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Do You Have An Iodine Deficiency?




Janet Lewis:                 Hello, and welcome to this week’s show. I am Janet Lewis.

Dr. Lewis:                     And I’m Dr. Lewis.

Janet Lewis:                 And we are Green Wisdom Health, home of your low-cost lab work where we don’t guess, but we test to see what’s going on with your nutritional lack or too much or whatever you’ve got going to find out what you’re needing instead of just guessing and walking into a health food store not knowing where to start.

Janet Lewis:                 Today, with that information, we’re going to teach you a little bit about iodine and whether or not you might have an iodine deficiency. You don’t hear a whole lot about that. You hear about your thyroid and you get medication for that, but many times, any iodine deficiency can actually help thyroid as well. So Dr. Lewis is going to educate us a little bit today about some of the possible symptoms of an iodine deficiency, what to take, how to take it, how to know how much to take. So Dr. Lewis, tell us all about it.

Dr. Lewis:                     Well the quick answer is yes, you need it. The other question is how much do you take. I think the problem is … And I’ve read dozens and dozens of books by so-called experts and some say never take it and some say take 100 micrograms and some say take 75 to 100 milligrams which there’s a major difference between those two amounts. I think the thing to do is start slow and work up. There’s some testing that you can do, but some of these tests are not always as accurate as they can be because the serum is not always that accurate. It’s what’s getting into the cell itself.

Janet Lewis:                 I think it’s interesting that there are actually iodine deficiency symptoms, and many of those symptoms actually mimic other problems as well. Many times, we treat or doctors treat the other symptoms but may just be overlooking iodine, correct?

Dr. Lewis:                     That’s one of the many possibilities, and that’s what I always tell people about these lists. It’s like “Yeah, we give lists too.” It’s like I’ve got a list here. It must be 20 or 30 long. I hadn’t counted, but possible signs of hypothyroidism which is generally connected to iodine deficiency. But it can be many other things. Janet was having an issue the other day, and she got on Google and figured out what her issue was. Then a couple days later she figured out it was something else. I said the problem with doctors is — and just regular people too — they forget that you can have more than one condition going on at any given time. Don’t get stuck on one because it may be two or three or four things going on at the same time.

Janet Lewis:                 That’s a really good point because I know with an iodine deficiency, you can actually have hypothyroidism. Is that correct? If you have hypothyroidism, you may have an iodine deficiency as well.

Dr. Lewis:                     And just because you’re in the so-called normal limits doesn’t mean you’re normal. Let me rattle off some of the possible side effects of having a hypothyroid. Hypothyroid just means it’s not working as optimally and it’s kind of sluggish. The hair is dry, brittle, losing hair. Menstrual periods have been overly heavy in recent months. Joint aches and pains, we know that can be many, many other conditions also. Are your nails brittle? Do you get muscle cramps? Continuous weakness in your muscles. Has your skin been dry? Has your face been puffy especially around the eyes? I thought that’s because — I don’t know — you party too much.

Dr. Lewis:                     Cold intolerance, we know that. If you gain more than five, maybe 10 pounds, that could be it. If your skin gets coarse and your hair gets coarse. Constipated, yeah, well it can be hypothyroidism/iodine deficiency, but you know that can be many, many, many other things like lack of digestive enzymes and proper probiotics. Milky discharge from your breasts, if you have that, the first thing you want to do is go to your OBGYN. Do you sweat less? I had a lady come in here and says “Well I don’t sweat.” I said “Well you probably have an iodine deficiency.” I put her on some other stuff too based on her lab but put her on iodine and she’s sweating like a pig now. That’s an over-exaggeration, but she all of a sudden started to sweat which helps her cool off in this hot Texas summer. Although it’s the first day of summer officially, in Texas, I think we’ve had it for two or three months so far.

Dr. Lewis:                     Your voice becoming hoarse and I would suspect that they’re smokers, but it could be lack of iodine or a thyroid problem. Fingers tingling. Well I’m a chiropractor. I always thought “Well it could be pinched nerve,” but these neuropathies can also be results of diabetes, sometimes alpha-lipoic or r-lipoic acid can help that, Vitamin C. The tingling and numbness in the extremities, although it can be the nerves that chiropractors deal with, it can many other times be overloaded toxins. Has your hearing got worse? The answer to that with me is “Yeah, you bet.” And the tingling, sometimes … I don’t know. We hear it and I get these little weird sensations in my ears. Maybe I should put iodine in my ears, but the hearing has definitely gotten worse.

Dr. Lewis:                     Heart beat gets slow. That’s a possibly, but if your heart’s doing flip flops, see a cardiologist. Stiffness, fatigued, eyes being dry. Well we kind of fixed Janet’s eyes. I didn’t put her just on the good Omega-3 fish oils. I put her on a combination of that with borage oil. Then her eyes got much, much better, and that was after LASIK. You see it can be thyroid. It can be lack of iodine, but it can be many other things too. You want to kind of pay attention to that. Get somebody to look at it in a way that’s not just focused on one symptom, one cause, one solution because usually it’s a multitude of possibilities.

Janet Lewis:                 Yeah, some of the iodine deficiency symptoms, I think, are exactly what you said for thyroid which is depression, difficulty losing weight actually. Which after I read that, I was like “Oh, throw the iodine back in because I’d forgotten all about iodine.”

Dr. Lewis:                     And Janet takes a massive amount of stuff.

Janet Lewis:                 Dry skin and the headaches, memory problems, menstrual problems.

Dr. Lewis:                     I forgot what my menstrual issues were.

Janet Lewis:                 Recurrent infections actually can be a low-iodine problem. Sensitivity to cold or cold hands and feet. Brain fog.

Dr. Lewis:                     I thought that was in an Eagles song: “You’re so cold a boy could get pneumonia sitting next to you.” All he had to do was give his girlfriend iodine. That would have changed the song, wouldn’t it?

Janet Lewis:                 Constipation actually can be an iodine deficiency. Impaired kidney function.

Dr. Lewis:                     Yeah.

Janet Lewis:                 Muscle weakness. I just thought that was very interesting that they very much mimicked some of the thyroid symptoms. We would probably tell you that if you don’t know what’s wrong, actually you probably need to do our comprehensive lab panel to find out because it has the five parts of the thyroid which is the GWH3 on the website, You can add an iodine serum plasma test to the panel for like $54.

Dr. Lewis:                     You think “Well duh, an iodine deficiency means you have a thyroid issue,” but not necessarily. I mean there’s certainly a probability that they go together but not necessarily.

Janet Lewis:                 Well how do you know which iodine to take? How do you know how much to take? How do you make a good decision about where to start with it?

Dr. Lewis:                     Again, I try to start slow. I’ve read literally dozens of different books, and it’s amazing and actually appalling that people that are so-called touted as experts have such different opinions about what to take. I said everything that needed to be said in a 36-page book on thyroid, and I said “Find somebody that can treat you and pay attention to you because you don’t fit in this cookie cutter model.” I personally … And I don’t do this everyday, but I take liquid iodine which one drop has 150 micrograms which is a pretty small dose. Of course, I just pick up whatever’s in the dropper and squish it in my drink or in my mouth.

Janet Lewis:                 Isn’t that … Liquid iodine, doesn’t it also help scars like external scars?

Dr. Lewis:                     Amongst other things, absolutely. People that keloid have a tendency to have an iodine deficiency.

Janet Lewis:                 Do you just rub it on topically or do you take it?

Dr. Lewis:                     The girl I’m thinking about just took it internally. I don’t think she put it on her scar, but that scar on her face after their car wreck when her … Somebody else was driving like a bat out of … Well driving too fast on the rain-slick road on slick tires. Anyway, the scar went away.

Dr. Lewis:                     Then we have iodine with tyrosine, and I’ll talk bout tyrosine if you want me to. Then that’s 225 micrograms per capsule. Then we have one called tri-iodine which is different form so it absorbs in kind of a different manner, each one. That’s like 6250 micrograms or 6.25 milligrams. Now, that sounds like a lot and it is compared to the other two, but when you’re talking about six and a quarter milligrams, that’s not nearly as much as some of the so-called thyroid experts talk about that says “Well you can take 50, 75, 100 milligrams per day.”

Dr. Lewis:                     I’m sure in this guy’s practice, he’s right, but we kind of have a tendency to attract to our practice what we’re comfortable treating. I would never, never, never, never start anybody that high. Might work up to that eventually, but I think that’s overdose. Sometimes you need a whole lot of certain nutrients because you have impaired absorption which that can go back to the “Well thyroid’s not working good therefore my GI tract’s not working good because there’s a major influence.”

Dr. Lewis:                     The one with tyrosine, tyrosine’s an amino acid, one of the many that you need, and it’s pretty interesting. It’s a precursor though to some of the hormones that make you feel good. Neurotransmitters like norepinephrine, dopamine, that’ll regulate your mood and stimulate metabolism and stimulate that nervous system too which goes back to the lack of sweating for some people. You should not take tyrosine if you’re on an MAO inhibitor. That’s one of the ones they prescribe for depression. Pay attention if you’re on one of those. Don’t supplement with tyrosine.

Dr. Lewis:                     Tyrosine does a lot of other things. It attaches to the iodine atoms to help form the active thyroid hormones. You’ve heard me talk about conversion of T4 to T3. Low levels of tyrosine have been associated with that alone causing a hypothyroid, but the other symptoms might be low blood pressure, low body temperature. We’re still just talking about tyrosine, not just iodine and hypothyroidism. Just lack of tyrosine could be a problem.

Dr. Lewis:                     Then there’s people that have restless leg syndrome. I’m kind of jumping ahead because that’s one of the questions. We give them the minerals. Usually it’s a lack of magnesium, maybe lack of potassium, sometimes but not so often calcium. Sometimes it’s iron and you have to be real careful about iron, but for those that take all that stuff and don’t get well, put on tyrosine and they usually do real, real well and all of a sudden their restless leg syndrome on many of them will go away.

Dr. Lewis:                     It can also be associated with the anxiety, depression, low sex drives, allergies, and headaches. Janet talked about that with iodine. That’s also very true of tyrosine. Iodine and tyrosine go very, very well together. They work together very, very nicely unless you’re on that MAO inhibitor. Pay attention to that.

Janet Lewis:                 If you just add in iodine, would you be harming yourself if you didn’t now how much to take? Or do you think that it’s better to have it tested and see how low you are so you know how much to take?

Dr. Lewis:                     I think it’s okay for most people if you just start slow, start low, but now if you’re going to read something on the internet and go to 25, 50, 75, 100 milligrams, I think “Holy cow!” You really need to test first because I think that’s a crazy high dosage even though some people like that. Iodine is so much more important than just the thyroid. Did you know that a lot of women that have fibrocystic breasts just need iodine although Vitamin E can help and getting of the caffeine can help too.

Janet Lewis:                 That’s very interesting. I guess there’s foods also that you can eat that are iodine-rich like seaweed which I’ve tried. It’s not the best tasting. I think I’d rather take a pill.

Dr. Lewis:                     She had a nasty look on her face.

Janet Lewis:                 Baked cod and cranberries, baked potatoes actually and egg and dried prunes and navy beans. Again, not my favorite. I think it might be easier to just supplement with iodine. One of the things, when we know someone needs it for sure, is when they have a lump on their neck, correct?

Dr. Lewis:                     Yeah. Even though we try to do everything nutritionally to let you get well, if they come in with a lump on their neck, I’ll say “Well you need to get it medically checked out also.” People that have a diet that’s high in bakery products — breads, pasta, anything made from flour — because most of them have bromine or bromide in it and that takes the place of the receptor sites where iodine should go, these people that eat a lot of that, you’re doing a whole lot of harm or potential harm.

Dr. Lewis:                     Then people … Let’s see if I can stir up some trouble already. People that are vegans and vegetarians. I got a request this morning to go on a podcast, but they wanted to make sure that I didn’t use any animal products in my practice, and I said “Well yes, I do, and I treat lots and lots and lots of vegans, dozens and dozens of them, but longterm that’s really not the healthiest diet.” If you want to eat that way, that’s fine. I think we generally don’t eat enough plant products, but you really can’t get a great response in getting well unless you consume some animal products. Some nutritional products are animal-based so I passed on that vegan podcast.

