Unlikely Source Relieves Breast Pain

by Christiane Northrup, M.D.


One of the most exciting parts of my work is bringing you cutting edge information. Today that information is on iodine, specifically how supplementing with iodine can lessen breast pain, reduce your risk of breast cancer, and even improve your health overall.

Let’s spend a few minutes talking about breast pain. As I wrote in Women’s Bodies, Women’s Wisdom, and in the article “Relief for Common Breast Symptoms,” sore, tender, or lumpy breasts are very common. Symptoms can occur with your menstrual cycle or intermittently, for varying lengths of time, and at any stage of life. The number one reason women visit clinics specializing in breast care is breast pain—in fact about 45 percent of women who visit these clinics have breast pain. Of course, some women prefer to see their internist or OB/GYN first, which is perfectly fine.

Often, when a woman has breast pain, she will be frightened and fear the worst. Thankfully, in most cases breast pain is benign and not a reason to panic. One study showed that breast pain alone is a symptom in only seven percent of women who had early-stage breast cancer, and another eight percent presented with both pain and a lump.1 That said, if you are concerned, see your health care provider.

Breast pain is caused by the fluctuation of fluids. During your menstrual cycle, there is a build up of fluid in your uterus and your breasts due to inflammatory hormonal changes. When you get your period, some of this fluid leaves your body (when you menstruate). However, the fluid in other parts of your body, like in your breasts, has to be reabsorbed before it can be eliminated.

If you no longer menstruate, it’s still possible for inflammatory hormonal changes to affect your body. This could occur if you eat inflammatory foods, like highly-processed, chemical-laden, or high-glycemic foods. It also occurs when you’re under chronic stress for prolonged periods.

Daily iodine intake can help many women with breast pain. Research shows that those who take iodine in doses ranging from 6 mg to 90 mg per day feel healthier and have a greater sense of well-being. Taking iodine at these levels eliminates breast pain from fibrocystic changes about 70 percent of the time.2 In one recent study of women with breast pain, more than half of those who took 6 mg of iodine daily reported a significant reduction in overall breast pain.3

Iodine decreases the ability of estrogen to adhere to estrogen receptors in the breast.4 This ties into the compelling evidence that iodine deficiency is a cause of breast cancer. The ductal cells of the breasts, those most likely to become cancerous, actually have an iodine pump in them, indicating that they have the ability to actively absorb iodine. Iodine taken in doses 100 times the RDA (which is only 100–150 mcg per day) has important benefits. These include its role as an antioxidant, in preventing and treating fibrocystic disease of the breast, and in preventing and treating breast cancer.5

When I was seeing patients, I prescribed iodine supplements for women with breast pain and saw excellent results, usually within only two weeks. I recommend a minimum of 12.5 mg/day, which you can get from one Iodoral tablet, kelp supplements, or sea vegetables. There are other iodine supplements available that you can try too:

  • Nascent Iodine drops or Atomidine based on the work of the psychic Edgar Cayce.
  • Tinctures of iodine. You can paint a quarter-size dot right over the painful spot on the breast or on the nipple once a night for two weeks to get iodine safely into your body is to apply to your skin. Or paint the entire breast.

Iodine deficiency is rampant in the United States. Is it possible that YOU are iodine deficient? Today, average iodine intake in the U.S. is only 240 micrograms/day, which is far too low for optimal health. Note: In comparison to those in the U.S. the average Japanese intake of iodine is about 45 mg/day, mostly from seaweed consumption.

Unfortunately, there are no guidelines I’m aware of about what the optimal intake of iodine is. And there are plenty of cautions about taking too much. If you have breast pain, it’s likely you aren’t getting enough iodine. And supplementing with iodine—a critical and helpful nutrient—either by taking it as a supplement or by eating more seaweed—will help your breasts remain healthy.

If you’ve used iodine supplementation for breast pain, please leave me a comment! I’d love to hear about your experience.

Notes: Rarely, a person will get a reaction (usually in the form of a skin rash or bad taste in the mouth) to adding iodine to her diet. The reaction is known as iodism, and it is a result of the iodine releasing excess bromide, fluoride, and other toxins from the system. It’s actually a detox reaction and not an iodine reaction per se. Just decrease your dose of iodine, if this happens to you.

If you are on thyroid medication, taking higher amounts of iodine will often decrease your need for thyroid medication. But if you don’t know this, you can end up with heart palpitations from the effect of too much thyroid hormone. So add iodine to your diet very, very slowly, and discuss this with your health care provider.

