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Allergic To Iodine – What To Do?

Written by Wellness Club on April 23, 2013 – 5:07 pm -

By Nurse Mark


Allergic – perhaps one of the most overused and misunderstood terms in the medical lexicon.


We get questions often from people who are certain that they are “allergic” to any number of things, including essential elements such as iodine, sulfur, and even calcium.

Here’s an example:

I’ve had low thyroid all my life, but am allergic to iodine (the doctor gave me iodine drops and my jaws locked). I use iodized sea salt. I have just about every disease you mentioned (on our informational page about iodine) – arthritis (everywhere), fibromyalgia, lumps on my thyroid and low thyroid, ovarian cysts (hysterectomy), breast cysts, chronic bronchitis – what can a person who is allergic to iodine do?

First, let’s review our basic knowledge about iodine:

Iodine is a non-metallic essential trace element in human nutrition. Currently considered in conventional medicine to be primarily a thyroid nutrient (thyroid hormones T4 and T3 are composed largely of iodine), Iodine is actually found in many organs and tissues in the body including salivary, parotid, submandibular and pituitary glands; pancreas, testis, breasts, prostate, ovary, adrenal gland; stomach, heart, thymus, and lung. (1,2,3).

Most people know that iodine is required for normal thyroid hormone production. But iodine also plays an important role in immune function, cancer prevention (especially of breast, thyroid and prostate cancer), diabetes prevention and reversal, atrial fibrillation correction, overweight and obesity, “brain fog” and low energy, breast and ovarian cysts, liver detoxification and menopausal symptoms.

Iodine is also an important anti-microbial and can often relieve skin, lung, GI tract and other infections when antibiotics fail. In fact, from 1900 to 1960′s, every US physician used iodine (as Lugol’s solution) to treat low and high thyroid conditions, infections and many other conditions with excellent results.


No-one is truly allergic to iodine, any more than one could be allergic to water – iodine is a trace element that is essential to life. It is naturally present throughout our bodies. Many people have reactions to other components of things that may contain iodine, and iodine has been unfairly implicated – we call it “Found at the scene of the crime, but not guilty!”

It is interesting to note that this person describes using iodized sea salt. Iodine is iodine, and iodized means iodine has been added. Obviously, the problem that was experienced when given “iodine drops” (and we don’t know what these were nor how they were administered) was not due to the iodine but to some other ingredient or component of the “drops.”

What can someone like this do? They should work with an iodine-savvy holistic physician like Dr. Myatt who will help to correct the iodine deficiency that is causing so many problems. A skilled physician will get to the bottom of the “allergy” so that appropriate forms of iodine supplementation can be used and the deficiency is corrected.

Here’s some more facts about iodine.

  • Studies show that we may need a LOT more iodine than the current RDI of 150 micrograms, and that many if not most Americans are iodine deficient.
  • Conventional doctors are “iodine-o-phobic” (afraid to recommend higher-than-RDA doses of iodine) because they are not familiar with the vast body of research showing that higher iodine levels are beneficial.
  • Low iodine levels are associated with higher rates of low and high thyroid function; breast and thyroid cancer (and possibly many other types of cancer); ovarian cysts (including polycystic ovaries); fibrocystic breast disease; heart arrhythmias; lung and other infections; fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue to name only a few.
  • Because very high doses of iodine can cause heart palpitations and excess thyroid function (both which resolve upon stopping supplementation), initial testing of iodine levels and monitoring by an holistic physician may be the safest way to take iodine.

More Iodine information:

Iodine Test (spot and 24-hour excretion test for total body iodine sufficiency)

Iodine Supplements (concentrated source of high-potency iodine)

Modfilan (Seaweed Source of Natural Iodine) (low dose, all-natural source of iodine)



1.) C. Spitzweg, W. Joba, W. Eisenmenger and A. E. Heufelder. “Analysis of Human Sodium Iodide Symporter Gene Expression in Extrathyroidal Tissues and Cloning of Its Complementary Deoxyribonucleic Acids from Salivary Gland, Mammary Gland, and Gastric Mucosa.” The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism Vol. 83, No. 5 1746-1751. (1)”Iodine in medicine and pharmacy since its discovery-1811-1961,” Proc R Soc Med, 1961:54:831-836.
2.) Dai G, Levy O, Carrasco N. 1996 “Cloning and characterization of the thyroid iodide transporter.” Nature. 379:458-460.
3.) Smanik PA, Ryu K-Y, Theil KS, Mazzaferri EL, Jhiang SM. 1997 “Expression, exon-intron organization, and chromosome mapping of the human sodium iodide symporter.” Endocrinology. 138:3555-3558.

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