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Last reviewed: 11.04.2020

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Iodine is a necessary chemical element for the human body. It is necessary to normalize the functioning of the thyroid gland, to support immunity, to improve the functioning of the cardiovascular system, to regulate the body's heat exchange processes. But there are specific indicators of the amount of this trace element, which is necessary for the full functioning of the body: 150 micrograms for an adult, 175 to 200 micrograms for pregnant women and 50 to 120 micrograms for children. With excessive intake of iodine, various diseases develop in the body. In the case of iodine vapor inhalation or the use of this microelement for a long time, there is an intoxication of the body, or, so-called in medicine, iodism.


According to world statistics, more than two hundred million people suffer from an excess of iodine, and almost a billion people fall into this risk zone.

trusted-source[1], [2], [3], [4], [5], [6], [7]

Causes of the iodism

The causes of iodism are:

  • Inhalation of iodine vapors (usually occurs in production);
  • Prolonged use of preparations containing iodine;
  • The use of the amount of this microelement, many times higher than the daily norm;
  • Intolerance by individual people of iodine;
  • Increased susceptibility to iodine-containing drugs (idiosyncrasy).

trusted-source[8], [9], [10], [11], [12], [13]

Symptoms of the iodism

Symptoms that indicate the occurrence of iodine in the body are as follows:

  • Painful manifestations on the mucous membrane of a person: conjunctivitis, rhinitis, bronchitis, tracheitis, laryngitis;
  • Changes in the skin in the form of "iododerma" - occurs in the neck, face, limbs, sometimes in the trunk region and also the scalp. Iododerma includes symptoms: scattered rashes, or "iodine acne"; tumor-shaped formations, with a diameter of 3 to 5 mm, bordered by an inflammatory rim ;, urticaria; purpurea and vesicular rashes.
  • Toxicoderma - an acute inflammation of the skin, which is caused by an individual intolerance to the microelement of iodine (occurs in rare cases);
  • Increased salivation and lacrimation, rhinitis;
  • Disturbances in the digestive system (diarrhea with blood, vomiting reactions);
  • Increased temperature, the emergence of thirst; metallic taste in the mouth;
  • In very severe cases, breathing may become difficult, dyspnea, convulsions and hallucinations may appear;
  • Yellow color of the skin, as well as mucous membranes, inflammatory processes in the kidneys and stomach;
  • Changing the color of the mouth, the smell of breathing;
  • A burning sensation in the throat, a hoarse voice;
  • The general decrease in immunity of the body, as a result - frequent infectious diseases.

trusted-source[14], [15], [16], [17], [18], [19], [20]


There are two types of iodism - acute and chronic. Acute intoxication, as a rule, occurs when you accidentally inhale or take a huge dose of iodine in a short period. The chronic form develops gradually, in people, which, as a rule, are associated with a certain production. Another of the cases of chronic iodism occurrence is the incorrectly calculated scheme of treatment with iodine-containing drugs. Chronic form of iodism, as a rule, is difficult to determine, because its symptoms are blurred, can coincide with many other pathological conditions, decreased immunity, etc.

trusted-source[21], [22], [23], [24], [25], [26], [27], [28], [29]

Complications and consequences

Depending on the dose of iodine that has got into the human body, there may be correspondingly different consequences. So, in the case of acute form of iodism, when iodine, equivalent to two grams of crystalline iodine, gets into the body, death occurs. In cases less severe, burns of mucous, of varying severity can occur.

In the case of timely provision of first aid, the outcome of iodism can be minimized. But since a huge accumulation of iodine destroys protein structures, the consequence can be various disorders in the work of the liver, kidneys, disruption of the functioning of the central nervous system, as well as the cardiovascular system. Complications of iodism are also a burn of mucous membranes, various swelling of tissues, the onset of an allergic reaction of the body. In severe cases, swelling of the upper respiratory tract may cause suffocation.

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Diagnostics of the iodism

Carrying out of diagnostic measures is reduced to such procedures:

  • Study and analysis of the patient's complete medical history;
  • Study of professional activity;
  • Examination of the patient (presence of damage to the structure of mucous membranes, presence of acne on the face and chest area, presence of iodine odor, etc.);
  • A set of laboratory examinations (urine analysis, blood test, aes-isap method);

Due to the accumulation of the microelement of iodine in various organs (thyroid gland, skin, hair, bile, liver, kidneys, salivary glands), a number of studies are accordingly performed to accurately diagnose excess iodine in different parameters. The blood test is performed to determine the content of thyroid hormones, the content of the pituitary hormone, urine analysis for the detection of excess iodine in urine, aes-isap method-testing of iodine concentration by the nail part of the patient. The latest method for determining iodism - atomic emission spectrometry - is carried out on a special device, the principle of its action is to determine the wavelength of light emitted by a certain trace element. For this study, use the patient's nail plate.

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Who to contact?

Treatment of the iodism

In cases of acute poisoning, the skin is cleaned with a 2% solution of soda. The stomach is washed with a 5% solution of sodium thiosulfate. This drug is used as an antitoxic agent. In case of poisoning with iodine salts, sodium thiosulphate is prescribed in a dosage of 1.5 to 3 grams, this corresponds to 5-10 milliliters of a 30-percent solution for intravenous administration. In addition, sodium thiosulfate is also administered internally once-only in a dosage of 2-3 g with a 10% solution, which is prepared by diluting 30% solution with saline in a 1: 2 ratio.

Adverse reactions to the drug may be allergic manifestations, sudden jumps in blood pressure.

With chronic iodism, it is necessary to stop the intake of iodine into the body, i.e. Stop taking iodine-containing drugs, exclude work in harmful production, appoint a special salt-free diet to the patient.

It should also be noted that various vitamin complexes and biologically active additives may contain a trace element iodine, so these products should also be excluded from the patient's diet.

In cases of violations of water-salt metabolism, the patient is given infusion therapy.

Operative treatment in the treatment of iodine does not apply.

Treatment with alternative methods

Alternative agents are used only as an auxiliary in the treatment of iodism. To neutralize the action of the microelement, iodine is consumed by products: jelly on starch, butter, eggs, milk.


Prevention of iodine and iododerm is very important in the appointment of drugs that have iodine in their composition. Also, in cases of using iodine-containing drugs, patients are recommended to drink plenty of alkaline-carbon water, milk, and use a large dose of sodium carbonate daily. It is necessary to draw the patient's attention to the inadmissibility of drinking alcoholic beverages and spicy seasonings. In the case of intolerance to the body of iodine, iodine-containing drugs must be completely discontinued.

For children under the age of 5, doctors do not recommend prescribing iodine.

If there is a need to use iodine to treat various wounds and ulcers, it is possible to use a drug called iodinol, an iodine compound with polyvinyl alcohol. Alcohol enhances the action of iodine and weakens its irritating effect.

All doctors are obliged to control the use of all iodine-containing biological supplements, since iodine has sanogenic characteristics.

trusted-source[38], [39], [40], [41], [42], [43]


The prognosis in most cases of the occurrence of iodine and iododerm is favorable. Symptoms disappear after a while, with all the recommendations of the doctor. In the case of contact of iodine in the form of crystals with the skin, deep burns can occur, and even ulcerative skin lesions, which are very difficult to heal.

Very severe cases of knotty iododerm, leading to death, are observed occasionally.


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