For people suffering from Orthostatic Intolerance, Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia, Mast Cell Activtation or EDS. Follow me as I document my struggle towards better health.

Iodine and POTS...Whaaaaat?

In this blog I have talked quite a bit about my belief that proper nutrition is important to recovery from Postural Orthostatic Intolerance and Orthostatic Intolerance.  An additional factor that you may want to consider from a nutritional point of view is hypothyroidism; a condition where your thyroid gland is underactive.  

If you have been diagnosed with POTS or OI your doctor probably already checked you for thyroid function.  What the doctor and the tests may not have picked up is a mildly underactive thyroid which can be caused by inadequate iodine in your diet.  Iodine is required by the body for the synthesis of thyroid hormones.

Estimates from the World Health Organization suggest that 16% of people in the USA have <50 Median urine iodine, mcg/L which is considered a "moderate" iodine deficiency.

What are the symptoms of mild hypothyroidism? They include fatigue, weakness, memory loss, irritability, weight gain, dry skin, brittle hair and nails. cold intolerance, muscle aches.  Sound familiar?

I am not suggesting anyone with POTS or OI run out and buy iodine supplements but I do believe that ensuring that there is sufficient iodine in the diet is prudent.  According to the Food and Nutrition Board, the recommended daily intake of iodine for an adult older than 19 yrs is 150 mcg.

The following chart on iodine content in foods is from the Australian Government:

And important to note; low selenium may interfere with iodine and other trace minerals and low chromium levels may also affect the metabolism.


  1. Here in Aus you can buy Iodinised salt, 2 birds one stone. They are looking at adding it to bread and other products as well as it is one of the most common deficiencies these days.

  2. Good point about the salt. I use some funky different salts in my "lotsa salt diet" and they don't list iodine as an ingredient so I think the iodized salt is just regular table salt. Maybe I should switch...

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  4. I buy a yummy local brand of sea salt flakes, it comes in either iodinised or plain. Much better than the regular iodinised form of table salt.

    Iodine always used to be added to salt, most of the deficiencies have occurred since it's removal. Combine that with the super common Vit D deficiency (I have to take supplements as I don't make enough) and you can end up in a bad way.

  5. I think I am always the odd one out, but I have hyper-thyroid & the first question I was asked is if I eat high amounts of iodine (of course I had no idea what foods had iodine in them and I'm still not sure what caused it)

    I don't think it would be beneficial to add more iodine to food : /

  6. Hi Erin
    It's all about balance I guess. Too much or too little of anything can create problems. Garlic is a good example in cooking... ;-)