Sunday, April 25, 2010

In Search of Iodine

The consensus is I am iodine deficient. I don't eat fish or sushi. My salt is not iodized (which I didn't even realize this until all the Hashimoto's stuff started). I don't get any carbs fortified with iodine either.

As a result, some iodine supplementation is recommended.

But not a lot because my thyroid is "on the edge."

No more than 200 micrograms, I was advised. Further, I must avoid seaweed or kelp at all costs.

Or something baaaaaad will happen. My head might explode or a third eye might pop up. Something.

While I am aware that the patient advocate side of the thyroid debate often urges more iodine, I'm okay with being conservative. No need to drive my thyroid completely off the edge Thelma & Louise style. I still have a lot to learn as a patient here. I don't know what I'm doing and there's a lot of quackery to sift through. So I'm being careful.

However, did you know that almost no one sells iodine supplements with 200 mcg or less? Most iodine supplements are in milligrams too, and in super high doses. The few that are 150-200 mcg are made out of seaweed and kelp.

Errr. Okay. Where does that leave me?

Eating my daughter's Gummi Vites, that's where. Hey, they're handy, they taste good, and if I eat 6 I get 150mcg of iodine, win-win.

I begin to see why the first endo favored multivitamins, they are almost the only source of an appropriate iodine dose as far as I can find. Perhaps if he had explained it that way, I would not have thought he was such an ass (although there were other issues with him).

Also, I'm thinking about ordering some endocrinology textbooks. I am not finding good answers to my questions (whether through my own research or from doctors).

For example, exactly what is the problem with goitergens? What is the mechanism of action?

I have been told to avoid them. I have read that if I am iodine deficient and supplement I can probably eat them. I have talked to other thyroid patients and they all have variable tolerances to goitergens. There's a ton of goitergen 'chatter' but I am not finding anything that explains the physiology. Which I would like to understand because that's how I roll, I like to know.

Also, goitergens are my favorite veggies and I am quite petulant about the idea that I may not be able to eat them anymore. Yes, my love of cabbage, brussel sprouts and broccoli is enough to drive me to slog through medical textbooks.

Hey, I'm the Pissed Off Patient, nowhere have I claimed to be normal.

If you have ever eaten roasted brussel sprouts with shallots, bacon and a shot of balsamic vinegar...well, you understand where I'm coming from.

ETA: Wikipedia has a decent page on goitergens or goitrogens as it is sometimes spelled. The citations aren't fantastic, but decent.

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