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POTASSIUM IODIDE (KI)

What about the effects of taking potassium iodide? Who needs to take it? How soon after direct exposure should one take KI? Considering that iodine -131 needs to be inhaled directly or eaten to be exposed to our thyroids, I don’t consider potassium iodide a necessary supplement for continental US residents. The amount we inhale is very slight, detected radiation levels on the west coast are very small, and the side effects of KI are high at that large of a dose. The best solution I see is to decrease exposure through the foods that you eat, such as small fish from the pacific ocean and dairy products for the next few months until the iodine -131 is no longer radioactive.

High iodine intake can cause hyperthyroidism caused by Grave’s Disease or a toxic multinodular goiter. This is not to be taken lightly. We do not live in an iodine deficient location, and iodine is added into many products including our table salt. KI will only replete your thyroid gland until it is full, increasing the production of thyroid hormones. If the thyroid receives too much iodine it will stop hormone production entirely temporarily. The average American receives more iodine than their thyroid can use, and this is measured in micrograms, not milligrams. So taking a high milligram dose of iodine is a lot of iodine for your body! So if you really want to decrease your exposure, avoid dairy products and pacific ocean (except for deep ocean fish) seafood.

Here’s a great article on how much iodine supplementation the thyroid needs:

http://www.medicinenet.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=18119

Here’s what the CDC has to say about KI

http://www.bt.cdc.gov/radiation/ki.asp

Here’s what the FDA has to say:

http://www.fda.gov/Drugs/EmergencyPreparedness/BioterrorismandDrugPreparedness/ucm072265.htm

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