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Am I Allergic to Iodine? Busting 3 Common Myths that Even Your Doctor Might Still Believe

Am I Allergic to Iodine? Busting 3 Common Myths that Even Your Doctor Might Still Believe

You already probably know that I am passionate about iodine! Iodine is a crucial element for proper development and growth. 

It also helps the thyroid gland make essential hormones that keep your body running the right way.

Unfortunately, some people have experienced allergies that have been linked to iodine, leaving them to believe they’re allergic to it! And the internet isn’t exactly helpful in this category—it’s full of some common myths about allergies and iodine that could steer you wrong!

We’re here to clear up some of the myths you might have heard about allergies and iodine and help you figure out whether taking iodine supplements is right for you!  

Can You Be Allergic to Iodine

The first thing you need to know is that iodine is NOT an allergen. Like many other elements, it’s found in your body naturally. 

So, the short answer is no, it's highly unlikely you're allergic to iodine. That would be like being allergic to vitamin C! Your body needs it and already has it. It doesn’t trigger allergic reactions. (If anything, it can help prevent allergic reactions!)

Why do some people have severe reactions when having a CT-scan that contains an iodine-based contrast agent? Or, when eating shellfish high in iodine? Most of the time, the result is due to something else. 

Over time, misunderstanding and misinformation has led to several popular myths about iodine and allergies that we’re here to debunk! 

Iodine Allergy Myth 1: Iodine Triggers Shellfish Allergies

Shellfish is a common allergen, triggering several allergic reactions every year. IN fact, according to FARE, it’s the most common food allergy for adults!

Because shellfish is known to have high amounts of iodine, some people believe that they are allergic to the mineral. 

The truth is that allergic reactions due to shellfish are likely linked to one of four proteins present in seafood, not to iodine. 

Iodine Allergy Myth 2: IV Contrast Reactions Mean an Iodine Allergy

Many people have negative reactions during CT scans, which use a radiographic dye containing iodine. For years people have chalked this up to an iodine allergy. There’s even a popular myth that a shellfish allergy means you’re more likely to have a reaction!

The truth is that the iodine is not causing these reactions at all. In fact, most of the time, the reaction to contrast solutions isn’t even an allergy at all—it’s a physiological reaction! 

Physiological reactions typically consist of a warm sensation, vomiting, or nausea, unlike allergic reactions! 

True allergic reactions to IV contrast solutions are rare, though not impossible. But they aren’t triggered by iodine!  

Iodine Allergy Myth 3: An Allergy to Povidone or Betadine Equals and Iodine Allergy

Betadine is an antiseptic often used in surgical settings that contains the active ingredient povidone-iodine. A small percentage of people are allergic to it and understandably wonder if iodine is the cause of the allergy. Some doctors have even diagnosed people with iodine allergies based on this. 

But studies show this allergy has nothing to do with the iodine. Instead, this is caused by an allergy to the vinyl in that formulation used to keep the iodine on the skin surface.

Unfortunately, once an allergy to iodine is listed in your medical records, some doctors are reluctant to remove it!  That’s why many people believe that they are allergic to iodine when they are not. (1)  

Iodine Is Not an Allergen

If you previously believed that you have experienced an iodine allergy and shouldn’t take supplements because of it, this is all great news! 

You don’t have to worry about iodine—it isn’t triggering your reactions!  

What are the benefits of Iodine?  

Iodine can help support a healthy lifestyle, sustaining energy levels, regulating metabolism, and supporting hormone production. 

Remember that iodine is essential for proper thyroid functioning. (The main reason to use iodine supplements is because of its impact on the thyroid!) 

An iodine deficiency can cause hypothyroidism, which can result in fatigue, weight gain, muscle weakness, pain, depression, and memory problems.

Thiodine Lugol's 5% Iodine is the original 200-year-old formula made with the two beneficial forms of iodine—molecular iodine and potassium iodide. 

Thiodine Lugol's Iodine contains no fillers, preservatives, or alcohol. It's USP Grade, non-GMO, gluten-free, and vegan-friendly which reduces the likelihood of other allergic reactions.

So if you want to protect your thyroid and your body, and you have been hesitant because of allergic reactions, rest assured that supplements are most likely safe, but also important for your body!