Iodine Fulfillment Therapy
IODINE FULFILLMENT THERAPY
by Dr. Bruce West
From "Health Alert" Newsletter by Dr. Bruce West, December 2005, Volume 22, Issue 12]
From 1900 to the 1960s almost every single U.S. physician used Lugol (iodine) supplements in his or her practice for both hypo- and hyperthyroid, as well as many, many other conditions-all with excellent results. In fact, iodine was considered a panacea for all human ills. (1) Today a phobia-generated by medical misinformation against iodine therapy-has caused physicians to avoid this powerful treatment like the plague. (2)
By avoiding iodine therapy, you could be missing out on the very link that could get you well. Today we know that total body iodine fulfillment or sufficiency can finally resolve tough, stubborn problems that resist all other treatments. Called orthoiodosupplementation, this treatment employs elemental iodine supplements until the thyroid gland and all other iodine-sensitive sites in the body have reached iodine sufficiency.
The most commonly difficult problems for which this therapy has been called a panacea are fibrocystic breasts, polycystic ovary syndrome, hypo- and hyperthyroid (with or without goiter), brain fog, constipation, obesity, diabetes, hypertension (high blood pressure), and even some heart problems-most notably irreversible arrhythmias like atrial fibrillation.
Why Iodine is Important
Iodine is detected in every organ and tissue in the body. It is found in high levels in the thyroid gland, liver, lung, heart, and adrenal glands. It is found in the highest concentrations in fat and muscle tissue. It is depleted out of the thyroid gland and other tissues when thyroid hormone medications are prescribed. Iodine has been considered so important that up until 20 years ago, it had been routinely added to bread as a supplement. Now because of politics and fear of iodine, the thyroid-toxin bromine has taken its place as a bread supplement. And in the past 20 years there has been an increased prevalence of obesity, diabetes, and hypertension, as well as more thyroid and breast cancers.
According to Guy E. Abraham, MD, perhaps the world's most knowledgeable expert on iodine and the thyroid, "Medical iodophobia has reached pandemic proportions. It is highly contagious and has wreaked havoc on the practice of medicine and on the U.S. population. More misery and death in the U.S. may have resulted from [medicine's unwarranted fear of iodine] than from both World Wars combined."
That is quite a statement from a former professor of Endocrinology and a man who pioneered ways to assay iodine and minute quantities of hormones in the body. This man in the past 35 years has received more biochemistry, diagnostics, clinical chemistry, and hormone and iodine research awards than anyone I know of. And he has studied iodine therapy in high doses in over 4,000 people-publishing his findings in a document titled "The Iodine Project." These findings once and for all dispelled the medical myth and fear of iodine therapy.
Whole Body Iodine Sufficiency
Thyroidologists like Dr. Abraham have learned of the tremendous benefits of what they call whole body iodine sufficiency-when the body is saturated with sufficient iodine to supply all the tissues. Along the way, they have also discovered some amazing things about current thyroid treatment, thyroid drugs, and iodine. The very first thing discovered is that iodine is the treatment of choice for hypo- and hyperthyroid problems-with or without goiter.
Doctors could get as high as a 90% cure rate with hyperthyroid (overactive thyroid) by using what would be considered high doses of iodine daily. Doses of six to 37 mgs daily seemed equally effective in resolving cases of hypothyroid (underactive thyroid). These doses, once considered normal, are now considered high by most people in the medical profession.
Whole body iodine sufficiency is also a critical means to counter the side effects of thyroid hormone medications (Synthroid, etc.). Long-term use of these drugs is associated with depletion of thyroid and tissue iodine levels, as well as increased rates of cancer. Fluorescent scanning of the thyroid clearly shows how drug and other medical thyroid therapies deplete the gland and body of critical iodine.
Therefore, Synthroid or thyroid-destructive therapies should never be taken without iodine therapy-something you will never hear from your endocrinologist. If all Thyroidologists and endocrinologists were forced to fluorescence scan their patients' thyroid glands, they would then have to fact up to the damages they are causing to these glands and their patients!
