Iodine and Hypothyroidism [Interview][Transcript]

Dr_Jacob_Teitelbaum_Iodine_HypothyroidismGuest: Dr. Jacob Teitelbaum
Presenter: Neal Howard
Guest Bio: Dr. Jacob Teitelbaum, Director of the Practitioners Alliance Network, is one of the most frequently quoted integrative medical authorities in the country. He is the author of the bestselling From Fatigued to Fantastic!, Pain Free, 1,2,3!, the Beat Sugar Addiction Now! series, Real Cause Real Cure, The Fatigue and Fibromyalgia Solution, The Complete Guide to Beating Sugar Addiction, and the popular free smartphone app Cures A-Z.

Segment overview: Dr. Teitelbaum talks about hypothyroidism and the role iodine plays in the condition.


Health Professional Radio – Teitelbaum Iodine Hypothyroidism

Neal Howard: Hello and welcome to Health Professional Radio. I’m your host Neal Howard, thank you so much for joining us today. Iodine’s main role is to help manufacture thyroid hormones so says our Board Certified Internist guest today Dr. Jacob Teitelbaum. He says that’s why a subclinical iodine deficiency enough to prevent a goiter but not enough for optimal health, can cause hypothyroidism. How are you doing today Dr. Teitelbaum?

Dr. Jacob Teitelbaum: Doing great Neal, how about yourself?

N: Doing well. Now you are the Director of the Practitioners Alliance and also one of the most frequently quoted integrative medical authorities in the country today and the Author of the best-selling ‘Fatigue and Fibromyalgia Solution’, as well as the developer of the free smartphone app “Cures A-Z.” Hypothyroidism, well what is the difference between hypo and hyperthyroidism?

T: Well basically thyroid is like the “body’s gas pedal,” it’s basically like the thermostat in your home that sets how much energy you burn. So if the thermostat is stuck in being too low you’re in the middle of winter your health can be very cold, if it’s too high you’re gonna be sweating. And the same with the body if you’re making too little energy, you’re gonna be tired, achy, weight gain, cold intolerant, and a list of other symptoms, infertility and many, many other things. If on the other hand it’s too high you’re gonna feel like you had too many cups of coffee, palpitations, raising heart, arrhythmias, confusion, anxiety and a whole set of other symptoms. So it’s a thing of when people come and see you to the doctor, it’s important to realize that the blood test will miss the majority of people who need thyroid hormone. This is shown in a number of studies and unfortunately with the TSH level used to be perhaps a little more helpful, a number of problems including that not only the botched iodine levels but also having competitive inhibitors such as bromide and dozens of other chemicals that’s been shown to bromide category.

N: Now if I can interrupt just a moment, you say it’s widely known that the majority of tests will miss the fact that a patient needs their thyroid problem addressed. Why have there not been any test made, I mean they update drug test don’t they? So why not hypothyroidism?

T: Well because the thing is that the first of all it’s known, it’s not widely known but the research there’s some, that the majority of people who have no thyroid, here’s the problem that’s goanna see Neal that what if, say you went to shoe size test, you wanted the test if people shoes’ fit. How do you do that? We’ve get your shoes size, and then we do it to, it’s called “two standard deviation” we check a hundred people and the 95 in the middle will be the normal range and the highest and lowest 2% we find as abnormal. And that’s what most doctor don’t realize, is that the normal range for most lab test and it’s the same also with the thyroid, that comes from two standard deviations. They take a hundred people and the highest and lowest are what we find as abnormal, now let’s use shoe sizes again as example.

N: Okay.

T: A normal range a shoe sizes will be 5 to 13, there would be two standard deviations. Now say you wanted to make a test that told you if anybody’s shoes was big or small. And you tried to do it by just assigning the shoe size, it wouldn’t fit. But I could have a size 7 and a small particular monitored but it could too big on her and I give you the size 7, and you’ll say ‘Well I can’t get my foot in the same thing.’ And so just like that, thyroid is not a “one size fits all,” and unless you take the test and then also applied with symptoms. How’s your energy? Are you tired? Are you aching? Do you have a weight gain? Do you cold intolerance? Are you having infertility? Are you constipated? Unless you look at the accompanying symptoms just like shoe sizes – does it feel too tight? Or is it falling off your foot? If you don’t ask these questions along with the test, you will miss most people on the thyroid hormone. And I will tell listeners right now Neal, if you have person whose feeling miserable with pain and fatigue, and you say “Well gee your thyroid is normal’ It’s right on the low end, it’s .7 when normal is .7 to 1.8. So you say well this is fine. I’m gonna tell you as a doctor you’re doing harm to that person, you’re increasing their risk of heart disease by over 35%, you’re increasing their risk of getting old with Alzheimer’s and I will recommend it if you wearing size 6 shoe until that person’s next appointment and then talk about the wisdom if it is still in the normal range is okay, that’s not what the normal range mean.

