The Iodine Protocol, Hashi’s and My Journey with Sub-acute Thyroiditis

Within the group of people using the iodine protocol there are a significant number who have autoimmune Hashimito’s thyroiditis.  (Hashi’s)  The use of Iodine for those with hashi’s has been controversial.  Most Hashis patients have been told to avoid iodine which had a negative impact on their overall health.  Experience of members of the iodine group on yahoo, many participants of the iodine project, and individual patients of the iodine doctors have consistently shown iodine to be a beneficial treatment for hashi’s patients.  Many hashi’s patients have had difficulty when taking small amounts of iodine in the range of 3-12 mg especially.  For some reason these smaller does (in relation to the iodine project not the RDA) seem to aggravate their hashi’s condition and sometimes bring about a full blown hashi’s attack.  Since more conservative patients tend to start any supplementation at small doses and build up to a higher dose this effect has frightened some hashi’s patients away from continuing with the iodine protocol.  The overall consensus of those hashi’s patients who are successfully using the protocol is that 50 mg of Iodoral or Lugol’s solution is the minimum starting dose for a hashi’s patient.

The potential complications of starting the protocol directly with 50mg of iodine are that an individual may have high levels of bromide and fluoride toxicity.  This halide toxicity may bring about detox symptoms at the 50 mg dose instead of hashi’s issues.  It is essential that the companion nutrients of the protocol are used and symptoms that may arise are met with salt loading and increased doses of Vitamin C and Magnesium.  These detox symptoms normally last a week or less at any given dose.  So if choosing to raise the dose from 50 to 62.5 for example you may experience this again.  There are many patients who have found that 50 mg a day for approximately a year has completely resolved their hashi’s condition and they no longer show an issue on the tests for antibodies.  Obviously for many with a family history of hashi’s who have suffered for years the possibility of resolution of this condition is not something to dismiss.  Traditional endocrinologists do in fact dismiss the connection and want not only hashi’s sufferers, but the rest of us to avoid iodine.

My journey was not with hashi’s thyroiditis but a run in with a type of thyroiditis that seems to be talked about very little and is not widely understood.  It is called sub-acute thyroiditis and there are reasons to believe that it is viral in nature, but a bacterial version has been found and there is the possibility of a fungal variety.  Essentially it is an infection of the thyroid that causes the thyroid to form abnormal large cells.  This in turn causes the thyroid to malfunction causing first periods of hyperthyroid activity, where the thyroid is forced in the process to dump large amounts of thyroid hormone into the system causing very uncomfortable conditions, and then eventually the thyroid switches over to a hypothyroid period while the thyroid attempts to recover and creates new normal cells.  There is a huge disparity in the literature about the length and scope of the issue.  The first research I did I found a reference to the condition lasting a few weeks, and then another set of research indicated three to four months.  Eventually after serious digging I found information showing the hyper phase to be three to four months with resolution taking 12-18 months.  This research indicated that 5% of patients never had full recovery of their thyroid activity and were left hypothyroid for life.

For a condition with such a lengthy duration and indications of this condition becoming more common I found the lack of information and research that has been done disturbing to say the least.  It has been 18 months for me now and I am not quite to where I was before it began.  No one wants to tell you that you are going to go through hell, that they have no idea what to do about it, and that it is going to suck up 1 -2 years of your life like fighting many other major debilitating health issues and then may cause permanent damage to one of the body’s most important glands.  The medical establishment is completely ignorant and powerless and likely to take measures to make you worse if they take any measures at all.  There is no indication that they even care whether the condition is bacterial, viral or fungal.  Since with all of the above there are various natural methods of assisting the body to heal, this is frustrating.  There is no getting around the fact that the body will have to create new thyroid cells to replace the ones that are abnormal and this process takes as long as it takes.  What do you need to assure that the new cells your body makes are healthy strong thyroid cells that will not leave you permanently hypothyroid and dependant on replacement thyroid hormones.  That question led me through all kinds of trails all of which seemed to point in one form or another to Iodine and leading me quickly thereafter to the iodine protocol.

