Thyroid Cancer / Nodules & Hyperthyroidism Expert Forum
Kelp supplement causing Hyperthyroidism
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Questions in the Thyroid forum are answered by Mark Lupo, MD. Topics covered include Goiter, Graves Disease, Hyperthyroid, Parathyroid/Calcium Problems, Thyroid Cancer, Thyroid Nodules/Cysts, Thyroiditis, Thyroid & Pregnancy, Thyroid Stimulating Hormone (TSH), Thyroid Tests, and Thyroid Surgery.

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Kelp supplement causing Hyperthyroidism

My wife has been taking an iodine supplement for over 1.5 years now (she does not eat table salt with the built-in iodine).  Since August (5 months ago) she has noticed some weight loss (5-7lbs), some heart palpitations while at rest, and occasional diarrhea.  A few days ago she went to the gynecologist because she had not started her period after a few months of coming off of birth control.  She had blood taken and her gynecologist told her to get an appointment with a endocrinologist due to seeing low levels of TSH and telling her that she had hyperthyroidism.  The total kelp intake has been 437mcg of iodine per day.  This includes her multivitamin and the kelp supplement.  In August she stopped eating soy products (she was having at least 2 servings a day) and traded that out for more traditional proteins (meat, fish) and cow's milk.  I have been doing some reading on supplement-induced hyperthyroidism and see that this is touched on in most "cause" lists.  I also have read that soy products do somewhat inhibit the absorption of iodine in the body.  My question is - it it a possiblity that these factors could contribute to her being told she has hyperthyroidism?   If so, is the cessation of the supplements enough that she may have normal thyroid function again.  She has no family history of Graves disease,
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97953_tn?1193367871
Excess iodine is a cause of hyperthyroidism -- usually improves within 4-6 weeks of stopping the iodine.  The endocrine consult will help sort this out as the cause.
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I am a 32 year old woman and have been having many symptoms for 6 years. Six years ago I found a bump on my throat and quikly made an appointment with my doctor. Well for the next six years I have been seen by every doctor you could imagin. My thyroid doctor after three years told my that my thyroud was fine and that i only have a goiter. I've havd many biopsys and blood tests that always come back great, but i still have all these symptoms. Heart palpitations are the one that concerns me the most. I just recently saw another heart specialist that told me that "goiters" could cause palpitations. So I did some of my own searches and found something about adding more salt to my diet and so far it has helped. I have just had it with doctors telling me that my sympoms are from stress and anxiety. My syptoms (symptoms) started a month after i gave birth to my fourth child. From muscle pain to heart palpitations. Help.
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97953_tn?1193367871
the enlargement of the thyroid does not cause palpitations typically - but if the goiter is over-producing thyroid hormone, that may cause palpitations.  Adding iodine can actually worsen this in some cases but ironically extra iodine can sometimes help.  It's best to follow the thyroid labs (blood tests) and if these are consistently normal then the extra heartbeats are less likely to be due to thyroid.
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Mark Lupo, M.D.Blank
Thyroid & Endocrine Center of Florida
Sarasota, FL
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