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Dr. Andrew Rynne

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Does iodine supplementation help in reducing swelling in the thyroid?

Answered by
Dr. Mirjeta Guni


Practicing since :2006

Answered : 2092 Questions

Posted on Mon, 11 Feb 2019 in Thyroid Problem and Hormonal Problems
Question: Hello again,I have some more questions about my thyroid. I'm wondering if I take iodine supplements if the swelling will go down?How long does it take for the swelling to go down if it's related to iodine deficiency? The swelling seemed to appear overnight and I noticed it 2 weeks ago.
Answered by Dr. Mirjeta Guni 42 minutes later
Brief Answer:
About thyroid swelling.

Detailed Answer:


First, let me inform you that iodine supplements do not help in reducing thyroid nodules (the most common cause of swelling).
Furthermore, if it is a hot nodule, it may deteriorate by iodine supplements.

I would suggest you evaluate further the thyroid gland with ultrasound (whenever it is possible) and decide rather FNA is necessary. It is suggested for nodules with characteristics of malignancy and will give information regarding nodule characteristics (benign or malignant).

Hope the information will help.


Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Prasad
Follow up: Dr. Mirjeta Guni 1 hour later
What do you mean by hot nodule? And don't I want it to deteriorate? I want the swelling to go down and go away! If this is from an iodine deficiency, it seems like supplementing would help the swelling go away. Please advise, thank you
Answered by Dr. Mirjeta Guni 11 minutes later
Brief Answer:
About thyroid nodules.

Detailed Answer:

Welcome back!

The cause of the thyroid nodules is unknown, most probably are genetic factors responsible for them.

Taking iodine supplements are not recommended to treat thyroid nodules as we are not sure about the cause of the nodules. A hot nodule means that it has a tendency to produce too many hormones and if you give iodine supplements it may induce hyperthyroidism.
Of course, you need further investigations (ultrasound, scintiscan and FNA) and after them is decided rather surgical removal is recommended or not.

Wish you good health.

Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Raju A.T
Follow up: Dr. Mirjeta Guni 2 days later
Will an ultrasound determine whether this is a mass or a "hot" nodule? What does it tell you if it moves when I swallow? My labs came back normal as I indicated before.
The swelling appeared suddenly and seems to be little smaller today. It's been 17 days since I first noticed it. What is a scintiscan? I've been told that Cancer of the thyroid is slow growing and it seems like I would have noticed this a long time ago.

Wondering if you got my last question?
Answered by Dr. Mirjeta Guni 24 hours later
Brief Answer:
About your concern.

Detailed Answer:

Welcome back!

The fact that it appeared suddenly and moves while swallowing, is suggestive for thyroid cyst that has had a hemorrhage making it growing suddenly. Now the hemorrhage is absorbing and the cyst will get back to the previous size.

This should be confirmed by ultrasound.

If the ultrasound shows a nodule, not a cystic lesion than scintiscan is important.

It will show rather the nodule is hot or cold.

In cold nodules, FNA is recommended.

As I said before it should be a cyst that is nothing to worry about, but it should be confirmed.

Dr. Mirjeta Guni, Endocrinologist
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Raju A.T

The User accepted the expert's answer

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