1. P. E. Preece et al., “Importance of Mastalgia in Operable Breast Cancer,” British Medical Journal, vol. 284 (1982), pp. 1299–1300; and L. E. Hughes and D. J. Webster, “Breast Pain and Modularity,” in Benign Disorders and Disease of the Breast (London: Bailliere Tindale, 1989).
2. J. H. Kessler, “The Effect of Supraphysiologic Levels of Iodine on Patients with Cyclic Mastalgia,” The Breast Journal, vol. 10, no. 4 (2004), pp. 328–36; W. R. Ghent et al., “Iodine Replacement in Fibrocystic Disease of the Breast,” Canadian Journal of Surgery, vol. 35, no. 5 (Oct. 1993), pp. 453–60.
3. Kessler, “The Effect of Supraphysiologic Levels of Iodine on Patients with Cyclic Mastalgia.”
4. B. A. Eskin et al., “Mammary Gland Dysplasia in Iodine Deficiency,” Journal of the American Medical Association, vol. 200 (1967), pp. 115–19.
5. IBID.

Last Updated: October 16, 2013

Christiane Northrup, M.D.

Christiane Northrup, M.D., is a visionary pioneer and a leading authority in the field of women’s health and wellness. Recognizing the unity of body, mind, and spirit, she empowers women to trust their inner wisdom, their connection with Source, and their ability to truly flourish.


Add comment
  1. KRBA
    9 months ago

    Does anyone know if using povidone iodine for “painting breast” would be OK and effective? I have read about using Lugols for ingesting (and painting) and that povidone SHOULD NOT be used for ingesting, but wondering about using it topically on the breasts as it is quite a bit less expensive. Thank you.

  2. Kinga
    1 year ago

    I’ve suffered from lumpy, painful breasts for most of my late 30’s. I’m 43 yo now. Recently the ache in my breast has become bothersome and i accidentally stumbled upon YouTube video about Iodine deficiency and also a book “ The iodine crisis “ by Lynne Farrow. I discovered that I’m deficient and I started supplementing iodine with 2% Lugol solution . I’m taking 50 mg daily ( 20 drops). I also paint the painful breast spot every evening . It’s been almost 3 weeks and I gave significant improvement. The ache/ pain is mostly gone whereas before it was constant . I still have lumpy breast but I read that it takes min 3 months to see improvement in breast texture .
    I’m hopeful .

    1. Nadine
      1 year ago

      I also suffer from lumpy painful breasts…mainly my left one.. almost constantly. It was a relief to see I am not alone. I use lugols 2% but I only use 3 drops. Are you sure 20 drops is safe?

      1. Beth
        2 weeks ago

        I was recently told by my Thermography tech to use 30 drops/night on my breasts (mixed with coconut oil) for fibrocystic disease. They will re scan again after 6 weeks to see if it changes

  3. Beki
    1 year ago

    Found this article several months ago after many months of breast pain. I resisted going to my doctor because I knew she would suggest I get a mammogram which I am intuitively not feeling is a good idea for me. I started painting the iodine on my breast and had immediate improvement! Thank you so much for this invaluable information. I miss your search bar on your website to be able to search subjects, which is how I first found this article.

  4. Fay
    2 years ago

    I have recently discovered how high doses of Iodine help breast pain through the work of Dr Lara Briden and im so happy to see it discussed here.
    My pain would start 10 days before my period and it would get worse and worse till my heaviest flow day, where the pain would go away. It was such a pain, not just physically but mentally, i couldnt exercise, or live a normal life.
    I wish i knew this sooner!

  5. shilo
    2 years ago

    I take nascent iodine internally about 1mg per day. We have rampant thyroid problems in our family and I am try to avoid that in my self and my kids. Once a week I use Lugol’s iodine drops in coconut oil for painting and the breast tenderness, heaviness and lumpiness is mostly gone

  6. Melissa
    2 years ago

    What is the process for painting iodine on the breast? Won’t the iodine get absorbed into the painting apparatus? I’d appreciate any tips!

    1. CR
      5 months ago

      I use a silicone brush – like the kind you buy for cooking foods. That way the brush doesn’t absorb any iodine and everything is easy to clean.

  7. Danisha
    2 years ago

    I’ve suffered from hormonal breast pain for the past 11 years. Having a baby helped relieve the pain for a few years, but this year the pain returned. I read about iodine and selenium for breast pain. After 3 days my pain improved by 80%, by 2 weeks I was pain free. My only complaint is that I didn’t find this remedy years ago.

  8. Jen
    2 years ago

    I have used the iodine painting remedy in my breast for years. My breast pain was monthly with my cycle. The iodine painting makes the pain go away overnight.

  9. CB
    2 years ago

    Hi, I am allergic to shellfish and have tried seaweed supplements that cause allergic reaction so I was wondering if Lugols 2% iodine can be used for painting the breasts and or be taken orally to help relieve swollen tender pain in breasts?

  10. Ollie
    3 years ago

    How many drops of iodine do you use to paint a breast.?