In addition to thyroid therapy, all thyroid patients should be on iodine therapy, with the goal to reach a whole body iodine sufficiency. When this state is reached, the following results (gathered using sophisticated lab testing, fluorescence screening, clinical measurements, and a host of other high-tech medical testing procedures) have been observed:
• Goiter is reduced or eliminated.
• Stress on the pituitary gland with resultant high TSH readings is eliminated.
• Increased excretion of thyroid poisons and heavy metals occurs via the kidneys.
• The liver's detoxification mechanisms are enhanced.
• Obesity is more easily overcome-in fact, iodine therapy may be a critical and unknown factor in obesity.
• Diabetes and high blood pressure are more easily controlled.
• Breast tissue normalizes with decreased occurrences of fibrocystic breast disease.
• Menopausal symptoms are improved.
• Polycystic Ovary Syndrome can be cured.
• Brain function is better, with less brain fog.
• Heart function is better, with reduced arrhythmia problems.
• And cancer rates, especially of the thyroid and breast, are reduced.
Additionally, through the Iodine Project studies, Dr. Abraham discovered that even patients with complete thyroidectomy (removal of the whole gland) benefited from iodine therapy. Therefore it became known that iodine not only improved the thyroid gland, but the other target areas of the body where iodine and thyroid hormone are active.
The doctors in the Project found that patients who achieved iodine sufficiency were often able to resolve diabetes problems without insulin. They could normalize blood pressure without medication. Goiters were resolved. And those taking thyroid hormone medication could greatly reduce or completely eliminate these drugs.
Heart, Arrhythmias, Fibrillation
As you have read over and over in Health Alert, there is an epidemic of cardiac arrhythmias and atrial fibrillation in this country. Expert Thyroidologists like Dr. Abraham are convinced that the medical iodine phobia has a great deal to do with this phenomenon. Adequate stores of iodine are necessary for a smooth heartbeat.
Amazingly, while medicine shuns iodine therapy, their most popular anti-fibrillation drug, Amiodarone, actually is iodine in a toxic, sustained release form. This drug can produce a smooth heartbeat when the body has accumulated about 1.5 grams (1,500 mgs) of iodine. This is exactly the same amount of iodine retained by the human body when iodine sufficiency is achieved by natural iodine supplementation.
The problem with Amiodarone is that this form of iodine (which the medical profession has a penchant for) is extremely toxic. The side effects are most often too great for patients to regain a normal heartbeat. Therefore it only makes sense to try to achieve iodine sufficiency with the natural form of iodine instead. That is why I always recommend iodine (in the form of either Cataplex F and/or Prolamine Iodine from Standard Process) with my arrhythmia and fibrillation patients.
If you are about to try to achieve iodine sufficiency with slowly increasing doses of Prolamine Iodine, you must note that this is to be done in place of Amiodarone-not simultaneously with it. So you will need to have your doctor stop the drug therapy when you start the iodine therapy. Therapy usually starts at 1 tablet of Prolamine Iodine daily for a week. If no problem arises, the dose increases slowly (every week to 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6 tablets daily). If there are no problems along the way, and especially if your heart begins to function more normally, you would stay at 5 or 6 tablets daily for three to six months. Or you might need three months of 12 Prolamine Iodine tablets per day to achieve full iodine sufficiency levels. This is, of course, in conjunction with your current heart protocol of phytonutrients.
Types of Iodine and Doses
For decades Lugol iodine has been used by expert Thyroidologists. But liquid iodine has problems-it tastes bad, can upset your stomach, and can stain your clothes. There is a Lugol tablet on the market called Iodoral. This is the type of iodine Dr. Abraham uses. It is the inorganic form and each tablet contains 12 mgs of iodine. Iodoral is sold only to physicians, but you may be able to buy it on the Internet by doing a Google search for Iodoral.
