Fluoride and Iodine and the LPR connection

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I've spent a lot of time on these boards but this is my first post.  I hope what I've learned from my own experiences can help someone else get better.

I'm going to cut right to the chase and tell you two things:  don't drink tea!  and also, make sure you are getting plenty of iodine in your diet!  It turns out that in my case, my silent reflux was ultimately caused by the fluoride in tea combined with not enough iodine in my diet.  The combination is very tricky to diagnose because they mask each other.  So let me explain.  

  Apparently, iodine is supremely important for every cell in the body.   You need it for nearly every function in your body.  An important one for LPR sufferers is the salivary gland.  Not enough iodine means your salivary glands won't work very well.  How does that affect or cause LPR?  Well, part of the job of the salivary glands is to release bicarbonate into the saliva that you swallow all day, anytime that acid creeps up into the throat.  It's an automatic response that normally helps protect the throat from acid.   If you don't have enough iodine in your diet, then this isn't happening.  You can tell if your salivary glands aren't working optimally by noticing how dry your mouth is in the morning.  Feel the inside of your cheeks with your tongue.  If your cheeks don't feel smooth, but instead feel bumpy, with raised areas from pressing on your teeth, you need more iodine.   In my case, I assumed my dry mouth was caused by the zyrtec and singulair I take for my allergies.  I was wrong.

Most people know that you need iodine for your thyroid.  The thyroid is so important that it's really too complicated for me to explain everything here.  Trust me, it's really important and affects everything.   It causes muscle weakness, among many other things.  Think - diaphram - hiatal hernia!  Also, a slightly swollen thyroid will give you that click when you swallow, like something is just in the way.   

So I know you're thinking, well i don't have iodine deficiency because I don't have a goiter, and my doctor did a thyroid blood test and my TSH was normal.   I thought the same thing!   It turns out, if you like to drink tea then you are getting a pretty large dosage of fluoride.  Good for your teeth, right?  Sure, but the bad news is fluoride affects the pituitary gland, telling it not to create thyroid stimulating hormone, TSH.  Without TSH, your thyroid slows down, but your TSH blood test looks normal.   There are lots of sources of fluoride and lots of websites talking about fluoride in the drinking water, but every where you look you read about how good green tea is for your health!  When tea has much much more fluoride in it than municipal drinking water does.   In fact, the tazo website touts it's tea for being a good source of fluoride - as if that's such a great thing!    

So maybe you don't drink any tea.  That's good.  And you use iodized salt.  Okay, good.  But, remember, the thyroid is so important that it gets first dibs on any iodine you do have in your diet, and in your body.   The salivary glands, and the prostate and the ovaries, and the breasts and skin, and lots of other things in your body also need iodine.   The RDA for iodine is currently only 150 mcg which is what an adult needs to keep the thyroid functioning and keep you from getting a goiter.   But it's not enough for all the other parts of the body that need iodine to function.  Iodine is naturally found in seafood, and seaweed (think sushi), and in plants and animals raised on land with iodine rich soil.  Not every plot of land has much iodine, so iodine is added to salt in the US, but if you use fancy sea salt, or eat packaged food, or out at restaurants, you maybe not be getting iodine.  Especially if you don't eat seafood.   Iodine used to be added to bread in the US, but after 1980, most bakeries stopped doing that.  Americans used to get about 600 mcg of iodine a day.  Now they only get about 200mcg if they are lucky.   Check your salt!  But probably you'll have to do what I did and buy a supplement.  I also now take a multi which has selenium, and important mineral to help you use iodine.  

