Iodine deficiencies can be very dangerous and because of that, some people have wondered if it is wise to take iodine supplements and what side effects come with those supplements. Iodine is an element that the body needs but cannot make on its own. The food we eat has small amounts of Iodine, though more recently it has been added during the processing of food. There is, for example, a type of salt that is processed with more iodine that is available to those who would like it.
As far as the question about Iodine supplements goes, yes, they can be taken to prevent the side effects of iodine deficiency, like; breast cancer, eye disease, stroke, diabetes, and heart disease.
Iodine can also be used to prevent radiation side effects. However, Iodine is only to be used for radiation emergencies. For radiation emergencies the Potassium iodide tablets are to be taken by mouth, these tablets are not to be used as a way to prevent radiation sickness in advance.
Iodine can also be used as a water purifier.
Iodine is safe for many people when taken by mouth at the amounts prescribed, it can help prevent the effects of Iodine deficiency. However, it can also cause side effects in some people.
Some side effects of Iodine supplements can include:
- Stomach pain
- Diarrhea, metallic taste
- Runny nose
For those who are more sensitive, side effects of iodine can include:
- Severe bleeding
- Swelling of the lips and face
- Lymph node enlargement
- Joint pain
- Allergic reactions like hives and death
These side effects are the list of things that may happen when taking Iodide tablets during a radiation emergency. These side effects occur infrequently.
- Sore throat
- Salivary glands may swell
- Mild nausea
Some of the side effects of taking Iodine supplements could be very dangerous and so it is important to consult with a physician about Iodine supplements and if they are right for you. It is also important to find out the different dosages, the dosage that is safe for an adult is different than the dosage that is safe for a child.
Iodine deficiency is not as common in the United States because it is being added to more foods like the iodized salt. Kelp supplements are also sometimes suggested for those with iodine deficiencies because they are high in iodine. Again, those wishing to take iodine or kelp supplements need to seek medical advice and be mindful of the dosages.