Iodine Allergy Symptoms and Diagnosis

Iodine Allergy Symptoms and Diagnosis

Seasonal allergies are very common, but with day to day cases of food allergies also increasing.

Iodine, which is an important mineral for body functioning can actually trigger allergic reaction. Iodine allergy isn’t very common, but symptoms can’t be ignored.

Iodine is a mineral topically used for the preparation of antibacterial purposes or intravenously as a component of radiology dissimilarity agents. Iodine is necessary to support healthy thyroid functioning. Some of the peoples are highly sensitive to this mineral and it show signs of symptoms of an iodine allergy that will progress with each additional exposure. According to the University of San Francisco, these symptoms will exhibit within two hours of spotlight.

Causes of Iodine Allergy

This adverse behavior of immune system can be triggered by iodine content in food or due to iodinated contrast dyes used for scanning in medical testing.

Apart from this, tincture of iodine can also result in skin rashes in hypersensitive people.

When your immune system detects a foreign material, it reacts harshly by releasing IgE molecules. These molecules further stimulate mast cells and signal to release histamine.

Soon after you ingest, touch or inhale allergic substance, a chemical reaction is triggered.

Iodine Toxicity

Iodine can disorder production of thyroid hormones; excessively use of iodine can hunk the production of hormones in the thyroid gland and iodine can also cause hypothyroidism. In Japan, where high amount of seaweed are consumed, some peoples are exhibiting this type of blockage causing diet-induced goiter; this condition ceases when seaweeds consumption is reduced.

An excess of iodine in our body can also lead to thyroid cancer, Grave`s disease and toxic levels of thyroid hormones. The food and drug administration recommends a maximum of 225 mcg of kelp per day. Symptoms of iodine poisoning include abdominal pain, lack of urination, seizures, and shortness of breath, diarrhea, thirst or vomiting. Medline Pulse recommends immediate medical treatment.

Iodine Allergy Symptoms

Mild symptoms like nausea, vomiting, itching, hives and flushing can be experienced if you’re sensitive to iodine.

The main reason for topical reaction with iodinated contrast dye is being studied by experts.

In rare cases the allergic reaction may lead to anaphylaxis situation like difficulty in breathing, abdominal pain, diarrhea, hives, rapid pulse rate, nausea, confusion, lightheadedness and unconsciousness.

People with asthma and cardiomyopathy ailments may face severe symptoms with iodine interaction.

According to recent article, too much iodine is bad and too little is also bad for pregnant women. It also state that vomiting in pregnant women denotes healthy embryo. (Source)

Things You Cannot Eat If You’re Allergic to Iodine

According to WHO, iodine deficiency is very prevalent. Taking foods that include iodine can improve the weakness. However, people with iodine allergy must avoid these iodized food items.

  • To reduce the deficiency, iodine is included in salt. If allergic symptoms are acute, then you can consider small amount of iodized salt. Anyhow, you can possibly purchase salt without iodine.
  • According to, one cup of cow milk has 56 micrograms of iodine. Dairy products like cheese, ice cream and yogurt may also contain iodine.
  • 3 ounces of cod fish contains 99 micrograms of iodine. Fish and sea foods are natural source for iodine. According to Tulane University, amount of iodine in fish depends on the water they swim.

Skin Problems

Symptoms of an iodine allergy commonly present on the skin. The symptoms may be with or without a visible rash. An itching sensation, pruritis, may develop immediately after iodine exposure or injection. Red, raised rashes can develop anywhere on the skin and can progress quickly to be a generalised reaction of hives or painful red welts usually on the torso.

An early ominous signs of iodine allergy is the itchiness of the lips. Possibly continuing to the entire face, according to Cleveland clinic. Angioedema refers to a widespread swelling underneath the skin and is prominent around the eyes, tongue and lips. Due to the impending for tracheal construction, angioedema can quickly lead to a life- threatening situation.

Other foods that you must avoid with iodine allergy include egg which contains 12 micrograms of iodine and legumes with 32 micrograms of iodine. Iodine content in vegetables depends on the iodine concentration in the soil.

It’s better to wash and peel the vegetable before cooking.


Symptoms to this level of allergic reaction may include swelling of the face and lips, decreasing blood pressure, wheezing and increasing heart rate, according to Medline pulse. If anaphylactic is untreated then reactions will lead to deaths. Anaphylactic reactions to the mineral iodine will present the allergic peoples with highly specific symptoms. This highly specific symptoms are immediately occurs to the people after exposure.

Stomach Irritation

An overdose of iodine supplement can cause abdominal pain and sometimes bloody diarrhea. Corrosive nausea, gastritis, vomiting and bleeding from the intestinal track can also cause overdose in our body.

How to Treat Iodine Allergy?

Allergic reaction to iodine consumption is very rare. Your body needs iodine for normal functioning of thyroid. Don’t avoid it without consulting your doctor. Talk to your physician and follow his instructions.

A skin reaction to iodine would show as hives, rash and itching. Iodine allergy can be treated with an oral antihistamine obtained over the counter such as Benadryl. If you have experienced a severe allergic attack in the past, you should carry an epinephrine pen to stop the onset of an attack.

Your doctor will possibly have you do a patch test if he thinks you are allergic to iodine. In the duration of this patch test, the doctor will apply a small amount of iodine to a patch. Then the doctor will place it on your skin. Your doctor will check to see if you had a reaction after few days after the patch is tested.

However, medical image testing and iodine antiseptic may trigger contact dermatitis. Let your physician know that you’re allergic to iodine, so he will avoid those substances which include iodine traces.

Avoiding is the only way to treat an allergic reaction.

Iodine allergy symptoms

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