Healthy fact: Iodine is an important mineral for forming hormones. They function to help use oxygen and produce heat in the body. Example of the source of iodine is seafood and salt. However, when a person does not eat enough iodine, a deficiency will occur.
Here’s everything you need to know about an iodine deficiency and how to treat it.
The healthy fact of Iodine
Iodine normally is kept in the thyroid gland. The thyroid gland helps to make thyroid hormones.
Hormones help to stimulate oxygen consumption, body heat, and metabolism rate, and play a role in the normal development of the nervous system.”
Signs iodine deficiency
Hypothyroidism is a sign of iron deficiency in which the thyroid gland does not function.
The symptom is including:
- Sensitivity to cold
- Irregular menstrual periods
Causes of iodine deficiency
People who don’t receive enough iodine is a major cause of the deficiency.
Living in a location with low iodine levels in the soil is one of the highest risk factors for an iodine deficiency. This is due to the plantation are low in the levels of iodine in the soil. Therefore, it translates to low levels of iodine in crops.
- Being vegan due to lacking seafood
- Low in salt, as iodized salt is a great source of the mineral.
- Pregnancy, as the amount of iodine your body needs significantly increases.
Pregnant and breastfeeding people need to especially monitor their iodine intake to ensure they do not have a deficiency.
If you believe you may have an iodine deficiency, a medical professional can order a urine or blood test to determine your iodine levels. Normal iodine levels are about 15 to 20 mg, the majority of which is stored in the thyroid.
Any new or unexplainable symptoms of any kind should prompt someone to get to a doctor.
These would include but are not limited to a bulge in the neck, unexplained weight gain, cold sensitivity, cognitive impairment, constipation, or fatigue.
Iodine deficiency treatment
Undoubtedly, iodine deficiency can be treated by increasing your intake of iodine-rich foods. Foods high in iodine include:
- Salt (76 mcg per 1.5 g)
- Seaweed (232 mcg per 10 g)
- Seafood (Cod has 158 mcg per 3 oz)
- Whole-wheat bread (198 mcg per slice)
- Milk (85 mcg per cup)
While consuming food high in iodine may be enough to increase your levels, supplements may be needed. However, supplements should be monitored by a medical professional. Furthermore, people should not consume more than their upper tolerable intake level of iodine:
- One to three years: 200 mcg
- Four to eight years: 300 mcg
- Nine to 13 years: 600 mcg
- 14 to 18 years: 900 mcg
- 19 years and older: 1,100 mcg
- Pregnant or breastfeeding at 18 years or younger: 900 mcg
- Pregnant or breastfeeding at 19 years or older: 1,100 mcg
In conclusion, iodine deficiency occurs when someone does not consume enough iodine-rich foods like seafood or iodized salt.
Furthermore, symptoms of an iodine deficiency will emerge such as goiter, fatigue, and loss of hair. A doctor can diagnose iodine deficiency through a urine or blood test.
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