Signs and Symptoms of Iodine Deficiency
Signs and Symptoms of Iodine Deficiency: Iodine is one of the important mineral for your body that your body cannot produce. The thyroid gland uses to make thyroid hormones, controlling growth, repair damage cells and also supports healthy metabolism. Unfortunately there are not some but up to one third of the people in the world that are at the risk of iodine deficiency. The people who are at the higher risk of getting iodine deficiency are:
- Pregnant women
- People who live in countries where there is lack of iodine in the soil, includes New Zealand, South Asia, Southeast Asia, and European countries.
- Those people who don’t use iodized salt
- People who follow vegan or vegetarian diet are some of those who are at the higher risk of attaining high iodine deficiency.
Even though iron deficiencies are rare in the US, there are sufficient levels of minerals in the food supply. But what happens when you go through iodine deficiency? There are many uncomfortable and severe symptoms such as swelling in neck, weight gain, pregnancy related issues and learning difficulties and more.
The symptoms of iodine deficiency are very much similar to those symptoms of hypothyroidism as well as low thyroid hormones. Iodine is very much useful to make thyroid hormones, but due to iron deficiency your body isn’t able to make enough of them thus leading to hypothyroidism. Here are the 10 Signs and Symptoms of such Deficiency you must know about.
Recommended: Foods to Improve Hypothyroidism
10 Symptoms of Iodine Deficiency – Iodine Deficiency Signs
Swelling in the Neck
One of the major symptoms of iodine deficiency is the swelling in the neck called the goiter and happens when the thyroid glands grows too big. The thyroid gland is a small butterfly shaped gland in the front of your neck. This makes thyroid hormones upon receiving a signal from the thyroid stimulating hormone – TSH.
The rise in the blood vessels of TSH helps the thyroid gland to make thyroid hormones. But when your body is low in iodine, it cannot make enough of them. But the thyroid gland works harder to try to make more of these and these causes the cells to multiply and grow which leads to a goitre.
There have been many cases that can be treated by increasing your iodine intake, but if goitre hasn’t been treated for many years, it causes permanent damage.
Unexpected Weight Gain
One of the common signs of iodine deficiency is the unexpected weight gain. This symptom may occur if your body does not have enough iodine to make thyroid hormones. It happens because the thyroid hormones can control the speed of your metabolism. It is the process that helps you to convert food into energy and heat.
When the thyroid hormone levels are low, your body burns fewer calories at rest. Unfortunately this suggests that more and more calories from the foods you eat are storing itself as fat. By adding more iodine to your diet can help you to reverse the effects of slow metabolism as it helps your body make more thyroid hormones.
Fatigue and Weakness
Other common symptoms of iodine deficiency are fatigue and weakness. There have been some studies that found that nearly 80% of people with low thyroid hormone levels feels sluggish, tired and weak and then later results in cases of iodine deficiency. The thyroid hormones help your body to make energy which as a result brings out these symptoms.
When your thyroid hormone levels are low your body cannot make energy level that it usually does. This causes your energy levels to plummet and leaves you weak. A study showed that around 2,456 people found that fatigue and weakness are among the common symptoms in those people who have low or slightly low thyroid hormone levels.
Another symptom of iodine deficiency is hair loss. But the thyroid hormones will help you to control the growth of hair follicles. Therefore when you thyroid hormones levels low even your hair follicles may stop regenerating. This can in fact turn into hair loss over the period of time. Even in the study found that 30% out of 700 people suffers from low thyroid levels experienced hair loss as a result.
But this is a pretty confused topic, as another study claimed the same but said that hair loss due to thyroid can only result in those who have a family history of hair loss. And if you are experiencing hair loss as a result of iodine deficiency that you should probably get all the necessary minerals to correct your thyroid hormone levels and eventually stops hair loss.
Dry and Flaky Skin
Symptoms of iodine deficiency include dry and flaky skin observation. Some studies have found that up to 77% of people with low thyroid hormone levels can experience dry and flaky skin. The thyroid hormones are made of iodine also helps your skin to regenerate skin cells. But when these hormone levels and those with iodine deficiency specially, people will sweat less than those with normal thyroid hormone levels.
Maybe because you sweat more, the skin loses its natural way to stay moist and hydrated. And because of the lack of sweat, iodine deficiency people experiences dry and flaky skin.
Feeling Colder than Usual
Several studies have found that over 80% of people suffering from low thyroid hormones are sensitive to cold temperatures than usual. The iodine deficiency causes your thyroid hormone levels to plummet as iodine is used to make thyroid hormones.
The thyroid hormones can help control the speed of your metabolism and a slower metabolism generated less heat and therefore you feel colder than usual. The thyroid hormones can also help you to boost the activity of brown fat, which is the one generating heat in your body.
Changes in Heart Rate
Heart rate is a measure of how many times your heart beats in a minute. But it may be affected by your iodine levels. Too little of it causes slower heart rate and too much if it can causes faster heart beats.
But a severe iodine deficiency results in abnormally slow heart rate. This in turn can make you feel weak, dizzy, fatigue and causes you to faint. It is therefore one of the common symptoms of iodine deficiency.
Trouble Learning and Remembering
You would be surprised to know that the iodine deficiency can also give you mental results in which you might get hampered while learning or remembering. There was a study that involved 1000 adults with higher thyroid hormone levels which are performed in better learning and memory tests, compared to those with lower thyroid hormone levels.
The thyroid hormone can help your brain to develop and grow. But the iodine deficiency can alter your brain development as a result. It is therefore among the signs and symptoms of iodine deficiency.
Problems during Pregnancy
As mention at the start of this article, pregnant women are at a higher risk of iodine deficiency compared to others. They need to consume enough of this mineral daily in order to help their growing baby. Even you should focus on retaining your demand for iodine consumption while going through lactation as babies will receive iodine through breast milk.
Not consuming enough iodine during pregnancy and lactation cause side effects for both the baby and mother. Many mothers can also experience symptoms of an underactive thyroid such as goitre, weakness, fatigue and feeling cold. The iron deficiency in infants can also stunt the physical growth and brain development.
And if you are really wondering, than the severe iodine deficiency can also increase the risk of stillbirth.
Heavy and Irregular Periods
Heavy and irregular bleeding can also occur as a result of iodine deficiency, alike other symptoms discuss above. In one particular study it was found that 68% of women with low thyroid hormone levels experiences irregular menstrual cycles compared to the 12% of healthy women.
There are several researches which also show that women with low thyroid hormone levels can experience more frequent menstrual cycles with heavy bleeding. That is because the thyroid hormones disrupt the hormone signals involved in menstrual cycle.
Rich sources of iodine
These were some of the most common symptoms of iodine deficiency. Here are also some of the rich sources of iodine we can get from, are the following foods:
- Plain Yogurt
- Iodised Salt
- Dried Prunes
These were the foods that you should definitely include in your daily diet, in order to fight back iodine deficiency and have a rightful health full of minerals. If you are still observing some of the symptoms mention here. You should definitely go and see your doctor and get the best advice.