Iodine Allergy: Why It Doesn’t Exist & What Your Symptoms Mean

Iodine Allergy: Why It Doesn’t Exist & What Your Symptoms Mean

A True Iodine Allergy Doesn’t Exist

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I don’t think there’s a thyroid-related topic out there with more misinformation than iodine. 

And this is especially true when discussing the topic of iodine allergy. 

The truth is that a true iodine allergy doesn’t exist (1). 

Before you run off screaming and yelling that you know for sure that you are allergic to iodine, hear me out. 

Just because it’s not possible to be truly allergic to iodine doesn’t mean that you can’t experience a bad reaction when consuming iodine. 

This distinction is very important. 

The term allergy, when used in reference to medications, supplements, or foods, implies that your body simply can’t tolerate exposure to something.  

Exposure to something that you are allergic to results in an immune response (2) that can range from mild itching to life-threatening conditions (3). 

An allergic response is completely different from a negative reaction. 

A negative reaction is just a set of symptoms that you may experience when taking a supplement or medication that doesn’t link directly to your immune system. 

When it comes to iodine, most people who experience problems with iodine have negative reactions, not allergic reactions. 

But because of misinformation, many of these patients are told they are allergic to iodine and then run around avoiding it like the plague. 

This is a huge problem, though, because iodine is necessary for optimal thyroid function

Complete avoidance of iodine increases your risk of developing thyroid conditions such as low thyroid function, Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, and other health problems (4). 

Today, we are going to be discussing the idea of iodine allergy in detail. 

Here’s what you will learn:

  • Why it’s impossible to be allergic to iodine even if you’ve had a reaction to contrast dye
  • How iodine gets into your body on a daily basis (sources that you probably aren’t aware of)
  • What you are probably experiencing if you think that you are allergic to iodine
  • The difference between an iodine allergy and negative reactions to iodine intake
  • Symptoms that indicate you are having a negative reaction to iodine and what that means for your body
  • What to do to ensure that you can take iodine safely to benefit your thyroid
  • How much iodine you should be getting each and every day

Let’s jump in… 


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3 Reasons You Can’t Be Allergic to Iodine

Before we talk about the main reasons why you can’t be allergic to iodine, we need to address where the concept of iodine allergy originates. 

It is most often described in people who can’t tolerate iodinated contrast dye. 

This type of dye is frequently used by radiologists before getting certain scans of the body to help identify structures within the body. 


Replying to @shinystar4367 It’s actually impossible to have a true allergy to iodine because it’s not compatible with life. But, that doesn’t mean you can’t have negative reactions to iodine. Here’s the difference: #iodine #iodineallergy #thyroidsupport #thyroidsupplement #thyroidsymptoms #allergy

♬ original sound – Dr. Westin Childs

It has been noted that some people react with anaphylaxis when they are injected with this iodinated contrast dye (5). 

Anaphylaxis is a potentially life-threatening reaction that occurs with exposure to something that you are allergic to. 

This has led some doctors to believe that iodine was the principal cause of this allergy and thus the concept of iodine allergy was born. 

To this day, people who have reactions to contrast dye will often be told that they are allergic to iodine and that they should avoid it 100%. 

These same people then take this advice (6) to heart and avoid taking things (mostly supplements) out of fear that they will have the same reaction they had with exposure to the dye. 

What they don’t realize, though, is that they may be sabotaging their own thyroid gland in the process. 

The good news is that we now have more data and information which all suggest one thing: 

A true iodine allergy is not possible. 

The reason for this is explained in the following 3 sections:

#1. Iodine is Not Complex Enough to Trigger Antigenicity by the Immune System. 

#1 sounds complex but it doesn’t have to be. 

Let me break it down:

In order for something to actually cause an immune response in the body, that something must look complex enough to be identified by your immune system. 

When we are talking about compounds in text or words, it’s easy to forget the size difference, at least at the molecular level, of these compounds. 

For instance, even if we take something like sugar or protein, these two things are much more complex and much larger than an iodine molecule. 


Iodine is an element found on the periodic table of elements (7). 

