Many people today are deficient in iodine. Those with thyroid imbalances have likely heard that iodine is a necessary supplement to help with hypothyroid issues and it’s true. Iodine is a necessary supplement to support the thyroid, however, it can also create a bigger problem if taken at the wrong time.
High levels of antibodies on a thyroid test can mean that an autoimmune condition is present. It is crucial to make sure lab results include antibody levels to ensure that the condition is treated appropriately. Most people with hypothyroid actually have an autoimmune form of thyroid disease called Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis. It has become a rare occurrence for people to simply be hypothyroid, but misdiagnosis is common. Too many doctors today do not understand the delicacies of the thyroid and do not order sufficient lab tests. They are unaware of the prevalence of autoimmune thyroid conditions and thus patients end up suffering as they incorrectly treat the body. Thyroid issues are rampant today but unfortunately specialists that truly understand the endocrine system and its interlacing with hormones are uncommon.
Adding iodine when antibody levels are high can be like pouring gasoline on a fire. Not only will the antibody levels increase, but TSH is also likely to stay higher than desired. This also means that symptoms will remain the same or get worse. The key is making sure that antibody levels have decreased to a healthy level before adding iodine supplementation. Once the antibodies have normalized, it is safe to take iodine and can help with many symptoms.
Like most things, timing is crucial. Be sure to work together with a doctor who is well-versed in the thyroid and endocrine system. Most importantly pay attention to symptoms and get labs done every few months to monitor changes.
Another way to help reduce antibody levels is through diet. Starting a gluten free diet is recommended by most holistic practitioners to help reduce inflammation and bring down antibody levels. Gluten (and soy) can trigger an increase in antibodies since the body recognizes the gluten as an “invader” when it enters the blood stream. This causes an inflammatory reaction. Many people see a positive response within a few months of going gluten free. For others it takes longer and may require more attention on healing the gut. Leaky gut is often the root cause of autoimmune diseases but is often times ignored by health practitioners.