Iodine deficiency in the body: everything you need to know
Iodine is an essential trace element that is very important for the healthy growth and development of the body and performs many functions in the body. It is soluble in water and is added to table salt and in some countries also to drinking water.
Therefore, its deficiency in the general population is relatively rare, but we may encounter its deficiency in some developing countries.
Adequate iodine intake is very important, especially in pregnant and lactating women, because iodine is important for the fetus’s proper development.
This article describes the symptoms and complications associated with iodine deficiency, and you will also learn how to ensure a sufficient supply of iodine.
Why is iodine important?
Iodine is important for the thyroid gland’s proper functioning because it is an integral part of its hormones.
Thyroid hormones are involved in:
- proper brain development
- growth of the organism
- wound healing and the proper functioning of the immune system
- metabolic control
If the thyroid gland does not make enough hormones, hypothyroidism (reduced thyroid function) develops.
Because iodine is an integral part of thyroid hormones and we need it to make it, iodine deficiency disrupts their production, leading to hypothyroidism.
Manifestations of iodine deficiency
According to one study from 2017, up to a third of the world’s population suffers from iodine deficiency.
Here are the 11 most common manifestations of iodine deficiency in the body.
One of the common manifestations of iodine deficiency is sudden and unexpected weight gain.
Iodine deficiency causes insufficient production of thyroid hormones, which are necessary for proper calorie burning, which leads to a slowdown in metabolism and weight gain (the body cannot process fast enough food and convert it into energy and thus stores unprocessed calories in the form of fat in stock).
However, it should be carried in mind that iodine deficiency is not always the cause of weight gain. Far more often, the cause of weight gain is excessive food intake and lack of exercise its effect on you love life or use Fildena 100 or Fildena 150 to improve love life.
If you are not sure what is behind the sudden weight gain, have your blood iodine levels measured.
Another common manifestation of iodine deficiency is weakness. For example, you may have trouble lifting heavier loads than you normally lift or feel that you are having trouble walking (“weak legs”), things are falling out of your hand, and so on.
The cause of this weakness is a lack of energy, which is again due to a slowing of the metabolism due to hypothyroidism (decreased thyroid function).
Due to iodine deficiency, the body does not make enough thyroid hormones, which leads to it converting fewer calories into energy. If the muscles do not have a sufficient energy supply, they function worse, and the person feels weak.
Another symptom of iodine deficiency can be fatigue. The cause is again a slowdown in metabolism and a lack of energy resources.
However, like weight gain, fatigue does not have to be caused by iodine deficiency alone.
For example, if you don’t get enough rest, you may feel tired.
Suppose fatigue occurs for no apparent reason or is so severe that it prevents you from functioning normally or significantly impairs your quality of life. In that case, you should seek medical attention as the cause may be more serious.
Another symptom of iodine deficiency can be hair loss.
Thyroid hormones are also involved in the regeneration of hair follicles. In people with hypothyroidism, follicle regeneration is worsened or slowed down, leading to increased hair loss and reduced hair regeneration.
One other manifestation of iodine deficiency is dry, itchy skin, which peels into the scales.
Thyroid hormones are involved in the renewal of hair follicles and the renewal of all cells in the body. Hypothyroidism can cause the accumulation of dead skin cells on the surface, which is manifested by dry skin, itching, and peeling of small scales.
Iodine deficiency causes a lack of thyroid hormones, which slows down metabolism.
You already know all this.
However, during metabolic processes, energy and heat are generated (part of the energy in chemical reactions is always converted into heat).
One of the symptoms of iodine deficiency in the body is coldness.
Therefore, people with hypothyroidism often suffer from chills.
If your hands or feet are constantly cold and the cause of this condition cannot be determined, it is advisable to seek medical help and have the levels of iodine and thyroid hormones in your blood measured.
Low heart rate (bradycardia)
Iodine deficiency can cause a slowing of the heart rhythm (bradycardia).
The normal heart rate of an adult is 60-100 beats per minute.
If it is reduced, a condition called bradycardia (low heartbeat) develops, which can manifest as dizziness, dizziness, feeling faint, or, in severe cases, loss of consciousness.
