Potassium iodide pills: what they are and how they work against radiation

El yoduro de potasio únicamente protege a la tiroides contra un tipo de radiación.

The possibility of a nuclear war has been a global fear since humanity knew the horror of the atomic bombs of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945. Now, while the conflict between Russia and Ukraine continues, the fear of a possible nuclear attack has increased the demand from potassium iodide pills or anti-radiation pills. We explain what they are and how they work against radiation.

Potassium iodide is a nonradioactive iodine salt that prevents the thyroid gland from absorbing radioactive iodine, thereby protecting the thyroid from possible radiation damage. Nothing more. That is potassium iodide pills only protect the thyroid, not any other part of the body, and only protect against radioactive iodine.

The United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) explain that the thyroid is the part of the body most sensitive to radioactive iodine and that potassium iodide tablets or liquid solution (which also exists) should only be consumed on the instructions of public health personnel or emergency management personnel. Consuming it without medical supervision can have serious health consequences.

Potassium iodide does not prevent radioactive iodine from entering the body. and it cannot reverse the health effects caused by radioactive iodine after it has damaged the thyroid,” the CDC says. If there is no radioactive iodine, taking potassium iodide does not protect against the effects of any other type of radiation and can cause damage.

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Potassium Iodide Pill Side Effects

Consuming these anti-radiation pills without medical supervision can cause stomach or gastrointestinal imbalances, allergic reactions, rashes and swollen salivary glands. In the case of babies, receiving high doses of potassium iodide can trigger hypothyroidism which, if left untreated, can cause brain damage.


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