In my experience with the condition the hyperthyroid condition did last around four months in duration.  It was not typical of hyperthyroid in that there was not a continuous flow of large amount of thyroid hormone or the accompanying weight loss or some of the other typical hyper symptoms.  I experienced swelling and intense pain of the thyroid and adjoining glands and lymph including the salivary glands.  During this period of peak swelling and pain there would be what I describe as a thyroid dump.  This would cause very uncomfortable symptoms like; heart palpitations, fevers, chills, sweats and hot flashes, nausea, and digestive disturbances, anxiety and extreme tiredness but inability to actually sleep because of the sweats and palpitations.  Those phases would go on for about 4-5 days and then would subside somewhat and the swelling would go down.  Just when the swelling had finally subsided I would maybe get one day where I felt good enough to take care of a few basic tasks.  On the other days I was lucky to be up 4-5 hours a day and was not really able to do much during that time aside from click links looking for answers.  The process would then start all over again.

This phase went on for the first couple months.  During the third and fourth month, the days in between the intense periods gradually lengthened.  My mental and emotional functions were both strongly affected.  It was hard to concentrate and think straight and I really had no coping skills as far as dealing with anything other than taking care of what my body was experiencing in the moment.  If I had a child there is no way I could have been the caretaker for that child. During this acute phase driving was out of the question.  As I transitioned after the four months it was possible sometimes but there were experiences when I would not be able to drive.  In one experience right around the transition to the hypo phase my mom and I took a trip to pick up some puppies.  I thought I could handle this now ,as I would just be sitting in the car, and I love road trips in general.  I drove for part of the first day and then was exhausted.  We had miscalculated the length of the first day which is one example of my less than normal mental capacity at the time.  So we had to continue on as we had scheduled the meeting with the breeder.  It was a long day and then we had two small puppies with us.  We headed farther to pick up a third and I couldn’t drive at all that day.  We kept that day short and tried to get some rest.  The next morning I assumed I would be able to drive again.  What I found was an overwhelming stress that was almost anxiety like at keeping the car in the lane of the road.  I love to drive and in my normal state find it relaxing.  So now being back into a normal mental emotional state it seems almost unfathomable that just keeping a car in its lane was too stressful.  Clearly I was not ready to be taking road trips and my adrenal glands had been overwhelmed by the intensity of this thyroid condition.  Luckily we did not have commitments and we able to take the time we needed to return home with my mom doing all the driving.  It became hard to even be the passenger toward the end of the trip.

After this phase was over there were still occasional thyroid swellings but not as intense or painful and without the thyroid hormone dumps into the system.  At this point it became exhaustion to the extreme.  I was able to return to doing simple chores but just doing a short grocery run was enough to knock me down for a couple days.  Sometimes driving was accompanied by an uncomfortable sensation in the solar plexus area, which in retrospect was the very first symptom I experienced for a couple months before the acute phase hit.  This phase went on for months, I had gained weight in the process and started working with my diet alone and lost some which helped some.  Trying to exercise though only aggravated things and would put me back in bed as I seemed to have no ability to recover from the exercise during this period.

I found the iodine protocol pretty early on and jumped right in as I already had other supplements I was taking.  Dosing myself in the beginning was difficult to say the least because it was hard to gauge whether things I was experiencing were side effects of the iodine in terms of bromide detox, or just part to the next swelling phase, or herxheimer reaction from the iodine killing virus and fungus in my body.  There were though things that rapidly improved and I knew the iodine was something my body desperately needed.  My skin immediately got softer.  Hair loss at the end of my eyebrows that had occurred so gradually grew back.  Some of the smaller under hairs around my forehead came back, and my fingernails started to strengthen.

