T Nation

Quick Question on Iodine (KSman?)


#1

Iodine has been a real bit of serendipity given my shitty health problems. It’s seemed to have had a positive estrogenic effect on me, which according to Dr Wright likely means a decrease of 16a-hydroxyestrone (bad carcinogenic estrogen) in favor of increasing estriol. Previously I had been taking DIM with noticeable results, then added iodine up to 30 mg, and one night I “snapped” into feel much better regarding brain fog, fatigue, and especially mood.

Since then it’s seemed that as the iodine has been saturating my tissues (and came back at 80% saturation according to an iodine loading test a month or so later after this event when I had started to lower the dose) and with it I’m appearing to have “low estrogen” (not just “low estradiol”) symptoms, similar in the past when my DIM dose was too high. Here’s the really interesting thing: I went from 30 mg iodine and 75 mg DIM to 12.5 mg iodine (1 Iodoral tab) and no DIM, and then decided to try adding DIM, and within days noticed slight-moderate hypoglycemia episodes with my glucometer backing me up. So then I got off the DIM and the episodes went away.

But interestingly I’ve remained with a 10-15 point lower average glucose reading, going from low 90s fasting to mid-70s, for example. I’m asking my doc now for an insulin, glucose, and A1C test, seeing how iodine makes you sensitive to potentially all hormones, including insulin, which could mean good news given that I have a family history of type 2 diabetes.

Problem: DIM shifts different estrogenic pathways (increasing 2-hydroxyestrone and possibly 4-OHE as well, the latter being bad), which means DIM and iodine in a sense compete with one another, bringing with it possible changes in symptoms if I used one or the other or both. I’m wanting to get to the point to where I can lower my iodine enough to add DIM again without the hypoglycemia episodes, which I think would help me feel better overall given the upregulation of the 2-OHE pathway.

TL;DR Question: have people here found it to be the case that you start iodine at, say, 12.5-50mg or so and then had to reduce your dose to even below 12.5 mg according to symptoms from your body indicating you’ve pushed through your sweet spot? If so, what iodine dose did you start with and what did you end up reducing it to, and how long did this titration process take before you reached a stable dose?


#2

Subscribed.


#3

I do not think that anyone else has gotten this deep. In any case, I do not advocate high dose iodine long term.

A note to remind all that high dose iodine requires selenium to support enzymes in the thyroid that prevent free radical damage and possible subsequent thyroid auto-immune disease.

fT3 is required by all cells to work properly and metabolic rate is greatly affected. With that in mind, increased metabolic rate does affect burn of sugars and lipids which should show up with a glucometer. Maybe you need to eat differently and have more proteins to feed on once sugars and starches from a meal are burnt off.

The key point is mitochondrial activity that produces ATP, the universal currency of cellular energy. That is regulated by fT3 as part of the body’s temperature control loop. Mitochondria are also require anti-oxidants to clean up free radicals that are generated as normal by-products.

I would focus on fT3, fT4 labs and not try to find an iodine dose sweet spot as high dose iodine should not be long term. Note that when on high dose iodine, TSH will be inflated and TSH labs have little utility at that point.

When thyroid hormone levels are favorable, it takes time for the body and brain to ‘recover’, so there is a time delay and benefits evolve.

I look forward to seeing how this all works out for you. Quite interesting.

Brain dump: Mitochondrial cannot work without CoQ10 made in the liver. Some people can be CoQ10 deficient if taking statin drugs. Statin drugs change enzyme pathways that make cholesterol that are also utilized to make CoQ10. Not many have that problem, but some do. The result can be seen as a constant low level cough that shares the same mechanics of congestive heart failure. But in this case, the muscles of the heart are weakened by a lack of CoQ10 that reduces ATP production in muscles. This problem can also show up as muscle pains in arms or legs as well as mental confusion.


#4

Interesting. I had always wondered about that and is why I never ventured too far into high dose iodine supplementation. KSman, once you’ve iodine loaded, what do you consider a good daily maintenance dose?


#5

My doc and I are currently looking at a “cycle” of multiple mitochondrial supplements, including coq10, carnitine, PQQ, and d-ribose. I had tried all of these independently without any noticeable success, but this was when I was feeling really bad around the Summer before the iodine unambiguously “snapped” things into place.


KSman, I guess what I’m asking you is if you find lowering your iodine dose to be a necessity as the body saturates with it. That seems to explain my lower need for it as the weeks and months go by.


#6

“It is widely stated that the body contains between 15 and 20 mg of iodine and that two-thirds of this iodine is found in the thyroid gland (1).”

I.E. our thyroids have the capacity and function of storing iodine for “fuel” likely as a survival mechanism, similar to how our bodies store glycogen and fat for energy when blood sugar is low.


#7

things can go wrong as you expose the next weak link, could be cortisol, adrenal fatigue etc.

On the road, difficult to do this, see the thyroid basics sticky re those key words.


#8

Thanks KSman. I ask you because you’ve written some great info regarding iodine, but I can’t seem to find it anymore. I’m talking particularly about how you (at the time at least) were into using 12.5 mg for a limited time and then titrating down as the body become more saturated with iodine. That’s what I’m wondering myself.

Anyone know where the thyroid sticky is? Noob here.


#9

Please read the stickies found here: About the T Replacement Category

  • advice for new guys
  • things that damage your hormones
  • protocol for injections
  • finding a TRT doc
  • thyroid basics

Evaluate your overall thyroid function by checking oral body temperatures as per the thyroid basics sticky. Thyroid hormone fT3 is what gets the job done and it regulates mitochondrial activity, the source of ATP which is the universal currency of cellular energy. This is part of the body’s temperature control loop. This can get messed up if you are iodine deficient. In many countries, you need to be using iodized salt. Other countries add iodine to dairy or bread.