N: Now when you’re talking, your mentioning infertility, are we talking infertility in men and women? Or are we talking the inability to conceive or erectile dysfunction or are we talking about the entire gamut of reproductive health?

T: Mostly in women, and it’s been seen when there is unexplained infertility. Very often if you give them some thyroid hormone, that they will conceive. And you’ll see that many labs who use 5 roughly as a level for TSH such as the TSH is under 5 as sort of normal. Many researchers will consider anybody with a TSH over 2.5 to be abnormal and hypothyroid. And what I’m gonna recommend is that no side…in this. Now what you do is add the symptoms if the person feels great and their TSH is 3.5, have you checked the first place, but if the person feels tired, achy, weight gain, cold intolerant, constipated – they have any two of those symptoms – they deserve … thyroid hormone.

N: What about thyroid medication, always recommending medication or can we offset some of these symptoms with diet?

T: Well iodine can go ahead and help and again what I recommend it’s hard to get everything they need from the diet. Because most people don’t think they don’t eat enough seafood, but if they take 6 in a quarter milligram of iodine you got in a capsule called “Tri-Iodine,” take that for 3 to 6 months it will replace the deficits. And then I recommend they use a multivitamin I like one called the energy revitalization system vitamin powder where one drink covers 35 of those pills, this is really easy in…people and then people recovered. And they have what they need, and they don’t really have to worry about it. But also with thyroid medication that’s not a one sizes fits all, some people do better with synthroid, some will do better with cytomel, some will do better with the combination of the two or even using things like desiccated thyroid. Many people with low thyroid have problems after the production of thyroid with the conversion in the periphery of T4 to T3 and the test will not sure what’s happening the periphery, so it takes listening to the person by clinical trial to see how they respond.

N: Now can you have hyperthyroidism that develops into hypo or vice versa? Or once you have one does it remain the same?

T: No people will often be on a roller coaster. Because what happens is get inflammation or autoimmune disease that will cause the thyroid become irritated, spilling out thyroid into the periphery. And they become hyperthyroid and then the inflammation becomes … and now the thyroid’s been damaged and it’s under functioning. And then the inflammation comes back, the autoimmune stuff comes back and they go hyperthyroid again and you’ll see people on this emotional roller coaster, between high and low. And I will give people a standing order not for TSH, but for free T4 blood test, that when they’re having the symptom they can go and have the blood drawn and you’ll be surprised to see how often it goes on the upper side of normal, the lower side of normal even beyond normal, it’s beyond whether the highest to lowest 2% of the population in correlation with the symptoms. And you often have to follow up to treatment and I see about iodine at higher doses is that it will help low thyroid at 6 and a quarter milligram for people. But people who are hyperthyroid if that given over 12 to 15 milligrams a day, it will start to block their thyroid, that’s one of the best treatments for hyperthyroidism although you have to careful initially and boost it before it goes upset. But that you can get double duty with the thyroid over the time, it will tend to normalize and balance thyroid function.

N: Once someone, those that have physicians they’ll say “Hey I’ve been feeling fatigue, sweeting at night or cold in the summer time,” any of this combination of the symptoms that we’ve discussed, once these symptoms manifest how long has a person usually had a thyroid problem? And can we jump start the test long before symptoms ever appear and catch it early?

T: Sometimes you catch it early, sometimes the person that has it is up to 30 years and it’s totally destroyed their life but then they have their physicians who have relied on the test and ignored the person and save your tests over time start to sound unreliable. So it doesn’t matter how long the person has been ill or had the low thyroid or the high thyroid, some damage may have already been done, they may have the heart disease, the heart attack. But if you get some feeling quickly, better overall by turning their energy production back up. It doesn’t matter how long the thermostat been low, you may have frozen the pipes and cause damage from leaving it low too long but and most people to it turn back in the health…74 degrees.

N: Now your book The Fatigue and Fibromyalgia Solutions, can we get a copy of that at your website

T: If you just go to or most book source would be the easiest place to get it.

N: Thank you very much. You’ve been listening to Health Professional Radio, I’m your host Neal Howard. We’ve been in studio talking with Dr. Jacob Teitelbaum, author of the best-selling ‘The Fatigue and Fibromyalgia Solution’ and also the developer of the free smartphone app “Cures A-Z.” We’ve been in studio to this afternoon talking about hypothyroidism and the seriousness of that condition. It’s been great having you here today with us doctor.

T: Neal, a pleasure.

N: Thank you. Transcript and audio of this program are available at and you can subscribe to our podcast on iTunes.

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