What Do Low Iodine Levels & Thyroid Issues Have To Do With Breast Cancer?

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Dr. V. Recommends | Mar, 22 2023

What Do Low Iodine Levels & Thyroid Issues Have To Do With Breast Cancer?

Everybody and every case of breast cancer are different. Therefore, every treatment plan must be unique to address the root causes of how and why cancer developed. This is why you—and your medical and wellness team—must act as determined detectives.

Keep questioning and searching for the root cause(s) of what might be causing cancer to grow or shrink: iodine supplement

Today, I will discuss documented links between breast cancer and thyroid gland issues, and iodine. Low iodine levels and thyroid issues are tightly woven together and, when damaged, can bring breast cancer into their web. Before we get started, I want to hug and tell you—yes, I agree that playing breast cancer detective may seem super overwhelming, exhausting, and stressful! This is why I created the Breast Cancer Conqueror Private Coaching Program. Your coach will curate a specific program that discovers and addresses the root causes through a detailed and practical action plan. You are never alone. You never have to fear breast cancer again!

My Root Causes: Low Iodine + Thyroid Issues

After several consultations with doctors and diving into more research, I realized that I was missing some huge pieces of my breast cancer puzzle. I was iodine deficient, and my thyroid needed support. Both were directly affecting my breast tissue and my ability to heal. Now, let’s take a drink of water and put on our detective hats to search for clues on why women face low iodine and thyroid issues. 

Stay Far Away From Fluoride

Since we are leaving no glass empty, let’s start with water. According to the US Environmental Protection Agency, drinking tap water may give your body three milligrams of fluoride daily. For a healthy adult, this could result in hypothyroidism. 80% of the 27 million American adults diagnosed with hypothyroidism are women. If you take a shower without a chlorine and fluoride filter, you are exposing your body to those chemicals as well. Anything that lands on your skin is absorbed directly into your bloodstream. 

First clue: Fluoride. Solution = drink purified water. Tap into the details here. It gets worse. Fluoride is a known endocrine disrupter and can lead to imbalanced thyroid function, depleted iodine levels, and the eventual use of thyroid medication. All of these are known risk factors for breast cancer. In fact, women who take synthetic medication to regulate their thyroid are twice as likely to be diagnosed with breast cancer.

Low Iodine + Breast Cancer Connection

Discovering the connection between iodine and breast cancer was a huge “A-HA!” moment for me! Iodine is an essential trace element and nutrient that every cell in the body needs. It is needed to produce many hormones, such as thyroid hormones, insulin, and growth hormones. Without iodine, many of our glandular tissues, such as the thyroid, breast, uterus, ovaries, and prostate may develop nodules and cysts. Also, low levels of iodine lead to your body not being able to make enough thyroid hormone and the metabolism slows. The end results are fibrocystic breasts, polycystic ovaries, and uterine fibroids. If these are not corrected, the cells can develop hyperplasia (increased cell growth), which can lead to cancer. To learn more about the importance of iodine, check out Dr. Brownsteins’ book about iodine. 

Fluoride, chlorine, and bromide (found in plastic, carpet, furniture, electronics—basically everything in your world that you can’t stay away from) all displace iodine in your cells. I believe everyone woman who wants to prevent and heal breast cancer should have her iodine levels tested through a 24-hour urine iodine-loading test. An Iodine blood test does not give a clear representation of the iodine deficiency. Thyroid medicine increases the body’s need for iodine, so especially if you are on any type of thyroid medicine, then make sure you test and supplement as needed.

Iodine Testing

My go-to iodine test is Hakala Lab Research’s 24-Hour Urine Iodine Loading Test Kit which offers bromide, fluoride, and chloride add-ons. Comprehensive thyroid testing can also be found here.

brown and red seaweed

The Seaweed Solution

Japanese women have meager rates of breast cancer—and consume high levels of iodine via their diets rich in seaweed. The numbers don’t lie: “In general, 1 out of 8 women in the U.S. will be diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetime. In Japan, that is 1 out of every 38, but the risk was much laower less a decade ago. It’s been said that the Western lifestyle and diet contribute to this high incidence rate. In Japan, as the younger generations are adopting the American culture, diet, and habits, the breast cancer rate is increasing.” 

Seaweed, a mainstay ingredient in Japanese food, is a super solution to iodine and breast health. Whole soy edame beans, fermented soy and tofu are also staples in their culture. These food have very strong anti-cancer properties. 

For example, this 2019 study concluded:

“The ideal cancer treatment eradicates tumor cells without damage to healthy tissues. Due to the side effects of current treatments, more attention is being paid to the selective toxicity of seaweed polysaccharides that are nontoxic to normal cells, but toxic to tumor cells. Several in vitro and in vivo studies have demonstrated that porphyrins have strong anti-cancer properties. Moreover, when combined with conventional drugs, these polysaccharides not only showed more effective anti-cancer activity, but also enhanced immunocompetence that had been damaged by drugs such as by increasing the weight of the spleen, activating lymphocyte proliferation, recovering the level of TNF-α, and reactivating the decreased spleens and white pulps.”

This 2020 study found: (please note: “fucoidan” is the scientific word for the polysaccharide found in the cell walls of many species of brown seaweed.)

“…it is predicted that in the near future, fucoidan-based approaches may provide important advances in overcoming the most complicated cancer drawbacks including metastasis and drug resistance and improving chemotherapy response and quality of life in cancer patients.”

And it just gets better! Seaweed amy actually outperform Tamoxifen in killing off breast cancer cells. And, unlike the chemo drug, the only side effects of the seaweed were improved immune function and antioxidant protection. Please take a moment to dive into this research here.

hrt vs bhrt

Thyroid Issues + Breast Cancer Connection

We all know what it is like for our hormones to be out of balance. We feel it, and so does everyone around us! Since your hormones are all linked in a finely balanced web, when you increase the levels of one, some of the others will also shift. Tragically, some doctors go straight to putting women on Pharmaceutical Hormone Replacement (HRT) to “balance” and help with thyroid issues. This is done before checking iodine levels, gut health problems, or anything else! As mentioned above, low levels of iodine prevent your body from naturally being able to make the necessary thyroid hormones. BreastCancer.org also states, “…some types of HRT can increase your risk of breast cancer. HRT also can increase your risk of cancer coming back (recurrence)..”

However, you do NOT have to suffer through thyroid issues and miserable menopause symptoms. You have real solutions that do not provide horrifying side effects such as cancer. Please take a moment to learn about Plant-based Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy (BHRT). The state of your mental health also plays a major role in your thyroid’s ability to properly function. 

You also have countless other safe methods of balancing hormones and thyroid challenges before going straight to synthetic drugs. This blog post covers autoimmune diseases, thyroid diseases, and their connections to breast cancer. The John Muir quote, “When we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the Universe,” is especially true in this situation! Your thyroid, the lump in your breast, toxins in your food… are not living on separate islands.  They are all part of your story. 

Write Your Own Story

YOU have the power to control your narrative. Be a detective and figure out the root causes. The foods you eat, the therapies you choose, and the people you surround yourself with all play a critical role in the quality of your life. Make it a vibrantly healthy one! I believe in you, and the Breast Cancer Conqueror Team is always here to support you! You can always reach out to us—we love answering questions and providing empathic guidance!