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Iodine Poisoning Symptoms

Iodine Poisoning Symptoms

Iodine is a trace element that is required for healthy functioning of the human body. Iodine deficiency, as well as overdose could cause undesirable effects. This HealthHearty article provides information on the symptoms of iodine poisoning.
HealthHearty Staff
It's a well-known fact that the lack of iodine can cause health problems, but excessive intake of iodine can also have an adverse effect on one's health. Children are extremely sensitive to the effects of this trace element. According to the Food and Nutrition Board, the Tolerable Upper Intake Levels are children in the age group of 1-3 years, 4-8 years, 9-13 years, and 14-18 years are 200 mcg, 300 mcg, 600 mcg, and 900 mcg, respectively. The Tolerable Upper Intake Levels for adults is 1,100 mcg.
Symptoms
Repeated exposure to high concentrations of iodine could cause various symptoms. Usually, iodine poisoning occurs due to exposure to items (not food) that contain iodine. This element is present in amiodarone, Lugol's solution, Pima syrup, potassium iodide, etc. Ingestion of large amounts of iodine could have a corrosive effect on the gastrointestinal tract. The most commonly observed symptoms include:
Coughing
Abdominal pain
Diarrhea
Vomiting
Delirium
Fever
Pain in the throat and mouth
Shock/stupor
Breathing problems
Shortness of breath
Metallic taste in the mouth
Seizures
Nervousness
Protruded eyeballs
Abnormal sensitivity in the retina (clear distant vision, but weak near vision)
Reduced or no urine output
Excessive thirst 
In some cases, the affected individual will wither be extremely thirsty or not thirsty at all. At times, he/she might either experience frequent urination, or have no urine output.
If iodine is applied on the skin, it could cause burns, skin irritation, allergic reaction, stains, etc. Also, inhalation of iodine vapors could cause lung problems.
Treatment
If a person has accidentally ingested large amounts of iodine, it is essential to keep the person hydrated. Give the person milk, or cornstarch or flour mixed with water after every 15 minutes. However, don't give him/her these milk or cornstarch/flour mixed with water, if the person has been vomiting. The use of activated charcoal would prove beneficial, as activated charcoal binds to the chemical, lowering their toxicity through the entire length of the gastrointestinal tract.
On a concluding note, medical assistance must be sought at the earliest in order to treat iodine poisoning. If one is taken within half an hour of ingesting this trace element, gastric lavage can be performed. The patient would recover faster, if the amount of iodine is less, and the treatment is administered as soon as possible.
Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is solely for educating the reader. It is not intended to be a substitute for the advice of a medical expert.