Bladderwrack and hypothyroid.

Botanical name: 

Date: Tue, 20 Jun 1995 13:45:30 -0700
From: Paul Bergner <bergner.TELEPORT.COM>
Subject: Re: Bladderwrack

Paul Iannone wrote:
> : Does anyone on the list know of an herb called Bladderwrack?
> : I have just read that this herb can be beneficial for someone with a hypothyroid problem. Both my daughter & a good friend have this condition and are both on medication.
> : Any thoughts or ideas on this herb?
> : Thanks for any info provided.
> Hypothyroid is a terrible diagnosis. It is usually just an excuse to use drugs on a patient who is suffering a still undiagnosed malaise or health imbalance. Simply feeding seaweed is not going to change that, though it is at least good tasting.

Bladderwrack contains significant amounts of iodine, and regualar use can can artifically stimulate the thyroid. This is inappropriate unless one has a true thyroid deficiency, with a condition called myxedema, but as the gentleman says above, true hypothyroidism is much rarer than the "throw-away" diagnosis common among alternative doctors. To artificially drive the thyroid will inevitably have long term health repercussions. Possible among them is heart damage due to overactivity. Some unscrupuluous or else ignorant companies include bladderwrack in weight loss formulas to artificially drive the metabolism. Many obese patients are, in fact borderline hypER thyroid, and such treatments are a collision course for health problems. Bladderwrack in inappropriate for patients without genuine hyperthyroidism with myxedema, or for patients taking other thyroid medications. It would be used -instead of- not along with other thyroid medication, but medical monitoring of the case is essential.

Paul Bergner