advertisement



Q & A Library


Print this page | Sign up for free e-bulletins
 | Bookmark This Page

Q
Rules for a Low-Iodine Diet?

What foods should you avoid on a low-iodine diet prior to radioactive iodine ablation for thyroid cancer?

A
Answer (Published 6/28/2005)

Radioactive iodine ablation is a treatment given about two months after surgery for thyroid cancer to destroy (ablate) any thyroid cells remaining in the body. Prior to this treatment, patients often are advised to go on a low iodine diet for about two weeks to deplete the body of its iodine stores, a strategy believed to make ablation more effective. (Institutions differ on recommendations for how long to follow this diet prior to ablation.) You probably will be advised to continue it for about two days after the procedure.

Related Weil Products
Dr. Weil's Vitamin Advisor for Your Whole Body - Foods, herbs and drugs can all interact, sometimes in unexpected ways. Dr. Weil's Vitamin Advisor takes known interactions into account when developing nutritional supplement recommendations, to help safeguard against adverse effects. Learn more, and get your free, personalized Dr. Weil's Vitamin Advisor recommendation today.

Iodine turns up in a lot of foods because it is widely used for purposes that you might find surprising, including the care and feeding of animals and as a stabilizer in food processing. It is also a component of red food dyes. And because salt may be supplemented with iodine, varying amounts may show up in all kinds of foods and beverages containing salt.

You'll note as you look through the list below that dairy products are among the foods to avoid. As a result, you may be losing out on the calcium normally found in your diet. Although you can get calcium from such vegetables as collards, mustard greens, kale, broccoli, bok choy, if you're not already taking a calcium supplement, it would be a good idea to take about 1,000 mg of calcium citrate daily while on the low-iodine diet.

Here's a quick rundown of what foods to avoid on a low-iodine diet:

  • Iodized salt (non-iodized salt is okay).
  • All dairy products (animals secrete dietary iodine into milk and animal feed contains iodine).
  • Seafood including fish, all shellfish, seaweed, kelp, sardines, canned tuna.
  • Processed meats including bacon, sausage, hot dogs, luncheon meats.
  • Egg noodles, pastries, cookies, packaged rice mixes.
  • Canned or dried fruit, canned fruit juices, Tang, Hi-C.
  • Highly salted foods such as canned soups, ketchup, salted peanut butter, commercial salad dressings (there may be iodine in the salt).
  • Snack foods including pretzels, chips, corn chips and crackers.

For additional details on the low-iodine diet check the Abramson Cancer Center of the University of Pennsylvania Web site at www.oncolink.upenn.edu or ThyCa, the Thyroid Cancer Survivors' Association Web site at www.thyca.org.

Andrew Weil, M.D.

Creative Commons License Some Rights Reserved Creative Commons Copyright Notice
A portion of the original material created by Weil Lifestyle, LLC on DrWeil.com (specifically, all question and answer-type articles in the Dr. Weil Q&A Library) is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.

The Weil Vitamin Advisor
Get your FREE personalized vitamin recommendation & supplement plan today!

Dr. Weil on Healthy Aging
Your Online Guide to the Anti-Inflammatory Diet. Start eating for your health - begin your free trial now.

Dr. Weil's Spontaneous Happiness
Achieve emotional well-being
in just eight weeks!
Start your 10-day free trial now!

Vitamin Library
Supplement your knowledge with Dr. Weil's essential vitamin facts. Learn why they are necessary and more.

Dr. Weil's Optimum Health Plan
Your 8-week plan to wellness.
Begin your journey today!
 

Dr. Weil's Head-to-Toe
Wellness Guide

Your guide to natural health.
Use the Wellness Guide today!

Dr. Weil's Anti-Inflammatory Diet Food Pyramid
Our interactive tool can help improve overall health through diet.

Condition Care Guide
Learn about health conditions from acne to vertigo, and Dr. Weil's view of the best treatment options for each.

Healthy Recipes
Discover a treasure trove of healthy, healing foods and creative, delicious ways to prepare them.

Q&A Library
Over 2,000 questions from you
and their corresponding answers
from Dr. Weil.

 
Copyright © 2014 Weil Lifestyle, LLC
Information on this web site is provided for informational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for the advice provided by your physician or other healthcare professional. You should not use the information on this web site for diagnosing or treating a health problem or disease, or prescribing any medication or other treatment.

Ad Choice
Advertising Notice

This Site and third parties who place advertisements on this Site may collect and use information about your visits to this Site and other websites in order to provide advertisements about goods and services of interest to you. If you would like to obtain more information about these advertising practices and to make choices about online behavioral advertising, please click here