Iodine Deficiency Symptoms
Iodine deficiency symptoms are all related to their effect on the thyroid gland. Iodine is an essential element needed for the production of the thyroid hormone, and is not naturally produced by the body, and thus must be obtained through proper diet. Iodine deficiency symptoms can result in the enlargement of the thyroid, hypothyroidism, and other problems. Here are the details of the most common iodine deficiency symptoms.
- Goiter. Without the proper amount of iodine in the system, one of the most common iodine deficiency symptoms, a goiter, can manifest itself. A goiter is a common term for the abnormal enlargement of the thyroid gland. A goiter can develop nodules and result in feelings of choking, difficulty swallowing, and difficulty breathing, especially when lying down. Though there are other reasons this may occur, goiters are often iodine deficiency symptoms.
- Hypothyroidism. Though not common in the United States, hypothyroidism is one of the most common iodine deficiency symptoms worldwide. When this occurs, the body's processes begin slowing down, causing feelings of weakness, coldness, and constipation. Forgetfulness and lackadaisical behavior can also be related to these iodine deficiency symptoms.
- Pregnancy-related problems. Iodine deficiency symptoms can be especially severe in women who are pregnant or nursing a child, as thyroid problems during these crucial times can result in stillbirth, miscarriage, and babies born with severe birth defects. Congenital hypothyroidism due to iodine deficiency during pregnancy is one of the most common preventable birth defects in the world.
Iodine deficiency symptoms are easily prevented and treated through proper diet. Breads, cheeses, cow's milk, and iodized table salt are common sources of iodine. Iodine multivitamins are also recommended, especially for pregnant women.