4 doctors weighed in:

I'm taking levothyroxine tabs 150 mcg. I would like to switch to more natural kind of medicines. I've heard that sea kelp 150mcg should be taken for a more natural source of iodinefor thyroid. Is it true?

4 doctors weighed in
Dr. Brad Eilerman
Internal Medicine - Endocrinology
1 doctor agrees

In brief: Iodine

Unless you have an iodine deficiency, iodine is not helpful in hypothyroidism.
Iodine deficiency is very uncommon in the modern world because of supplementation. In the absence of iodine deficiency, iodine can suppress the iodination of thyroid hormone precursors and decrease T4 to T3 (liothyronine) conversion. In fact, an iodine drug called sski is used to treat over active thyroid.

In brief: Iodine

Unless you have an iodine deficiency, iodine is not helpful in hypothyroidism.
Iodine deficiency is very uncommon in the modern world because of supplementation. In the absence of iodine deficiency, iodine can suppress the iodination of thyroid hormone precursors and decrease T4 to T3 (liothyronine) conversion. In fact, an iodine drug called sski is used to treat over active thyroid.
Dr. Brad Eilerman
Dr. Brad Eilerman
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Dr. Tedde Rinker
Holistic Medicine

In brief: Levothyroxine

Levothyroxine (also known as t4) is identical to the hormone your thyroid makes.
It is not the active form of thyroid though. One iodine molecule must be removed to make it t3 (liothyronine), (liothyronine) which is the active form. Sometimes people taking levothyroxine and getting their blood levels into the normal range still have all the symptoms of low thyroid: low body temperature, dry itchy skin, brittle dry hair and nails, hair falling out, constipation, weight gain on a low calorie diet, etc. There are several things that can interfere with the T4 conversion to t3 (liothyronine). Selenium deficiency is one, and another is and autoimmune disorder known as hashimoto's thyroiditis, where antibodies attach thryroglobulin and interfere with the process of converting T4 to t3 (liothyronine). Another condition triggered by severe stress or truama, chronic infections, depression, menopause or childbirth, and is also a famine response is the production of the mirror image of the enzyme that converts T4 to t3 (liothyronine), (liothyronine) so that you start making a mirror image of T3 (liothyronine) called reverse t3 (liothyronine). Not only does reverse T3 (liothyronine) not improve metabolic rate, it actually competes at the receptor site with free T3 (liothyronine) so that you'd continue to have low thyroid symptoms despite adequate amounts of levothyroxine. Kelp does contain iodine, but 150mcg is a very small dose. Some people do suffer from low thyroid symptoms simply because they don't have enough iodine. You can get iodine in dosages of 12-15 mg per tablet/capsule which is a more reasonable amount of iodine. Kind regards dr. Tedde rinker.

In brief: Levothyroxine

Levothyroxine (also known as t4) is identical to the hormone your thyroid makes.
It is not the active form of thyroid though. One iodine molecule must be removed to make it t3 (liothyronine), (liothyronine) which is the active form. Sometimes people taking levothyroxine and getting their blood levels into the normal range still have all the symptoms of low thyroid: low body temperature, dry itchy skin, brittle dry hair and nails, hair falling out, constipation, weight gain on a low calorie diet, etc. There are several things that can interfere with the T4 conversion to t3 (liothyronine). Selenium deficiency is one, and another is and autoimmune disorder known as hashimoto's thyroiditis, where antibodies attach thryroglobulin and interfere with the process of converting T4 to t3 (liothyronine). Another condition triggered by severe stress or truama, chronic infections, depression, menopause or childbirth, and is also a famine response is the production of the mirror image of the enzyme that converts T4 to t3 (liothyronine), (liothyronine) so that you start making a mirror image of T3 (liothyronine) called reverse t3 (liothyronine). Not only does reverse T3 (liothyronine) not improve metabolic rate, it actually competes at the receptor site with free T3 (liothyronine) so that you'd continue to have low thyroid symptoms despite adequate amounts of levothyroxine. Kelp does contain iodine, but 150mcg is a very small dose. Some people do suffer from low thyroid symptoms simply because they don't have enough iodine. You can get iodine in dosages of 12-15 mg per tablet/capsule which is a more reasonable amount of iodine. Kind regards dr. Tedde rinker.
Dr. Tedde Rinker
Dr. Tedde Rinker
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Dr. Heidi Fowler
Psychiatry

In brief: Dosing

Dosing for most herbals/ supplements is not well standardized, thus it may not be as safe as taking a medication as these are regulated by the fda and dosing is standardized.

In brief: Dosing

Dosing for most herbals/ supplements is not well standardized, thus it may not be as safe as taking a medication as these are regulated by the fda and dosing is standardized.
Dr. Heidi Fowler
Dr. Heidi Fowler
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