5 Signs and Symptoms of Iodine Deficiency

5 Signs and Symptoms of Iodine Deficiency

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Iodine is an essential mineral that the body needs. Your thyroid gland uses it to create thyroid hormones, which help control growth, repair damaged cells, and support a healthy metabolism. Unfortunately, up to a third of people worldwide are at risk of iodine deficiency. So in this video, we're looking at five of the top signs to look out for. Number one, swelling in the neck. Symptoms of iodine deficiency are very similar to those of hypothyroidism, also known as low thyroid hormones. Since iodine is used to make thyroid hormones and iodine deficiency means your thyroid can't make enough of it. To compensate the gland works harder to try to make more, causing the cells to grow and multiply. This can eventually lead to swelling in the front of the neck known as goiter.

Fortunately, most cases can be treated by increasing your iodine intake. However, if a goiter hasn't been treated for many years then it could cause permanent damage. Number two, unexpected weight gain. This can occur if the body doesn't have enough iodine to make thyroid hormone. This is because thyroid hormones help control the speed of your metabolism, which is the process by which your body converts food into energy and heat.

Now when your thyroid hormone levels are low your body burns fewer calories at rest. Unfortunately, this means more calories from the foods you eat are stored as fat. Adding more iodine to your diet may help reverse the effects of slow metabolism and it may also help your body to produce more thyroid hormone. Number three, fatigue and weakness. Fatigue and weakness are also really common symptoms of iodine deficiency. In fact, some studies have found that nearly 80% of people with low thyroid hormone levels, which occur in cases of iodine deficiency, they feel tired, sluggish, and weak. When thyroid hormone levels are low, your body can't make as much energy as it usually does.

And this can cause your energy levels to plummet and leave you feeling very weak. In fact, this study is about 2500 people found that fatigue and weakness were the most common symptoms among those with low or slightly low thyroid hormone levels. Number four, hair loss. When your thyroid hormone levels are low your hair follicles may stop regenerating, and over time this can lead to hair loss.

One study in 700 people found that 30% of those with low thyroid hormone levels experienced hair loss. However, other studies indicate it may only speed up the process in those with a family history of hair loss. Number five, dry, flaky skin. Some studies have found that up to 77% of people with low thyroid hormone levels and probably low iodine levels as well, experience dry and flaky skin.

Thyroid hormones, which contain iodine, help your skin cells regenerate. When thyroid hormone levels are low, this regeneration doesn't occur as often, possibly leading to dry, flaky skin. It also helps your body to sweat and hydrates your skin cells. So an iodine deficiency could cause you to sweat less. All that said, fortunately treating iodine deficiency is pretty straightforward. Adding iodized salt to your main meals should help you meet your requirements. And of course, if you suspect you have an iodine deficiency, you should speak with your doctor to get checked. Thanks for watching.

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