  11. Sherry Lowery
    4 years ago

    I have always had de se breasts for as long as I can remember and I’m 59 and had to have a total hysterectomy at age 39.. I was in perimenopause and suffered from painful endometriosis.. the density sits in my chest wall and is always tender to the touch … mammograms even state I have very dense breasts and am on bioidentical hormone replacement since 2018. Mammograms are very painful as they try to lidt the density off my chest wall .. Weill this tenderness ever go away?

    1. marie
      2 years ago

      Hi, the doctor told me I had dense breast tissue ad I started taking maca root supplements and the dense tissue was gone in a matter of a couple days!!

  12. lisa
    4 years ago

    I feel the recommendations below are too low but you said you were not aware of guidelines for iodine intake so here they are:
    The World Health Organization (WHO) recommended dietary allowance (RDA) of iodine is as follows:
    Adults and adolescents – 150 mcg/day
    Pregnant and lactating women – 250 mcg/day
    Children aged 6-12 years – 120 mcg/day
    Infants to 6 years – 90 mcg/day

  13. Minette
    4 years ago

    Hi Dr Northrup I have been experiencing swollen breasts painful breasts and for the last two months even a very tender right breast All due to peri menopause . I started using iodine maybe 20 days ago and what a difference. Tremendous relief, even the tender spot on right breast has been relieved, not 100 percent but at least 80 . I have been using 25 mg of iodine from kelp source daily. I was thinking to bring it up to 50 . I know you spoke about 45 mg in the Japanese culture.

    1. Elizabeth Marshall
      3 years ago

      Hi Minette,
      Which supplement do you use?

  14. Michie
    4 years ago

    I had extensive pelvic endometriosis exacerbated by an ovarian ectopic at age 52. Following this I had surgery to remove all pelvic endometriosis. A few months following the surgery, I had recurrence of pelvic pain and the painful right shoulder and right sided shoulder pain intensified. The so called endometrial Ob gyn expert dismissed my symptoms, and in spite of ultrasound and MRI scan showing endometriosis of the rectum, said it was not endometriosis. The thoracic MRI showed a cyst on the liver, but not anything else was visible. I have since found out that diaphragmatic endometriosis often does not show up on an MRI scan. The doctors recommended zoledex and were unbelievably unsympathetic due to my age. I refused the toxic medication and took matters into my own hands, detoxing with celtic sea salt and nascent iodine. 3 months later I am completely pain, free,all my food intolerances have melted away, so am able to take supplements that I was intolerant to before. My arthritic symptoms have disappeared and cystic breasts are now completely normal. It is completely criminal that women are prescribed toxic drugs and endure unnecessary surgery, all of which could be avoided. Why are doctors so brain washed by the drug companies

    1. Vee
      4 years ago

      Hi Michie,

      I was recently diagnosed with having FBC at the age of 32. I went to the doctors’ and they may place me on low dosage birth control. I rather much prefer the natural route. What brand of sea salt and nascent iodine do you use? And what time, dosage, do you take daily? Thank you!

    2. Cyn
      4 years ago

      May I know witch form of Iodine you have being taking and dose?

  15. Cat B
    4 years ago

    USE IODORAL WITH THE UTMOST CAUTION: After reading this article a year ago I started taking Iodoral as described above for breast pain. I had tried every bra and could not find comfort in any of them. By the end of the day I would be in such discomfort I would take it off as soon as I arrived home. The Iodoral did help with the pain BUT and this is a big BUT….little did I know it was damaging my thyroid. Over the past year I have lost a lot of hair and it has become brittle and thin. I have become increasingly fatigued, unfocused and unsettled. My taste buds changed, saliva increased, thirst increased, and I developed tinitus and a racing heart. Recently I hit rock bottom. My arm and leg muscles have become weak and tender, my ability to concentrate non-existent. I went to my favorite yoga class and couldn’t hold the pose because my legs were shaking so badly. (I have been doing yoga five times a week for two years so this was not normal). I can barely get through the day. I eat a whole foods organic diet, meditate and am in the healing arts. I do all the right things. After seeing a Functional medicine doctor, having a blood test and thyroid scan I was diagnosed with HYPERTHYROIDISM, AKA GRAVES DISEASE. Taking the Iodoral put me here. Please beware. There are other safer ways to address breast pain.

    1. Katie
      4 years ago

      Did you take selenium? That is essential with supplemental iodine.

    2. Sherry Lowery
      4 years ago

      Like what… how to address this issue?

  16. Christina Marie
    5 years ago

    Is it safe to absorb nascent iodine into breast tissue during pregnancy? Thank you!

