Salt, Iodine and Thyroid

Salt, Iodine and Thyroid
Iodized sea salt

During my consultation with patients, I have realized that a lot of people are not aware of the difference between regular salt and iodized salt. If your salt container says just “SALT”, then it doesn’t contain iodine. Sea salt, unless it is iodized, does not contain iodine either. Unless you are sensitive to iodine, you should be using iodized salt or iodized sea salt for cooking. Iodine is a necessary nutrient for making thyroid hormones. Iodine deficiency can lead to hypothyroidism (low thyroid function), enlarged thyroid gland (goiter) and thyroid nodules. Hyperthyroidism (high thyroid function) may occur as a result of goiter or thyroid nodules. Severe iodine deficiency in a pregnant woman can cause irreversible stunted physical and mental growth in fetus, known as cretinism. Most restaurant foods and packaged foods use non-iodized salt. If you are on a low sodium diet, I highly recommend that you start incorporating seaweed into your diet.


If you have been using non-iodized salt for over a year, I suggest that you get your thyroid checked. Symptoms of iodine deficiency often take a while to develop and have an insidious onset. Don’t hesitate to call or email me if you’re not sure about your thyroid condition.