Janet Lewis:                 Well what about just eating salt? Would that increase your iodine? Would that be enough to do iodine levels and what kind of salt?

Dr. Lewis:                     If it’s the iodized salt, yes, that gives you some, but I promote the sea salt, Celtic, however you pronounce it. Janet and I do the Himalayan sea salt because it’s pink and pretty, and Janet, she really likes to spoil me in a lot of ways. She got me some Hawaiian black salt, and it has different, better mineral profiles than the regular salt. Yeah, you’re missing the iodine if you’re going to the sea salt so you need to compensate somehow.

Janet Lewis:                 Very good. Well we have a whole lot of questions this week because we missed our podcast last week. Do you have more you want to say about the iodine and that sort of thing?

Dr. Lewis:                     Well just a little bit.

Janet Lewis:                 Oh, okay.

Dr. Lewis:                     There’s a lot of studies that says iodine helps with cancer. I mean to prevent it, and that’s also true of selenium and zinc too. Then there’s a lot of things that … There’s a connection between the estrogens in iodine and the different forms of estrogen. Iodine, if you have at the right level, actually alters genetic expression in the breast. It lowers your chance of breast cancer. I’ve mentioned the fibrocystic breast disease. There’s just so much that you need to know, and it’s just a good thing to do. There’s also … Iodine deficiency is linked to prostatic cancer in the guys with the PSA. I’ll stop there. I could go on and on, but go ahead to the questions.

Janet Lewis:                 Well I know there are a lot of people that wanted them answered this time. We’ll see what we can get to here. We have one from Eddie who asks “Can thyroid cause thinning hair?”

Dr. Lewis:                     Happy birthday, Eddie. He just had a birthday just a little few days ago. Can it cause thinning hair?

Janet Lewis:                 He’s asking “Can thyroid cause thinning hair?”

Dr. Lewis:                     Yes, and many other things too. For those of you-

Janet Lewis:                 And an iodine deficiency can too.

Dr. Lewis:                     Absolutely. Actually genetics plays a pretty big role there too, but we have some women that get a lot of their hair growth back. Some do, some don’t, but there are so many other possible questions and possible answers. Solutions can be one or can be many. That’s the issue. That’s why Janet and I do lab work because it takes a lot of the guesswork out and heads us in a positive direction. There’s still a lot of playing with it. The ones that are consistent taking supplements and tweaking it from time to time, they do so much better. It’s absolutely incredible.

Janet Lewis:                 Eddie also would like to know “Is it good to detox your kids from heavy metals/vaccinations?”

Dr. Lewis:                     I appreciate, Eddie, that you would ask that question. There’s a lot of controversy about vaccinations causing this and this and this. I don’t think it’s just the vaccinations by itself, but it’s some of the things in the vaccinations that have mercury and all kinds of other stuff in them. Detox is kind of, in my opinion, an over-hyped word. There’s infomercials on TV that basically say if you’ll detox this, you’ll be young, rich, good-looking, da-da-da-da-da. I don’t think that’s true. If you really take enough nutrients, proper vitamins, minerals, herbs, enzymes, probiotics, that’s going to ramp up your body’s ability to detox itself.

Dr. Lewis:                     My answer to Eddie is probiotics, digestive enzymes, a good multi, and we have Vitamin C, different types of Vitamin C. I think that’s very, very important. That’ll help them detox. There are things that you can get into the diet of finicky kids, and I’m not talking about your kids, Eddie. I’m just thinking about my grandkids. There’s things you can slip in their diet without them noticing, and it changes their behavior, it changes their mental acuity, et cetera, et cetera. Just think about the basic multi-vitamin, Vitamin C, probiotics, et cetera.

Janet Lewis:                 Okay. Then Maggie asked-

Dr. Lewis:                     I love Maggie.

Janet Lewis:                 “What you got for memory?”

