Iodine – Uses, Side Effects, and More You Need to Know
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The thyroid gland requires iodine in order to function properly. Iodine can’t be made by humans, thus we have to get it from other sources. It is also mixed up with salt and is added to certain foods.
Iodine can eliminate amoebas, fungi, bacteria, and other types of germs in addition to lowering thyroid hormone levels. Iodine insufficiency is one of the most widespread and avoidable health issues that affect people all over the world. The vast majority of iodine is located in oceans, where it is concentrated by various marine organisms, most notably in seaweed.
Iodine is administered orally as a means of preventing and treating iodine deficiency and the conditions that result from it, such as goitre and certain thyroid disorders. Potassium iodide is a type of iodine that has also been approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to prevent thyroid damage following a radioactive accident. Iodine is used for many different illnesses, including pink eye, gum infections, wound healing, and many others; however, there is limited scientific evidence to support many of these treatments.
Uses & Effectiveness
Possible therapeutic benefit for iodine insufficiency Both preventing and treating iodine shortage through the ingestion of iodine supplements, particularly iodized salt, is a successful strategy.
Radiation exposure. In the event of a radiation emergency, taking iodine by mouth can help protect the thyroid following exposure to the radiation. However, it is not appropriate for use as a general shield against radiation and should be avoided.
It has shown some promise in treating pink eye. It has been found that reducing the incidence of pink eye in newborns by administering eye drops that contain iodine in the form of povidone-iodine can be accomplished. Additionally, it appears to be beneficial in the treatment of pink eye in adults.
Patients with diabetes are more likely to develop foot ulcers. Iodine poultices could be an effective treatment for diabetic foot ulcers if they are applied directly to the wounds.
Inflammation of the uterine lining that causes swelling of the lining of the uterus (endometritis). Before undergoing caesarean delivery, it is beneficial to clean the vagina with a solution that contains iodine in the form of povidone-iodine. Doing so lowers the likelihood that the uterine lining would swell.
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A breast condition that is not malignant and is considered to be benign (fibrocystic breast disease). Breast discomfort and tenderness can be alleviated by taking molecular iodine at a daily dosage of approximately 3,000 to 6,000 mcg. It does not appear that daily doses of less than 1500 mcg are helpful.
Mouth pain and swelling (inflammation) caused by periodontal disease (oral mucositis). It has been found that using an iodine solution to gargle the mouth can minimise the discomfort and edoema that can occur inside the mouth as a result of chemotherapy.
A severe infection of the gums (periodontitis). During non-surgical therapies for gum infections, rinsing the mouth with an iodine solution can help minimise the depth of infected gum pockets. This can be helpful in preventing further infection from occurring.
Infection following the surgical procedure. Povidone-iodine, which contains iodine, can be applied either before or during surgery to lower the patient’s risk of acquiring an infection. On the other hand, it is not clear how it stacks up against other options for the prevention of infections, such as chlorhexidine.
A disorder that can be fatal is brought on by an abnormally high level of thyroid hormone (thyroid storm). Iodine taken orally as part of a treatment plan that also includes other therapies can be beneficial in the management of thyroid storm.
Thyroids that have developed lumps. In some cases, masses on the thyroid known as thyroid nodules can be improved by taking iodine orally.
Ulcers of the legs are brought on by poor blood circulation (venous leg ulcer). Cadexomer iodine could aid in the healing process of leg ulcers if it is used topically. However, it is unknown whether using povidone-iodine will be of any benefit.
It’s possible that this treatment won’t work for infections in patients who have catheters. The use of povidone-iodine seems to be less effective than the use of chlorhexidine in reducing the likelihood of a blood infection occurring at the site where a dialysis catheter is implanted. There is no reduction in the risk of infection brought on by using povidone-iodine prior to inserting a urinary catheter.
The process of maturation and development in preterm newborns. It has not been shown that giving premature infants iodine supplements will speed up the development of their brains or lower the likelihood that they will pass away.
Iodine is being considered for use in a variety of additional contexts; however, there is an insufficient quantity of trustworthy data to determine whether or not this would be beneficial.
Iodine is considered to be safe for oral consumption by the vast majority of people provided that it is consumed in doses that are lower than 1100 mcg on a daily basis. Iodine can be a health risk when consumed in large quantities or for an extended period of time. Adults should avoid using greater doses for longer periods of time except under the care of a qualified medical professional. When taken in greater quantities, there is a greater potential for adverse effects, such as thyroid difficulties. Larger doses of iodine can result in a metallic taste, discomfort in the teeth and gums, burning in the mouth and throat, gastrointestinal distress, and a wide variety of additional side effects.
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When used in products that are suitably diluted, iodine can be administered to the skin without the risk of harm to the majority of people. Prescription medicine that has been approved by the FDA is an iodine solution that is 2%.
