Iodine is the one of the heaviest mineral nutrient essential for the synthesis of thyroid hormones.
Two billion people are suffering from iodine deficiency and is the leading cause preventing intellectual disabilities.
Iodine is most commonly found in sea vegetables, cranberries, organic yogurt, organic navy beans, organic strawberries, raw, organic cheese, organic potatoes and etc.
Those at the highest risk of suffering from iodine deficiency are:
• Pregnant women.
• People living countries where there is low iodine content in the soil. This includes South Asia, Southeast Asia, New Zealand and European countries.
• People who don’t use iodized salt.
• People who follow a vegetarian or vegan diet.
However, there number of iodine deficiencies in the US is very low, where there are sufficient levels of the mineral in the food supply.
Here are 10 signs and symptoms of an iodine deficiency.
1. Swelling in the Neck
Neck swelling, also known as goiter, is a common symptom of an iodine deficiency. As a result of severe iodine deficiency in the body, thyroid gland is forced to overwork and thus causes swelling in the front of the neck. You can treat goiter by increasing your iodine intake. If goiter hasn’t been treated for many years, is very likely to contribute to permanent thyroid damage.
2. Unexpected Weight Gain
Since iodine plays essential role in the proper functioning of a normal metabolism, low iodine levels can cause weight gain by slowing down your metabolism and causing food to be stored as fat, instead being burned as energy.
3. Fatigue and Weakness
Fatigue and weakness are also occurring as a result of iodine deficiency. When your iodine levels are low, you are likely to feel tired, sluggish and weak, since your body requires the mineral to provide energy.
4. Hair loss
Thyroid hormones stimulate the growth of hair follicles. An iodine deficiency can prevent hair follicles to regenerate. Luckily, you can control the growth of hair follicles by increasing your iodine intake.
5. Dry, Flaky Skin
Since iodine is essential mineral for skin cells regeneration, a lack of this mineral can lead to dry, flaky skin. Iodine also helps your body sweat and hydrates your skin cells, meaning, iodine deficiency makes you sweat less.
6. Feeling Colder Than Usual
Lowered body temperature and cold hands and feet are common symptoms of iodine deficiency since this mineral stimulates the body heat.
7. Changes in Heart Rate
A severe iodine deficiency is likely to lead to abnormally slow heart rate making you feel weak, fatigued, dizzy and even worse, causing you to faint.
8. Trouble Learning and Remembering
Iodine is essential for making thyroid hormones that help your brain grow and develop. So, if you are having trouble in learning in remembering things, you are very likely to suffer from iodine deficiency.
9. Problems During Pregnancy
Getting enough iodine is especially important for pregnant and breastfeeding women, as they have higher needs. An iodine deficiency may cause severe side effects, especially for the baby, such as stunted growth and brain development.
10. Heavy or Irregular Periods
Women lacking iodine are at higher risk of experience heavy or irregular periods. This occurs as a result of thyroid hormone interfering with hormones that help regulating the menstrual cycle.. The recommended daily intake (RDI) is 150 mcg per day. This amount should meet the needs of 97–98% of all healthy adults.
However, pregnant women need 220 mcg daily, while lactating women need 290 mcg daily
The foods below are excellent sources of iodine:
Seaweed, Yogurt, plain, Iodized salt, Shrimp, Egg, Tuna