Yes, the body does require iodine, but you always have to remember just how tiny this element is in relation to proteins, carbohydrates, enzymes, and other things found inside of the cell. 

Some things are just so tiny and required by your cells that they go unnoticed by the immune system. 

And for good reason. 

You don’t really want your immune system to react to anything and everything that it comes into contact with. 

Instead, you want to save those reactions for things that matter such as viruses, bacteria, and parasites. 

We know from our study of the immune system, that iodine is just not complex enough by itself to trigger an allergic reaction from the immune system. 

For this reason, supplements that contain purely iodine are quite safe. 

But what about cases where iodine is bound or complexed to something else?

This sort of thing does increase the complexity of the compound and may now allow for a reaction by the immune system. 

Things that attach to compounds and make them antigenic are called haptens (8). 

When a hapten is bound to something much larger and more complex you may then be able to get a response from the immune system. 

This exact mechanism is used in vaccines (9). 

Because most antigens placed in vaccines are too small and not complex enough to elicit an immune response, they are bound to carriers that stir up the immune system. 

And it is often the carriers in vaccines that cause the issues people experience post-vaccination (not the haptens themselves)!

If you ever want to take a look at vaccine-related side effects, you can check out this page (10). 

How does this idea of haptens play into iodine allergy?

In the case of iodinated contrast dye, it is highly likely that iodine plays the role of a hapten where it actually causes no issues by itself. 

When iodine is bound to other compounds in the dye, those compounds then become complex enough to elicit an immune response. 

But it isn’t the iodine causing it! It’s the compound that it is bound to. 

#2. Iodine is Required to Sustain Life and Can’t Be Created by the Body. 

From a logical perspective, it doesn’t make any sense that the body would even be capable of being allergic to iodine. 

It’s about the same thing as suggesting that someone could be allergic to air. 

How can you be allergic to something that is required for life? 

While avoiding iodine for a few minutes won’t lead to death, it can lead to death if completely avoided for an extended period of time. 

Here’s how:

Iodine is required by your body to build thyroid hormone (11). 

Thyroid hormone is required by the body for many important functions inside of your cells, notably related to metabolism, enzyme production, and protein production. 

If you don’t have iodine then you don’t have the necessary building blocks to produce thyroid hormone. 

If you don’t produce thyroid hormone you will start to experience low thyroid symptoms. 

As thyroid hormone declines in your body, you will eventually reach a point where you will enter into what’s called myxedema coma (12) which can result in death if not treated. 

This obviously doesn’t happen in modern times because we identify the lack of thyroid hormone very quickly!

Furthermore, the body is not capable of producing iodine on its own!

The only way for you to get iodine is to consume it either through the foods that you eat or through the supplements that you take. 

There is one other way to get iodine, which we will talk about below, and that is through the skin. 

It doesn’t make sense at all that the body would be capable of being allergic to something that it can’t create on its own and that is required for life. 

#3. Iodine is in All Sorts of Foods and Products That You are Probably Consuming Every Day. 

Lastly, if you are going to claim that you are allergic to iodine or that you have anaphylaxis when you consume iodine supplements, then you have to explain why you aren’t dying when you eat any of the following foods:

  • Milk (1 cup contains up to 94mcg of iodine)
  • Cod (3 oz contains up to 99mcg of iodine)
  • Iodized salt (1.5 grams contains up to 71mcg of iodine)
  • Shrimp 3oz contains up to 35mcg of iodine)
  • Tuna (3oz contains up to 17mcg of iodine)
  • Eggs (1 large egg contains up to 24mcg of iodine)
  • Turkey breast (2.5 ounces contains up to 30mcg of iodine)
  • Prunes (5 prunes contains up to 13mcg of iodine)
  • Lima beans (1/2 cup contains up to 8mcg of iodine)
  • Yogurt (1 cup contains up to 74mcg of iodine)
  • Bananas (1 banana contains up to 3mcg of iodine)
  • Strawberries (1 cup contains up to 13 mcg of iodine)

For context, the average person needs to consume anywhere between 150 to 250mcg of iodine each and every day. 

These foods ALL contain various concentrations of iodine and they are probably foods that you are consuming on a day-to-day basis. 

