elynjacobs

What You Need to Know About High TSH Levels and Iodine

In Alternative Cancer Therapies, Alternatives Cancer Treatment, Books for Cancer Patients, Breast Cancer, Cancer, Hyopthyroidism, Iodine, Uncategorized on October 4, 2019 at 10:29 am

It is often believed that iodine shuts down the thyroid and that elevated TSH levels are unequivocally indicative of hypothyroidism.  However, as with many things, there are two sides to every story, and many untruths to be told and righted. If you are supplementing with iodine and have been told your TSH is elevated, here is what you need to know.

               “Who Stole the Iodine?” Lynne Farrow

Iodine was used for over a hundred years to treat a huge list of conditions. Importantly, iodine is essential for the optional functioning of all of the cells in the body, and can actually improve thyroid function as well as immune function. Studies also show that it promotes cancer cell death, suppresses tumor growth, and performs other chemo-therapeutic activities.[i] As Lynne Farrow, author of The Iodine Crisis, so aptly states, “it couldn’t suddenly stop working, so what turned the world against iodine?” 

            “They must know what they are doing.” Lynne Farrow

The claim that iodine shuts down the thyroid is clearly one of those cases where the ‘they must know what they’re doing’ mindset results not only in unfortunate medical advice, but spreading ‘untruths’. According to Farrow, the idea that iodine shuts down the thyroid gland ‘was neither fundamental nor a law’ but was accepted as so. Farrow speaks of an article written in 2005 by Guy Abraham, M.D., The Wolff-Chaikoff Effect: Crying Wolff, that answers the million-dollar question of ‘who stole the iodine?’ In the article Abraham identifies an influential paper published in 1948 by Wolff and Chaikoff ” which persuaded physicians that iodine was dangerous and would stop the thyroids of iodine-takers from working.” (Farrow pg 150). This theory was mistakenly enforced as a ‘fundamental law of physiology’ and thus actively practiced. 

The problem, according to Farrow, was that no one ever fact-checked or replicated the study, yet its warning to avoid iodine supplementation was incorporated into medical practice. According to Abraham, the authors made a mistake in their rat study. Apparently, they never checked the rats’ thyroid levels and actually did not observe thyroid enlargement or disease from high doses of iodine. Further, it seems the mistake was repeated by Wolff in 1969 when another paper extrapolated the findings to a human study.

The influence of Wolff-Chaikoff conclusions were so wide, the phenomenon was institutionalized by calling the fear-mongering event, “The Wolff-Chaikoff Effect.” Medical textbooks perpetuated this mistake and it was taught it to at least three generations of doctors. According to Farrow, it was all an assumption from an influence-leader with credentials from UC Berkeley and the NIH, therefore ‘they must know what they are doing.’

On the contrary, through the works of Guy Abraham, M.D., Jorge Flecha, M.D.,  David Brownstein, M.D., Lynne Farrow, and others, we now know that iodine is indeed essential for the thyroid and that a deficiency can lead to cysts, nodules, fibrocystic breast disease, cancer, and more (for more information on their work, see the suggested reading at the bottom of this post).

TSH and Iodine

One of the leading pioneers in iodine research and application, Dr Jorge Flechas, M.D., explains in his paper Orthoiodosupplementation in a Primary Care Practice,  how TSH levels may appear abnormal during iodine supplementation, but those anomalies are unlikely to reflect hypothyroidism. He essentially debunks the notion that iodine shuts down the thyroid gland and believes that iodine deficiency can result in the manifestation of hypothyroidism.

Flechas explains that most of the time iodine supplementation lowers TSH and T4 levels and free T3 stays steady. However, he says TSH sometimes goes up, while T4 and T3 may remain stable, rise, or decline. Importantly, this does not necessarily mean that a person has or is developing hypothyroidism. According to Flechas, it can be that the brain is directing the body to make more sodium iodide symporters (NIS). The NIS are channels in the cell membrane that transport sodium iodide into the cells. Iodide (iodine) is an essential nutrient that is absorbed by all cell lines, but particularly in the thyroid. TSH (along with prolactin and oxytocin) has been found to stimulate the making of NIS. Flechas further explains that elevated TSH might not be a bad thing as it has many actions outside the thyroid that have been discovered.

