T Nation

Treating Hypothyroidism Without Access to Iodine Test

In the case of sub clinical hypothyroidism, how should you approach treatment if you are unable to determine your iodine levels?

I am awaiting results for my thyroid antibodies as well as rT3, and will be having my thyroid scanned later this week, however, I have been unable to find any clinics or hospitals in Taiwan that offer any testing of iodine levels. I’ve even gone to the extent of trying to find somewhere in Okinawa that offers iodine testing while on holiday there next week, but have had the same problem. Won’t be returning to the west for quite some time.

If I am able to rule out auto-immune disease/hashimoto’s, goiter and excessive rT3 conversion/pooling via my other tests, would it then be wise to proceed with iodine treatment without positively confirming if I have a deficiency in the first place? To my knowledge those are the only causes of hypothyroidism, but it still wouldn’t sit well with me not getting a confirmatory diagnosis of iodine deficiency and just treating it blindly.

My most recent thyroid results were:
TSH: 6.026 mIU/L (0.38 - 5.33)
FT4: 0.8 ng/dL (0.54 - 1.4)
FT3: 2.68 pmol/L (2.5 - 3.9)

Have a number of hypo symptoms:
Low average morning body temp 97.0f (96.80 - 97.34f)
Brittle nails
Irritable
Excessive mental fatigue/brain fog/poor concentration
Lack of interest
Depression

My diet is low in iodine. No grains or dairy for a number of years and have always used Himalayan as opposed to iodized salt so I wouldn’t be surprised if I had a deficiency.

Hoping to get my thyroid sorted ASAP so that I can start focusing on my low-T instead.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated as I’m so sick and tired of feeling sick tired.

This is bad if you haven’t touch iodine supplementation, sometime TSH can be elevated and thyroid hormone in range and still thyroid problems are present. TSH is generally a poor marker for thyroid status except when elevated and together with your symptoms is more than enough to suggest hypothyroidism.

Would you still supplement iodine without knowing your levels anyway?

If I had your numbers, I would seek thyroid treatment, I don’t see iodine fixing full blown hypothyroidism.

Oh, I was under the impression from the thyroid sticky that it could. I just didn’t want to supplement without confirming a deficiency in the first place. So medication is the only way to go?