If you are someone who believes that you are allergic to iodine then you have to explain why you aren’t experiencing an allergic reaction when you eat these foods. 

The same is true for those people who experience negative reactions to iodine intake. 

How is it that you can consume iodine from foods and not have issues but experience problems when consuming iodine from other sources? 

We will explain why that can occur in a little bit, but before we do we need to talk about other hidden sources of iodine. 

Not only does iodine hide in all sorts of foods, it also hides in other places that you probably didn’t realize. 

Some of these include: 

  • Cosmetic products – Cosmetic products contain iodine containing-ingredients such as ammonium iodide, PVP, SSKI, sodium iodide, and polyvinylpyrrolidone. These ingredients can be absorbed through the skin and make their way into your body. 
  • Iodized salt – Many types of salts are fortified with iodine which means that salt may be a source of iodine exposure. 
  • Certain ingredients in supplements – Lastly, iodine can hide in whole ingredients including things like seaweed, thyroid glandulars, dulse, and bladderwrack. Even though iodine is found in these ingredients it may not show up as iodine on the supplement fact panel on the back of your bottle. 

Before you suggest that you have an iodine allergy, make sure that you take stock of all of the potential ways that iodine can make it into your body. 

If you are accidentally consuming iodine from these sources and not experiencing a reaction then there’s a good chance that you aren’t allergic to iodine. 

Negative Reactions to Iodine Can and Do Occur

I know what you’re thinking:

If it’s impossible to have an allergic reaction to iodine then how can you explain why I experience certain symptoms when I take iodine? 

It turns out that some people do experience negative reactions when they take iodine. 

For clarity, I will refer to these reactions as negative side effects or negative reactions to iodine exposure. 

What is most important to understand about these reactions is that they are not the same thing as an iodine allergy. 

Having said that, consuming iodine can lead to some problems and symptoms which can be explained. 

If you’ve taken iodine in the past and experienced a bad reaction, it is likely due to one or more of the following causes: 

  • Thyroid problems – Because iodine is required for thyroid hormone production, it makes sense that taking iodine can impact your thyroid hormone levels! Taking too much iodine (or not consuming enough) can impact how much thyroid hormone your body creates. Symptoms related to iodine intake may actually be caused by changes to circulating thyroid hormone levels. In this way, iodine intake results in changes to thyroid hormone levels (13) which then result in specific symptoms depending on whether you have high or low thyroid function. You can see a list of high thyroid symptoms here and a list of low thyroid symptoms here to see where you fit on this spectrum. Please note, however, that most of the time taking iodine has no real impact on thyroid function, and people who take it notice no perceptible difference in how they feel. 
  • Hyperthyroidism – Taking high doses of iodine is usually well tolerated by most people but in certain susceptible individuals, it may trigger hyperthyroidism. There is even evidence to suggest that high doses of iodine may increase your risk of developing autoimmune hyperthyroidism. Again, this is not very common but it can occur rarely. 
  • Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis – Constant exposure to high doses of iodine may also trigger Hashimoto’s thyroiditis (autoimmune hypothyroidism). Those people who develop Hashimoto’s secondary to iodine intake usually have many other underlying issues which trigger the disease state. In other words, it’s hard to pin down iodine as the primary cause even though it may have been the “straw that broke the camel’s back” so to speak. Again, this is not very common but it can happen rarely. 
  • Halogenoderma – Sometimes taking iodine may result in acne-like pustules that develop on the face or other places of the body. This is known as halogenoderma (14). People who experience this symptom will often say that they experienced acne when they took iodine but that isn’t really true. Even though this condition is similar to acne, it’s not actually the same thing and is felt to be related to halogens that are inside the body. When iodine is consumed it either kicks up an immune response in the skin which results in pustules or it results in the elimination of the halogens through the skin. We aren’t sure which one it is but we know it’s not acne. 
  • Improper dosing of iodine (usually too much) – Iodine, while important, is a Goldilocks sort of thing. In other words, you don’t want too much and you don’t want too little, you need just the right amount. Because of the prevalence of thyroid disease and that many thyroid patients are undertreated, some patients try to take control of their thyroid in any way that they can. I’ve seen thyroid patients use incredibly high doses of iodine which the body was never intended to be subjected to. These massive doses of iodine have the potential to cause problems in some individuals. For reference, these doses often exceed 25mg or more of iodine taken each day. The recommended RDA of iodine intake is somewhere around 150 to 250 mcg per day which means that these doses are as high as 100 times that of what you should normally take. 

Even though these conditions can occur when using iodine, they are actually not that common. 

In addition, taking iodine in the right way (at the right dose) and with the right protective nutrients (such as selenium), essentially eliminates these side effects. 


Your body was created (or evolved, depending on how you think about it) to use iodine without any issues. 

The system would be set up pretty poorly if your body wasn’t actually able to use it correctly. 

For most people, it uses it correctly without any issue. 

People who experience negative reactions to iodine consumption often have other underlying issues which then come to a head with iodine intake. 

But it’s not the iodine’s fault, per se, it’s really those underlying issues that are the problem. 

Symptoms of Iodine Reactions

Now that we’ve discussed how iodine can cause problems, let’s talk a little bit more about what that looks like to you as a patient. 

In other words, how do you know if taking iodine is a problem in your body?

The good news is that it’s actually fairly easy because your body will let you know. 

If you experience a negative reaction to iodine you may experience any or all of the following symptoms: 

  • Acne-like pustules
  • Racing heart
  • Sweating
  • Headaches
  • Fatigue
  • Changes to your weight
  • Nausea
  • Stomach pain
  • Metallic taste in the mouth
  • Joint pain or muscle pain
  • Changes to your hair, skin, or nails
  • Thyroid gland pain
  • Swelling in the neck
  • Other symptoms of hyperthyroidism
  • Other symptoms of hypothyroidism

The symptoms just listed above stem from the intake of iodine into your body and subsequent effects that can occur related to that. 

These include changes to thyroid function, detoxification of halogens from the body (or immune reactions to halogens), and changes to immune function. 

These symptoms are NOT from allergies to iodine but instead due to physiologic changes incurred from iodine intake. 

For reference, the symptoms associated with a true allergy to radioactive iodinated contrast dye and iodine-containing antiseptics (15) (rarely) include:

  • Itchiness
  • Redness
  • Hives
  • Flushing
  • Sneezing
  • Fever
  • Angioedema
  • Anaphylaxis
  • Stevens-Johnson syndrome
  • Toxic epidermal necrolysis

Please note that these symptoms are included for completeness’ sake. 


These symptoms are not related to a true iodine allergy but instead due to elements in the iodinated contrast dye. 

Just because you’ve experienced these symptoms when exposed to iodinated contrast dye does NOT mean that you are allergic to iodine or will experience them again if you consume iodine. 

I know I’ve hammered this point several times but it’s important to understand the distinction. 

Your Next Steps If You Think You Have an Iodine Allergy

The good news is that a true allergy to iodine doesn’t exist. 

The bad news is that, even though this is the case, some people still have bad reactions to iodine. 

What are you supposed to do if you fit into that category?

There are several steps that you can take to fix this problem. 

Taking these steps will allow you to get the vital nutrient iodine into your body so that it can support your thyroid. 

The worst thing you can do is completely avoid iodine as that will ultimately cause problems to your thyroid down the road. 

The best thing you can do is try to figure out why your body is not responding well to iodine and fix that issue. 

This will allow you to get the iodine that you need while avoiding any negative side effects. 