  17. Liat
    5 years ago

    Iodine saves my life. Painful polycystic breasts. Had scan. Normal. Polycystic breast are extremely common in 40s. Without iodine my breast lumpy. Nipple cracked. Awful. Iodine helped. People need to stop cutting salt so much. It’s iodized. Maybe why hypothyroidism so common too.

    1. Vee
      4 years ago

      What kind of iodine were you taking? Dosage? Thanks!

      1. ollie jefferson
        4 years ago

        I am a 68 year old woman, 6 months ago noticed a lump in breast started on 2% lugols iodine 10 drops a day in the morning in purified water with vit. d,c and selenium there has been no change whatsoever. Lugols DIDN’T work for me, it seemed to help my energy level.

    2. Trisha
      4 years ago

      This is so true!! I cut table salt completely out of my diet about 5 years ago in favor of ‘healthier’ Himalayan salts, etc. Also my hypertension stayed elevated so I was advised to steer clear of sodium so I kicked iodized salt out of my life.

      A few years after that I’ve had the most debilitating periods with extremely sore breats. I couldn’t figure out how I went from a 3 day, mild, low cramps period to now being confined to bed and popping 4 aspirin every 5 hours. My cycles were so good I didn’t know I was coming on half the time until I went to the restroom and wiped. My cycles are now horrid! I stopped using toxic tampons and used cloth reusable pads, etc but the pain persists. I’m convinced I have several huge fibroids at this point.
      I sat and thought about how I completely cut out iodized salt and didn’t have any other supplemental iodine. None!!
      Needless to say as of Saturday I added back in table salt as well as paint my uterus and breasts with iodine daily. I am sure to also use it orally with its companion nutrients. I eat Brazil nuts for selenium and use selenium drops. I actually feel alot better. I’m in the pms stage right now and my breats are 90% less sore than what usually accompanies my cycle. It seems to help with my cortisol issues and so much more. Thankful I didn’t reach the point of no return like my mother who had a hysterectomy and my cousin who just had fibroid surgery.

  18. Lynne
    5 years ago

    I’m 56, post menopausal and on bioidentical HRT for the past 4 years. Occasionally I still get the same type of breast pain I got when premenopausal. It is usually in the upper outer quadrant. I paint the painful area with either Lugol’s, nascent iodine or betadine (if I’m out of the other two) and within minutes the pain will be gone. I just did this 20 minutes ago and not only did the pain disappear but I felt a calming sensation too. Does iodine relieve anxiety?

  19. Mollie
    5 years ago

    I am 5yrs postmenopaudal, on Armour thyroid and have very painful breast pain everyday. I was on HRT therapy but advised to go off as I have a predisposed genetic connection to Estrogen receptive breast ancer. I am weaning off the estradiol and progesterone. My breasts are SO painful! Should I supplement with iodine?

  20. Laura
    6 years ago

    I have used Iodoral and had relief that was very noticeable! I am not experiencing as much pain lately, even though I haven’t used Iodoral in at least a year or two, however, my breasts are so large that it’s constantly on my mind because it’s very uncomfortable. I am 125 lbs, 5’2 and my bra size is 34 DD. – I feel so disproportionate and it’s embarrassing especially in the summer when I can’t hide them very well… I am hoping that getting back on Iodoral could help. I am so tired of being uncomfortable 🙁 Thank you for this article, which reinforced to me the value of Iodine for healthy breasts.

  21. Tara
    6 years ago

    Hello – is it ok to take iodine with Hashimotos Autoimmune disease? I have very sore and swollen breasts mid cycle thru my menstrual period

  22. Lisa
    6 years ago

    Hello. I started taking iodine a week ago for my Thyroid I have multi modular Thyroid which I just had biopsies yesterday, also I have cystic breasts and have seen the great results women have had with iodine added to their diets for this as well. I believe in iodine for optimal Thyroid function. Since starting the iodine I notice my nipples are tender and my breasts are a little sore. Do you believe taking 12 mg of iodine per day will help with my Thyroid? I have symptoms of fatigue, loss of motivation, anxiety, cold body, brittle nails, macular deposits and do not sleep well.

  23. Natalie
    6 years ago

    I’ve been through hell with my breasts for over 20 years. Severe FBD started at age 22. After B6 evening primrose oil, vit E and magnesium supplements, black cohosh, and various other supplements failed, I was put on Danazol. Horrible drug.
    Fast forward 20 years and 3 children later the only respite I had had was a year after each birth, before the pain and swelling came back with a vengeance. I tried birth control pills. In every case it was made much worse. I was miserable, depressed and uncomfortable at least half the month.
    Finally my breast team looked at Tamoxifen, and then decided surgery was the lesser of the two evils. I had a radical breast reduction done a year ago. It has changed my life. The pain and swelling is still there but it is so much easier to handle now my poor 5’4″ 102lb frame isn’t carrying heavy painful swollen breasts around any more.
    But the pain and swelling is still there. I’ve lived 12 years in Japan. I know it is not a common issue there. I am fascinated as to the iodine theory. I am going to try iodine supplements now and see if it fixes the problem once and for all. Thank you!

