Customized Medicines

Customized Medicines
Dr. Sonja O'Bryan, Pharm.D., ABAAHP Board Certified Health Practitioner Diplomate-American Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine: "Creative Medicines" for Hormones-Weight-Pain-Fatigue-Skin Diseases-Pediatrics-Autoimmune Disorders-Veterinary Needs. Using Complimentary, Integrative, Regenerative, Bio-Identical, and Lifestyle Medicine For Health and Healing.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Iodine Deficiency: The Connection to IQ, ADD, Breast Cancer, Thyroid Disease, and More

I've read so many articles throughout the years and there's nothing more disappointing than to read the statement, "The cause of this disease (or problem) is unknown."  Come on.....I mean seriously, that's why we're reading the article in the first place right?  This is always such a let down for me personally because I'm such a "fix-it" personality type.   But, I read a published article recently by a physician who specializes in iodine therapy for hypothyroidism and fibrocystic breast disease. He is  also dedicated to hormonal therapy, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue, and immune dysfunction in his practice.  On the iodine side of things however, he has performed over 20,000 tests for what I'm getting ready to share with you in this blog today.  That's pretty solid in terms of numbers for someone experienced in this area, and wow, what I learned from his writings was fascinating.  I'm just sharing some of that with you today in this blog.

Iodine is a member of the halogen family and was discovered back in 1811.  It has been used throughout history for the treatment of goiter, but interestingly, there are doctors today that believe iodine causes goiter, and will discourage it's use. 

The body utilizes iodine throughout it's glandular system, in the white blood cells, and especially in the thyroid gland.  Iodine is also concentrated in the breast tissue, salivary glands, pancreas, cerebrospinal fluid, brain, stomach, etc.  You can see from this that  iodine is a key regulator of many body systems and the absence of iodine is known to be a promotor of cancer.  Studies show that.

Now, there's sometimes questions about iodine and iodide.  Iodide is a salt.  Breast tissue, prostate tissue and stomach prefer iodine, but the thyroid, the salivary glands, and the skin prefer iodide.  The body needs both types in order for it to function properly which is often why you see physicians treating their patients with Lugol's solution.  It contains both. 

Iodine is essential for the normal growth and development of children and especially the central nervous system.  Some experts say that a baby's IQ is set by the age of two, and iodine is what sets the IQ.  A deficiency in iodine can result in mental deficiencies, deafness, delayed physical and intellectual development and attention deficit disorder.  The amount of iodine in a mother's diet when she gets pregnant could be one of the most important things to assess in the information we are discovering today. 

Here's some comparison data:
In Japan, an average person eats 13.8mg of iodine per day in their diet.  In America, we eat around 168mcg (notice the difference from mg to mcg).  Here's some compelling evidence of the importance of iodine in our diet.  In the U.S. we have the highest incidence of breast cancer in the world, but Japan has the lowest.  In the U.S. we have 7 deaths under age 1 per 1000 live births.  In Japan it is 3.5 (HALF ours) and the lowest in the world.  We have known for years that people who develop goiter have an inceased risk of developing various cancers.  Do you remember all of the places that iodine exists in our bodies? Those are the same places cancers tend to arise.   In the 1900's goiter was very common among people living in the Great Lakes region (approx 40% of school age children). In 1924 in Akron, Ohio, 56% of the population had goiter.  This is when researchers began to study iodized salt and it's prevention of goiter and when the government began to iodize salt. 

Data now shows that we are headed toward a deficiency again.  Why? We are taking iodine out of bread, milk, and our salt.  Half of cooking salt now contains no iodine.  And for those with high blood pressure, the first thing they will be told to do is to eliminate as much salt as possible from their diet.  In 1997, approximately 11.4% of our population had a severe iodine deficiency and now studies from 2004 to 2006 indicate approximately 17.6% of our population is deficient. Within the last five to six years, the incidence of attention deficit disorder in the U.S. has gone up by almost 500%, and iodine deficiency is certainly a suspicious reason.  I can't help but remember a conference I went to last year where Dr. David Browstein (thyroid specialist, author, speaker) was lecturing. He showed a spelling test of a child who had failed miserably before clinical assessment of thyroid disorder.  He also sketched martians and weird drawings at the side of the paper showing he was not focused well at all.  The physician realized through lab work and physical assessments that the childs thyroid was not functioning properly.  He used appropriate treatments and the child was reissued the same exam within a couple of weeks and scored a 100%...with no martians involved. :) No Ritalin.  No stimulants.  Just a balanced thyroid is all that was needed.

Iodine deficiency results in fibrocystic breast disease.  Iodine treatment is accompanied by decreased breast size and a reduction of pain within a few weeks of therapy and continued use will show scar tissue significantly minimized on mammogram comparisons.  But even further in the scheme of things, are we paying attention to the iodine status of patients with cancer?  I'm afraid the answer is no, but I think we should definitely be encouraging this in our medical evaluations when these conditions exist.

Now please don't just rush out and buy Lugol's solution without the advice of your medical provider.  The message in this is that other reasons may exist for the conditions I have highlighted in this blog.  Assessments and physical exams are very important in determining if this is the right thing for you. But before accepting a certain diagnosis or not looking at all reasonable options, bring this subject up with your doctor.  After reading this and studying further,  I would definitely encourage iodine testing in pregnant women, those with cancer, those with attention deficit disorders, and those with thyroid related symptoms.  The numbers are showing too much of a connection not to pay attention to this.   Please continue to do your own research on this and see what you come up with. 

Here's a simple way to test.

To your good health,
Dr. Sonja


  1. Yes, I have urine testing kits at my office. I apologize that I'm just now seeing this message.

  2. Thank you for informing us. Me and Dr Fredda Branyon hopes to see more about this issue soon. Thanks for sharing!

  3. It's really an effective post regarding Iodine Deficiency: The Connection to IQ, ADD, Breast Cancer, Thyroid Disease, and More. I appreciate your well described writing. Thanks for sharing this.

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  5. This got me scared

    "We have known for years that people who develop goiter have an inceased risk of developing various cancers. "