  • Take stock of how much iodine you are getting from EVERY source – You may be surprised that you are getting much more iodine than you actually think. Take stock of your iodine intake from all sources including food, supplements, cosmetics, and medications. Take a deep dive and write out how much iodine you are getting from these sources every day. If this amount exceeds the recommended dose of 150-250mcg of iodine each day then you may be in a state of iodine excess. 
  • Consider iodine testing – If you are having issues figuring out how much iodine you are consuming every day then you may benefit from iodine testing. Iodine testing is not perfect, though, and the results are only so helpful (depending on which type of test that you get) so don’t rely 100% on the results of testing to figure out your iodine status. 
  • Replace nutrients that protect your thyroid gland – Make sure that you are not deficient in zinc, selenium, vitamin A, vitamin E, and glutathione. These vitamins and minerals help to protect your thyroid gland from iodine-induced free radicals. It may just be that you are low on these antioxidants and replacing them may fix your problem. 
  • Avoid iodine from all sources for 30-60 days – Some people benefit from complete iodine avoidance for a set period of time. Yes, iodine is required for life but avoiding iodine for a short period of time is often helpful if you think your body is in a state of iodine excess. Allowing your body to “burn” off excess iodine may help stabilize your iodine levels and thyroid function. 
  • Get your iodine from food sources – Try to get your daily iodine intake from naturally occurring sources found in food. Often, these foods come naturally fortified with ingredients that protect your thyroid gland. This doesn’t always work, though, because many food sources have varying amounts of iodine but it’s worth a shot if all else fails. 

Everyone Needs Some Iodine (But the Source Matters)

The main point I want to highlight with this article is that iodine is an essential nutrient that your body must get. 

While some people may have negative reactions to iodine, it’s impossible to be truly allergic to iodine. 

Your thyroid gland requires iodine to function and your body requires thyroid hormone for day-to-day life. 

Complete avoidance of iodine for an indefinite period of time is never the right answer. 

If you react negatively to iodine make sure you do some investigative work to see if you can hone in on what is actually causing the issue. 

If you can identify and fix that problem then you should be able to consume iodine without any issues. 

Doing so will ensure that your thyroid works optimally!

Now I want to hear from you:

Have you been told that you have an iodine allergy?

Have you reacted negatively to iodinated contrast dye?

What type of negative reaction did you experience when taking iodine?

Have you tried figuring out why you aren’t responding well to iodine?

Leave your questions or comments below! 
















why it's impossible to be allergic to iodine

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About Dr. Westin Childs

Hey! I'm Westin Childs D.O. (former Osteopathic Physician). I don't practice medicine anymore and instead specialize in helping people like YOU who have thyroid problems, hormone imbalances, and weight loss resistance. I love to write and share what I've learned over the years. I also happen to formulate the best supplements on the market (well, at least in my opinion!) and I'm proud to say that over 80,000+ people have used them over the last 7 years. You can read more about my own personal health journey and why I am so passionate about what I do.

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18 thoughts on “Iodine Allergy: Why It Doesn’t Exist & What Your Symptoms Mean”

  1. I had put on 20 kilos I hypothyroid weight slowly started to come off too 3 drops of iodine 19000 measurement in went hyper then in 6 months put on another 10 kilo so depression scared to ever take it again I took too much now paying the price how do I lose this weight again?

  2. Anytime I eat shrimp or give blood, and they use the iodine wipe before using needle, I get extremely sick several hours later. Low blood pressure, sweating, tremors, extreme diarrhea for hours. I literally feel like I could die. Would it be okay to try your products with iodine? I would love to have help with T4 T3 conversion.

    • Hi Stacy,

      Are you sure that your symptoms aren’t related to the loss of blood and your body’s response to that?

      In regards to your question about iodine, low doses of iodine are generally very well tolerated by thyroid patients and shouldn’t cause any issues.

  3. Hi, I have been reviewing your “you tube” videos to try to understand my thyroid better. I ordered your T3 Conversion Booster. I have had thyroid problems for over 30 years. I am a 60 years old female. Back to summer of 2020 I was running about 40 miles a week so I stayed active. I have Hashimoto autoimmune disease. I have to keep exercising to stay at a normal weight around 125-128lbs which is frustrating. Otherwise I feel like my metabolism goes to sleep.

    I was taking a medicine called Lamictcal for anxiety which is an antiepileptic drug at night and 100 mg of synthroid (no substitution). In July my thyroid bounced up to 5.350 so my Primary Care increased the synthroid dosage to 112mg. The following month my TSH went back down to 2.40. I think in September 2020 I went off of lamictcal because it was causing my eye sight to change for the worse which is listed as a side effect. I didn’t realize it caused the synthroid medicine not to work as well causing Synthroid dosage over time needing to be increased. I was taking synthroid in the morning on an empty stomach and lamictcal at bedtime so I was surprised they interfere with one another. It was no time at I started to have ill symptoms that made me tired, constipated, slightly gaining weight, gastric belly problems, migraines, problems sleeping at night and so on. I now weigh 140lbs and haven’t had energy to run in over a year. My migraines got super bad over time to where I had them more than not. The next time I had my thyroid tested was April 2021 and it was 0.26. The Doctor didn’t change my medicine which now looking back is very upsetting. By July 2021 I decided to go to an Endocrinologist to see if she could get my thyroid in line. My TSH was still testing at 0.26. She reduced my synthroid not by dosage but instead just cut out one pill on the same day every week. She was thinking I might be in between dosages. My TSH still did not change.

    On March 4th, 2022 my Primary Care put me temporarily on Nortriptyline 10mg to see if my migraines would stop. It just so happens that on March 25th I had my TSH checked. It was 1.14 ulU/ml level and my Free T4 was 1.5ng/dl. MY cortisone level went down from the month prior on Feb 17, 2022 from 8.3 ug/dl to 3.4 ug/dl on March 25. Suspicious about the TSH level increasing I looked up side effects of I Nortriptyline and it can increase TSH and cause a low am in cortisol so I went off of it on April 2, 2022. I didn’t want to give the Doctor false illusions she had fixed my thyroid level when in fact it was temporary elevated by a drug my Primary Doctor didn’t want me to take more than 60 days. So, I decided to go off of the synthroid on April 3, 2022 because I realized the dosage I was on was too high. Once I stopped taking it my migraines went away. The dosage I was on was too high causing an induced hyperthyroid for 17 months or more.

    On March 17, 2022 I had an ultrasound done on my thyroid and it is acutely inflamed and has mild diffuse hypervascularity with diffuse decrease in size of the thyroid gland with heterogeneity in overall echo texture. The findings reflect chronic lymphocytic thyroiditis. The doctor made me recheck the cortisol ACTH STIM and it came back to normal after 60 minutes at 19.0 ug/dl. I had my TSH retested on April 13th and it was 17.70, Free T4 is 0.9ng/dl, Free T4 Total 6.7ug/dl,T3 Total 57ng/dl, Free T3 2.1pg/ml, ACTH 9pg/ml, Iodine Serum Plasma was 46 mcg/L. I wonder if my Iodine has always been so low and might be why my metabolism sleeps.
    I refused to take synthroid again and feel like I am allergic to it. So, on April 17, I was prescribed Tirosint 75 MCG Capsules. I started taking T3 Conversion Booster the pills the same day but an hour after I take the Tirosint in the mornings on an empty stomach. Since my Iodine Serum Plasma is super low should I be taking a supplement for it or is the amount in the T3 Conversion Booster enough?

    My worry is I need to be taking Tirosint and Cytomel for T3 in a 4 to1 ratio. I am so frustrated I haven’t been able to get my thyroid back on track for so long and wanted to know if you had any advice. I now feel like I have developed gastric issues like thyroid gastritis. I couldn’t be tested for gluten allergies because I have been on a gluten diet for years. Should I get them to test me genetically to figure out how to treat me?
    By the way I do have very low body temp, with highest being 87.1. It usually is around 86.9 most the time.
    I did make an appointment to see a Specialist at Mass General since I am getting nowhere with the Endocrinologist and I feel like my inflamed thyroid needs treating. The bottom of my throat just burns. If you have any suggestions to improve my thyroid I would appreciate it or suggestions to ask the new Doctor I will be seeing in a few weeks?

    Thanks and any advice is appreciated.
    M Sheehan

  4. Hi, I had my thyroid gland removed 5 years ago. Since that I am managing well with the help of thyroxine. However, whenever I visit Sylt, an island close to the Danish border, where we have our holiday home, I develop Angioedema. Sylt is an area with high levels of iodine in water and air. For 5 years in a row I develop Angioedema every year, but so far I could control it with antihistamines. But this year I ended up in A&E because my tongue and throat were swelling up so I couldn’t breathe properly. I have no signs of oedema or overreaction to iodine when in the Uk. What can I do. I still want to live in Sylt, but without risking to get the severe symptoms again.
    Kind regards Carolin-Marie Roth

    • Hi Carolin,

      It’s very unlikely that iodine is causing your reaction, especially if you can otherwise handle it. The best thing you can do is try to find the source with some testing. Once you figure that out you can plan to avoid it accordingly.