Dr. Lewis:                     I don’t remember, Maggie. I love talking to her. I take a lot of things. Janet, I think, takes the [phosphatidylserine 00:21:54]. I take some Memory Pro. I take methyl CpG which goes into the 5MTHF problem. I take something called [Membrin 00:22:08] because it has the vinpocetine, the [inaudible 00:22:10], et cetera, et cetera, et cetera. Then there’s one thing, it’s called-

Janet Lewis:                 TMG with folinic acid.

Dr. Lewis:                     Yeah, I was having trouble remembering that because frankly I’ve not taken it for a week or two because I gave the bottle to my daughter as she studies for some tests. Yeah, that folinic acid actually feeds the hippocampus which has a lot to do with memory in the brain. The TMG is trimethylglycine which is a methyl donor which means you can detox. Yeah, that methyl CpG is good, but that folinic acid is like “Oh my god,” wonderful.

Dr. Lewis:                     Another question that Maggie had was about olive leaf and thyroid. When a person has Hashimoto’s which is an autoimmune disease, one of the things you can do to help the body help itself … Supplements don’t cure anything or treat anything. It just gives your body raw materials to help itself. Olive leaf — and there’s certainly different potencies out there on the market — tends to stabilize the immune system and tends to suppress a lot of the viruses. Hashimoto’s, there’s a lot of possible reasons why you have that. Olive leaf also is very well medically studied that it helps decrease blood pressure.

Janet Lewis:                 Very good. That were lots of questions there from Maggie. Thank you, Maggie. We also have a question about “How do you know you need to detox? What are some of the symptoms, I guess, of needing to detox?”

Dr. Lewis:                     Well I think that’s in an Alan Jackson song: “Knees are shaky. I can’t eat. I can’t sleep.” Low energy consistently, poor digestion. If your belly’s bloated, you have gas, belching, bloating. If you have high stress. Almost everybody I talk to says “I’m just so stressed.” Well have a beer and quit worrying about it. I’m not being a smart aleck there. I’m saying “Just chill out. You’re all going to be okay.” Brain fog and that’s usually because you have too much yeast in your intestines, and there can be other reasons. I put them on benfotiamine because yeast will decrease your thymine uptake.

Dr. Lewis:                     Trouble sleeping. I’ve had that question before. It’s like “Well if you really get rid of some of the extra toxins, you sleep better. I’m living proof because right now the last few weeks, I’m sleeping really, really good. It’s because of that detox that Janet and I told you about on the last podcast, that Core Restore.

Janet Lewis:                 Yeah, that was what I was going to mention again because that’s usually the next question. “Well what do I take to get rid of it?”

Dr. Lewis:                     Yeah.

Janet Lewis:                 We’ve come up with a seven-day kit called Core Restore-

Dr. Lewis:                     Which you can go up to seven, 14, 21, or 28 days, but usually seven is a kickstart and then some.

Janet Lewis:                 Yeah, we figured most people, by the second week, they’re usually tired of it. They don’t want to stick with it so we figured one week was good.

Dr. Lewis:                     Yeah.

Janet Lewis:                 Especially in the summertime.

Dr. Lewis:                     Yeah, because then you want to go for a cold beer. I’m sorry. Ice cream and a root beer float, something like that.

Janet Lewis:                 But it comes with a protein powder, some multivitamin, a liver detoxifier. It has this little handbook that tells you how to detoxify. It also has-

Dr. Lewis:                     It’s really-

Janet Lewis:                 … some recipes in there.

Dr. Lewis:                     … really cool handbook. I’m very impressed.

Janet Lewis:                 It also has this cute little portable hand-mixer to mix all of your little drink together which we’re having really a lot of fun with that.

Dr. Lewis:                     Janet actually bought some just separately because it’s so cool. For those that make a shake or their on the road and it’s hard to shake it up, you can do that. It’s cool. Yeah, it’s a little play tool. Janet loves it.

Janet Lewis:                 That kit actually helps neutralize environmental pollutants, hormone disruptors, unhealthy estrogen metabolites, xenoestrogens — sorry, that’s the synthetic compounds that imitate estrogen — and other harmful toxins.

