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7 Important Factors about Iodine Deficiency Disorders: What You Need to Know

B
Bajaj Finserv Health
April 6th, 2022
9 mins read

Key Takeaways

  • Constipation, puffy face and fatigue are some iodine deficiency symptoms
  • Iodine deficiency disorders include goiter and cretinism
  • You can get an iodine deficiency test to check your iodine levels

Iodine is a type of mineral commonly found in the soil and sea water. Your body requires this mineral to create thyroid hormones needed by the thyroid gland. Thyroid hormones also influence your metabolism and are essential for the functioning and development of the brain, bones and nerves.

About 2 billion people suffer from iodine deficiency globally out of which approximately 50 million have clinical manifestations. Assessing the iodine levels through various methods in individuals has proven to be important in discussing the iodine deficiency treatment options [1]. Iodine deficiency disorders are a prominent health concern in India. Surveys in the past have shown that there are no states in India where people are free from iodine deficiency disorder. Out of 167 million people at the risk of iodine deficiency disorder, 54 million suffer from the iodine deficiency diseases cretinism and goiter [2,3]. Read on to understand more about iodine deficiency disorders symptoms, treatment and prevention.

Iodine Deficiency Disorders

What is Iodine deficiency disorder? 

When there is a shortage of iodine in your body, you have iodine deficiency disorder. If you have this, make sure to consume the right amount of iodine to ensure that your thyroid gland and metabolism work properly. Iodine deficiency can cause 

What are the effects of iodine deficiency in children and women?

Iodine deficiency in children and women increases the chance of getting thyroid disorders and can lead to other serious conditions.

Iodine deficiency in children can cause 

  • Low IQ 
  • Brain damage 
  • Stunted growth 
  • Intellectual disability, including cretinism

Iodine deficiency in the women can cause 

  • Pregnancy issues like stillbirth, miscarriage, nerve and brain damage to developing fetus 
  • Fertility problems 

food to maintain Iodine level

What are the major symptoms of Iodine deficiency?

Not many people realize that they are suffering from iodine deficiency. In some cases, due to this condition, you may develop a goiter, or your thyroid gland may become enlarged and appear like a lump in your neck. Iodine deficiency may also cause a condition known as hypothyroidism, in which you have an underactive thyroid that reduces the production of thyroid hormones. This causes symptoms like 

  • Muscle weakness 
  • Constipation 
  • Feeling cold 
  • Constant tiredness or fatigue
  • Weak or slow heartbeat 
  • Rapid weight gain 
  • Difficulties in remembering or learning 
  • Hair loss 
  • Dry skin 
  • Puffy face

Additional Read: Newborn Baby Care Steps

What are the causes of Iodine deficiency?

Lack of iodine in the soil is one of the major causes of deficiency of the mineral worldwide. To tackle the large-scale deficiency, iodized salt is used by a lot of people. You also may not have enough iodine in your body if you do not eat iodine-rich foods like seafood. Although anybody can have an iodine deficiency, individuals at higher risk are as follows: 

  • Breastfeeding mothers 
  • Pregnant women 
  • Fetuses
  • Newborns

causes of Iodine deficiency

How do doctors diagnose Iodine deficiency?

To diagnose iodine deficiency, doctors perform a physical examination and take a sample of your urine for testing. You can also be advised to take a blood test which determines the level of thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH). If the levels of TSH found are lower than normal ranges, you may have to undergo another test like an ultrasound so your health specialist can check your thyroid gland. If result shows that your iodine count is low, you can consult with an endocrinologist, who specializes in this area.

How does the Iodine deficiency treatment happen?

Iodine deficiency is treated with the help of proper nutrition. Your doctor will advice you to eat food containing iodine, or use iodized salt. You can also take iodine supplements after consulting with your doctor. If you are suffering from hypothyroidism, you will be injected with a synthetic form of thyroid hormone.  

Additional Read:  Best Multivitamin for Women

What are some Iodine deficiency prevention measures?

The most common and advisable method to for preventing iodine deficiency is eating foods rich in iodine. You can also use more iodized salt in your food to avoid Iodine deficiency. Health specialists recommended an iodine supplement of 150 micrograms per day to women who are planning to conceive, are pregnant or are breastfeeding. Taking excess iodine can also cause thyroid disorders in your body. So, make sure you speak to a doctor to understand your need of iodine intake, and don’t exceed the recommended amount by food or supplements.

Conclusion

If Iodine deficiency is diagnosed on time, it can be reversed completely with no or very few side effects. If it is identified at a later stage, it can cause complications especially in children. Even after complications have taken place, you can make sure to get enough iodine to prevent them from becoming worse. Get an online doctor consultation on Bajaj Finserv Health to understand more or book an Iodine deficiency test. With the help of specialists, you can take care of conditions like these beforehand and keep a check on your overall health and well-being. Get expert guidance from the comfort of your home!

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