    1. Erin
      6 years ago

      Hi Natalie! I cannot believe how similar our stories are. You’re probably the first person in 20 years that seems to have had the exact same circumstances as me. I have had terribly painful and lumpy breasts for about 20 years. I have tried everything to calm them down. I’ve had TWO breast reductions – they grew back after the first surgery and have been doing the same since the last surgery in 2014. I had my daughter about a year ago and felt amazing during that year. I thought maybe my problems were finally over. Nope. The pain and growth and swelling came back a couple of months ago. I was devastated. I’m glad they’re not as big as they were, but they’re still very hard and painful and lumpy. I’m tempted to get pregnant again just for the year afterwards 🙂 Have you tried the iodine? I’ve tried it before but it never helped. Next up is the mini pill – since I have endometriosis, it seems like estrogen is the culprit, so I’m going to switch to a progesterone only pill. I’m really nervous to start since things can always get worse. I’m wondering if you’ve tried anything else that worked for you. I’ve even contemplated a mastectomy – my mother had breast cancer at my age (38) so that’s one more reason to get rid of them. Overall, this has caused a lot of depression for me…when you go to extremes like surgery and it STILL doesn’t solve the problem, it can really get you down. As much as it sucks – it seems we’re not alone! Let me know if you’d like to compare notes and I can send you my email.

      1. Barbara
        6 years ago

        VitC needs to be used for a week prior to starting iodine. Make sure to take selenium with iodine. How much iodine were you taking?
        You’re right about radical surgery and problem not gone. Getting to root cause is the best. Iodine helps so many things!

  24. Meg Vanderbilt
    6 years ago

    I loved your article on iodine. I found 100% relief from taking molecular iodine (it also had selenium). I found it would not allow me to sleep and caused my mind to race. Would nascent or lugols topically applied achieve the same results? Any other ideas would be appreciated.

    1. Juliet
      6 years ago

      I’ve read suggestions not to take iodine after 2pm because it can make one feel energised and hard to sleep (I assume this is when ingesting it since the transdermal info I’ve read talks about painting it on at night). You could try taking it earlier in the day and see if that helps with sleeping.

  25. Karin
    7 years ago

    Hello, I’m 47, yesterday I had a routine mammogram. Prior to that, I had one 2years ago and everything was normal. About a month ago, had my regular gynecologist breast exam & dr. didn’t feel any lumps.
    This evening there was a message left from the imaging center to call them back, by the time I came home they were closed. I’m extremely worried.
    I have small but dense breasts and have some pain in the inner part of my right breast. I’m not sure why the office called. Didn’t leave any info. Didn’t hear from my dr and am wondering if they are allowed to give patients results. Thank you in advance for any info you can give me that may ease my mind
    I have a full body thermography appointment scheduled for Monday.

  26. Rose
    7 years ago

    I have been taking 12.5mg lugols daily for 2-3 years. My breast pain is gone as well as improved my digestion. However I have seen an increase in my TSH levels from 1.3 now to 2.5. Should I cut back or be concerned?

    1. Beth
      6 years ago

      Yes…daily iodine is too much, first of all. Secondly you need to take it with selenium or you can have a serious thyroid problem on your hands.

  27. katie mckenna
    7 years ago

    I have significant breast pain 2 weeks of the month. I had my iodine tested by 24 hr collection of urine and it showed I have healthy levels of iodine. HOWEVER, I applied nascent iodine directly to my breast tissue and found IMMEDIATE improvement. I’m now wondering if consistent applicate is safe and effective?

    1. Lisa
      6 years ago

      I’m wondering the same. Applying nascent Iodine to my breasts, alternating breasts daily has helped enormously with breast pain & my ultrasounds show only 1 cyst now compared to many the previous 2 years…but is this safe to continue?

  28. Jessica
    8 years ago

    I just bought i-throid 6.25 mg and took my first tablet the day before yesterday, and within about 12 hours I noticed an improvement! I was diagnosed with fibrocystic breasts in my 20s and have a lump that’s not changed, that I’ve just been keeping an eye on… but about 4 months ago, I noticed my breasts were increasingly tender, even in mid-cycle.
    My hands and feet are also always cold, even in the summer unless it’s over 75 or so.
    In researching, I realized that this year I have NOT been eating many foods that contain iodine. I’ve not been consuming dairy except in my coffee, and haven’t been out for seafood or sushi in over a year.
    I keep reading different things on how much iodine to take. Is 6.25 milligrams too much? It’s 2.5mg free iodine and 3.75mg potassium iodide.

