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3 Myths About Iodine Allergies (Some Doctors Don't Know)

3 Myths About Iodine Allergies (Some Doctors Don't Know)

Iodine is an element that humans need for proper development and growth. Iodine is used by the thyroid gland to make essential hormones that support body functions. An iodine deficiency can result in serious health issues. Have you had a severe reaction after taking iodine? Are you wondering if you are allergic to iodine and whether or not you should take it? 

First, it's important to understand that iodine isn’t an allergen. Iodine is found naturally in the body, so it doesn't trigger an allergic reaction. Iodine is a mineral that all humans need. If anything, iodine helps prevent allergic reactions. 

What Is The Link Between Iodine and Allergies?

So, 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. 

Iodine Allergy Myth 1: Shellfish

Shellfish reactions are often due to the proteins in the fish rather than the iodine. The high iodine content in shellfish often leads people to believe that their results are due to the mineral when its more likely caused by one of four proteins present in seafood.

Iodine Allergy Myth 2: IV Contrast

With IV contrast solutions, the reaction could even be a physiological reaction of the IV contrast, not an allergy. One way to tell if it is a physiological response is if the reaction consists of a warm sensation, vomiting, or nausea. These reactions are more likely to be physiological responses than allergic reactions.

Iodine Allergy Myth 3: Vinyl

A small percentage of people are allergic to Povidone/Betadine iodine used in surgical settings. Studies show this is 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.  So, many people believe that they are allergic to iodine when they are not.(4)  

The discovery that iodine is not an allergen is GREAT NEWS because it means that you don’t have to worry about iodine. 

What are the benefits of Iodine?  

Iodine can help support a healthy lifestyle. Iodine helps sustain energy levels, regulates metabolism, and supports hormone production. Here are just a few reasons why iodine may be beneficial: 

It is essential for proper thyroid functioning. The main reason to use iodine is because of its impact on the thyroid. An iodine deficiency can cause hypothyroidism, which can result in symptoms of fatigue, weight gain, muscle weakness, pain, depression, and memory problems.

Thiodine Lugol's 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 non-GMO, gluten-free, and vegan-friendly which reduces the likelihood of an allergic reaction.  

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1. https://www.healthline.com/health/allergies/iodine 

2. https://www.jcrows.com/MaryJoFahey_IodineRemediesSecretsFromTheSea.pdf 

3. Huang, S. "Seafood and Iodine: An Analysis of a Medical Myth." Allergy Asthma Proc. 2005;26(6):468-469. Accessed 19 April. 2019. 

4. https://opmed.doximity.com/articles/stop-saying-your-patient-is-allergic-to-iodine-68d5cdbe-3a52-4bd3-aa57-10e41e60806a 

5. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/hypothyroidism/symptoms-causes/syc-20350284