Gout and Iodine

Iodine is a trace mineral that your body requires for normal cell metabolism. An iodine deficiency may affect the health of your thyroid gland. According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, thyroid problems can increase your risk of developing gout, a curable form of arthritis. Consult your doctor before taking iodine supplements to treat any medical condition.


Gout flare-ups occur when uric acid crystals build up in your joints. Your body produces uric acid as you break down purines in foods. The big toe is the most common site for gout attacks. This disease occurs most commonly in elderly individuals and in middle-aged men. A gout attack usually causes sudden pain and swelling in the affected joint. Gout tends to run in some families, although many factors can contribute to your risk of gout. In addition to thyroid problems, other factors that can increase the likelihood of developing gout include obesity, binge drinking, lead toxicity and the use of diuretics. Losing weight, restricting your intake of alcohol and cutting back on foods that contain purine, such as meat and seafood, may help prevent gout attacks.


Iodine helps support the overall health of your thyroid. This trace mineral plays an important role in helping your thyroid produce hormones that control the way your body metabolizes food into energy. Although an iodine deficiency may not directly cause gout, it can increase your risk of hypothyroidism and goiter, two types of thyroid disorders. Seafood is a naturally rich source of iodine, although your doctor may recommend you this food to help minimize gout attacks. Iodized salt is a common source of this trace mineral.


The recommended amount of iodine for adult men and women is 150 mcg per day. Pregnant and breastfeeding women require slightly higher amounts of this mineral. Consuming 1/4 tsp. of iodized salt provides about 95 mcg of iodine.


Consuming too much iodine may compromise your thyroid function, although iodine poisoning in the U.S. is rare. Talk to your doctor if you suspect you may have a thyroid problem or if you experience symptoms of gout. Diuretics can increase the amount of uric acid in your body and lead to a greater risk of gout attacks.