  29. Carol
    8 years ago

    Because I have thyroid TPO antibodies, nodules and goiter, I was fearful of supplementing with iodine, however I did use a natural thyroid supplement for years that had kelp. Then I had breast cancer(stage 2a, 1 lymph node cancerous) in 2012 and learned about how beneficial idoine was so I started taking Iordal and there were profound differences in my well being and symptoms (hair loss and goiter shrunk). My endo tested me and said my levels were too high but was pleased and surprised that my symptoms improved, so I tried to decrease and then sitched to Wellness Resources Iosol Iodine 2 dropswhich is a lower dose and I feel well. It is not supposed to accumulate in the thyroid which could adversely affect thyroid. I am not on any thyroid meds.I will most likely be on it the rest of my life. I haven’t had another iodine test since 2013 and don’t know what range my numbers should be given my cancer history. I did not chose chemo or radiation but had a masectomy.

  30. Marciab
    9 years ago

    I am currently taking 56.5 mg. of iodoral daily. I worked up to this over 2 months. No side effects from what I could see. I do have breast cysts. I keep reading about nascent iodine and wonder if it is better to switch. I have used both the pills and lugols. I wont go for a mammogram until i have been on longer to see if they have disappeared or shrunk. Sad to say I have never once had a dr. mention iodine. The plus is I sleep better and have a great over all feeling and more energy. There is no dosing info anywhere …its a matter of guessing…for cancer I hear its a high dose, for breast cysts its medium…how long to stay at the dose etc….so for now I will stay on it at this dose. Hoping the cysts go away.

    1. Dar
      7 years ago

      Did your breast cysts go away??
      What kind of medicine you took for breast cysts?


  31. LouAnn
    10 years ago

    I just bought Kelp Supplements 600 mg….the iodine is 400 mcg. It says one capsule per day. I am 45 have fibrocystic breasts and the pain the past few months has increased. Is one capsule enough to help? Thank you.

  32. GeorgeT
    10 years ago

    Hi, i saw online stores selling steroids, do you think this is legal in USA? Do these steroids work? For example search in google for – prohormones factory – they sell decca legally ! WTF?

  33. Martine
    10 years ago

    Vitacost sells 1 lb of organic kelp powder from Canada for about $6.00.
    For water retention what came to my mind is the homeopathic cell salt Nat Mur 6X.
    I use both. The kelp is so easy to use in smoothies or soup. Hope it helps. It has helped me to read that info on Dr. Wahl’s Facebook page.

  34. Lisa
    10 years ago

    I highly recommend Lynn Farrow’s book The Iodine Crisis for anyone considering taking Iodine. There are other required nutrients to take with Lugols/Iodoral, such as selenium, Vit. C, magnesium & celtic sea salt to push the toxins out of your kidneys. Iodine has changed my life. I feel better than I have in nearly 30 yrs.! (my whole adult life)

    1. Dinorah Sanchez
      7 years ago

      Hi: I’ve been taking iodoral tablets, 12.5 mg for a month. I have noticed an increase in breast pain since two weeks ago. Should I take more mg to see an improvement? I have endometriosis too.

    2. Lori Lacy, RT (R)
      7 years ago

      Hi Lisa! Thank you for the book recommendation. I started taking Iodoral 12.5 mg 1 month ago. I do sleep better but I believe I have hypothyroidism. I read that in cases of under functioning, one should avoid selenium until the thyroid is improved. I would love to know your thoughts on this. Also, have you experienced any total body sweats with the iodine? I stopped taking it for a few nights and they went away. When I resumed the iodine, they came back. I am wondering about the benefit of iodine therapy vs. something else getting out of control. I am 42 with a partial hystero; otherwise, healthy.

    3. Tammy
      7 years ago

      Yes, the companion nutrient are very important when taking iodine.

  35. Amy Warlick
    10 years ago

    Very interesting to see that such high doses of iodine are well tolerated and beneficial! But to be safe with such large doses, be sure to supplement with selenium as well:

  36. Jfp
    10 years ago

    I’ve been taking Iodoral 12.5 mg for 3 years, after reading about it in your book “Women’s Bodies, Women’s Wisdom”. My breasts are no longer painful or lumpy. I also have been taking Solgar PM PhytoGen for the last year per your recommendation. This has helped tremendously with hot flashes and vaginal dryness. Thanks for all you do in promoting natural solutions to women’s health issues!

  37. Svetlana
    10 years ago

    Thank you. I will try your suggestions.

  38. Lori
    10 years ago

    I have breast pain and my doctor found a lump, so I am going to get an ultrasound, and I have a thermography scheduled. I have started taking iodine (Iodoral) too. I’ve also been doing a lot of energy work. I wonder how much the pain is connected to emotions I’ve stored for years! I actually put off the ultrasound because I felt I needed to work on myself at an energetic level first. I have found out many wonderful things! And the iodine isn’t a bad idea. I’ve also increased my vitamin D.

