What is the role of dietary iodine in the treatment of Graves disease?

Updated: Apr 17, 2020
  • Author: Sai-Ching Jim Yeung, MD, PhD, FACP; Chief Editor: Romesh Khardori, MD, PhD, FACP  more...
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Iodine-containing food has different effects on thyroid uptake of131 I and technetium Tc 99m. Iodine-rich food decreases131 I uptake but increases99m Tc in most patients. However, the diagnostic value of a radioiodine uptake test to differentiate Graves disease and silent thyroiditis is not affected by dietary iodine intake. [84] Iodine restriction before a radioiodine uptake test is unnecessary.

Dietary iodine intake may influence the remission rate after antithyroid drug therapy. This is based on the observation that the outcome of antithyroid therapy in the older literature showed lower remission rates than it did in later studies and that the average dietary iodine content has been decreasing over the years. However, a direct causal relationship has not been established by clinical trials.

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