No one on the iodine list on yahoo seemed to have experienced sub- acute thyroiditis or knew anything about it so I was left to glean what I could from their experiences and experiment on myself.  I began to see consistent patterns in my past in relation not just to iodine itself but the specific companion nutrients in the protocol.  I started to give my body everything it may not have to make thyroid hormone and balance the other hormones.

There are a couple of essential nutrients that were lacking in my life for quite some time that is obvious now, namely iodine, selenium, magnesium & D3 that seem to connect every step along the path, along with a lifelong exposure to the competing halides Chlorine, Fluoride and Bromide.

It became very clear once my mind was back to normal functioning that I was in fact very iodine deficient before the onset of my thyroiditis.  I had low body temperature, cold hands and feet, muscle issues on one side of the body, cystic breasts since my youth, pain that is in alignment with fibromalgia that is now clearly being connected to iodine.   Had intuitively felt the need for iodine and had been supplementing with kelp as most people do who wander into the health food store looking for iodine,  I later found that the problem with kelp is the iodine in it is often offset by the amount of bromide in it.  The more I learned about bromide the more I saw that my toxicity levels must be very high.  I started to have issues upon moving into a brand new house with new carpeting and no doubt full of bromides.

Things I Used and Learned in my Experiment

  • I consistently found I had to increase my daily consumption of unrefined salt for a base level, finding that lower levels were causing my lymph system to clog, unable to make sufficient new lymph fluids to keep moving all the toxins out.  I had some kind of fear that I was going to be taking too much salt.  I currently get about 1 ½ tsp per day and if I eat something I shouldn’t like peanuts or some sugary treats my salivary glands and nodes under the jaw line will swell and I will need more salt and to stop eating the crap. 
  • I found I needed more and more magnesium.  I added transdermal magnesium oil sprayed on after my shower each day to my oral supplementation which is 600 mg and stopped all calcium supplementation.  At one point I decided I was feeling better and decided to put a small amount of calcium back into my supplementation program and felt terrible pretty quickly, wondering if it was the calcium I removed it again and felt better in a few days.  I took baths with an ounce of magnesium oil and about 2 cups of Epsom salts a couple times a week or whenever I was feeling especially tight or stressed.  Sometimes I added some hydrogen peroxide to the bath or sea salts.  Most of us are getting too much calcium and not enough magnesium so ignore the ratios you hear and listen to how you feel.  If your soft tissue crunches and pops when you stretch or exercise you have calcification already and should likely not be taking any calcium and are in desperate need of magnesium to dissolve those calcium deposits. 
  • I was also in the midst of the menopause process and the acute phase left me with hot flashes some days as often as once per hour, after the fever and chill phase had completed.  Increasing mixed tophopheral vitamin E supplementation to 800 IU (which is the level I am still at) and temporarily (about 8 weeks) increasing vitamin A levels to 25,000 IU then dropping back down to 10,000 IU ended the hot flashes and reset my menstrual cycle, so it was not complicating matters.  I had been supplementing with only beta carotene and found out that some with problems similar to my own were having trouble making beta carotene into vitamin A.  I am still in the menopause process and sometimes have periods every month then none for 2-4 months but I have no menopause symptoms. 
  • Knowing that I have had issue with insulin resistance and now an issue with thyroid it was brought to my attention that thryroid issues, diabetes and celiac are all found on the same gene.  I took some good advice and decided to go gluten free which immediately took care of many digestive issues.  I had done low carb previously and knew I felt better but had not considered that the grains as well as the sugars could be causing me problems other than just their carb count.  The problem when I was on the low carb diet in retrospect is that it encouraged products that had both artificial sweeteners as well as high levels of soy which is toxic to the thyroid. 
  • During the acute swelling periods colloidal silver helped to alleviate some discomfort.  
  • I alternated aspirin and Tylenol so as not to take too much tylenol for pain.  Sometimes as the swelling and pain were in the reducing phase I would take one regular Tylenol and one regular aspirin together. 
