The thyroid is an endocrine gland, meaning that it secretes hormones. This gland is located in the throat and is responsible for making the thyroid hormones known as T3 and T4. Those hormones are made, in part, from iodine, so if the body is lacking or deficient in iodine their production is not possible. Insufficient iodine in the body is often related to cases of an underactive thyroid, a condition also known as hypothyroidism.
Follow a physician's advice carefully. Although iodine is considered safe in controlled doses, some people may be sensitive to it and suffer from swelling of the lips and face, severe bleeding and bruising, a fever, joint pain, lymph node enlargement, allergic reactions including hives, and even death. Do not take more than recommended. Do not take it with out a doctor's instruction to do so.
Stay within the recommended dose range. According to the National Institutes of Health, adults should avoid use of doses higher than 1,100 mcg per day. Children under the age of 3 are recommended to limit their intake to no more than 200 mcg per day. Children 4 to 8 could take up to 600 mcg per day and ages 9 to 13 could take 900 mcg per day. Pregnant and breastfeeding women are recommended to keep under 1,100 mcg if they are age 18 or older. High doses of iodine can end up causing thyroid problems.
Avoid the use of iodine while you are on prescription medications. Some medications are deemed slightly or moderately dangerous to take while using iodine supplements, including methimazole, Thyro-Block, Cordarone, lithium and blood pressure medications. This list is not a complete source of all medications that may interact with iodine. To be safe, notify your doctor of any prescriptions your taking to determine the safety of using iodine supplements.
Take iodine with food. The iodine contained in a supplement is a natural and organic form of iodine that the body can absorb. Taking dietary supplements along with food further ensures good absorption in the stomach.
Do not take iodine supplements without consulting a physician prior to use.