Issue #191 March 31, 2014

Welcome to KnowYourThyroid.

I hope everyone is enjoying the warmer weather.

Today, Dr. Brownstein is going to contradict was most professionals say about the amount of iodine our bodies need to function. As most of you know, I have Graves’ Disease and for a long time, I listened to the “don’t take iodine if you have an autoimmune disease” advice. After reading Dr. B’s blog, I started taking iodine in the form of kelp several months ago. I have not felt this good for years.



Avoid Iodophobic Health Care Providers

I received this email from a pharmacist I met at a lecture.

“Hello Dr. B!  I’m the pharmacist in Tulsa who spoke with you last fall about a thyroid nodule.  As you predicted, after remaining on 50mg Iodoral daily for 3.5 months, they couldn’t visualize a nodule on the repeat ultrasound-ha ha!  I mentioned this to the endocrinologist, who was dubious and issued a caution about autoimmune thyroid disease and iodine—that iodine triggers antibody production.  I’ve read about similar warnings from several other sites.  What is your response to this concern?  By the way, I’ve ordered your latest edition of the iodine book thinking the rationale will be found there.  But, I’ve continued with the 50mg Iodoral, and am seriously considering a diet to eliminate food allergies.  I’d appreciate your thoughts.  Thank you so much for all you do!

Martha Stalcup

Dear Martha,

Thank you for your note. Over the last 40 years, autoimmune thyroid illness has been increasing at epidemic rates.  During this same time, iodine levels have fallen over 50%.  Therefore, I find it hard to make an argument that iodine is behind the cause of the epidemic increase in autoimmune thyroid illness.  In fact, the research is clear; iodine deficiency is responsible, in part, for the rapid rise in autoimmune thyroid illnesses.  Over the last 20 years, my research and clinical experience has confirmed this.

In order to treat autoimmune thyroid illnesses such as Hashimoto’s and Graves’ disease, it is important to ensure adequate iodine intake as part of a holistic treatment plan.

Much more information about this can be found in my new book,

Iodine: Why You Need It, Why You Can’t Live Without It

The best advice I can give you is to work with an iodine-knowledgeable holistic  health care provider and avoid health care providers suffering from iodophobia.