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The Fluffy Assassin

Is There Any Reason Celiacs Would Need More Iodine Than Other People Do?

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In case you missed any of my thrilling story, here it is in a nutshell: All summer, I've been feeling very strange. I posted various interesting and elaborate and incorrect rationalizations of what might be going wrong. Eventually, I hit on the very, very obvious: that if you give up salting your food (like I did decades ago) and then start cooking nearly all your own food (like I did two years ago) and then switch to whole foods (like I did early this year) and then give up soy including gluten-free tamari (like I did in July) you're likely to trigger a pretty major electrolyte imbalance. I did take multivitamins which included 100% of the RDA of iodine, but as of a few weeks ago I had the brilliant idea to stop taking them on the grounds that maybe I was getting too much of some micronutrient, and wound up in the emergency room. They told me I was hypothyroid and to see a primary care physician within the week. I cut out all the goitrogens from my diet (broccoli, kale, millet, etc.), restarted my multivitamins (since replaced with kelp extract), started salting my food, and ate a lot of avocado and coconut, said to be good for hypothyroidism. And when within the week I went to a doctor, the labs said... thyroid normal. (TSH had been 7.310; now is 2.944.) (Some nutshell, huh?:))

However, I woke this morning feeling very cold; I've always been cold-natured. I wonder if I may have always been subclinical hypothyroid. I was taking the multivitamins half in the morning and half in the evening, which maybe helped. The kelp extract tablets aren't scored and would be difficult to cut in half as they're round. They contain 150% of the RDA for iodine. I'm wondering if there's any chance that celiacs just need more darn iodine. I believe that I read that iodine is taken in in the duodenum, the part of the intestine that is damaged by celiac disease, but I've been gluten free for nearly two years and would think I would have largely healed.

My pattern all summer has been (more or less) two good days, two bad days. After getting my iodine up, it became two good days, one bad day (and I was glutened for the first time in ages before the bad day). Now it's two good days, one fair day. So maybe iodine deficiency just takes a while to resolve, and I need to be more patient. But it would be lovely to have some answers. The clinic just pretty much washed their hands of me; you're normal, bye-bye. (Granted, I literally told the doctor when he asked what he could do for me that he could tell me I'm fine and everything is normal, but I'm pretty sure I made clear that I was kidding.)

So what are thoughts?

Edit: On further thought (with googling) I find that there is a reason autistic people would need more iodine, though nobody seems to say definitively that persons with Asperger's (like me) would. So there's a thought. Ravenwoodglass has mentioned that iodine can trigger dh outbreaks in sufferers; this kind of indicates that celiac wouldn't be the root of my apparent iodine uptake problem. Again, what are thoughts?

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This is interesting. I'll have to see how much iodine I get daily. I never use salt unless I eat french fries (once or twice a year). I'm on thyroid meds but maybe some iodine will help. I'll let you know how it works.

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This is interesting. I'll have to see how much iodine I get daily. I never use salt unless I eat french fries (once or twice a year). I'm on thyroid meds but maybe some iodine will help. I'll let you know how it works.

Be careful with it. I'm having my usual second and third thoughts. Since I've been losing weight ever since going gluten-free, one would think that if anything I'd be hyperthyroid. It's possible that the iodine in the multivitamins was just enough to make me hyperthyroid, that quitting them made me temporarily hypo and that restarting them made my TSH normal in time for the second blood draw. By now, I would be hyper again, and by that logic, the kelp would make me even more hyper. I'm certainly amped up a bit.

Then again, in general, I still feel just like I did when I went to the emergency room only less so. So I guess it's likelier that I'm again hypo (or still subclinical hypo). It's probable that all the weight loss was just due to eating healthier. (Prior to going gluten-free, I was a buffet hound.)

See? Second and third thoughts. One of the health food stores I visited had liquid kelp extract, which would presumably let you start with smaller doses. The tablets were either 150% or more of the RDA; it irritates me when vitamin/mineral/etc. manufacturers don't offer tablets with just 100% or less of the RDA. It seems to me that if I want to take more, I can just take two.

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Fluffy, I'm sorry that you're still struggling to find answers. I would find a new doc.. I don't know the first thing about iodine but what you're going through in general sounds somewhat familiar. The nurses in the office where I got tests for a UTI said to each other "she has diabetes" but a word was never said to me. They called me up and told be that I was neg, for UTI that was it, and the doctor never followed up. Then again, I was in the hospital overnight for obeservation and the nurses thought I was asleep but were talking to each other saying " she has diabetes or hypoglycemia or both, what're they going to do with her" "they'll have to put her on a pump"-because I have such a fear of needles. But again, not a word was said to me. When I finally followed up with a new Doc. I demanded testing. I guess I share those stories to show that the medical profession drops the ball and things can fall through the cracks. I always suspected it in part because, I thought I was just too darn sensitive to what kinds of foods I could eat and when and feel good. It seems to me that something is going on if you are so sensitive. Keep searching for answers and use those tests to your advantage. I hope you can find someone in the medical profession to be your ally! so that you aren't stuck in this continual circle of self diagnosis and experimenting.

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    Hi Wade, I use plain water to rinse foods.  I suppose it might be better to use a little Dawn dish soap or some such on fruit like apples that is waxed.  But I don't usually do that. It's a good idea to rinse foods off anyway to reduce germs.  You never know what kid has wiped his nose on an apple in the produce section!   Plus like Ennis said there is the wonderful in store bread bakery trend these days where they can have flour wafting through the air.  My local Kroger seems to have a pretty good ventilation system set up so most of the heat from baking is exhausted and probably most of the flour with it.  But you never know for sure.  People working on making bread may have flour on their uniform sleeves and spread it around.  Also the flour section is often messy with leaking flour bags spilling gluten around.  So the stuff can be present in different areas in a grocery store.  And get spread unintentionally.  The person stocking flour may be stocking candy the next hour. I don't think buying organic is a bad thing.  But I don't think it helps as far as avoiding gluten. The issue is cross-contamination of gluten on/in supposedly gluten free foods.  And that cross-contamination can happen to both organic and non-organic foods. It seemed to me that I was very sensitive to gluten exposure when I first went gluten-free.  Even slight amounts would make me sick.  You may find the same to be true for you.  I think that is because our immune systems are in high gear at first.  So even smelling bread baking or going through the bread isle can bother some people.  After a while on the gluten-free diet the immune system may calm down and not be so quick to react to minor exposures.  That can take some time to happen though, maybe years, Some other foods to watch out for and avoid at first are dairy and oats.  Many of us are lactose intolerant for several months after going gluten-free.  That may go away though.  And some of us are intolerant to oats like we are to wheat, rye, and barley.  Oats can also be cross-contaminated in the processing or harvesting.
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