Why do some people seem to react to Iodine even when they take selenium? There are a few reasons for this, such as the following:
1. They don’t have an Iodine deficiency. Not everyone has an Iodine deficiency; therefore, not everyone needs to increase their iodine levels. The same is true with other minerals. A good example is iron. I discussed the correlation in the research between having an iron overload and Hashimoto’s in Chapter 13. If someone obtains an iron panel (serum iron, ferritin, iron saturation, TIBC), and if it’s determined that they have sufficient levels of iron, taking a separate iron supplement can cause oxidative stress. Thus, the problem isn’t just with iodine, as taking high doses of some other minerals such as iron can also cause oxidative stress, and can potentially be a factor in thyroid autoimmunity.
2. They take excessive amounts of iodine. Although I’m a supporter of iodine testing and supplementation in those people who need it, I’m not an advocate of most people taking very high doses of iodine (i.e., 50 mg per day). Although there might be some cases when people can benefit from taking very high doses of iodine, just as is the case with everything else, one needs to weigh the risks and benefits. The problem is that it’s impossible to predict how someone will respond when taking very high doses of iodine.
3. They might be reacting to selenium and not iodine. Although I’m touting the benefits of selenium, the truth is that selenium toxicity can be an issue in some people. While most people do fine taking 200 mcg of selenium per day, for some people, this is too high of a dose. Of course, some people take higher amounts of selenium. Rarely have I found problems with patients taking 200 mcg/day of selenium, although everyone is different.
4. The symptoms might be due to the detoxification of bromine. Remember that iodine and bromine compete for the same receptors, and that I mentioned earlier how supplementing with iodine, or eating iodine-rich foods can cause the excretion of bromine. Thus, if you experience certain detox symptoms such as an increase in fatigue or headaches when taking iodine, then this can be due to the excretion of bromine, and not the iodine itself. Also, selenium is a cofactor for glutathione production, so taking selenium can increase glutathione production, which, in turn, can also help with the excretion of bromine along with other toxins.
5. The symptoms might be due to the eradication of pathogens. Iodine has antimicrobial properties, and, as a result, if someone has one or more infections then they might experience die-off symptoms when taking iodine due to the pathogens being eradicated.
6. The person might have reduced glutathione peroxidase activity due to a genetic polymorphism. This would make sense in many cases, as, while this book focuses on many environmental factors that we can control, we can’t dismiss the potential impact of genetics. Thus, if someone has a reduction in glutathione peroxidase activity due to a genetic polymorphism, then they won’t be able to reduce the oxidative stress as efficiently as someone who doesn’t have this genetic defect.
7. They are reacting to other ingredients in the iodine supplement. Some people who supplement with iodine don’t do well not because of the iodine, but due to other ingredients. For example, they might be reacting to a filler in the supplement. This can be the case with any nutritional supplement you take; if you don’t do well with a specific supplement or herb, then there’s always the possibility that you are reacting to one of the fillers.
Osansky, Eric. Hashimoto's Triggers: Eliminate Your Thyroid Symptoms By Finding And Removing Your Specific Autoimmune Triggers (Kindle Locations 4056-4059). Kindle Edition.