10 signs of iodine deficiency


Iodine is a trace element essential to life because it's a key component in thyroid hormones. If iodine levels are insufficient, the thyroid can't produce enough of the hormones T3 (triiodothyronine) and T4 (thyroxine), which can lead to hypothyroidism. The condition can cause a reduction in the body's metabolic processes.
Hypothyroidism can cause severe complications if left untreated, such as obesity, infertility, joint pain and heart disease. The body can't naturally produce iodine. Instead, it must be ingested from external sources such as food, drinks and supplements. Since the introduction of iodized table salt, iodine deficiencies have decreased dramatically worldwide, but 30 percent of the world's population does not use iodized salt. Geographical locations, diseases and gender are just a few factors that influence iodine consumption.
Iodine deficiency can have an enormous impact on health. Lack of iodine destabilizes normal chemical, hormonal and enzymatic processes in the body. If you feel you may have an iodine deficiency, consult your health care provider to discuss and develop an appropriate treatment plan. Common signs of iodine deficiency are as follows:
1. Fatigue
The thyroid relies on iodine to synthesize hormones and facilitate metabolism. If someone develops hypothyroidism (caused by an insufficient level of iodine), it can decrease all of that person's metabolic processes. Metabolism is the burning of calories the body uses for energy, and a decrease slows the body's energy production, resulting in weakness and fatigue.
2. Muscle and joint pain
Physical activity that was once easy becomes difficult to perform with insufficient iodine. This weakness and pain are due to the lack of available energy. Muscles are especially vulnerable to lower energy. In cases of untreated hypothyroidism, peripheral vascular disease can develop. This type of disease damages the peripheral nerves, leading to pain, numbness and tingling in the arms and legs.
3. Weight gain
Iodine is critical for thyroid hormone production. A lower metabolism means fewer calories are burned for energy. When someone can't burn calories properly, that person's body will store any unused calories as fat, which can lead to an increase in weight.
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