5 Visible Signs and Symptoms of Iodine Deficiency

Updated at: Jun 16, 2020
5 Visible Signs and Symptoms of Iodine Deficiency

Iodine deficiency is as crucial as any other vitamin or mineral deficiency. Watch out for these warning signs.

Chanchal Sengar
Other DiseasesWritten by: Chanchal SengarPublished at: Jun 16, 2020

Do you know the importance of Iodine in your body? It is as important as other vitamins and minerals to secure your health. Iodine deficiency might not be very common but if it persists for prolonged periods, it may cause serious health problems. What is the adequate iodine intake that one needs to maintain? It varies. An adult must consume about 150 micrograms iodine daily. The values go from 220-290 micrograms for women during pregnancy. Iodine is vital for thyroid gland functioning and its deficiency may affect the growth & development of the gland putting you at risk of hypothyroidism. Iodized salt is the most accessible source of iodine. But the question remains, how do you find that you have iodine deficiency? Find the answer in this article.

Importance of Iodine for The Body

Before Iodine deficiency, you must know what this deficiency may cause to you. Iodine is a vital mineral that regulates the metabolism of the thyroid gland. You must be well aware of thyroid and its complications. Unlike many vitamins and minerals, Iodine is not produced in the body which makes our food to be the only source to give Iodine to the body. As per the American Thyroid Association, almost 30% of the global population has Iodine deficiency. This figure is alarming and raises concerns over our Iodine intake. Now you know why Iodine is so important for us. Let us now learn the warning signs of iodine deficiency.

#1 Fatigue and depression

These are quite common with almost every health problem. When you see this along with other symptoms mentioned in the article, get yourself tested. Since Iodine is a micronutrient, it is present in every tissue of the body. Iodine is directly linked to the thyroid gland. Due to a lack of iodine, the gland won’t make enough thyroid hormones and cause hypothyroidism. Sadness, fatigue, weight gain, constipation, etc. are signs of hypothyroidism.

Also Read: Age-Related Vitamin and Mineral Deficiencies For Healthy Aging

#2 A lump in the throat

A lump or goiter is nothing but an enlarged thyroid gland. As we have mentioned that iodine deficiency causes thyroid malfunctioning. This goitre usually happens at the lower of the neck which starts to become visible after prolonged deficiency. One thing to note here is that people who eat outside food more are at a greater risk of iodine deficiency. Why? Because commercial food joints generally do not use iodized salt. 

Also Read: Phosphorus Deficiency Causes, Symptoms and Health Problems

#3 Choking throat

The lump or goitre in the throat is the reason behind this feeling. This lump affects breathing and swallowing especially when you lie down. This leaves you feeling chocked. If points number 2 and 3 are seen, you are sure to have iodine deficiency.

#4 Hair thinning and dry & flaky skin

Iodine deficiency triggers hypothyroidism. Drying skin, shedding hair and weakening muscles and sensitivity to cold are prominent signs of this condition. Talking about hypothyroidism, women are more likely to get this condition as compared to men. The risk increases with age.

#5 Cognitive decline

Iodine deficiency also affects your brain functioning wherein you would feel less focused and concentrated. This hampers your productivity as well. If this sign is visible along with other signs, you must get tested for iodine deficiency.

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