When I was starting Iodine a year ago, I couldn't find clear instructions either. But now I think I can understand why that is. There are a few protocols around (grizz's for example, and Trappers and of course dr. Brownsteins, etc..) but their opinions differ: should you start slowly or just dive right in?
I think this is because there are so many factors that play a role in dosage of iodine:
- how badly is the deficiency
- how much detox do you have to do (how much toxin)
- how much exces fat do you have to get rid of
- how well do you tolerate detox
- how is your health
- in case of Hashis: how fast do you want to get off the meds
- how's your diet
- how much poisons (bromides, fluorides, mercury, other metals, pesticides, ...) are you still injesting / being exposed to
- do you have candida
- many other factors ...
For example: if you are in otherwise perfect health and have no bad chemicals inside of you (you must be from an isolated island), you would only need relatively little iodine. Your body needs 13 mg a day, so that should be enough in this case.
If you are a little cold now and then, have headaches, a little brain fog, you'd need a little more. I'd take 100 mg in that case (I would take 100 mg as a minimum anyway). I would take a combo of Iodine and Iodide (Lugols or Iodoral), because as a woman you need both kinds. A man needs both kinds too, but mostly Iodide I should think.
If you have toxins to get rid of, for instance bromide, you would probabaly need more, because bromide doesn't give up so easily: it needs enough Iodide to flush it out. The more Iodine you take, the easier the bromide lets go. As long as your detox pathways are open (enought salt, water and vitC) this will get rid of the bromide quickly. But if your body is not good at detoxing (for whatever reason), this will give you a massive detox reaction. In that case you might want to take it more slowly and use less iodine.
But if you're me, you've been ill for at least 15 years, you have Hashimoto's, are on a lot of synthroid (T4) and T3, have mercury in your body and nickel and who knows what else (I didn't and don't, I'm detoxing everything), then you need even more iodine (my personal opinion and strategy!!). My body has been starved from iodine since birth, and even worse since being under doctors "care", because the first thing they tell you over here when you go on T4 and T3 synthetic meds, is to steer clear of iodine. My deficiency must have been immense. I have the fibroids to prove it: my body was failing to compensate for the lack of iodine. Things where really starting to fall apart FAST.
So to get my body saturated with iodine, with the fibroids, uturus, thyroid, ovaries, adrenals, etc sucking it up like spounges, and with the detoxing of mercury, I just guessed I needed a lot of iodine. I started slowly with seeweed, but that had no effect at all. Then I started on single drops of Lugols. After I had upped my dosage to about 50 mg I started to feel warmer and more energetic. These effects lasted a week before they went away again. I kept on upping the dosage and each time after a week or so the effects would wear off. In hindsight I think I wasn't taking enough B2 and B3 and also my adrenals were in a far too bad a state to get anything going permanently (so, should have taken: more salt, water and vit C, ..?..). Some people need to take extra B2 and B3 for the body to use the iodine.
My first goal was getting off the meds as quickly as I could (personal choice!), because my doctors wouldn't except me using iodine at all. Also, as you can read in dr. Brownsteins book, synthetic T4 inhibits the thyroid to use iodine. This is why I kept upping the dosage (lowering my T4 every time I got hyper for more then a week) until I was free of the meds. My highest dosage was 100 mg of iodine via Lugols and 2 gram of iodide via SSKI . It took me two months to get off the meds.
I had a lot of detox symptoms (that's why grizz warns against this strategy). Also my adrenals were still catching up. I also have the buffalo hump (from cortisol, meaning my adrenals are fatigued). My fibroids where now dissolving though, slowly but surely. My breasts are not as big anymore and also not as tight.
I had exces fat (still do a bit). The body stores toxins in fat to protect the body. When you loose weight (read: fat) those toxins are released into the blood and organs. You will have detox symptoms from this. You have to make sure these toxins can find a way out of your body (lots of salt, water, vit C, ..?..). I can tell that some of my detox symptoms come from losing weight, because when I eat really well for a couple of days (and thus stop losing weight), my detox symptoms are far less.
I'm already reaping the following benefits:
After a year on iodine and companions, my hunger is far less than it used to be. I used to think of food all the time, it drove me mad. Brain fog is lifting. My periods are still bad, but during the other weeks I am now free of pain. I have much more energy. I'm much happier: no more depression. No more itching (probably from the candida?). No more allergies. No more sunburn. Better immune system: I used to get ill from going to bed an hour too late (9 pm in stead of 8 pm). I can put pressure on my body (cycle against the wind) without getting ill. I'm warmer. My wardrobe is getting more colourful, reflecting the fact that I'm more confident. Less anxiety. Better sleep! Still off the meds. More muscle strength without exercising. And many more that I'm forgetting right now...
I still have these symptoms:
Bad and painful periods. Back pain (can be releaved by salt). Still tire more easily than I should (then a healthy person): I'm always in bed by 9 pm. Bad short time memory (worse when I'm tired). My immune system is not as strong as it could be. Fibroids in my breasts. White spots on my arms (vitiligo I think).
It's amazing to me what a body can do even after having been ill for so long!
Anyway, the point of this long story is: it's hard for anyone to tell you how much iodine to take. It depends on so many factors. There is no one way that works for everyone.
My advise would be to first check your adrenals. Give them the support they need, so they can help with the detox.
For that you need to take enough salt, water, vit C. The vit C will also help in opening up the detox pathways. Start yourself on all the companions (selenium and magnesium are vital!). Start taking your temperature in the morning. Then I'd start on 100 mg of iodine/iodide as Lugol's or Iodoral. Feel how your body is coping with the detox and adjust your supps accordingly. Keep taking your temperature. Read up on the salt loading and detoxing etc. You might need to take additional chelating agents to detox your body from metals etc. The important thing is to feel your body and react to it.
If you're on synthetic meds (like me), personally I would try to get off of them as soon as possible. One could switch to natural hormones, but I couldn't find a doc who would prescribe them to me. Besides, who needs them if your body can still do it itself when provided with the proper nutrition. I would now do the same thing I did then: up my iodine, lowering my T4 (and T3) every time I got hyper and stayed hyper for more then a week. You can do this as slowly or fast as you think feels right for your body.
Alternatively, you could take 100 mg of Iodoral or Lugols and adjust your meds and supps to what happens to your body on that amount of iodine. If your body is still capable of producing enough thyroid hormones, then the production of these should re-start slowly as you're detoxing your body. When it does, you'll feel hyper, and then can lower your meds (T4 and T3).
In the end YOU need to decide what is best for YOUR body and YOUR circumstances.