We use Prolamine Iodine, which is the organic form. Each tablet contains 3 mgs of iodine. Iodoral is less expensive, and some studies (at least with fibrocystic breast disease) show it to be more effective than Prolamine Iodine. Our results with all conditions show them to be equally effective.
Exactly what dose is best for you is difficult to determine. But we now know that what were formerly considered high doses of the right form of iodine are safe and effective. Some iodine-deficient people only need a tablet or two daily. For people with more serious iodine deficiency problems, iodine sufficiency must be achieved. This is accomplished with a daily dose of around 37 mgs for three months: four Iodoral or 12 Prolamine Iodine tablets daily.
And this dose should be achieved slowly-starting with one Prolamine Iodine tablet daily, increasing one to two tablets daily each week. Without side effects, the dose should be increased weekly until the iodine sufficiency dose of 12 daily is achieved. With Iodoral, start with one tablet daily and increase by one tablet each week until you are taking four tablets daily. Either way, after achieving the full iodine sufficiency dose, it should be maintained for three months.
We now know that it is possible for some people to eliminate their need for medical thyroid drugs after achieving iodine sufficiency. We also now know that anyone taking thyroid drugs like Synthroid should also be on iodine therapy. At the very least, iodine therapy can decrease the need for thyroid hormone drugs.
We are just beginning to discover the amazing curative powers of iodine. While it may not be the panacea that old-timers have claimed, it is indeed critical. It is often the missing factor in "incurable" conditions like obesity, diabetes, breast disease, polycystic ovaries, thyroiditis, hypothyroid, autoimmune thyroid problems, and more.
While some doctors claim that no one is really allergic to iodine, I have seen sensitivities. If you do not know if you are allergic to iodine, then you are not. Those who are truly allergic know it and carefully avoid shellfish, iodized salt, most fish, kelp, and other foods that contain iodine.
The Iodine Test
If you are one of those who would like more proof that your body needs or does not need iodine, let me share a simple test. But a bottle of Tincture of Iodine at the drug store and paint a 2" square spot on your inner arm. If it disappears in less than eight hours, you desperately need iodine. If it disappears in 24 hours, you also need iodine. If it simply stays on your arm and begins to slowly fade in color after a full 24 hours, you have already reached iodine sufficiency.
You can retest yourself every one to two weeks while on therapy. And you can use the test to help you judge your individual dosage need for iodine. Remember that contrary to current medical opinion, the real thyroid experts have proven that most patients who need iodine therapy require from three to 37 mgs/day. And that means from one to 12 Prolamine Iodine tablets daily. Always start out slowly. Judge your results, monitor your symptoms and any side effects, and use the thyroid patch test to help you along the way.
As discussed, some people are sensitive to the iodine metal. That is why all iodine therapy must be accomplished with a good degree of caution. Use the patch test to help you determine dose. Always start out at a low dose of one Prolamine Iodine tablet daily. Increase your dose slowly-by adding one or two tablets daily each week. If you experience problems or side effects, stop your therapy. If you are like most people and continue to improve, your therapy is effective.
Side effects among sensitive individuals include skin irritation; watery eyes, nose, and saliva; nervousness or headache. Some sensitive people can experience tachycardia (racing heart). While iodine therapy has been shown to be a great aid to those with atrial fibrillation, if you experience a racing heart, you must stop iodine therapy immediately.
So use the patch test, start slowly, increase your dose slowly and only by one tablet a week (some people need only a tablet or two while others require six to 12 tablets daily). Iodine sufficiency (all tissues with adequate iodine) can require 12 Prolamine Iodine tablets daily for three months. After three months reduce your dose to three per day for a month, then one per day. Watch for problems, watch for improvements, and see for yourself if iodine therapy is the missing link in your stubborn health problems.
(1)"Iodine in medicine and pharmacy since its discovery-1811-1961," Proc R Soc Med, 1961:54:831-836.
(2)"Iodine therapy," Health Alert, Vol. 21, No. 3.
Available Iodine Testing: