When hypothyroidism develops, iodine deficiency symptoms begin to manifest. The bodily processes slow down and iodine deficiency disorders develop, affecting one’s holistic health. Find out the importance of keeping your iodine supply at its normal level below.
Iodine Deficiency Symptoms Signal Hypothyroidism
What is Iodine?
Iodine is an essential micronutrient needed in small amounts by living organisms. It was first extracted in 1811 by French chemist Bernard Courtois. By 1813, British chemist Sir Humphry Davy got its name from the Greek word “iodes,” which means “violet.”
Why Do You Need Iodine in Your Diet?
Iodine, as a trace element, is necessary for thyroid hormone production. It maintains healthy cells and metabolic rates. The daily amount of iodine recommended for adults is 0.14 mg. Low levels of iodine in the body may result in the following iodine deficiency signs and symptoms:
- difficulty losing weight
- hair loss
- increased cholesterol level
- a decline in cognitive function
- frequently feeling cold
How Does Thyroid Imbalance Cause Iodine Deficiency Disorders?
The body must contain 15-20 mg of iodine, and 70-80% of it should be in the thyroid gland. When the body lacks enough iodine, the functions of the thyroid gland are affected. Thyroid hormone imbalance occurs. This imbalance causes iodine deficiency symptoms like difficulty in losing weight, decreased energy, and forgetfulness.
Severe iodine deficiency symptoms, if left unmanaged, may result in serious iodine deficiency disorders like:
- pregnancy problems
- fetal maldevelopment
- Down Syndrome
- low IQ level for school children
- hypothyroidism especially in women
- autoimmune diseases
When Can Iodine Deficiency Disorders be Identified?
According to a study by the National Center for Biotechnology Information, over 118 countries consider iodine deficiency as a global health problem. At the onset of iodine deficiency, symptoms can already be diagnosed. The assessment procedure may include:
- Acquiring urine samples
- Neck inspection and palpation of the goiter
- Blood sample collection
Who Can You Consult for Iodine Deficiency Treatment and Management?
Endocrinologists are the primary specialists you can see to diagnose and manage hypothyroidism. A thyroid specialist is, of course, the one you should seek. These experts may recommend a range of treatment plans from lifestyle change to medication. Using natural remedies is another option they may recommend.
Where Can You Get Enough Iodine?
Iodine is readily available in many foods sold in groceries. Some excellent food sources of iodine are:
- iodized salt
- dairy products
Keep in mind that the Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) for iodine is at 150 μg per day for adults. This increases if you are pregnant (220 μg) or already breastfeeding (290 μg).
Find out the other food sources of iodine in this video from Erin Wong:
As they say, “prevention is better than cure.” Combating iodine deficiency is no easy feat, but you can compensate by eating a well-balanced diet. Seeking proper medical support can help keep the symptoms from getting severe, too.
Do you know someone who might have an iodine deficiency problem? Share your experiences on the comments below and help others.