Is It Possible To Be Allergic To Iodine?

May 07, 2019

Is It Possible To Be Allergic To Iodine?

Iodine is an element that humans need for proper development and growth. Iodine is used by the thyroid gland to make important 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?

Iodine isn’t an allergen. It does not trigger an allergic reaction because it is found naturally in the body. It also occurs naturally in some food sources, such as fish. 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 serious 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 reaction is due to something else.

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 reactions are due to the mineral when it is most likely caused by one of four proteins present in shellfish.

"You really can’t be allergic to iodine if it’s in every cell of your body and you need it to live. So, the two things are, the contrast dye is not considered iodine, an iodine allergy." -- Lynne Farrow, author The Iodine Crisis

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.

According to best-selling author Lynne Farrow, a small percentage of people are alelrgic 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  Why Does This Matter? The discovery that iodine is not an allergin is great news because it means that you don’t have to worry about supplementing with iodine.

Why Supplement With Iodine?  

Iodine supplementation can help support a healthy lifestyle. Iodine helps sustain energy levels, regulates metabolism and supports hormone production. Here are just a few reasons why you should supplement with iodine:

  • It is essential for proper thyroid functioning. The main reason to supplement with 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.
  • Can help prevent the common cold. Studies have found that gargling daily with an iodine-containing solution can help prevent colds.2
  • Great for the skin. Iodine plays a vital role in skin health. Iodine increases oxygen consumption by the skin. This helps heal skin infections. It also prevents premature aging and rough, dry skin.2
  • May help control diabetes. Studies have found that people who have diabetes and take iodine need less insulin. Medical experts believe that this is because iodine is needed by the body’s hormone receptors to function properly.2


So, what kind of iodine supplements should you take? I recommend Lugol’s Iodine Tablets. These are made with pure iodine and potassium iodide. They contain no fillers, preservatives or alcohol, which reduces the likelihood of an allergic reaction.

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 






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