  39. Banny
    10 years ago

    I dont have breast pain but I’m wondering if I could take an iodine supplement as a preventative measure. If so, what would the dose be? I am 48.

  40. Julia
    10 years ago

    I have a question about Iodine and antibodies. I have just been diagnosed Hashimoto’s diseases with more than 500 antibodies, although the levels of my thyroid hormones at the moment are fine. I have also two nodules on the thyroid gland. I have been reading in forums and websites in the Internet that diet is extremely important and I should eliminate gluten to lower level of antibodies and that I should be careful about Iodine in this case. I would like to hear your opinion. Thanks.

  41. Cathy
    10 years ago

    I started taking kelp tablets on a regular basis about a year ago. I’m 62 and pain in my left breast has been an on and off issue for several years. Mammograms and ultrasounds have repeatedly been normal. After reading your suggestion I finally stopped worrying about it and started the kelp. Voila! No pain! Thank you.

  42. Nicole
    10 years ago

    I have spent the day in slight pain, radiating throughout my breasts like pricks and needles. It’s my first time experiencing such and it is to say the least unsettling. I’m otherwise extremely healthy. So I will increase my iodine intake beginning tomorrow.

    Thank you for this information Dr. Northrup.

  43. Carol Jamison
    10 years ago

    Wonderful article, I will think of iodine now more with breast health. One concern I have is how much is too much iodine and do you have a good way you like to test iodine levels. I recall a research article I ran across about 4 years ago cautioning that excess iodine can in fact induce hypothyroid symptoms, although I am not sure on the form of iodine or dosing. I did experience this with a patient of mine, and it was quickly corrected with reduction of the iodine she was using.

  44. gr8lifemom
    10 years ago

    Thank you Dr Northrup! You are an answer to my question to the Universe and so timely at that!

  45. Heidi
    10 years ago

    I recently had extremely sensitive nipples for an entire week occurring the week before my cycle. What is this a sign of other than hormonal changes due to my cycle? Thanks for all the knowledge you share through your Facebook Page and Website and Talk Radio – I love listening to you and reading your articles to advance my education.

  46. Melissa Cook
    10 years ago

    I’ve taken Synthroid for hypothyroidism for 30 years, while still having symptoms of low thyroid (25 pounds overweight, chronically constipated) despite a healthy diet, taking supplements, exercising religiously, etc.). Seeing Dr. David Brownstein’s research, I started slowly taking iodine supplements. I now take 26 mg of iodine, have lost 22 pounds in 3 months, and the constipation is gone. I feel so much better! My doctor is amazed!

  47. Lucy A
    10 years ago

    Is Iodised salt of any benefit ?….my husband had an over active thyroid and I started using Iodised salt and he no longer needs meds now ( this happened over a ten year span )… We continue to use Iodised salt now… I had painful breasts and now no longer suffer

    1. Not really :-/. You would need to a eat ton of it to get any benefits from the small amount of iodine in it.

  48. Joanne
    10 years ago

    I am confused on whether or not it is ok to supplement with iodine if you have Hashimoto’s. I have read a lot on both sides of the arguement either suggesting it could be very helpful or very harmful. How does one know which way to lean? Thanks.

  49. Jane
    10 years ago

    Eskin B., Iodine and Mammary Cancer, Adv. Exp. Med. Biol., 91:293-304, 1977.

    Ghent, W., Eskin, B., Low, D., Hill, L., Iodine Replacement in Fibrocystic Disease of the Breast, Can. J. Surg., 36:453-460, 1993.

    Eskin, B., Grotkowski, C.E., Connolly, C.P., et al, Different Tissue Responses for Iodine and Iodide in Rat Thyroid and Mammary Glands. Biological Trace Element Research, 49:9-19, 1995.

    Eskin, B., Iodine Metabolism and Breast Cancer. Trans. New York, Acad. of Sciences, 32:911-947, 1970.

  50. MaryBeth
    10 years ago

    I have recently been experiencing breast pain (post menopause) so I will try iodine supplementation. Could you clarify the following passage for me? There seems to a mix up at the end of the second sentence and I am unsure what is fully meant. — “Tinctures of iodine. You can paint a quarter-size dot right over the painful spot on the breast or on the nipple once a night for two weeks to get iodine safely into your body is to apply to your skin. Or paint the entire breast.” Thank you!!

    1. Suzanne
      4 years ago

      I am wondering about this same thing. I was prescribed 2% Lugols to apply directly to breasts but not sure how to do this exactly?

