Author's Edit: My views on iodine have changed drastically since I wrote this back in 2008. Now I have determined iodine was the CAUSE of the alopecia areata hair loss. I do not know why it happened, but it did. This post gets a lot of hits in google, so I'm telling you now I was naive when I wrote this post. I was just regurgitating what I heard others say on another website. Some info has been removed from this page because I don't want to be furthering someone's bad information. I apologize to everyone who commented and I gave stupid advice. Please forgive me!
On my first visit he put me on 1 tab of Iodoral every day. He explained to me that the thyroid and breasts need iodine and we are all deficient especially in this part of the world. He told me that it helps to break apart cysts and has been seen as a preventative for breast cancer. My thyroid always tested good. I did have some hypothyroid symptoms, but told him they really weren't that bothersome. I do have to watch my weight though.
Like a good patient, I started to take 1 Iodoral tablet a day. Now at this time in my life, I was eating REALLY good. I juiced 1 cucumber and 1 lemon 3Xs a day. I ate lightly cooked egg whites in the morning and salads with white chicken breasts for lunch and dinner. As far as clean eating and dieting goes, I was doing it.
About a month into taking iodine, I started to get acne. I've never had acne before and didn't know what the heck was going on. One thing I noticed were that my morning temperatures finally broke the mid 96's, which was interesting. I use the LadyComp as my birth control method, so I took my temperature daily. The LadyComp was relearning my temperatures so the iodine was doing something.
At this point I wasn't sure it was a good something though. Some not so good things started to happen. I had my first patch of baldness come over night and I had numbness in my left leg from the top of my knee to the hip. It was very bothersome. The bald spot broke-the-camel's-back as they say and I called my doctor to tell him I was stopping everything for a few days to see what happens. Nothing good changed. My hair continued to fall out. My legs continued to get numb.
I started reading more about iodine and I was told that I was going through severe bromide detoxification. I was told that this is normal and you have to push through this...I now believe that is a bunch of lies and would never ever tell anyone to do this at all. If you are suffering after starting a supplement, then have enough sense to stop it. Don't let someone talk you into taking it by saying it's a "detox". I've heard this so many times over the years now, it's become a cliche. :(
Is there some truth to a detox? I have no idea. Whenever you take iodine, it pushes the fluoride, chlorine and bromide out of the thyroid and other tissues. The halogens compete in the body and unfortunately iodine is easily pushed out by bromide. Since drinking water has chlorine and fluoride in it, your thyroid gets hit. I have well water, so I knew that I did not have issues with these things. With the iodine supplementation, these toxins supposedly get dumped into your bloodstream and you feel very sick. Again I'm pretty skeptical of this nowadays and I just think my thyroid levels were through the roof. I think I was experiencing hyperthyroid symptoms and an autoimmune attack within my body. My TSH was NON DETECTABLE during this time, but my doctor did not make the connection.
So against my better judgement and because I was sucked in with these iodine websites, I started to take 3 Iodoral tabs. 2 in the morning and 1 mid day to begin the "bromide detox". It was a full 3 weeks of hell and back, but I did it because I thought I was doing the right thing. I read the research presented on the sites and thought it made sense. This showed that even after 1 month at 3 Iodoral tabs, your body excretes large amounts of bromide and fluoride. Well I wanted that out of my body (if it was in there), so I followed this detox without question.
After this "detox", I went back to 1 tablet. My hair would continue to fall out until it looked like that picture above. How in the world was this an improvement of my health? I now was jittery, shakey, felt out of my mind, had terrible terrible headaches constantly, was half bald and now in worse shape than when I started... I was told that I was over-exaggerating and that I must have "done it wrong" on forums. Nobody ever wants to admit that the supplement they recommend could possibly hurt someone.
Mainstream medicine claims that too much iodine causes hyperthyroidism, but that is widely debated with holistic doctors. However these holistic doctors have ulterior motives because they sell iodine and iodine test kits on their websites. There is evidence that a deficiency in iodine can cause BOTH hyper and/or hypo! Goiters can be from too much iodine or too little, so really we just don't know at all. Some studies show countries with higher amounts of iodine have higher levels of autoimmune thyroid conditions. This doesn't sound like a positive thing at all.
The iodine websites say to get this Iodine Loading Test done and that it would tell me whether or not I have enough iodine in my body. I even question the science in this test and have no idea if it's even true or not, so test at your own risk. It may say you need it when you don't. How would we know?
Nowadays I could never ever recommend iodine to anybody. One size does not fit all.