Thyroid UK
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Low iodine diet for RAI??

Hi I'm due to have RAI for thyroid cancer in about a week and need to follow a low iodine diet but am finding the whole thing confusing. The hispital gave given me a booklet and the advice in there is to avoid fish, sea food, seaweed, red colour dye etc... When I have googled low iodine diet it had so many more things to avoid like dairy, bread and things with added salt. I bought some rice milk and I'm even reluctant to have that as it has sea salt in and I'm trying to avoid all dairy now!! Am I Wright or wrong?

2 Replies

Hi Loopyboo,

You are right to avoid all foods with sea salt also all dairy. Many of the ready meals in the uk don't specify if they use iodised salt or not (sea salt is naturally iodised). This means you also need to avoid lecithin (from milk) and carrageen (from seaweed) that are also used as additives and thickeners, these can be present in sauces and gravies. The low iodine diet can be a bit boring but uk bread is safe as the added salt doesn't have added iodine it is different in Europe and the USA.

It is easier to buy fresh meat, fruit and veg and cooking from scratch, at least it is healthy and by avoiding iodine you optimise the uptake of the RAI and increase the chance of only requiring to do it once.

When I was struggling I bought unsalted crisps and then added my own non iodised table salt, it was something normal.

Good luck



Lou, I followed the hospital recommendations. Didn't know any better and was fine both times. I don't think there is much iodine in UK milk now that automated milking means that teats aren't wiped with iodine to clean them. I don't think iodised salt is commonly used in UK foods as it is in the USA.


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