I drank about one or two cups of tazo chai tea a day for the past three years.   When I stopped drinking tea, initially all my symptoms got steadily worse.  Without the fluoride, my thyroid was actually getting the TSH and it sucked up all the iodine I had everywhere else in my body.  My mouth dried up and the throat mucus drip was ridiculous!  My entire throat felt stiff and swollen.  I lost my voice and had a weak voice for a long time.  I did all of the recommended dietary changes for LPR.  I stopped drinking carbonated water, and stopped eating chocolate, and acidic food.  I slept nearly in a sitting position.  I did everything suggested, except for acid reducing meds, and PPI's.  I felt a little better, but just kept wondering why this was happening to me - I'd always been able to eat that stuff and I'd been fine.  Then I read about iodine and fluoride and tea. I started just eating a lot of sushi and almost overnight felt like a new person.  Of everything I've tried for LPR, the iodine supplementation is what has helped the most.   My mouth is no longer dry, I don't have to sip water constantly all day.  I don't have a weird glob in my throat.   When I eat, food doesn't feel like it's taking forever to go down, or getting stuck in my esophagus.   

There are probably a lot of people who don't have any problem with iodine, or their thyroid, or fluoride causing their LPR symptoms, but it's worth taking a look.  Regardless, don't drink tea!  If you switched from coffee to tea becaose of reflux, stop!  Tea should have a warning on it about the fluoride.

PS, I'm not the type of person to write stuff like this, but it's made such an impact on my health, and I never want someone to struggle if they don't have to.  Hope this helps someone.  

Amy 

 

2 likes, 15 replies

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15 Replies

  • Posted

    Thanks for this information.My thyroid bloodworks went back fine but I believe that Iodine would really make a big impact in our health.
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  • Posted

    thank u for this information, I can relate with the dry mouth as soon as I wake up in the morning. Throat feels so dry. I am going to give it a try. If I eat more fish do you think it would help.
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    • Posted

      Yes, tuna, shrimp, cod, and scallops all are good sources of iodine.  But if you are deficient you would need to eat a lot of fish!

      At my worst, my mouth was so dry in the morning that my lips and cheeks were literally stuck to my teeth.  I don't think eating fish a few times a week would have helped enough.  My thyroid was taking all the iodine I was eating, and that's what led to my symptoms.  So I started supplementing with iodine drops, and eating seaweed snacks (probably about 2mg (2,000mcg) or more of iodine a day) and saw improvement after two weeks.  I also take a multivitamin with selenium.  

      Luna bars have iodine and selenium in them.  It might be the only reason my kids are not deficient.  They love Luna bars.  

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    • Posted

      Thanks Amy, it can't hurt to try. Always looking for some help. My throat just started getting dry in the past 2wks. I always ate tuna, but stopped about a month ago. Tomorrow I'll start eating seafood.
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    • Posted

      Thank you very much for this advice . I feel like it's learnt me a whole new lesson. I have just got up for work . And for the past half a year. I Carnt tell you how bad my mouth is in the morning. It's that dry I feel like Carnt breath. Inside of mouth really ruff and bumpy. My lips are even chapped with my dry mouth. Mouth tastes funny. Throat sore and when eat breakfast feel like it just stops in esophagus and doesn't pass well. It drives me.mad. so I will start eating alot of fish. And I will cut of my brew in the morning. No more tea if this could help. So what supplements do you take .can you get drinks that help .

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    • Posted

      Also I always wakeup with headaches. My muscle fatigue is awful . Always feel run down. No energy. Have a bad stomach . Just frustrates me as I used to be really fir and train .alot . MMA. Boxing . Gym .bike rides and I don't seem to do anything anymore as always feel not right .
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    • Posted

      All your symptoms could be related to an iodine deficiency.  But, they could also be something else.   I'm not one of those people who generally believes in one fix for everyone's problems.  I believe in the scientific method.  But it is definitely worth exploring to find out if you are getting enough iodine in your diet.   And if not, try to find a multivitamin that has iodine and a good blend of all the trace minerals as well (selenium, manganses, copper, etc).   Also you can buy iodine in liquid form and add drops to your drink or food.  But start slow, and just see how you feel.  

