Bromide Detox

I went to a doctor three weeks ago (yes – a real doctor!) to see about getting back on some bio-identical hormones (I was using  Progesterone cream for a while about 5 years ago when we were living back in New Zealand and had some success with it, but stopped using it due mainly to an uncooperative doctor at the time).

This doctors clinic that I am going to, is three hours drive from where I live and is the closest I could find that actually works with the natural hormones. There are two woman doctors that work from the clinic – both are also qualified in various natural therapies. The doctor that I’m seeing is qualified in Ayurveda, homeopathy and a few other things and while I personally can not for the life of me fathom how someone, who practices natural medicine, can also practice and believe in allopathic medicine, the fact that she does practice natural modalities gives me some hope that I may have found a practitioner that can help me in my search for perfect health.

Besides that, going to a (MD) doctor is the only way to access bio-identical hormones here in Australia as well as New Zealand because they are available by prescription only (unlike other countries where you can buy them from a health shop…).

So, before I went I made the decision that I was going to follow this doctors advice as long as it did not involve pharmaceutical drugs. I figure if I’m going to travel 3 hours there and 3 hours back as well as pay a fair amount of money to get her advice, I will take it (within reason) and I will do my best not to argue or assume that I know better!

Well she put me on a kind of detox diet – to heal my digestive tract. This diet isn’t too far from my normal diet I guess, but excludes the junk food that has become a regular habit over the past couple of years (such as hot chips once a week when we go shopping), as well as alcohol and only allows very limited raw food which is a bit different and something that I’m struggling with. It’s actually quite similar to the way I was eating 10 years ago, with no wheat at all and pretty much no dairy (which I don’t usually eat), but less fruit than I’ve eaten in quite some years (I’ve been thinking for some time now, that I probably eat too much fruit and therefore too much sugar and that may be part of the cause for my weight problems at the very least – but I really LOVE fruit….).

The first three days were only one meal of fruit and the others being steamed veges, then we’ve got six weeks of basically lots of cooked veges, rice, lentils, yoghurt, ricotta or cottage cheese, and chicken or fish up to 3 or 4 times a week (yes I’ve been eating chicken – free range). She’s also put me on a couple of additional supplements – Zinc being one as we were both deficient.

So, even though she seems still a little too ‘doctorish’ to me after the first visit, I’m doing as I’m told at this point.

For the first week or so I felt pretty good. Then I started to get sinus type pain around my eyes that developed into a headache that was there constantly. I had itchy, sore eyes. Sore legs and hips. Muscle pain. I was crying or felt like crying over nothing and was having a real mission keeping my thoughts anywhere near positive or optimistic. I’ve also been losing hair – lots of hair. It’s constantly shedding – falling and hanging on my arms and my back and driving me nuts.

So I started searching for a reason why. When I thought about it, I’ve had variations of these symptoms off and on for a while, and that is part of the reason for the desire to try the hormones again as I was putting it down to menopause, but this was getting really extreme.

It was the search for answers to the hair loss that led me to my conclusion. I began to suspect that I was suffering from Bromide detox. It’s caused by taking Iodine and it’s a good thing for the bromide to be leaving my body, but it sure doesn’t feel good.

We can come into contact with Bromide from many sources these days including:

  • Pesticide residues on food
  • Fire retardant chemicals on fabrics, carpets and upholstery
  • Spa pools and swimming pools
  • Bread products
  • Citrus drinks such as Mountain Dew
  • Asthma inhalers and other prescription drugs
  • Plastic products
  • Personal care products

Bromide competes with iodine in the body and builds up in the organs, cells and tissues causing damage. When we supplement with iodine, the bromide is gradually moved out of the body and can cause detox symptoms if there is too much for the detoxification pathways to handle. This apparently can go on for a long time. This is a very good site that has more detailed info on Bromide.

My question was and is – why now? Why when I’ve been taking iodine for 18 months, am I now having problems with bromide detox?

I’ve got some ideas as to why it may be including new carpet tiles that have been laid at work. I would bet that they’re treated with fire retardant.

I think looking back, that the reasons that I’ve gradually lowered my dose of iodine hasn’t been because I’ve been taking too much iodine as I thought, but may have in fact been bromide detox. So each time I started to notice symptoms, I lowered my dose and got the the point where I’ve only been having one or two drops a day for the last few months.

So, on reading about bromide detox and it’s symptoms, I also came across information on salt loading to remove the symptoms. This entails taking 1/4 teaspoon of celtic sea salt in a glass of warm water and then having another couple of glasses of water straight after it. Apparently the bromide binds to the salt and then is flushed from the body via the kidneys.

I tried taking the salt and had relief within minutes! My headache started to disappear and my leg ache also diminished. That pretty much confirmed for me that it is bromide that’s the problem. I took another lot of salt that day as the effects only lasted about an hour or two.

So, now I’ve not had any iodine for two days and no headaches or leg pain or itchy eyes. My hair’s still falling out, but that’s not going to stop so quickly. I’m going to try taking the iodine for 5 days on and 2 days off as this works for some people. If it doesn’t work for me, I’ll try different variations until I find something that works.

I’m also going to continue to find ways to assist my body to detox. One of those ways that I’m just starting is by using Bentonite clay which I’ll be writing about in my next post. I don’t know if it removes bromide from the body, but it removes all sorts of other stuff!

NOTE: This became a little more complicated after I went back to the doctor and found out I had and over active thyroid. I’ve since learned that taking iodine when we don’t have enough selenium in our body can cause an overactive thyroid and it also can when one has Hashimotos disease. See my post here on this subject –

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Sue Woledge is a Mum, Grandma, writer, natural therapist and a keen student of life. She has a passion for learning and implementing new ideas into her life that will help to improve it in some way. Sue also loves to share those ideas with others so that they can also benefit and in some way create better lives for themselves. You can read more about Sue here:


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