Iodine Loading Test Commences

This is the day of saving all voids which is a nice way of saying catching all of one’s urine in a cup and transferring it to a large container. I am doing as my functional medicine doctor recommended eons ago; checking my iodine levels. How and why I am doing this will fill the next few paragraphs.

If you have never done an Iodine Loading test the procedure is quite simple but I am happy to have the house to myself as it makes it even easier. If you are prescribed an Iodine Loading test you will be sent or given a box with the instructions, a medium size cup, a large plastic container, Iodoral or some form of iodine and a vial and packaging to send all this back via FedEx. Then it is left to you to pick a day that is convenient to collect all voided urine for 24 hours, starting after you take your mega dose of Iodoral. The only special instruction is to avoid all Iodine containing food for 48 hours prior to the test.

Why would a person do an Iodine Loading test? Simply put, most Americans are deficient in Iodine but there is much more to the story and I will try to summarize as best I can (actually not something I excel at). First of all, we live in a world full of toxins and one toxin that has become increasingly more prevalent is Bromide. Bromide is present in the food we eat (some breads and some soft drinks), computers, fabrics, dyes, mattresses and furniture, hot tub cleaners, some cosmetics, some hair products,  prescription drugs,cell phones,fabric softeners, car interiors, televisions, and the most toxic form is found in fire retardants. When I look at that list I realize that I am in contact with Bromide nearly every day although it would not be in the food I eat as I do not ingest industry tainted food or sodas. The real problem is that Bromide will displace Iodine if a person is consuming inadequate amounts of Iodine.

If a person has a normally functioning thyroid and healthy levels of Iodine, they will maintain a  good Bromide-Iodine ratio and Bromide might not present a problem. However, if your thyroid is under functioning and you are not getting enough Iodine in your diet this Bromide poisoning may contribute to dis-ease. Science has found a strong link between breast cancer and low levels of Iodine and Bromide may be a contributing factor to the low levels of Iodine.

Depleted soil may also be a contributing factor to hypothyroidism and low levels of Iodine. In the 1920’s it was found that people living in Michigan had consistently low levels of Iodine and high incidence of goiter and thyroid problems. It seems that the soil in that part of the country was very low in naturally occurring Iodine. The solution was to add Iodine to table salt in 1924 (iodized salt like Morton’s). However, it has been found recently that most Iodine added to salt evaporates quickly, so that may not be as useful a source of Iodine as once thought. I personally do not want to eat chemically treated salt like Morton’s and sea salts have very little to no Iodine despite being high in other necessary minerals. Add to that the fact that a lot of misguided doctors recommend low salt diets which means people use Lite Salt or no salt and you are down to very little Iodine being ingested.

Sea vegetables are high in Iodine but Americans eat very little vegetables from the sea. The country that eats the most sea vegetables is Japan and they have the lowest incidence of breast cancer in the world. All in all, we Americans ingest very low levels of Iodine, so supplementation may be necessary to maintain a healthy level.

That is where the Iodine Loading test is valuable. A person should excrete 90% of the Iodine you ingest, so the doctor will give you a product like Iodoral in a specific dose. During the subsequent 24 hours you should excrete 90% of the amount prescribed and if it is less a formula can help determine how much Iodine you need to get your levels to a more normal and thus healthy level. “Iodine supplementation alters the competitive bromide-iodine relationship causing bromide excretion. Thus, bromide dominance is diminished and proper iodine enzyme metabolism may be restored.” The Iodine Loading test also can be used to check levels of Bromide and Fluoride both of which if too high contribute to dis-ease. I have opted to just check my Iodine levels because the treatment if my levels are too low will be the same (Iodoral daily) whether we check my Bromide and Fluoride levels or not and the test is about $200 less.

There is too much information out there to share in one post on the subject of Iodine and dis-ease but that is a brief and hopefully an understandable summary of my day full of urine and containers, the whys and wherefores. If you think you would benefit by taking an Iodine Loading test contact your physician, tell them you will even pay for the test if insurance won’t cover it (mine was $120 including postage) and proceed from there. After all, you are in charge of your body and you can make the choice to have dis-ease or vibrant health. Yes you can!


2 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Joyce Livingston on 12:25 at Sunday, February 28, 2016

    It seems that all of the foods I eat contain iodine, except maybe white rice and carrots. What are the crucial ones to avoid? Thanks!


    • Hi Joyce,
      If I were avoiding iodine I would eliminate sea vegetables (kelp, nori etc.). Avoid shellfish especially shrimp. Cod, turkey and baked potatoes have iodine in them as do navy beans, tuna and boiled eggs.


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