Countless women and men deal with mysterious weight gain, fatigue, brain fog, depression, anxiety, dizziness, dry skin, hair loss, muscle weakness, tingling, numbness, and ringing in the ears. If you been experiencing these symptoms, you may be living with a thyroid condition.
As of today, thyroid disease is still widely misunderstood. Even if you have already been diagnosed and prescribed a treatment for Hashimoto’s, Grave’s Disease or Hypothyroidism chances are you are not getting the most effective treatment. Without a full understanding of what causes the illness in the first place medical professionals cannot offer remedies to heal the underlying problem. For those who suspect a thyroid issue but have received back “normal” test results you may be suffering from an over or under-active thyroid gland and not know, because current thyroid testing is not completely accurate. (1)
Currently, the thyroid autoimmune theory suggests that a person’s immune system becomes “confused” and starts to attack the thyroid gland. This is the common synopsis for Hashimoto’s patients, they are told that their immune system mysteriously produces antibodies that target and ultimately damage the thyroid gland as if it were a foreign substance. As said by Anthony Williams, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Medical Medium Thyroid Healing: “this hypothesis will no longer hold up, because it is not the real answer”.
According to numerous scientific journals Epstein-Barr virus may account for up to 95% of today’s Hashimoto’s disease. (2) “Autoimmune thyroid diseases, including Graves’ and Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, are the most frequently diagnosed autoimmune disorders. Viral infections, including Epstein-Barr virus (EBV), is one of the most frequently considered environmental factors involved in autoimmunity.” (3)
What is Epstein-Barr Virus?
The Epstein-Barr (EBV) is a form of Herpes, it is also known as the “kissing disease” and causes mononucleosis aka “Mono”. (4) More than 90 percent of the world’s population has been exposed to this human herpes virus. (5) “The worldwide prevalence of autoimmune diseases shows how common this pathogen is. Normally, the virus stays in the body and remains dormant throughout life. However, this is not always the case, and a serious EBV-related illness may develop later in life. This explains the chronic course of autoimmune diseases that is often accompanied by exacerbations of symptoms. Based on the present studies, EBV infection can cause autoimmune diseases, such as Lupus, Multiple Sclerosis, Rheumatoid Arthritis and Autoimmune Thyroid Disorders.” (4) The virus can take up residence within our thyroid gland where it can live and become inflammatory to our immune system. It can call our immune cells to come into the thyroid gland and attack the virus along with the thyroid gland.
Is Epstein-Barr Responsible for Thyroid Autoimmune Disorders?
In a 2015 study, Epstein-Barr virus in the thyroid cells were found in 80% of Hashimoto’s patients and in 62.5% of Grave’s Disease patients, at the same time control goiters did not have the virus present. (6)
When someone knowingly or unknowingly is infected with the Epstien-Barr virus, the body’s immune system kicks in the attack the virus. Unfortunately, with nutritional deficiencies and other vulnerabilities the virus will conquer and deplete the body’s immune response. The result is a low-grade hidden infection along with multiple deficiencies creating an autoimmune disorder.
Recently more awareness is being brought to the forefront of integrative medicine in regards to EBV and Autoimmune Thyroiditis. Some even make claims that EBV is not only is responsible for all Hashimoto’s, but for every other chronic illness.
The fact is up to 95% of adults have been exposed to the virus, but not all Hashimoto’s cases involve the infection. Other potential root causes may consist of nutritional deficiencies, food sensitivities, the inability to handle stress, inability to detox the body of toxins or even a multitude of infections such as SIBO or Lyme to name a couple. (18)(19)(20)
How Can Iodine Help?
First off, iodine is an essential mineral the body needs in order to make thyroid hormones and is utilized by every cell in the body. Secondly, the body does not produce this mineral on it’s own thus it must be consumed through diet or supplementation. With today’s modern farming practices, soil nutrients are depleted and food once recognized for high iodine content no longer meet the mark. (7) A 2014 study stated, “Many regions most affected by iodine-depleted soils are also among the most heavily populated-resulting in a large at-risk population for deficiency.” (8) Iodized salt also falls short of the recommended minimum daily amounts. (9)(10)
What is even more interesting about iodine is that it contains anti-pathogenic, anti-viral, anti-parasitic, and anti-inflammatory properties. (11)(12)(13)(14) You may have heard of topical iodine to clean wounds and this form is not meant for consumption. On the other hand, consumable and bioavailable iodine can be a powerful agent to help combat pathogens in the body and is known to pass through cell walls. (15) With this said, those with an iodine deficiency are more susceptible to bacterial and viral infections. If you have a thyroid autoimmune disorder the last thing you want is to be iodine deficient.
Concerns for Iodine
The popular theory is that iodine use causes an overpopulation of thyroid hormones. In return, the body sees this substance as a foreign invader and prompts the immune system to attack the thyroid gland. This idea is false.
The reason for the confusion is that when the iodine reaches the thyroid gland it not only kills off virus cells at an accelerated rate it also markedly detoxes the gland of harmful halogens such as bromide and fluoride, in turn temporarily elevates inflammation. (16) This rise in inflammation is mistaken as an autoimmune response to the iodine rather than being identified as a detox reaction.
Dr. Christine Northrup states, “When you start taking iodine, you might get a reaction in the form of a rash, headaches, or a general feeling of malaise. This is because the iodine can cause a ‘detox’ reaction in your body as it displaces excess chlorine, fluoride, bromide, and even heavy metals, from your body. Don’t panic. This isn’t a reaction to iodine. It’s your body detoxifying itself! Cut way back on the amount of iodine you are taking, then gradually increase it. This sort of detox reaction is also common when you start taking a good vitamin supplement.” (17)
If you’re already on thyroid
hormone, you may find that you need a lower dose if you supplement with iodine.
In fact, you may even be able to discontinue your medication altogether.
So make sure you and your health care practitioner are on the same page with all of this, or find someone who is. If your current practitioner isn’t up to speed on the thyroid/iodine connection, we recommend you look for a health care practitioner who has been trained in Functional Medicine. *Check out the Institute for Functional Medicine’s Web site to find someone near you.
Epstein-Barr and Thyroid Disease Conclusion
Iodine supports the immune systems while improving immunity. Iodine fights off viruses, fungus and bacteria. Dr. Mark Sircus says, “Someone who is totally iodine sufficient has a lower chance of catching something like MRSA in a hospital, because superbugs like this one will not thrive in a body with enough iodine. Similarly, the virus responsible for Hashimoto’s thyroiditis—the Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) and all other viruses do not like iodine, because it gets in the way of their advancement.”(21)
Though there are many different types of iodine supplements available, Thyroid Warrior, is the most effective form of iodine available. There are a few reasons for this. First, it’s sourced using the highest quality, pure iodine crystals, which are forged thousands of feet below the earth’s surface from underwater brine wells. Thyroid Warrior is also made using an electromagnetic field, which changes the mineral’s atomic state, making the iodine easier for your body to absorb and use immediately. This means you use less and get more of the amazing health benefits associated with iodine. The best part is that any excess iodine is easily removed by your body, so it’s 100% safe to use as directed.