  5. I was non responsive, unconscious after having iodine dye for a kidney scan back about 1975. I could see the dr & nurses working on me. The one nurse said “I knew we would have problems with her”. I witnessed the entire thing. I was my waist above the ceiling & the from below my waist below the ceiling. I called out to the nurse that I was ok. I felt wonderful. They didn’t hear me. After about 2 to 3 minutes I was back in my body. Ever since that ordeal, I was told I was allergic to Iodine. For about 5 or 6 years I didn’t eat fish. I used salt without iodine. Years after I had allergy tests & they showed I wasn’t allergic to fish. I still avoid iodine. Fast forward, I was diagnosed with Hashimotos Thyroiditis. I asked the Dr, now you know what’s wrong, what are we going to do? He said, nothing your thyroid is dead. I take 150 mcg of synthroid daily. A friend also got diagnosed & she said her dr was suggesting diet changes. She said she is taking Selenium. I was looking up if it contained iodine when I read your article. Also, I never get any contrast anymore because I had an issue when I had a scan for pancreatitis. I am a very allergic person. Right now my worst is sulphites. They aren’t listed as an ingredient on anything so that has been a real challenge.

    • Hi Marsha,

      Some individuals are highly sensitive to just about everything and you can usually glean that type of information from a thorough history. In regards to your reaction, that’s pretty classic for an iodinated contrast dye allergy but, as explained in this article, it’s not due to iodine but to something else in the contrast dye.

  6. Hi, I had a contrast dye for a scan I needed. After this my throat felt tight and my tongue also felt swollen. After a couple days I went to the ER because I was scared I was having a reaction to the Iodine. This lasted for a good 2 weeks after the contrast. I do have hashimotos and hypothyroidism from the hashimotos. I eat a lot of food that has nutrients that help my thyroid. But I am scared to take an iodine supplement, I’m worried that it can make my thyroid worse. Not sure why I had that reaction to the contrast.

  7. I broke out in hives all over my body for 4 months straight because of what I believe was a combination of iodine from artichoke dip, (I ate the whole pan-fyi I’m 115lb 42 yr old woman) at the same time at using a wild yam cream, (which I found out later binds to iodine,) and also taking antihistamines for hay fever, which combination seemed to set off some kind of autoimmune response. It was so miserable. I figured out I could not eat anything with iodized salt ever. As soon as I stopped that, I started to improve. Then, I began doing some detox to get things out of my system. I ate nothing but kitchari for a few weeks until I could start eating normal foods again. Since then, a year or so later, I have been avoiding iodine in supplements, but trying to get enough from food sources which seem to be fine. Except iodized salt. I’m now noticing symptoms of thyroid imbalance, such as hair loss, temperature fluctuations, sore throats, etc. So I’m concerned about getting enough iodine without breaking out in hives again. I have had smaller episodes of the hives since then, usually starting on the back of my neck, but I can get it under control using the methods I learned before. Im considering taking a thymus glandular for support. I already try to eat very healthy and take basic nutritional supplements. I do realize my hormones may be shifting as well as I’m entering my 40’s. What would you recommend?

  8. I react badly to contrast dye. But, I also react badly to multivitamins containing iodine. I feel a flush of heat in my ears first and then all over my body. Then, I get hives that cover my whole body and make me look like my flesh is burnt. If iodine is not the culprit, what is? It was present both times.

    • Hi Carole,

      It depends on what was in the multi. Many multivitamins contain ingredients and vitamins that are required to sustain life so it would be impossible to truly have an allergic reaction to them. Some multivitamins contain additional ingredients beyond these essential vitamins in the form of botanicals so you may have been reacting to those. It’s also possible you just experienced a negative reaction and not a true allergic reaction.


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