and specialists coming to me, and asking to learn more about this mineral that they have villainised since 1948?

NB: I really must write an article on why modern medicine has what has been termed ‘Iodophobia’ which is bias against the use of iodine by the medical profession due to (unfounded) safety concerns.

This all really gets on my (scape) goat!

Here are the other articles I've written about iodine, and high dose iodine therapy

Make an appointment with Lisa

Lisa Fitzgibbon is a degree qualified (2006), experienced and registered Naturopath & Medical Herbalist. She runs her own private practice – OOMPH in Grey Lynn, Auckland, New Zealand.

Lisa has been involved in the Natural Health industry for 16 years. She draws on her professional training and experience, as well as her own personal experience to bring you realistic, holistic health advice.

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