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Iodine Patch Test for Hypothyroidism. Christiane Northrup, MD

About Northrup, MD

True health is only possible when we understand the unity of our minds, emotions, spirits, and physical bodies and stop striving for perfection.” – Christiane Northrup, MD

 Christiane Northrup, M.D., is a visionary pioneer and a leading authority in the field of women’s health and wellness, which includes the unity of mind, body, emotions, and spirit. Internationally known for her empowering approach to women’s health and wellness, Dr. Northrup teaches women how to thrive at every stage of life.

Iodine Patch Test for Hypothyroidism

Many people (perhaps the majority) are deficient in iodine. Iodine is found naturally in sea vegetables and seafood, and it’s added to some brands of salt.

But given that people are now limiting their salt intake or switching to sea salt, most of us don’t get enough iodine in our diets. And there are other reasons for iodine deficiency as well.

Fluoride (found in water and toothpaste) actually interferes with iodine metabolism. So does bromide, which is used in bread making. Chlorine can also disrupt the body’s ability to absorb and utilize iodine. (Fluoride produce 10,000 free radicals per each water Molecule!)

If you’ve had your thyroid function checked and everything is normal or your TSH is a bit on the high side, before you decide to take thyroid medication, check to see if you need more iodine in your diet (or as a supplement).

How to Check Your Iodine Levels

There are a number of ways to check for iodine status, including a 24-hour urine sample. Working with a health care practitioner who is familiar with iodine metabolism is ideal for this. But since many health care practitioners aren’t, here’s a quick and relatively accurate way to test it yourself.

Get a bottle of Iosol (which can be purchased from TCPS Direct). When you arise in the morning, put several drops on your wrist and rub them around with the applicator until you have an iodine patch that is about two inches by two inches. Monitor this patch every 30 minutes until the iodine is absorbed into your skin.

If your iodine level is adequate, you’ll still have some iodine visible on your skin when you go to bed in the evening. In other words, the iodine should stay on your skin for at least 10 hours. (I’ve done this test with many individuals. And some women absorb the iodine in as little as 20 minutes! That’s right. It completely disappears!)

If you absorb the iodine in under 10 hours, you may want to take a supplement. Despite the fact that many (if not most) women are iodine deficient, iodine supplementation should be approached in a balanced and judicious way—especially if you are already on thyroid medication.

If you are unsure about what to do, consult a physician before beginning supplementation.


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