Flechas does make it is very clear that nutritional status and overall thyroid health must be evaluated prior to high-dose iodine supplementation. Ideally, all patients should have an iodine loading test prior to high dose supplementation.

    “TSH levels may appear abnormal on iodine supplementation, but those anomalies are unlikely to reflect hypothyroidism”  Lynne Farrow per Dr Jorge Flechas

Farrow, through her work with the Breast Cancer Choices Iodine Investigation Project reports that a supplement called ATP CoFactors helps speed iodine absorption and normalize TSH levels.  ATP CoFactors is a supplement with a cooperative combination of vitamins and minerals that support the synthesis of ATP for ADP to better promote energy production.

If you have elevated TSH but no other indications or symptoms of being hypothyroid, I suggest you work with an iodine-literate doctor before you take a drug that can actually increase your risk of breast cancer*.  Iodine deficiency is often the cause of Hashimoto’s, especially in the presence of selenium deficiency (Farrow, p.51) so again, seek out an iodine-literate doctor to see if iodine might be right for you. Note: those on a high-dose iodine protocol may need companion supplementation of magnesium, selenium, vitamin c, riboflavin, niacin, and unrefined salt, so please discuss this with your physician. 

For more on the importance of iodine, please listen to my interview with Lynne Farrow and read The Iodine Crisis. You may also want to read Iodine: Why You Need It, Why You Can’t Live Without It, by David Brownstein, MD., and The Safe and Effective Implementation of Orthoiodosupplementation in Medical Practice, Guy E. Abraham, MD.

This information is for educational purposes only and is not a recommendation to forgo medical advice and treatment.  Always use caution when taking any supplement. including iodine. This post is not intended to treat, cure, prevent, or diagnose any disease or condition. This post does not represent medical advice nor should it be considered to be medical advice or a replacement for medical advice.  I encourage you to discuss this information with an iodine-literate doctor or integrative doctor. The information provided is from my research and not to be taken as scientific evidence.

In your good health,

Elyn

~~If you don’t know your options, you don’t have any~~

ej portrait 150resElyn Jacobs is a holistic cancer strategist and speaker specializing in the prevention and treatment of cancer. She is a Contributing Editor for The Truth About Cancer and is on the Medical Advisory Board for BeatCancer.Org and the Advisory Board to the Radical Remission Project. Elyn has written for numerous journals and publications. She was the former Executive Director of the Emerald Heart Cancer Foundation and the creator and host of the Survive and Live Well Radio Show. To contact Elyn, visit www.elynjacobs.com. Elyn offers consults via Skype, phone, or in person. Elyn does not provide online advice.

DISCLAIMER:
Elyn Jacobs does not provide online medical advice. The information provided is for general information only. No online site should be used as a substitute for personal medical attention.

This information is for educational purposes only and is not a recommendation to forgo medical advice and treatment.  This post is not intended to treat, cure, prevent, or diagnose any disease or condition. This post does not represent medical advice nor should it be considered to be medical advice or a replacement for medical advice.  I encourage you to discuss this information with an iodine-literate doctor, integrative doctor, naturopathic doctor, or conventional oncologist. The information provided is from my research and not to be taken as scientific evidence.

Affiliate Links Disclosure:

Some product links on some posts are affiliate links. This website is monetized in part through the use of affiliate links. This means that if you were to click on a link that is an affiliate link and purchase an item after clicking on that link, I may receive a small percentage of the sales price. I only recommend products that I love and use often. Thank you for your support!

Follow Elyn on Facebook

Follow Elyn on LinkedIn

[i] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3752513/; https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5327366/

[ii] https://www.optimox.com/iodine-study-10

*https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29961136

 

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: