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HomeAnswersGeneral Practitioneriodine deficiencyI have thyroid. Can I take supplements with iodine in them?

What could be causing hair breakage and falling?

The following is an actual conversation between an iCliniq user and a doctor that has been reviewed and published as a Premium Q&A.

Answered by

Dr. Mashfika N Alam

Medically reviewed by

iCliniq medical review team

Published At June 9, 2018
Reviewed AtMay 27, 2024

Patient's Query

Hello doctor,

I have an underactive thyroid and on 100 mg of thyroid and had a micronutrient test as hair has been breaking and falling out. The tests came back with selenium and zinc deficiency but also severe iodine deficiency (12). My nutritionist suggested multivitamins FemForte Multi which contains 150 ug (100 percent of daily intake). Nutritionist asked me to check with the general practitioner if it is fine for me to take the supplements with iodine in it and whether it is going to have a negative impact on my thyroid and my well-being or is it absolutely fine to take the supplements.

Hi,

Welcome to icliniq.com.

If you have iodine deficiency hypothyroidism, then it should not be a problem but you need to see if you have autoimmune thyroid disease in which case you cannot take iodine supplement. Thank you and take care. Regards.

Patient's Query

Thank you doctor,

Yes, I had a test five years ago and had antibodies. They said it is autoimmune underactive thyroid. I had consulted an endocrinologist a few days back and he said it is absolutely fine to take supplements with Iodine in it. I am very confused now. What shall I do now as I am really worried?

Hi,

Welcome back to icliniq.com

In case of autoimmune hypothyroidism, iodine is thought to do more harm than good because it causes the already inflamed thyroid gland to flare up. You see, before the body can use iodine, it needs to be processed and modified by the thyroid gland but in case of autoimmune hypothyroidism like in your case, there are already existing antibodies reacting against the gland so in this case if iodine is given, in the process of trying to process it, the gland flares up even more. Having said that, your iodine deficiency needs to be corrected anyhow. So, what you can do is start with low doses. This would not hurt. In addition to that, get your selenium levels checked as studies have shown that iodine supplements in case of selenium deficiency can cause flare ups instead of just iodine itself. So, if it turns out that you have selenium deficiency too, you should take selenium along with low doses of iodine. Furthermore, I would like you to show me the reports of your recent thyroid work up including thyroid antibodies. It would be better to get the tests done first if not done recently along with selenium levels. Then we could start with supplements as required. I hope this helps. Thank you.

Patient's Query

Hi doctor,

Thank you for your reply. The micronutrient test came back with selenium and zinc deficiencies. I will try to do the blood test as soon as possible but going abroad next week and really freaking out and so confused about what to do. Shall I continue taking my supplements with iodine (150 ug) which is 100 % of daily intake? Is that too much? What would you consider a low dose of iodine? How much am I allowed to take to be safe and not cause harm and damage to the thyroid?

Hi,

Welcome back to icliniq.com.

Yep, that is the lowest daily recommended intake, 150 micrograms. You can take it, but, with Selenium supplementation of daily 55 micrograms. Consult your specialist doctor, discuss with him or her and take medications with their consent. Also, eat Selenium-rich food and there is this green tea with Selenium in it, you can try it. Coming back to iodine, as you are getting the full daily requirement from the supplements, be sure to eat a salt-restricted diet. I understand you are frustrated but do not worry. On a personal note, my husband has autoimmune hypothyroidism too just like you. So, I know how you might feel. Now, if you got these tests done recently, you can repeat the tests after one month to see how the supplements are working. We can always readjust doses in case of any untoward symptoms. Remember, of all the endocrine disorders, thyroid hormones are the easiest to fix. Thank you and take care. Regards.

Same symptoms don't mean you have the same problem. Consult a doctor now!

Dr. Mashfika N Alam

Dr. Mashfika N Alam

General Practitioner

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