  • Homeopathic remedies helped considerably with the swelling and other acute symptoms I used belladonna 30x, bryonia alba 200x,  allium cepa 30x, lachesis mutus 200x then 30x, this one did the most for the swelling. 
  • When I got my mind back I realized I had a whole box full of essential oils and many of them may be of assistance in fighting this virus so I pulled it out and made up the custom blends here on the site.  I rubbed them into my feet diluted in extra virgin coconut oil.  Initially it made me very tired which I attributed to herxheimer reaction and I had to start with every 3 days, moving to every other day, then every day.  When I had used up a container I would make the next batch stronger.  These oils helped tremendously I wish I would have been in the proper mental state to think about using them earlier in the process. 
  • I increased my vitamin D3 from 2000 IU to 5000 IU and now am taking 10,000 IU a day 
  • I added chlorella to help my body process and move out toxins 
  • I stayed away from synthetic or natural thyroid hormone replacement.  In all honesty as insane as it all was I cannot imagine attempting to get a balanced hormone level with supplemental replacement hormone.  I was whacked out every which way.  Now that I am stabilized if my thyroid hormone levels don’t seem to return to a healthy level then I would have to consider it, but during this process it would not have been helpful. 
  • After finally stabilizing my iodine dose at 50 mg for quite some time I found myself driving a new car with heavy bromide levels and in a high stress situation so I increased iodine to 75 mg it took a week or so of salt loading to go from 50 to 62.5 mg and then again from 62.5 to 75 so obviously I am still highly bromide / fluoride toxic even after 20 months of iodine supplementation. 
  • During the acute phase of the process I was able to take higher levels of iodine then I started to have more issues.  I think this was a sign that my body was not up-taking the iodine very well and when it finally had all the nutrients it needed to properly use the iodine I started to detox large amounts of bromide and had to reduce dose.  Listening to your body, and at the same time not having knee jerk fear reactions is challenging when you are sick.  I noticed a tendency on the iodine list of very sick people to come on the list and when they didn’t get some immediate reactions within a couple weeks with the iodine they simply decided it didn’t work and quit the protocol.  Many of them never used the protocol correctly to begin with and were not taking companion nutrients.  After 20  months my cystic breasts have not fully resolved, but they are improved, my body had other priorities with the iodine, the cystic condition has been with me since I was very young it only make sense that some issues will take time.  I didn’t get sick overnight. 
  • Make sure you are getting companions to other nutrients –  if you are taking zinc (as some people do if they have experienced a bromide rash) you should make sure you are getting enough copper.  For me when I had a bromide rash at one point the salt loading took care of it.  There are some good sites that have charts of the relationships between different nutrients.  
  • If I was back at the beginning with what I know now I would clean up my diet immediately and stick to it.  Through the whole process I really have not had the energy to deal with the dietary issues and I am sure that would have made things more comfortable.  If you develop this type of thyroiditis and have a loved one who can just only bring in organic unprocessed gluten free foods into your life do it.  Organic fruits and veggies, avoiding any that are goitergens, good oils like olive and coconut, as well as good sources of protein organic meats and grass fed and pastured beef.  No artificial sweeteners, no soy, just avoid anything processed or prepackaged at all.  Be careful if you use whey powder to read the label many have soy as well as whey and most have artificial sweeteners. 
  • Even those of us who have been frequenting health food stores for over 20 years can get too lax in reading labels, the reality is at this point half the stuff in the health food store is made by another division of the toxic big agra companies and is not healthy or has certain toxic ingredients.  The owners of a health food stores stock what is popular and may or may not be educated about what is in the item or in some cases even care.  Many people will still try and convince you soy is healthy and the health food store if full of it as one example.  Unfortunately you have to take to time to do your own research decide what you are willing to put into your body then be very diligent in reading labels.


