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Video: Iodine Deficiency: How To Get This Essential Mineral?
2023 Author: Lynn Laird | [email protected]. Last modified: 2023-05-21 21:10
Did you know that the thyroid gland uses iodine in your body to make thyroid hormones which in turn help control growth, repair damaged cells, and support healthy metabolism. In short, three vital functions without which your existence is unthinkable. This is why, it is very important to adopt the right diet for thyroid balance because unfortunately, up to a third of the world's population remains iodine deficient. So imagine the scale of this scourge and what the lack of iodine in the body can cause. Our editorial team tries to synthesize everything about iodine deficiency in the following article and how to fix it for sure.
Iodine deficiency: which groups of people are at risk
In the first place, it is pregnant women who require double the amount of iodine: for the growth of the fetus and for themselves. By the way, problems during pregnancy due to iodine deficiency threaten the future baby and its normal development. In addition, the risk of stillbirth is common. Not getting enough iodine can cause side effects for both mother and baby. This is because the increased demand for iodine continues throughout lactation, as babies receive it from breast milk.
On the one hand, the expectant mother may have symptoms of hypothyroidism, such as goiter, weakness, fatigue and feeling cold. On the other hand, at the same time, iodine deficiency in infants can slow down physical growth and brain development. There are areas where iodized salt consumption is minimal, such as New Zealand and some European countries, South Asia and Southeast Asia.
Since many people nowadays are subject to vegetarian or vegan diets, the rise of hypothyroid disease is easily explained.
Uncomfortable and severe symptoms due to iodine deficiency
Since iodine is used to make thyroid hormones, a lack of iodine means your body cannot make enough of it, resulting in hypothyroidism.
Therefore, the symptoms include swelling in the neck, pregnancy-related issues, weight gain, and learning difficulties.
Swelling of the neck
The inability of the thyroid gland to produce hormones and its growth causes swelling of the neck which is called a goiter. This small, butterfly-shaped organ is located in the lower part of the throat. If the body is low in iodine, the thyroid gland works harder to try to make more. This causes cells to grow and multiply, ultimately leading to goiter. Fortunately, most cases can be treated by increasing your iodine intake. However, if a goiter has not been treated for many years, it can cause permanent damage to the thyroid.
Short-term weight gain
This is because thyroid hormones control the rate of metabolism, a process by which the body converts food into energy and heat. When thyroid hormone levels are low, your body burns fewer calories while at rest. Unfortunately, this means that more calories from the food you eat are stored as fat. In this case, adding more iodine to your diet will reverse the effects of a sluggish metabolism and help your body make more thyroid hormones.
Fatigue and weakness
In fact, some studies have shown that almost 80% of people with low levels of thyroid hormones occurring in iodine deficiency feel tired, heavy, helpless and unwell. Certainly, the level of energy provided by iodine in principle drops and makes you feel weak.
Usually, hair follicles regenerate from the amount of iodine in your body. Over time, its deficit can lead to gradual hair loss although some studies show that the hair loss may be due to a family history. The moment you feel your hair getting thinner, consuming enough iodine can stop this process.
Dry, scaly skin
As we mentioned above, cells regenerate with the help of the iodine that thyroid hormones use. Also, if you usually sweat less, it means you are suffering from iodine deficiency. This is the reason why your skin is not moist and hydrated, but remains dry and scaly.
If you are chilly by nature, you shiver often and your feet are always cold, you have an iodine deficit. This is due to the lack of energy and a slower metabolism generating less heat. Also, thyroid hormones stimulate the activity of your brown fat, a type of fat that specializes in producing heat. In short, iodine helps generate body heat, so low levels of it can leave you feeling cold more than usual.
Heart rate changes
Heart rate is measured by the number of times the heart beats per minute. Too little iodine could make your heart beat slower than usual, while too much could make your heart beat faster. It will make you weak, tired, dizzy and often falling for apples.
Difficulty learning, memory loss
According to a study of more than 1,000 adults, the results show that those with higher thyroid hormone levels do better on learning and memory tests. This is because the hippocampus, the part of the brain that controls long-term memory, appears to be smaller in people lacking iodine. In this sense, dysfunction of the thyroid disrupts sleep and causes depression which in turn can affect the work of the brain. Hence the main reasons for the loss of memory and concentration.
