Question: Will taking iodine supplements help with hypothyroidism?
Dr. Hibberd's answer:
Iodine supplements are not treatments for hypothyroidism for the vast majority of patients. While there is a very small percentage of hypothyroid patients who are iodine deficient, iodine deficiency as a cause of hypothyroidism in North America is not very common.
It is more common in third world countries and in areas where iodized salt is not used. Since such trace amounts of iodine are required for normal thyroid function, sufficient iodine is provided to us by the use of iodized salt alone.
This is a very good question, as deficiencies in iodine do sometimes occur, and should serve as an alert for those who use sea salt instead of iodized salt. Without iodine, the thyroid will enlarge and deficiencies can induce hypothyroidism.
But using iodine supplements with typical hypothyroidism not related to deficiency, is not recommended and does not improve thyroid function. Trace amounts of iodine are more than enough for normal hormone production.
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