More on the Naturcolor

After removing the other Revlon color with the color oops and then re-coloring with the Naturcolor it was time to touch up the roots.  I saw people complain about these natural hair colors fading but I didn’t experience any fading.  Of course it was on top of the color opps so the real test will be when I do my roots with a darker color, to see if as time passes the color fades a little on the grays.  The Revlon faded really badly though so I had to pull it though all the hair not just the roots which is how it got so much build up. 

I still had the other half of the light colors I chose because of the porous issue after using the color opps.  So I went ahead and used them even though I knew they would be too light.  I left it on for the full 55 minutes that is the longest time it is active.  It covered my grey but is lighter than my normal color so next time I will get the next darker shades as I knew I would need to. 

I tried to capture the color but the lighting today was difficult.  I was next to a window and it was cloudy out.  In the first pic I kept the flash off hoping to get a natural color, the color is pretty accurate but it looks a little dull, when it is real shiny.


So I broke down and turned the flash on and then of course that was too much light output and it makes the whole top much redder than it it really is but shows the shine.  I do have natural deep red highlights and using 1/2 of the natural color and 1/2 of a golden color really allows them to come out.  I think if i had used 1/2 of a red color instead of golden it would become too red.


This one is probably the closest to the actual highlight color


This one I was trying to show how the roots are a little lighter with the colors I used.  The color is not real true to what it is, but it does show that even that lighter color covered the dark and grey roots both.  So aside from the roots it truly is my natural color and I just need darker shades so the roots will match.  Even though the roots are lighter though it blends nicely and I don’t have an issue with waiting for more growth before I color again.


It is soft and shiny and I really love this this product 🙂 I’m so glad not to have to use the smelly stuff anymore and it doesn’t itch or sting.  Plus it doesn’t stain anything in my bathroom!  Best of all the whole reason I started the process NO BROMIDE!

Here is the original process

Hair Color & Bromide

Dealing with detoxing the bromide is a pain the ass but avoiding new sources of bromide seems to be even harder.  It is just everywhere.  The hair color I’ve been using for years, colorsilk,  has bromide as most hair colors do, not to mention a host of other nasty chemicals.  While there is no way to color your hair completely chemically free except body art quality henna and indigo which is an art unto itself, I decided to research a little into the “natural” hair colors at the health food store.  My intent at this point really was to stop putting more fricken bromide on my head every month. 

I considered just going gray and to hell with it.  My hair is probably 50% gray its hard to tell at this point when the roots grow out.  They are actually silver like my dads but while he has a whole head of lovely silver hair I seem to be following more in the salt and pepper pattern of my mom.  She was still salt and pepper well into her late 60s.  The problem is other than shaving your head or having long horrid roots for a long time there is not way to really transition to gray.  It is easier if you started out blond then you can get some color magic at a salon to blend highlights and lowlights while it grows and it is less noticeable.  But when your hair is dark brown / bright silver that just isn’t going to happen.

While I have been using the same color a long time, it has kept getting darker.  They have made color gentler over the years, but if you get a color you like, it fades and if you go darker it inevitably turns so dark it looks black.  So I had a lot of color build up and I figured there was no chance of a natural alternative helping this.  I had used a product called color fix to remove build up many years back but it was very drying.  With a lot of research i found people preferred color oops extra strength and they have it at walgreens so I wouldn’t have to order online.  I decided to do my mom too so we would both go to a more natural product.  Her hair was not as dark and much shorter so we got one box for her and I got two for myself.  I figured as long as I have been coloring the ends would likely need a second go round.

After looking through all the natural colors I was thinking herbatint but neither of the health food store in Durango had that so I decided to go with naturcolor.  We got a very light color because the color oops leaves your hair very porous and I didn’t want it black again.  We both got two colors to mix, the darkest natural blond, and the darkest golden blond (which are both really light brown shades as far as I can tell).  I have red highlight naturally, that is what is now silver, but if I use a red it gets really red and the natural alone is usually too bland so I decided to go 50 /50 with a golden tone.