Dr. Lewis:                     And you can generally smell it when your trains come through the tunnel. It’ll change. If you have any kind of sense of smell at all, you’ll know. “Wow, I really am getting out toxins.”

Janet Lewis:                 We got the one that is vanilla-flavored because most people like vanilla. That’s called Core Restore Seven-day Kit.

Dr. Lewis:                     Yeah. We’re having really good results with it.

Janet Lewis:                 If you have brain fog and you can’t remember, it’s all in one kit so you don’t have to think about it. [inaudible 00:26:55]. You’ve already addressed the restless leg question, correct?

Dr. Lewis:                     Yeah.

Janet Lewis:                 Okay. We also have a question about what to take for hemorrhoids.

Dr. Lewis:                     I do DioVasc which is a hesperidin. Janet put me on that because I would get scratched and I’ve got thin skin like I’m 63 instead of 30. The dog will scratch me or something and I used to bleed like an old man on Coumadin, and I’m not on Coumadin and I’m not an old man yet. She said “You need hesperidin.” I said “Well what’s it in?” She gave me the DioVasc. I thought “Well it’s for capillary fragility. I need that for my brain too.” That works real, real well, incredible.

Janet Lewis:                 Michael wants to know “When should a man start taking something for his prostate?”

Dr. Lewis:                     I think about age 40. 50 if you want to tempt fate. I can usually tell if your testosterone is this and your free and weakly-bound testosterone is that, you can figure out the percentage. If you don’t have 20% unbound then you need to start it even if you’re in your 20s or 30s. I’d go with testosterone and what’s unbound.

Janet Lewis:                 Okay. We also have one more question. Alice  wants to know what to take for an arthritic knee. I know we’ve had a rash of arthritic knees for some reason here lately.

Dr. Lewis:                     Yeah.

Janet Lewis:                 What would you recommend for that?

Dr. Lewis:                     Liposomal C, that helps make collagen because that’s the research Type 1, Type 2 hydroscopic, the good stuff.

Janet Lewis:                 ArthroSoothe?

Dr. Lewis:                     Yeah, I think I did put her on ArthroSoothe because that has the green lipped mussel in it. That’s real popular for people that are arthritic.

Janet Lewis:                 What’s the green lipped mussel? Most people have never heard of that.

Dr. Lewis:                     I don’t know. It’s some mussel. When it’s on the buffet, I’ve tried it. It tastes pretty yucky, but I’m not a mussel fan or clams especially. The more you eat it, it’s got some sort of compound in it, and it seems to help arthritis in a really, really efficient manner.

Janet Lewis:                 Sort of like putting WD-40 in your joints, huh?

Dr. Lewis:                     How do you know about joints? I mean WD-40?

Janet Lewis:                 Have you got anything else that you would like to add in about iodine and what to do about it or whether … What would you like to say about it?

Dr. Lewis:                     Start slow. Work up. You can ask us for guidance. We’ve got all kinds of different forms and different strengths. Just because … The people that live toward the sea that get more seafood and kelp, seaweed, they do better. The further away you live from that, the less seafood you eat. That’s why there’s a very extremely instance of breast cancer, da-da-da-da-da in Japan because they eat a lot of seaweed and get a lot of kelp, get a lot of iodine. Kind of keep that in mind.

Janet Lewis:                 And tobacco users, it actually depletes their iodine as well. If you’re a smoker or a dipper, you might want to consider adding in some extra iodine.

Dr. Lewis:                     Yeah, I’d say take up a different bad habit. A good multivitamin will help with the smokers too.

Janet Lewis:                 Again, we appreciate you listening to our show this week. If you have any topics you’d like us to discuss, please shoot us an email. You can also be added to Dr. Lewis’s closed Facebook group, Shooting Straight with Dr. Lewis.

Dr. Lewis:                     That’s where I talk to Eddie and Maggie mostly.

Janet Lewis:                 Yes, and he answers all kind of questions there. We’ll be back next time with another exciting show. We hope you guys have a very blessed week.


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