The iodine patch test, nevertheless, is said to be able to reliably test the uptake of iodine from an iodine tincture painted on the skin. The iodine must be the tinted 100% solution in order to ascertain how quickly it is absorbed, and the interpretation is based on how quickly the iodine is absorbed into the skin. Rapid absorption indicated iodine deficiency, and a slower rate indicates the thyroid functioning under more optimum conditions. For a thyroid to be functioning in an efficient state, iodine absorption should take between 24-48 hours. The amount less than 24 hours indicates the extent of the deficiency.
My mom and I both had this iodine paint test done at our holistic chiropractor's office. She painted an inch swath on both Mom's and my forearms, my swath was definitely darker as the chiropractor liberally triple painted it. In any regards, 6 hours later my mom's tinted tincture had disappeared. Mine disappeared 9-10 hours later. The chiropractor's interpretation of both of our thyroid functions was pretty much, not desirable functioning but certainly nothing to be concerned about at this stage. I wasn't really concerned, but when she tested our thyroid function with kinesthesiology, both of our thyroids demonstrated weakness, and with both of us having a history of impaired thyroid function, getting not too bad results on this test - albeit somewhat of an informal test as no actual numbers or percentages of TSH, T3 and T4 were proven to be impaired - was positive and yet mildly eye-opening in regard to awareness of an underlying problem. And so now we will look for foods that support thyroid function.
The flip side of the coin in regard to the actual reliability of the iodine skin test is given by a physician, David Derry. In determining the efficacy of a treatment, all sides need to be considered to make informed decisions about the test measurement procedure. Here is his medical opinion:
The "test" of putting iodine on the skin to watch how fast it disappears is not an indicator of anything. The iodine disappearance rate is unrelated to thyroid disease or even iodine content of the body. Meticulous research by Nyiri and Jannitti in 1932 showed clearly when iodine is applied to the skin in almost any form, 50% evaporates into the air within 2 hours and between 75 - 80 percent evaporates into the air within 24 hours. A total of 88 percent evaporates within 3 days and it is at this point that the evaporation stops. The remaining 12 percent that is absorbed into the skin has several fates. Only 1-4% of the total iodine applied to the skin is absorbed into the blood stream within the first few hours. The rest of the iodine within the skin (8-11%) is slowly released from the skin into the blood stream.
Other alternative testing for thyroid function include:
Saliva Testing Saliva testing is growing in popularity with complementary and integrative practitioners. There are a number of companies claiming to provide saliva testing for thyroid function, but only one company seems to be used frequently by complementary practitioners: Diagnos-Techs. You can find out more about saliva testing in this article from Drs. Richard and Karilee Shames.
Urinary Testing Urinary testing for thyroid dysfunction is not in wide use, and is rarely done in the U.S. It’s primarily performed by physicians in in Europe. Typically, doctors in the U.S. who are familiar with the work of the late Dr. Broda Barnes are more likely to use this test as part of the diagnostic process. Currently, the tests are being processed in Europe, and are fairly costly. More information.
Basal Body Temperature Testing Typically, basal body temperature (BBT) testing involves measuring the early morning temperature, before movement, over time. In Hypothyroidism: The Unsuspected Illness , Dr. Broda Barnes’ groundbreaking book on thyroid disease, Barnes advocated use of this test as a diagnostic tool. According to Dr. Barnes, a basal temperatures consistently below 97.8 was a possible indicator of low thyroid function. A small percentage of alternative practitioners rely on basal body temperature results as their primary means of diagnosis. Other alternative practitioners feel that it may be one criterion among several to consider in diagnosis. Most conventional practitioners do not consider the test useful in thyroid diagnosis.