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26 Oct 2006

Underactive Thyroid & Iodine
My mom is 52 and was diagnosed with an underactive thyroid a few years ago and is on medication for it. She is overweight and also has spastic colon.

My question is, is Iodine good or bad for her. I have read on a few websites and in a few articles that she has low levels of iodine if she has a underactive thyroid. Is this true.

Where would she get the iodine from if it is safe.

Also a friend of hers has also just been diagnosed and has told her that she can't eat fish as it is bad for her. Once again is this true.

Are there any dietary specifications for either of the above conditions. Thank you!
Answer 390 views

01 Jan 0001

Dear Samjan
People like your dear Mom who have an underactive thyroid need to take their thyroid hormone replacement therapy as prescribed by their dr (Eltroxin, etc). No one in SA should develop thyroid deficiencies any more due to an iodine deficiency because all our table salt is fortified with iodine to prevent this from happening. Your Mom, therefore, does not need to take extra iodine as she will be getting enough from a normal diet that includes modest quantities of table salt. Fish is also a good source of iodine and eating fish 3 times a week has so many additional health benefits that is is a good dietary practice. I cannot comment on the instruction given to your Mom's friend because I don't know what type of thyroid problem this person suffers from or if she is allergic to fish and seafoods, or iodine. If the latter is true then of course the patient should avoid fish and seafood and iodine (it is possible to buy non-iodated salt at pharmacies). I would recommend that you Mom should consult a clinical dietitian (visit the Association for Dietetics in SA Website at: and click on "Find a Dietitian" to find a dietitian in your area). The dietitian will work out a diet for her that takes her multiple conditions into account and also promotes weight loss.
Best regards
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