I did the first color oops application before bed and it took out the majority of the color and I applied the second box to the ends the next day.  My hair then was at a base color, kind of a medium brown/reddish, not a bad color actually, it went well with my eyes(except for those roots that were showing LOL).  My mom did her color oops and then colored later the same day.  Her hair came out a light – medium brown with the blondes we mixed, and it was the most natural color she has has for MANY years.  In fact I would say it likely was her natural color.  I waited a day to color.  I was going to wait a week or so, so that the porous issue would be less of an issue, but seeing my mom’s hair made me to decide to just go for it.

The color process is really gentle and there is no smell at all.  Because of the color opps I only left the color on 10 minutes. .  When I got out of the shower my hair was my natural color!  It was a bit amazing, the color I had at 20, lovely dark brown with mild red highlights in the sun.  It was not flat and it was the most natural color, I was really impressed.  Because the roots had been exposed to the color opps (the color of them wasn’t changed by it though) I assume they were more porous and took more color than they would normally.  They almost covered in the ten minutes even with the blonde colors. 

So now the trick is going to be finding out how dark to go with this company to match the roots just right.  I’ll go ahead and use the other half of the blonde mix I got next time for the full 40 minutes just to see what happens.  Then I’ll get two darker shades of natural and golden next time, and if necessary go to the two darker after that.  I would rather not  quite have root coverage temporarily, than choose a color too dark, so I guess it’s going to be a gradual process.  My hair came out much darker than my moms using the same colors so I attribute that to the color opps removing all the artificial color, then each of our hair took the new pigment and used it differently.  Well mine was darker after the color opps too because my base color is darker.

I am very happy with the naturcolor and so is my mom, my hair is really soft & shinny and the color is so natural.  I guess they named their product well! 

My hair was not damaged by the color oops either even with two applications.  The color oops smells horrible but it felt good to get all that old color out it was like a purification.  Many people who have reviewed the color oops obviously can’t read.  They think it is like bleach and you will see your hair lightening.  It is not bleach though, it shrinks the color molecules so they can be washed out and the most important part of the process is the washing and rinsing.  It is all chemicals LOL but I don’t think I will ever need to use it again. 

So goodbye gray, goodbye too blackish and hello dark brown with lovely red highlights with no damn bromide exposure!

The naturcolor box has no photos which is a little odd not that the colors ever turn out true to the box on any hair colors anyway.

Herbaceuticals Inc. All rights reserved 2009

Extra Strength Hair Color Remover

Bromide Detox Rash

Well now that I have some pages online about the iodine protocol I guess I’ll just jump in on the blog posts in no particular order LOL  My iodine supplementation has been all over the place since last February as I have worked through various issues.  During the summer at one point I was as high as 100 mg of Iodoral.  I reduced my dose after a trip I took and now have been slowing working my way back up.  A couple weeks ago I went from 25 mg up to 37.5 mg and a few days later started to develop and ugly rash on my chest.  Since I have been dealing with a Candida skin issue that is fading slowly I thought it may be related because it itched really bad.  After a few days though I began to think maybe this is a bromide reaction so I decided to salt load.  I take about 1/2 tsp Celtic salt every day plus a little on food as my base, although I don’t eat hardly anything processed and don’t add much salt to what I eat so I was only getting a tiny bit above 1/2 tsp.  Dr. Brownstein recommends 1/2 tsp and generously on food as a base.

So to start the salt loading for this bromide I upped that to 1  1/4 tsp.  Today is the third day so I haven’t taken the full amount yet today as I split the salt through the day so basically 2 1/2 days now the rash is almost gone.

I took this photo before I started to salt load figuring most people had never seen a bromide rash.  Pretty gross looking!  It was what I would call a wet  rash in that there was a little weeping from each little spot.


I thought that I was taking enough salt to not have any problems at a 37.5 mg dose, but I had been hand packing OO caps because I couldn’t find my Cap-m-Quick and I could get quite a lot of salt into each cap.  Then I found the Cap-m-Quick and didn’t realize how much less salt I was getting in each capsule.