Q. My family has switched almost entirely to using sea salt in cooking. Are we now at greater risk of developing a goiter because we’re not using iodized salt?
A. You are correct that sea salt contains minimal iodine. If you don’t get iodine from other sources you might develop a goiter–an enlarged thyroid gland that is working overtime to produce thyroid hormone.
The Recommended Dietary Allowance of iodine is 150 micrograms per day for an adult. You can get adequate amounts by eating fish (cod, haddock, perch, shrimp, etc.), dairy products or baked potato. Kelp (seaweed) is highest in iodine, but this is an acquired taste. Many multivitamins contain iodine.
There is further discussion of goiter and thyroid disease in our Guide to Thyroid Hormones. You will find an extended discussion of the pitfalls in treating hypothyroidism in Top Screwups Doctors Make and How to Avoid Them.