Memory problems and cognitive impairment
Thyroid hormones are necessary for the proper growth of the brain. Iodine deficiency can cause decreased production of thyroid hormones, which, among other things, results in impaired memory, learning, and other cognitive functions.
One 2014 study found that people with iodine deficiency have a smaller hippocampus, a brain structure responsible for memory and learning.
Disorders of fetal development in pregnancy
Adequate iodine intake is very important, especially in pregnancy, because the future mother must have enough iodine for herself and the growing fetus.
Thyroid hormones are important for the fetus’s healthy development in the mother’s body, and their deficiency can lead to disorders of the brain and nervous system development (in extreme cases to so-called cretinism).
Iodine deficiency in pregnancy can also cause fetal growth to stop.
Also, iodine deficiency in pregnancy increases the risk of fetal death (stillbirth).
Heavy or irregular menstruation
Iodine deficiency causes insufficient production of thyroid hormones, which, among other things, are also involved in the regulation of the menstrual cycle in women.
Therefore, relatively common manifestations of iodine deficiency in women include, but are not limited to:
- heavy menstruation associated with heavy bleeding
- irregularities of the menstrual cycle (as in terms of increasing or decreasing the frequency of menstruation)
Enlarged thyroid gland (goiter)
One of the manifestations of iodine deficiency may be an enlargement of the thyroid gland, which manifests itself in “swelling of the throat.”
If the thyroid gland does not have enough iodine to produce its hormones, it will absorb more iodine from the blood use Fildena 120 or vigora 100 to improve potency. To do this, it needs a larger vascular supply and a larger volume of parenchyma, which leads to its enlargement (goiter) and an increase in blood flow.
The enlarged thyroid gland then manifests itself by enlargement (swelling) of the neck.
However, iodine insufficiency is not the only cause of swelling of the neck.
Much more common causes of swelling in the neck are enlarged lymph nodes or the salivary glands’ inflammation.
Therefore, if you feel that your neck is swollen and the condition does not improve within a few days, it is necessary to seek medical help.
What are the complications of iodine deficiency?
The most serious complications associated with iodine deficiency threaten pregnant women and the fetus.
In the worst case, the fetus may die before giving birth due to growth arrest or the birth of a child with severe mental retardation (cretinism) due to disruption of normal brain development.
Iodine deficiency is diagnosed by a doctor, most often from urine, but iodine levels from the blood can also be determined as a guide.
Causes of iodine deficiency
iodine deficiency is relatively rare because iodine is added to table salt and also to drinking water sources.
However, especially pregnant women should be careful to increase their daily iodine intake so that its daily intake covers the fetus and future mothers’ needs.
How to supplement iodine deficiency?
The best way to supplement iodine is to eat foods rich in this essential element regularly.
The US National Institutes of Health (NIH) recommends the following foods as the best food sources for iodine:
- Seaweed (1 dried leaf): 11 – 1 989% of the daily recommended dose
- Cod (one serving, approx. 85 grams): 66% of the recommended daily dose
- Yogurt (one larger yogurt – 245 ml): 50% of the recommended daily dose
- Iodized salt (1.5 g or ¼ teaspoon): 47% of the recommended daily dose
- Shrimp (one serving, 85 g): 23% of the daily recommended dose
- Eggs (1 hen’s egg): 16% of the recommended daily dose
- Canned tuna (85 g): 11% of the daily recommended dose
- Prunes (5 pcs): 9% of the daily recommended dose
What do you take away from the article?
Although iodine deficiency is not very common in the worldwide, given that iodine is added to table salt and some waterworks and drinking water, it is advisable to ensure a sufficient supply of this mineral, especially in pregnancy, when its deficiency can cause serious damage to the fetus, including death.
The most obvious sign of iodine deficiency is hypothyroidism, i.e., reduced thyroid function because iodine is essential for producing thyroid hormones.
These hormones regulate several processes, from metabolism to heart activity and cognitive function.
The best prevention of iodine deficiency is to consume a sufficient amount of food with this vital trace element.