Are you getting enough iodine?
Most people don’t, and that’s a problem.
Iodine is an important mineral that your body needs in order to function properly.
It is especially important for pregnant women and young children, as it helps with brain development.
Unfortunately, many people don’t get enough iodine in their diets.
This can lead to a number of health problems.
According to a study, about 2 billion people around the world are living iodine-deficient.
That’s a lot of people!
So, what happens to your body when you don’t get enough iodine?
You may not know it, but there are many things that happen to your body when you don’t get enough iodine.
In this blog post, we will discuss the effects of iodine deficiency on the body, and how you can make sure you are getting enough iodine in your diet.
Are you ready? Let’s start!
Why is iodine important for the body?
Iodine is important for the body because it helps to regulate metabolism.
It also helps to support the function of the thyroid gland, and it is essential for the development of the brain and nervous system.
Lastly, iodine helps to maintain healthy skin and hair.
What happens to your body when you don’t get enough iodine
1. Swelling in the front of the neck
An iodine deficiency can lead to a condition called goiter.
This is when the thyroid gland swells, often resulting in a lump on your neck.
It occurs when the thyroid gland tries to make more thyroid hormones in order to compensate for the lack of iodine.
The good news is that goiter can often be treated by increasing iodine intake.
However, if it is left untreated, a goiter can lead to other health problems.
So if you notice a lump on your neck, speak with your doctor right away!
They may want to do a test to determine if you have an iodine deficiency.
One of the most serious problems caused by iodine deficiency is hypothyroidism.
This is a condition in which the thyroid gland doesn’t produce enough thyroid hormones.
The symptoms of hypothyroidism include weight gain, fatigue, constipation, cold intolerance, dry skin, and hair loss.
Hypothyroidism is a serious condition that needs to be treated right away, so if you suspect that you have this condition, speak with your doctor!
3. You may have trouble thinking clearly
Iodine is also important for brain development.
It helps to form the myelin sheath, a protective covering that protects nerve cells in the brain.
If you are deficient in iodine, this process may be impaired.
This can lead to problems with thinking, coordination, and motor skills.
So if you’ve been feeling a little forgetful lately, it may be time to check your iodine levels.
4. Unexpected weight gain
Unexpected weight gain can be a sign that you’re not getting enough iodine in your diet.
Iodine is essential for the production of thyroid hormones, which play a key role in metabolism and energy balance.
If your body isn’t getting enough iodine, it may struggle to produce the correct amount of thyroid hormones, leading to weight gain.
Therefore including more iodine-rich foods in your diet help reverse this effect.
5. Fatigue and weakness
Are you feeling tired all the time?
It may be a sign that you’re not getting enough iodine.
Iodine is essential for energy production, so if you’re deficient in this mineral, you may feel exhausted and weak.
This is especially common in pregnant women and young children, who need adequate iodine for healthy brain development.
If you are often feeling worn down or tired, be sure to add iodine-rich foods to your diet or consider taking a supplement.
6. Feeling cold all the time
Feeling cold is another common symptom of iodine deficiency.
This happens because your body produces less heat when it doesn’t have enough iodine.
Iodine is crucial for a properly functioning thyroid gland.
When you don’t get enough iodine, your thyroid may not produce enough hormones, which can make your body temperature lower than normal.
Also, thyroid hormones help control the speed of your metabolism.
When your metabolism is slow, it can make you feel cold.
So if you’re always feeling like the temperature in the room has dropped, you may want to check your iodine levels.
7. Dry skin
A deficiency of iodine can lead to dry and flaky skin.
This occurs because the lack of iodine has a negative effect on the sebaceous glands, which are responsible for secreting an oily substance called sebum.
Dryness and flakiness can also occur as a result of hypothyroidism, another common consequence of iodine deficiency.
8. Thinning hair
Most people will experience some hair loss as they get older, but if you’re losing more hair than usual, it may be a sign that you’re not getting enough iodine.
Iodine is critical for the health of your hair follicles.
When you don’t have enough iodine in your system, it can lead to hair loss and thinning hair.
Iodine deficiency can also cause the scalp to become dry, which in turn can lead to a flaky scalp that feels itchy and uncomfortable.
9. Heavy or irregular periods
Heavy or irregular periods can be a sign that you’re not getting enough iodine.
If your periods are heavier or more irregular than normal, it could be a sign that you’re not getting enough iodine in your diet.
Iodine is needed for the production of thyroid hormones, which play a role in regulating menstrual cycles.
A lack of iodine makes it difficult for the thyroid to regulate these hormones, which can lead to irregular periods.
10. Depression and anxiety
Iodine deficiency is also associated with depression and anxiety.
Iodine is necessary for the production of thyroid hormones, which play a role in mood and emotional regulation.
When levels of these hormones are out of balance, it can lead to mood swings, irritability, stress, depression, and anxiety.
If you’re feeling down or stressed out more often than usual, it may be a sign that you need to increase your intake of iodine.
11. Pregnancy Complications
Iodine is especially important for pregnant women, as a lack of iodine can lead to complications.
Pregnant women need at least 220 micrograms of iodine per day.
A lack of iodine can lead to a number of problems, including:
- Preterm birth
- Congenital abnormalities
- Decreased intelligence in the child
Make sure you are getting enough iodine during your pregnancy.
12. You may have a higher risk of cancer
Iodine is essential for preventing certain types of cancer.
Specifically, it helps to protect the thyroid gland from cancer.
If you are deficient in iodine, you may have a higher risk of developing cancer of the thyroid gland.
Iodine is also important for preventing breast and stomach cancer.
Low levels of iodine may put you at a higher risk of these cancers.
So if you are at risk for cancer, be sure to make sure you’re getting enough iodine in your diet.
13. Slow heart rate
If you’re not getting enough iodine in your diet, it can cause your heart rate to slow.
This is because the thyroid gland plays a role in regulating heart rate.
When the thyroid is not working properly due to a lack of iodine, it can lead to a slow heart rate.
If you’re feeling like your heart is beating slower than normal, it may be a sign that you need to increase your intake of iodine.
How much iodine do you need?
The amount of iodine that you need depends on a number of factors, such as age and gender.
According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), most adults need at least 150 micrograms of iodine per day.
If you are pregnant or breastfeeding, you need more iodine – 220 micrograms per day.
If you are a child or teenager, you need less – between 90 and 130 micrograms per day.
How to get enough Iodine
Iodized salt is one of the best sources of iodine.
Make sure you are using iodized salt in your cooking, and look for foods that are labeled as “iodized” when grocery shopping.
You can also get iodine from a variety of foods, including:
- Fish (especially cod, tuna, and salmon)
- Shellfish (especially shrimp and scallops)
- Dairy products (especially milk, cheese, and yogurt)
- Fortified breakfast cereals
If you are having trouble meeting your daily iodine needs, an iodine supplement may be a good option for you.
A final thought on what happens to your body when you don’t get enough iodine.
Iodine is an essential mineral that your body needs in order to function properly.
A deficiency can have serious health consequences, including hypothyroidism, goiter, weight gain, fatigue, and more.
So be sure to get enough iodine in your diet, whether it’s from food or supplements.
If you think you may be iodine deficient, talk to your doctor about how to increase your intake of this essential mineral.
You may also like: 11 Signs you’re not getting enough Vitamin B12