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Iodine Deficiency: Causes and Symptoms

By Rojer @healthxwellness
Iodine Deficiency: Causes and Symptoms

Iodine is extremely important to the functioning of the thyroid gland, so an iodine deficiency causes problems with the thyroid gland.

Iodine is an element that is needed for the production of thyroid hormone. The body doesn’t make iodine, so it is an essential a part of your diet. Iodine is found in various foods. If you do not have enough iodine in your body, you can’t make enough thyroid hormone. Thus, iodine deficiency can lead to enlargement of the thyroid, hypothyroidism and to mental retardation in infants and children whose mothers were iodine deficient during pregnancy.

Iodine is really a mineral which is vital for the manufacture of thyroid hormones. An adequate amount of iodine is mandatory to make sure proper metabolism, a healthy immune system, and overall optimal health of the body. In addition towards the thyroid gland, the brain, prostrate and sweat glands also function as storehouses for this chemical element.Pregnant women need higher amounts of iodine in their bodies for normal development of the brain and also to ensure deterrence of gait and other growth abnormalities within the foetus.

Causes of Iodine Deficiency :

A diet which is lower in fruits and vegetables is a precursor to some variety of disorders caused by the deficiency of iodine. Consumption of natural food products or consumption of dietary supplements can overcome an iodine deficit, if any. Some of the other reasons for iodine deficiency are:

  • Exposure to chlorine.
  • Use of non-iodized salt in daily diet.
  • Brushing with toothpaste which contains fluoride.
  • Consumption of produce from crops grown in mountainous or oceanic places that the soil has naturally low iodine content.
  • Consumption of produce in the fields where there is an iodine deficiency within the soil due to poor farming methods or soil erosion.
  • Exposure to toxic chemicals.

Iodine Deficiency Symptoms

The lack of thyroid hormone results in symptoms of hypothyroidism. Also, pregnant women who suffer out of this deficiency are likely to give birth to children with mental retardation. Symptoms of the deficiency may include:


This is the most common iodine deficiency symptom that is present in both children and adults. Hypothyroidism is a result of severe iodine deficiency in the body. It mostly happens in those people who are deprived of iodine intake through diet for some time.

Mental Retardation

It is the most common iodine deficiency symptom in children. Inadequate consumption of iodine through diet can cause mental retardation and overall physical weakness in children. Inadequate consumption of iodine by pregnant mothers, may lead to Mental retardation of new born babies.

Iodine Deficiency Causes and Symptoms

In case of goitre, the thyroid gland swells due to lack of adequate amount of iodine within the body. In an attempt to deal with the production of adequate thyroid hormone, the thyroid gland enlarges. Usually, nodules are developed however in severe cases, swallowing, breathing and choking problems take place.

The common symptoms of hypothyroidism are muscle cramps, depression, dry skin, dry hair, reduced concentration, fatigue and tiredness, constipation, swelling of legs, forgetfulness, excessive sleepiness, increase in cholesterol levels, intolerance towards cold, mild weight gain and aches and pain in body. Iodine deficiency might even result in reduction in function of immune system, increased metabolic and heart rate and excessive production of estrogen hormone.

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