Important Safety Instructions and Cautionary Notes:
Pregnancy and the act of nursing a baby: If taken by mouth in the doses that are suggested, or if applied to the skin in the appropriate manner using an approved product (a 2% solution), there is a good chance that iodine will not cause any adverse effects. If you are above the age of 18, you should not take more than 1100 mcg of iodine every day; if you are between the ages of 14 and 18, you should not take more than 900 mcg of iodine every day. When consumed in large doses orally, there is a potential for iodine to cause adverse effects. It is possible that an increased intake will create thyroid difficulties in the newborn.
When administered orally to children at doses that are suitable for their ages, iodine is most likely safe to consume. Doses for children 1 to 3 years old should not exceed 200 mcg per day; doses for children 4 to 8 years old should not exceed 300 mcg per day; doses for children 9 to 13 years old should not exceed 600 mcg per day; and doses for adolescents should not exceed 900 mcg per day.
There is a form of dermatitis known as dermatitis herpetiformis: Consuming iodine might make this rash much more severe.
Thyroid conditions: Prolonged use or high dosages of iodine have the potential to make some thyroid conditions, such as hypothyroidism, an enlarged thyroid gland (also known as a goitre), or a thyroid tumour, significantly worse. Additionally, persons who suffer from autoimmune thyroid disease may be especially susceptible to the negative effects that iodine has on the body.
Special Precautions and Warnings
When administered orally, iodine is thought to be safe for the vast majority of persons at dosages lower than 1100 mcg on a daily basis. Iodine exposure in excessive doses or for an extended period of time may pose health risks. Adults should avoid continuous usage of greater doses without the appropriate supervision of a medical professional. A higher consumption can lead to an increased risk of adverse effects such as thyroid issues. When taken in larger doses, iodine can induce a metallic taste, sensitivity in the teeth and gums, burning in the mouth and throat, stomach discomfort, and a variety of other adverse effects.
Iodine can be safely applied to the skin by the vast majority of persons provided that it is suitably diluted before application. Prescriptions for an iodine solution that is 2% strength are allowed by the FDA.
Additional Cautions and Advice to Follow:
Pregnancy and the act of breastfeeding: Taking iodine by mouth in the amounts that are suggested or applying it to the skin in the correct manner using a product that is allowed (a 2% solution) is likely to be safe. It is not recommended to take more than 1100 mcg of iodine per day if you are above the age of 18, and it is not recommended to take more than 900 mcg of iodine per day if you are between the ages of 14 and 18. When consumed in large doses orally, there is a possibility that iodine could be harmful. If the dosage is too high, the baby could have thyroid difficulties.
When administered orally in doses suitable for the child’s age, iodine is probably safe to consume. The maximum safe daily dose for children aged 1 to 3 years old is 200 mcg; for children aged 4 to 8 years old, the maximum safe daily dose is 300 mcg; for children aged 9 to 13 years old, the maximum safe daily dose is 600 mcg; and for teenagers, the maximum safe daily dose is 900 mcg.
A form of dermatitis referred to as dermatitis herpetiformis: Consuming iodine may aggravate the symptoms of this rash.
Thyroid conditions: It is possible that prolonged use of iodine or high doses of iodine could make some thyroid conditions, such as hypothyroidism, an enlarged thyroid gland (goitre), or a thyroid tumour, worse. In addition, persons who have autoimmune thyroid disease may be particularly sensitive to the negative effects that iodine has.
Interaction that is Not Overbearing
Take precautions when using these two together.
Cordarone, also known as Amiodarone, is known to interact with IODINE.
Amiodarone includes iodine. Combining amiodarone treatment with iodine supplements may result in an increase in the amount of iodine found in the blood. When there is an excessive amount of iodine in the blood, it can induce adverse effects that are detrimental to the thyroid.
There is a reaction between lithium and iodine.
Iodine at high enough concentrations can inhibit the function of the thyroid. Additionally, lithium has been shown to inhibit thyroid function. When used together, iodine and lithium have the potential to significantly reduce thyroid function. If you are currently on lithium, you should avoid consuming excessive levels of iodine.
Interactions between antithyroid medications, which are prescribed to treat an overactive thyroid, and iodine
Thyroid function can be altered positively or negatively by iodine. It is possible that the effects of the drugs used to treat an overactive thyroid could be altered if iodine was also taken at the same time. If you are already taking medicine for an overactive thyroid, you should avoid taking iodine supplements at all costs unless your healthcare professional advises you to do so.
Iodine is an essential vitamin that can be found in foods like iodized salt, seaweed, eggs, and milk from cows, as well as other marine items. The term “recommended dietary allowance” refers to the quantity that should be ingested on a daily basis at the very least (RDA). The recommended daily allowance (RDA) for adults is 150 mcg. The recommended daily allowance for women who are pregnant is 220 mcg. The recommended daily allowance (RDA) during breastfeeding is 290 mcg. When calculating the RDA for children, age is a factor.
Iodine can also be obtained in the form of dietary supplements and a variety of topical treatments, including eye drops, mouthwashes, ointments, and scrubs. Talk to a medical professional about your symptoms to find out what kind of treatment and dosage would work best for your particular problem.