Can Iodine Cause Hypothyroidism?

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Q:
Can iodine cause hypothyroidism?

A:
Two factors related to iodine may lead to hypothyroidism.

  • Iodine deficiency. The trace mineral iodine — found primarily in seafood, seaweed, plants grown in iodine-rich soil and iodized salt — is essential for the production of thyroid hormones. In some parts of the world, iodine deficiency is common, but the addition of iodine to table salt has virtually eliminated this problem in the United States.
  • Radioactive iodine treatment. It is commonly prescribed to people who have an overactive thyroid gland, a condition known as hyperthyroidism. However, radiation destroys the cells in the thyroid gland. This usually leads to hypothyroidism.

Key word: iodine hypothyroidism

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