10 Signs and Symptoms That Iodine Deficiency Is Causing Damage To Your Thyroid
Health and Fitness
On 22nd January 2018
Iodine is an essential mineral commonly found in seafood. Your thyroid gland uses it to make thyroid hormones, which help control growth, repair damaged cells and support a healthy metabolism. Your body doesn’t naturally produce iodine, but it is found in plenty of foods that we eat every day. These include fish, milk, cheese, fruits, vegetables, and anything containing iodized salt.
Here are 10 signs and symptoms of an iodine deficiency.
#1 Swollen Neck
Our thyroid gland is located in our neck. Since iodine is an important fuel for your thyroid, this area is one of the most common places where symptoms begin to manifest. This is called a goiter and occurs when the thyroid gland grows too big.
The American Thyroid Association points out that,"The thyroid enlarges as it attempts to keep up with your body’s demand for hormone production, which leads to the swelling in the neck and the development of a goiter."
#2 Fatigue and weakness
Fatigue and weakness are also common symptoms of an iodine deficiency. In fact, some studies have found that nearly 80% of people with low thyroid hormone levels, which occur in cases of iodine deficiency, feel tired, sluggish and weak. Feeling unusually weak or tired can be expected when you’re not receiving enough nutrients, or are working with an under-active thyroid that doesn’t have enough iodine available to function properly.
#3 Weight Gain
Unexpected weight gain is another sign of an iodine deficiency. It may occur if the body does not have enough iodine to make thyroid hormones. However, if you’ve noticed an unusual gain and can’t pinpoint a cause, like a change in diet or exercise, it could be worth getting your iodine levels looked into.
According to the Australian Thyroid Foundation,"Not receiving enough iodine can lead to hypothyroidism, which often results in unforeseen weight gain."
Adding more iodine to your diet may help reverse the effects of a slow metabolism, as it can help your body make more thyroid hormones.
#4 Dry Skin
Dry, flaky skin may affect many people with an iodine deficiency. In fact, some studies have found that up to 77% of people with low thyroid hormone levels may experience dry, flaky skin (12).
According to the Thyroid Foundation of Canada,"If your thyroid isn’t receiving enough iodine to distribute hormones the way it should, your skin reacts by becoming dry and flaky."
Additionally, thyroid hormones help the body regulate sweat. People with lower thyroid hormone levels, such as those with an iodine deficiency, tend to sweat less than people with normal thyroid hormone levels.
#5 Hair loss
Like many things, our hair growth is regulated by our hormones, and by association the thyroid. When your thyroid hormone levels are low, your hair follicles may stop regenerating. Over time, this may result in hair loss. For this reason, people with an iodine deficiency may also suffer from hair loss.
According to the Mayo Clinic,"Hair loss can be caused by a host of other things like heredity, medication, and age. However, if those things do not apply to you, you might want to have your iodine levels checked, and consider whether your thyroid is responsible."