Thyroid Disorders Community
26.1k Members
Avatar universal

Iodine-induced hypothyroid?

Hi all,

I just posted a question on leg swelling, but now I have another question. :)

I was just diagnosed with hypothyroidism. I know that iodine deficiency can contribute to hypothyroidism, but after some research I've learned that there are rare cases where iodine excess can cause hypothyroidism.

Last January (almost 2 years ago) my naturopathic doctor put me on iodine drops (Iosol) as a general health supplement. He had me gradually increase from 1-3 drops per day which is 1.83-5.49 mg of iodine daily. My TSH at that time was 2.42.

A few months ago my hair began falling out, my vision was blurry at times, I was battling constipation as well as other miscellaneous symptoms. Looking back on my labs, my TSH has been climbing slowly since last year and went to 4.32 which was when I received my hypothyroidism diagnosis. About 6 weeks ago I started on Armour thyroid and most of my symptoms have improved significantly.

I was wondering if it's possible to develop hypothyroidism from this level of iodine supplementation, if anyone else has experienced this, and if it's reversible? Some of the literature suggests that it is.

Thanks much,
Emily :)

6 Responses
649848 tn?1534633700
It's usually best to keep all your questions in the same thread so we don't keep asking for the same information...

Since I've already asked for your labs in your other thread, I won't ask for them here.  That thread can be accessed via the following link:  

I did ask in the other thread if the cause of your hypothyroidism had been determined... You should get tested for Hashimoto's, which is the most prevalent cause of hypothyroidism in the developed world.  The tests you need are Thyroid Peroixdase Antibodies (TPOab) and Thyroglobulin Antibodies (TgAb)... You need them both, since some of us have one or the other and some have both.  Elevated levels of either one can be the basis for a diagnosis of Hashimoto's, but either one can be present in small amounts in other autoimmune conditions as well.

Iodine is contraindicated with Hashimoto's as it can make the autoimmune response more intense... Your naturopathic doctor should have tested antibodies prior to suggesting iodine as a supplement.
649848 tn?1534633700
I typed a long comment and it didn't post, which has become quite the norm, lately, so I'll post this and see if it "forces" that one out of hiding, which also often happens... Very odd...

649848 tn?1534633700
I know it sounds crazy, but when I posted the second comment the first one posted... It really is the site, I'm not losing my mind.  LOL
1756321 tn?1547095325
Excerpts from Nat Rev Endocrinol. 2014 Mar; 10(3): 136–142. Consequences of excess iodine...

"The acute Wolff–Chaikoff effect was described in 1948 by Drs Jan Wolff and Israel Lyon Chaikoff at the University of California Berkeley, USA.6 Wolff and Chaikoff observed a transient reduction (lasting ~24 h) in the synthesis of thyroid hormones in rats exposed to high amounts of iodide administered intraperitoneally."

"In most individuals, the decreased production of thyroid hormones is only transient and resumes after adaptation to the acute Wolff–Chaikoff effect.7"

"In individuals with dysregulation of the thyroid follicular cell, excess iodine exposure can induce thyroid dysfunction, which might be transient or permanent.7"

"Vulnerable patients with specific risk factors might have an increased risk of failing to adapt to the acute Wolff–Chaikoff effect.7 Susceptible patients include those with autoimmune thyroid disease; a previous history of surgery, 131I or antithyroid drug therapy for Graves disease; subacute thyroiditis; postpartum thyroiditis; type 2 amiodarone-induced thyrotoxicosis (AIT); hemithyroidectomy; IFNα therapy; and concomitant use of potential goitrogens, such as lithium. Failure to escape from the acute Wolff–Chaikoff effect might also be more likely during fetal development, a period when the hypothalamic–pituitary–thyroid axis is still immature, and during neonatal life."

Avatar universal
Thanks! I'll reply on the leg swelling question. :)
Avatar universal
Thanks! :)
Have an Answer?
Top Thyroid Answerers
649848 tn?1534633700
Avatar universal
1756321 tn?1547095325
Queensland, Australia
Learn About Top Answerers
Didn't find the answer you were looking for?
Ask a question
Popular Resources
We tapped the CDC for information on what you need to know about radiation exposure
Endocrinologist Mark Lupo, MD, answers 10 questions about thyroid disorders and how to treat them
For people with Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD), the COVID-19 pandemic can be particularly challenging.
A list of national and international resources and hotlines to help connect you to needed health and medical services.
Here’s how your baby’s growing in your body each week.
These common ADD/ADHD myths could already be hurting your child