      I've read a ton on the internet the past few weeks, and there are people out there taking 50mg a day!   The japanese regular get 13mg or more a day.  I started just with a multivitamin with 150mcg a day, and slowly increased it to about 2mg a day.  That's when I started seeing improvement with my saliva and my esophagus and throat.  I still sometimes feel something when I swallow, like a click, like there is something in the way.   Also my eyes are dry.  But I think those things will get better too as I stick with the 2mg a day of iodine.  

      I think it's important to do your research, and don't take my word for it, but read a lot and make your own decision about your health.   I live in a town where people can get obsessed with the latest health trend, without any evidence to back it up, and it drives me nuts.  lol   So I would never want to push my ideas onto someone.  But I want to help people also to avoid suffering from this when it's such a simple fix!  

      Best,

      Amy  

       

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  • Posted

    Lots of good articles out there but here is just one of them that I like:  [link removed]

    There is a chart with foods containing iodine and how much.  

    Emis Moderator comment: I have removed the link(s) directing to site(s) unsuitable for inclusion in the forums. If users want this information please use the Private Message service to request the details. I have put a replacement link about iodine below from the BDA.

    https://www.bda.uk.com/foodfacts/Iodine.pdf

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  • Posted

    Thanks for sharing this Amy, I used to drink a lot of tea, that could have certainly contributed to my airway reflux.  I have maybe one cup a day now and it is a lot better but not completely gone.  Has anyone tried having an iodine supplement i.e.one drop a day in water, I figure that would be a good way of getting a regular dose?  Also, does anyone know if you store iodine or is it something that you have to have on a regular basis?
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    • Posted

      Yes, I bought a liquid bottle of potassium iodide and I add it to my water.  It has no taste at all.   I was carrying around a giant bottle of water all the time anyway because of the dry mouth problem, and it seemed easiest to add the iodine to it.  I was surprised it has no taste at all.  My kids take sips and no one tastes it.  

      Your body does store iodine.  Something like 70% of your stores are in the  thyroid gland.  The rest is in other glands, the skin, bones and blood.  I don't know how much the body can absorb at one time, or how quickly the body can replenish it's stores.   The recommendation is a daily intake of 150mcg.   It's pretty easy to get that amount if you have a normal diet.  But if you have a depleated stores for any reason (special diet, avoiding seafood, not drinking enough milk in the UK, or limiting salt in the US) then you need to get more than the recommended amount of iodine to build back up.   What your body does absorb and use is excreted daily in urine.  

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  • Posted

    Thank you very much Amy. My wife is currently in hospital in excruciating pain every morning. At this point, and after a nissen fundiplication, 8 years of watching her suffer, over 50 trips to A and E, I'm willing to give anything a go.
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  • Posted

    I just wanted to give an update on how I'm doing since my original post.  I appreciate seeing other people's follow up posts, so that you can tell if something really worked or not.  

    Since stopping the tea, and avoiding fluoridated water, and taking a bunch of vitamins (not just iodine) to recover from all the malnutrition the tea caused me, I've been doing really amazingly well.  I'm back to eating lots of chocolate and drinking carbonated (fluoride free) water now.  I eat spicey food!  

    I've even been able to go off all my allergy medication for the first time in over ten years.  It's really pretty unbelievable.  I don't think I'd believe my own post if I had lived through it myself.  

    Has anyone else tried reducing fluoride exposure and increasing iodine, and has it helped?

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    • Posted

      Hi Amy, do I go to the health food store for iodine. I'll try anything. I thought my lpr was going away but, it's not. I'm bloated, naseous, I have so much gas, back to burping. I rarely eat fish, think I'll start. My daughter is also burping. I am doing something completely wrong here.
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    • Posted

      Hi Amy, hopefully you are still active on this board - and I am fascinated by your relief -- as I have been feeling very similar symptoms for several months now, and nobody can figure this out. Curious about the iodine supplements - can you recommend a type, highest quality and /or where you purchase them? Really appreciate your thoughts
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