Iodine is one of the most essential minerals needed to survive through our daily chores. It is majorly found in seafood. The deficiency of iodine can lead to severe body-related issues. Unfortunately, up to a third of people worldwide may be exhibiting iodine deficiency symptoms where iodine intake is low.
The thyroid gland in your body uses this iodine to produce thyroid hormone. This hormone is responsible to conduct vital functions including repairing your damaged cells and keeping your metabolism up and running.
The following people are majorly susceptible to iodine deficiency:
- Pregnant Women;
- People who live in South and Southeast Asia and European countries as the soil there have very less proportion of iodine.
To help you identify, here are 8 symptoms of iodine deficiency:
1. Weight Gain
One of the most common symptoms of iodine deficiency is sudden and unexpected weight gain.
In a normal person, the body metabolism is responsible for burning calories and providing for requisite energy to perform daily functions.
Due to iodine deficiency, there is a lack of thyroid hormone. This lack leads to the storage of calories in the body in the form of fat which in turn increases the weight of the body.
But please be mindful as weight gain is not always a sign of iodine deficiency. There are various reasons for it. So, one should get the tests done to draw an appropriate conclusion.
2. Hair Loss – Iodine deficiency symptoms
Thyroid hormones are responsible for the renewal of hair follicles.
When there is iodine deficiency, there is a stoppage of regeneration of hair follicles. Over time this leads to lesser hair.
3. Feeling Fatigued All The While
A person having hypothyroidism feels fatigued most of the time.
This is because due to lack of iodine the metabolic rate reduces. So, there is not enough energy in the body to perform routine functions.
Less energy does not let your muscles lift heavy objects easily and thereby making you feel weak most of the time.
4. Flaky Dry Skin
Having dry flaky skin is a symptom of iodine deficiency. The thyroid hormones are responsible for the regeneration of cells.
When you have iodine deficiency, your skin cell will stop to regenerate and there will be a layer of dead skin cells in your body. This will make your overall skin look dry and dull.
Also, the thyroid hormone regulates sweat in your body. Sweat keeps your skin hydrated and moist. So, when you have iodine deficiency there is a lack of sweat which also results in your skin getting dry and flaky.
5. Feeling Cold
Iodine deficiency is often accompanied by a sensation of being cold.
Lower levels of thyroid hormones mean a lower rate of metabolism. Then lower metabolism leads to the lesser generation of energy/heat in your body which can make you feel cold all the time.
6. Irregular Periods
Like most other symptoms irregular periods and heavy bleeding is a symptom of iodine deficiency.
Research has shown that women having iodine deficiency suffer from an irregular cycle. The reason for this is that low thyroid hormone disrupts the hormones that regulate a menstruation cycle.
7. Memory Issues
One of the symptoms of iodine deficiency is that it hampers your learning skills.
Thyroid hormones which are linked to iodine are responsible for the growth and development of brain cells. So, when you have iodine deficiency it lowers the production of your thyroid hormone which in turn affects the development of your brain cells.
Studies have shown that the hippocampus which is related to the storage of long-term memory in the human brain, is smaller in people who have an iodine deficiency.
8. Slow Heart Rate – Iodine deficiency symptoms
Your heart rate is affected by the level of iodine in your body.
If you have iodine deficiency then it may cause your heart to beat slower than normal. This may lead to you feeling dizzy most of the time.
A person with a very low iodine level can also faint easily which is alarming.
Symptoms of iodine deficiency are at times deadly and so it is advisable to consult your doctor immediately.
Mild iodine deficiency can be dealt with by taking precautions at home whereas in other cases proper medication is needed.
Please get yourself checked as soon as you witness any symptoms of iodine deficiency.