Iodine Overdose

Iodine Overdose

Iodine is a chemical that occurs naturally in the environment and a small amount of this is required by the body for its wellbeing. Ingestion of high levels of iodine will lead to an overdose and will produce symptoms in different parts of the body [1, 2].

foods-rich-in-iodine overdose

What is Iodine?

Iodine is an essential chemical required by the thyroid gland in order to produce hormones. It is found in small amounts in seafood such as clams and seaweed. In order to address the deficiency in iodine, it was incorporated in certain food such as iodized salt.

This chemical has a wide use in the field in medicine, it is an important component of medications such as amiodarone and its radioactive form is utilized in the performance of certain medical procedures.

Although it is generally safe to take iodine supplements, some side effects that can be experienced may include metallic taste, headache, stomach upset, diarrhea and runny nose [1, 2, 3].

How much is Iodine Overdose?

Recommended Daily Intake (RDI) is at 150mcg for adults and 220-290mcg for women who are pregnant or lactating. A drug’s Tolerable Upper Intake Level (TUIL) is the maximum level a drug can be taken without producing any unwanted symptoms.

The TUIL of Iodine differs depend on the age of the individual. It is at 200mcg/day for children who are 1-3 years of age and at 1100mcg/day for adults, pregnant and breastfeeding females [1, 2, 3, 4, 5].

What are Iodine Overdose symptoms?

If an individual ingests a high amount of iodine, they may present with certain symptoms. Initially, these people may feel a burning sensation in their mouth and throat, vomiting, diarrhea, stomach upset and development of skin rash.

The initial symptoms are similar to common side effects of iodine intake and they may not seek medical attention right away. If the level of iodine does not decrease, these symptoms will get serious. There may be delirium, facial or body swelling, stupor, fever, weak pulse and they may even fall into coma [1, 2, 3, 4, 5].

What is Iodine Overdose management?

When a patient is brought to the emergency room for iodine poisoning, the priority is to maintain the airway of the patient. If there is no spontaneous breathing, there may be a need to insert a tube into the mouth and connect them to a ventilator or breathing machine.

Activated charcoal may be given for the chemicals to bind and be passed out in the urine. Chemical analysis of the blood will be performed to measure the amount of iodine in the blood. Medications may also be given to the patient to manage the symptoms that have arose.

The outcome of the treatment would depend on the amount of iodine ingested and the time it took for the medical management to begin [1, 2, 3, 4, 5].

How to prevent Iodine Overdose?

In order to prevent an overdose in iodine, these medications should be taken according to the prescription of the physician.

No medications should be taken without the knowledge of the physician. Medication bottles should also be kept out of reach of children. This will prevent any accidental ingestion by children [1, 2, 3, 4, 5].

  1. Heller, J. (2015, January 23). Iodine poisoning. Retrieved from Medline Plus:
  2. (2016). Iodine Overdose. Retrieved from
  3. WebMD. (2009). Iodine. Retrieved from WebMD:
  4. Group, E. (2014, February 14). Symptoms of Iodine Overdose. Retrieved from Global Healing Center:
  5. Myers, J. (2011, January 16). Iodine Overdose. Retrieved from Love to Know:

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