  51. Jane
    10 years ago

    I also did salt flushes for bromide detox reaction as described on the Breast Cancer Choices website.

    Dr. Derry’s book is also excellent

    as well as Lynne Farrow’s book which explains more of how we are ALL iodine deficient in this modern world filled with toxic halides – fluoride, perchlorate, bromide – which kick iodine out of the receptors all over our body.

  52. Jane
    10 years ago

    I had monthly breast pain and diffuse lumpiness diagnosed as FBD. I used iodine, and specifically the protocol developed by Drs. Abraham, Brownstein and Flechas as described in Dr. Brownstein’s book “Iodine Why You Need It, Why You Can’t Live Without It”

    The protocol not only includes 12.5mg or more of iodine from Iodoral or Lugol’s solution (seaweed can be contaminated) but also vitamin C, magnesium, B2/B3 and selenium.

  53. Anja Gaines
    10 years ago

    part 1:
    i understand why people initially have resistance against the idea… it took me 18 months to wrap my head around the fact that i needed this nutrient, in far larger quantities than the fda thinks we do. the fda amount cannot keep up with the amount of toxins coming at us in this world. it probably is contrary to a lot of what you learned in school about nutrition.

  54. Patricia
    10 years ago

    Is it possible to take iodine supplements if you are taking levoxyl for a thyroid nodule? I have had this nodule for 16 years.

  55. Jane
    10 years ago

    My 9 year old daughter was diagnosed at 4 yrs of age with an under active thyroid. What is your take on supporting her dis-ease such that she grows to maturity healthily – iodine?

  56. Kimmi Wilson
    10 years ago

    Hi Dr Northrup
    I have recently had a iodine test resulting in a very low deficiency (21). I am very interested by your article as this past 12 months i have had ongoing breast lumps & pain. I am picking up my iodine supplement today so will let you know how i go. I am so grateful for your books & newslettters. Much Love from Oz.
    Kimmi x

    1. cindy
      8 years ago

      did you find relief of the size of the lumps from your supplement?

  57. Rebecca
    10 years ago

    How about using Himalyan Salt at the table? Isnt it full of Iodine as well?

  58. Sandy
    10 years ago

    Many thanks for sharing your knowledge about iodine supplementation. I have a history of fibrocystic disease of the breast and want to be proactive in my breast care.

  59. Patricia
    10 years ago

    I was put on iodine supplements many years ago for my restless leg pain. It helped decrease the problem by 60%.almost immediately

  60. Paula Pennington
    10 years ago

    How much Iodine is in the essentials from USANA?

  61. Kathy
    10 years ago

    I am 55, no periods for 3 yrs and occassionally
    have a small amount of pain in one area. By applying
    topical iodine on the spot for several days and cutting
    back on caffeine and sugar alleviates it. I am a firm believer in loving
    my cells and body with my thoughts and affirmations.

  62. joy hurwitz
    10 years ago

    If we can talk about iodine. Let’s talk about Thyroid. I now have three friends in their 40s and 50s who are pregnant for the first (after believing it impossible) because their thyroids finally we regulated. Please discuss how ingesting iodine impacts the thyroid. For an innovative look at Thyroid Disease please check out DearThyroid.com.

    Thank you.

  63. irene stronczak
    10 years ago

    I have used iodine on patients for fibrocystic breast for years now.Great article simple and cheap and it works

  64. Alison
    10 years ago

    I have had tender, painful sensations in my breasts all of my life. I am always worried that I will end up with cancer (as I did have a fibroid tumor extracted in my late teens). Thank you for this, and I wil try the iodine.

  65. maria
    10 years ago


    I have used iodine for breast cysts, but I broke out , acne on my face… I continued to use it, but I still had the cyst.


    p.s. love your information…

    1. Tammy
      7 years ago

      You need to salt load. You are detoxing bromide from your body, this is a good sign. Mix 1 tsp sea salt in water and drink it. Do this daily and you’ll find the acne clears up.

  66. pamela mccoll
    10 years ago

    Absolutely fascinating.

  67. Gina Penque
    10 years ago

    Thank You so much Dr. Northrup!! Very informative, so many woman suffer with monthly breast pain, this could help many of those woman. You are Amazing 🙂 GGP

  68. Chara
    10 years ago

    Thanks! 1 question: I have low-thyroid symptoms, although levels are fine. May be due to adrenal fatigue, high cortisol inhibiting thyroid hormones (per Sarah Gottfried). I have breast soreness + other symptoms of excess estrogen. I know iodine can worsen thyroid issues, e.g. in Hashimoto’s, which is a risk I’m aware of since I have a history of autoimmunity (endometriosis, fibromyalgia). Seeking endocrine balance, so iodine appeals. Grateful for your thoughts.

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    thanks for the beneficial information

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