"Thyroid disease is more common than diabetes or heart disease."

~ American College of Endocrinology

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More than 30,000,000 people in the US and 200 million worldwide have a Thyroid Disorder Most affected are women. Some estimates are over 50 million in US and over 200 million worldwide, and growing.

Estimates vary widely as most patients are misdiagnosed or undiagnosed because doctors don't know what they are looking for.

Thyroid disease is also an autoimmune disease. This means that over 27 million people have one or more of the over 105 known autoimmune diseases.

Are you one?

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Thyroid Health and Iodine

Your thyroid is a very complicated gland. There are so many ways it can be damaged, iodine being one of them.  


Iodine is an essential element that enables the thyroid gland to produce thyroid hormones. But, the relationship between iodine and the thyroid is complicated. Some practitioners simplistically declare that all thyroid patients should take iodine — or an iodine-containing herb like kelp.

But, too much iodine – and supplements that contain large amounts of iodine such as seaweed – can make thyroid hormone levels go very high if you have nodular goiter, or very low if you have a history of an autoimmune thyroid condition such as Hashimoto’s thyroiditis or Grave’s disease.  

Food High in Iodine

In order to counterbalance the lack of iodine, you can add these various foods:

  • Ocean fish including shellfish, clams, lobster, sardines
  • Asparagus
  • Carrots
  • Tomatoes
  • Rhubarb
  • Potatoes
  • Peas
  • Strawberries
  • Mushrooms
  • Lettuce
  • Bananas
  • Cabbage
  • Egg yolk
  • Onions
  • Mozzarella cheese
  • Feta Cheese
  • Garlic
  • Dulse
  • Lima beans
  • Sesame seeds
  • Soybeans
  • Spinach
  • Summer squash
  • Swiss chard
  • Turnip greens

What else to do?

If you have cravings, try these foods from the list and see if it balances a need for iodine. However, some people are so sensitive to iodine that they will react, feeling exhausted and achy if they are getting too much iodine.

Some small amount of iodine may be found in most multivitamins. If you’re in the very sensitive group, choose supplements that contain no iodine.

Source: Laurberg P, et. al. “Environmental iodine intake affects the type of nonmalignant thyroid disease,” Thyroid. 2001 May;11(5):457-69

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