A balanced diet is the mainstay of good health. Therefore, it becomes important to know the right nutrients that you should consume in the right quantities. Iodine is one such mineral that is an essential part of the daily diet if you want to keep good health. Even though your daily requirement is a very small quantity, it still plays a key role because it enables the thyroid gland to synthesize thyroid hormones.
These hormones are responsible for vital functions such as growth, brain development, healing, and metabolism. Deficiency of iodine, therefore, becomes a key concern as it can disrupt these functions and endanger your health. Hence, it is important to be vigilant about the symptoms of iodine deficiency so that you can address it before it causes major damage. Here are the symptoms that you should not overlook.
Swelling in the neck
If you notice swelling in the front of your neck, you should get yourself checked for iodine deficiency. This symptom is a characteristic of a condition called goiter, which happens due to the overgrowth of the thyroid gland. Being low on iodine means that the gland cannot make enough of the thyroid hormones. As a result, it works harder, leading to multiplication and growth of cells that subsequently causes goiter.
Unexplained weight gain
Another symptom that warns about the deficiencies of this mineral is unexplained weight gain. Insufficient quantities of thyroid hormones are responsible for weight gain because this imbalance slows down your metabolism. Consequently, you are not able to burn the calories you consume and the fat deposits in the body get increased.
Constant fatigue and weakness
A feeling of constant fatigue and weakness is indicative of iodine deficiency. Again, this is attributed to the low levels of thyroid hormones, which play a significant role in energy production. The body is unable to produce enough energy and you end up feeling weak and sluggish. Switching to these 5 Foods That Are Rich In Iodine helps and so does seeking the advice of a specialist.
Dry, flaky skin
Another symptom that you should be watchful about is dryness and flakiness of the skin because a majority of patients do experience this symptom. Since thyroid hormones support the rejuvenation of skin cells, inadequate production hampers this function and your skin ends up looking dry and flaky. Additionally, people with deficiency tend to sweat less, which is another reason that the skin lacks much-needed hydration and turns dry.
Excessive hair loss
Inadequacy of iodine can also be responsible for excessive hair loss because thyroid hormones are responsible for the growth of hair follicles. When the body fails to produce enough of it, the follicles become weak and stop regenerating. Despite taking the best diet and using the best hair care products, you will continue to suffer from unprecedented hair loss.
If you feel colder than usual, chances are that you are suffering from iodine deficiency. As the levels of thyroid hormones plummet due to this deficiency, your metabolic rate reduces to a considerable extent. Low metabolism means that the body generates less heat, which manifests itself in the form of feeling colder than usual.
Erratic heart rate
A regular heart rate is the sign of perfect health but if it becomes erratic, you may be battling with iodine imbalance. While the slow heart rate is indicative of a deficiency, an excess is indicated if your heart rate is faster than normal. Besides a slow heart rate, you could also experience symptoms such as weakness, dizziness, and fainting spells.
The symptoms of iodine deficiency extend beyond the physical ones and maybe mental ones too. You may suffer from memory issues as your ability to learn and remember can be affected significantly. This is attributed to the fact that thyroid hormones are responsible for the growth and development of the brain. If your body fails to produce enough of these hormones, the brain will definitely be affected.
Irregular or heavy periods
Low levels of thyroid hormones can have a major impact on women because these affect their menstrual cycle. periods tend to be irregular and/or heavier than normal in such females. Proper diagnosis and treatment are recommended sooner rather than later.
Beyond irregular periods, women who are iodine-deficient may come across certain complications during pregnancy. Lack of thyroid hormones may impact the growth and development of the baby’s brain. Further, the risk of stillbirth is also high in such women.
Knowing your body well enough is important because recognizing and addressing these symptoms early can make all the difference. Considering the fact that the recommended daily intake (RDI) of iodine is 150 mcg per day, it is easy to make up for the deficiency by eating right. Eating foods like eggs, seafood, iodized salt, yogurt, and dried prunes can help. Also, it is advisable to see a specialist for a comprehensive assessment and strategic treatment plan to get your iodine levels on track.