Iodine for Weight Loss: DIY Iodine Protocol
Iodine for Weight Loss
Are you tired, feeling sluggish, overweight, and dealing with brain fog? You may have an iodine deficiency. Google says that ‘iodine for weight loss’ is the most popular search term that brings people to an iodine protocol.
What if you thought of weight loss like a symptom instead of a condition?
Take care of the underlying issue and watch the extra adipose tissue (or fat) melt away. This is how foundational healing and functional nutritional therapy work. Watch nagging symptoms like poor sleep, slow metabolism, and fatigue disappear by working with the underlying problems that create your symptoms.
Iodine deficiency is a major cause of poor thyroid function. When the body struggles with nutrient deficiencies, it doesn’t have the tools that it needs to work properly. It’s kid of like trying to use a hammer and a spoon when you really needs a screwdriver.
Estimates say that about 95% of people (based on test groups) are iodine deficient.
Do you use iodized salt? Read here to find out why that’s a bad idea.
- increases weight loss if hypothyroidism is present by increasing the basal metabolic rate (BMR); what we think of as metabolism
- eliminates cold hands and feet and low body temps, temperatures below 98.6 are not normal and always feeling cold are common signs of hypothyroidism and are also important for hormone health and fertility
- lowers blood cholesterol levels by increasing the breakdown of triglycerides
- responsible for growth of the nervous and skeletal systems along with human growth hormone and insulin; very important for children
My basic iodine protocol uses a low maintenance dose for feeling your best, keeping your immune system functioning well, and for cell and tissue health. If you’re severely deficient, you may need to increase the amount.
This is not a physician’s medical diagnosis or treatment plan, so please don’t take it as gospel and hold onto this one nutrient as the Holy Grail. One nutrient deficiency means that there are likely others lurking, but I think this is one of the best ones to get you back on your feet and feeling good. Please also use your best judgement when taking any type of supplements.
Note: if you have or suspect that you have Hashimoto’s or Graves Disease, do not introduce iodine supplementation without consulting a qualified health professional skilled in iodine protocols. You should first address the autoimmune issue before supplementing.
The average person in Japan receives around 12.5 mg through a diet high in ocean foods and has a markedly low incidence of cancer (for those not eating a modern American-style diet). Not a bad ‘side effect’ of increasing your iodine intake!
Dr. David Brownstein recommends doses up to 50 mg per day for those with severe deficiencies and cancer. I prefer those high doses if you are working with a qualified health practitioner literate in iodine supplementation. If you need someone who focuses on foundational wellness over chasing symptoms, you can learn more about my practice here.
I like to use Lugols’ Solution for my iodine supplementation, either internal or painted on the skin. Iodoral is an alternative that is commonly used and is better for stomach sensitivity when taking large amounts.
For the first month, try taking 1 drop of Lugol’s 5% or 2 drops of Lugol’s 2% daily (or equivalent Iodoral), preferably with breakfast or lunch. Later in the day may cause sleep problems thanks to a jump in energy levels.
Because I respect the wisdom of the ancient healers, I take mine in 8 oz of filtered water with raw apple cider vinegar 20 minutes before lunch as directed in this article.
Using this schedule, take once every 4 days for the first week, every 3 days for the second week, every other day during the third week, and then every day by the fourth week.
The following 4 weeks (month 2), double your dose and follow the same schedule. At month 3, you should be able to maintain this higher 12.5 mg dose daily.
Adjust as needed based on intake of ocean foods.
The Detoxification Process
Take note of how you feel.
If you can think better and you start to feel happier and more energetic over the next few weeks, then your body is responding well.
Do you feel more brain fog, cloudiness, or headaches? If so, then lower your dose and/or take more time off between each one.
Iodine is a halide compound and will replace other carcinogenic halides – fluoride, bromide, and chlorine – in your body.
Don’t force it or your body will bite back and leave you feeling miserable from toxin overload!
If you start feeling worse or ill, then stop taking the iodine and contact your health practitioner for further testing to first be sure that you do not have an autoimmune disease.
Taking 1-3 grams per day of a whole food Vitamin C supplement broken up into 3 doses throughout the day will help support detoxification and healing.
Salt loading can help quickly flush these toxins from your kidneys. I experienced increased brain fog and ‘bromide headaches’ for the first month, and salt loading eliminated the headaches each and every time.
Note: If you have detoxification issues like MTHFR mutations, please proceed slowly and carefully and know how far you can push your body. There’s no race. We don’t sprint when it comes to healing.
I highly recommend Iodine: Why you need it, Why you can’t live without it by Dr. David Brownstein.
I use it in my practice, and it has been instrumental in my education of the many roles of iodine and implementation of a protocol for my nutritional therapy clients.
Introduction to the Human Body: The Essentials of Anatomy and Physiology Tortora / Derrickson
Iodine: Why you need it, Why you can’t live without it David Brownstein, MD
The included links are to help you source necessary materials. Disclaimer
Jennifer Nervo is a Nutritional Therapy Practitioner, Reiki Master Practitioner & teacher, and Aromatherapist. Her focus is on digestive, nervous, and immune system dysfunction and the fields of functional nutrition & psychoneuroimmunology. She works with all conditions and diseases including environmental and food allergies, autoimmune diseases, multiple chemical sensitivity, diabetes, eczema, anxiety, weight loss as a symptom of dis-ease, and gut-brain disorders like autism.
When she’s not herding her small troupe of monkeys or seeing clients, her free time is packed with researching and perfecting new wellness techniques (her not-so-secret passion). Jennifer is currently a group leader for the newest class of Nutritional Therapy Practitioners out of Ann Arbor, MI, studying for the national board exam in holistic nutrition, and running a combined distance and brick and mortar practice in metro Detroit. She’s also a homeschooling suburbanite, foodie, and mama to two littles and a schnoodle.