Problems with the menstrual cycle
Surely, the cause of heavy or irregular periods can be explained by the low levels of the responsible hormones. So the regulation of the menstrual cycle largely depends on the influence of iodine in the hormonal system.
Daily iodine intake
Ordinary daily food is not abundant in iodine. This is one of the reasons why the lack of this essential trace element is common in the world. Since the Recommended Intake (RDA) is 150 mcg per day, this amount should meet the needs of 97-98% of all healthy adults. However, pregnant women need more, especially 220 mcg per day, while breastfeeding women need 290 mcg per day.
What sources of iodine?
In general, seaweed and seafood are an excellent source of the mineral, but this varies by provenance. For example, seaweed from some countries like Japan is rich in it.
Smaller amounts of this mineral are also found in a variety of foods such as fish, shellfish, beef, chicken, lima and pinto beans, milk and other dairy products. Cod, shrimp, tuna contain a considerable amount. A cup of plain yogurt provides 50% of the RDI, while an egg lends 16% and dried prunes 9%. No doubt, you get 47% of the RDI if you add ¼ teaspoon (1.5 grams) of iodized salt to your meals. In total, for the whole day you need 3 g of it to avoid a deficiency. If you have any doubts about such a problem, it is best to consult your doctor who must order medical urine tests.
Lately, thalassotherapy is recommended because the benefits of sea water provide minerals such as magnesium, potassium, calcium, sodium and of course, iodine, which is essential for the proper functioning of the thyroid.
Can we treat iodine deficit?
Fortunately, a deficiency is easy to prevent. Adding a pinch of iodized salt to your main dishes should meet your needs. Disorders caused by insufficient iodine in the body are one of the biggest public health problems in the world today. Their effect is hidden and profoundly affects the quality of human life. When iodine requirements are not met, the thyroid may no longer be able to synthesize sufficient amounts of thyroid hormones. Their low level in the blood is the main factor responsible for the series of functional and developmental abnormalities. This results in mental development issues in children, including implications for reproductive functions and lowering IQ during school age.
É etiology iodine
After having written so much on the deficiency in this mineral, let us observe its etiological aspect. Being one of the essential elements necessary for normal human growth and development, it must be present in the body in an amount of 150 micrograms, daily intake. Soils in mountain ranges, such as the Himalayas, Alps and Andes, and areas with frequent flooding, are particularly susceptible to iodine deficiency. The problem is compounded by accelerated deforestation and soil erosion. Foods grown in these areas can never provide enough iodine for the indigenous people and livestock. Unlike nutrients such as iron, calcium or vitamins, iodine is not naturally present in some foods,but rather in the soil and is ingested by foods grown on that soil. Iodine deficiency occurs when there is a lack of iodine in the earth's crust. Living on the sea coast does not guarantee iodine sufficiency.
Physiological functions of iodine
If necessary for the synthesis of the thyroid hormones, thyroxine (T4) and triiodothyronine (T3), iodine must supply them sufficiently. T4 and T3, which are iodine molecules of the essential amino acid tyrosine, regulate cellular oxidation and therefore affect calorigenesis, thermoregulation and intermediate metabolism. These hormones are also necessary for protein synthesis. They also promote nitrogen retention, glycogenolysis, intestinal absorption of glucose and galactose, as well as lipolysis and absorption of glucose by adipocytes.
If you are healthy, your body should contain 15-20 mg of iodine, of which about 70-80% is present in the thyroid gland. In a day, 60 micrograms of circulating iodine must be trapped by the thyroid for an adequate supply of T3 and T4. To extract this quantity of iodine from the circulation, the thyroid eliminates several hundred liters of plasma from its iodine daily. This work can multiply several times in environments very poor in iodine. To cope with this increased workload, the thyroid enlarges in size, under the influence of the thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH), secreted by the pituitary gland. This compensatory mechanism, triggered by the hypothalamus to increase the secretion of TSH from the pituitary gland, causes remarkable enlargement of the thyroid gland.
To conclude, you should know that in the 20 th century, the presence of iodine in table salt succeeded in balancing the doses of this trace element in developed countries. In order not to over-salt food, you need to ensure an intake of iodized sea salt as the best way to avoid severe deficiency. For you to enjoy varied meals, sprinkle salads, pasta and rice with flake seaweed like spirulina, wakame or wrack.