Your body requires sufficient amount of microelements to function properly. Some of them could be synthesized by your own organism, while others can be only consumed with certain foods. Iodine is one of this essential elements.
It plays a great role in creation of thyroid hormones, called thyroxine and triiodothyronine.
Lack of iodine in your diet may result in reduced levels of thyroid hormones, impaired metabolism, pregnancy complications and mental issues.
Before 1920s, iodine deficiency was a widespread problem in the US. Situation has significantly changed after introduction of iodized salt.
Nowadays most American people get sufficient amount of iodine with salt, cheese, cow milk, ice cream, eggs, soy cause and seaweed. However lack of this element is still a great problem in some European countries, New Zealand and South Asia.
It's worth knowing these symptoms of inadequate iodine intake, to correct the problem as soon as possible:
#1. Swelling in the neck – without normal iodine consumption, thyroid gland enlarges gradually, leading to goiter formation. The reason is that the gland tries to compensate low production of hormones, increasing amount of working cells. Some patients with goiter complain of choking and difficulty swallowing, caused by extremely large thyroid gland.
#2. Weight gain – thyroid gland controls numerous processes in your body, including the way you use calories. When too few of thyroxine and triiodothyronine is produced, your metabolic rate may slow down, resulting in unreasonable weight gain.
#3. Skin dryness – thyroid hormones normally take part in regeneration of your skin cells. If your body loses ability to create enough iodine-contained hormones, your skin may become extremely dry and flaky.
#4. Pregnancy problems – it's really important to take iodine-rich foods for pregnant women and those, who want to conceive, because lack of this microelement may lead to preterm birth, miscarriage and congenital defects such as growth problems and mental retardation.
#5. Unusual fatigue – it's normal to feel exhausted after stressful event or vigorous exercises. But in the case of hypothyroidism (medical term for inadequate production of thyroid hormones), fatigue becomes constant and doesn't go away after rest.
#6. Cold intolerance – feeling cold is a common symptom among people with iodine deficiency. It's mainly about decreased metabolism that delay heat production and causes intolerance to low temperatures.
#7. Brain fog – low levels of iodine and thyroid hormones can significantly influence on your mental health. Memory problems and difficulty learning are especially noticeable in those, who was born with iodine deficiency.
#8. Heavy menstrual bleeding – thyroxine and triiodothyronine play a great role in regulation of your menstrual cycle. If your thyroid gland can't synthesize enough of these hormones, you may experience prolonged or too heavy menstrual bleeding.
#9. Excessive hair loss – do you remember that thyroid hormones are involved in skin regeneration? The same situation appears with hair follicles. When your body ceases production of thyroxine and triiodothyronine, hair follicles can't regenerate as needed. That's why people with reduced iodine levels often notice their hair fall out excessively.
#10. Too slow heart rate – your heart function may be also impaired by abnormal production of thyroid hormones. Inappropriate formation and release of thyroid hormones make your heart beating slower than usually.
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