Iodine deficiency

Iodine deficiency leads to various illnesses which are known as iodine deficiency disorders and include hypothyroidism, goiter and cretinism. Intakes of less than 50 mcg per day induce deficiency.

Hypothyroidism and goiter

When body iodine stores are exhausted, the thyroid gland in the neck is influenced by the pituitary gland to increase its activity and can become enlarged. This swelling is known as a goiter. Other symptoms of hypothyroidism include fatigue, apathy, drowsiness, sensitivity to cold, lethargy, muscle weakness, weight gain and coarse skin. Young men and women in iodine-deficient areas are at the greatest risk of developing goiter.

Iodine deficiencyIodine deficiency is an important world health problem but is relatively rare in industrialized countries due to iodine fortification of salt. Those who still suffer from goiter may do so because they eat too many foods which block iodine utilization. These foods are known as goitrogens and include raw cabbage, kale, turnips, peanuts, soybeans and cauliflower. Drugs such as disulfiram, thiouracil, thiourea and sulfonamide can also inhibit the thyroid gland and lead to deficiency.

A reduction of salt in the diet, combined with a growing consumption of manufactured food prepared using low iodine salt, may lead to an increased risk of deficiency in areas where there is little natural iodine.

Cretinism

Severe iodine deficiency in a mother's diet during pregnancy increases the risk of miscarriage and stillbirth. If the baby survives to term, it is likely to suffer irreversible mental retardation. This is known as cretinism and is a major cause of preventable intellectual impairment in low iodine areas. Mildly iodine-deficient children have learning disabilities and poor motivation. The developing fetus, newborn and young children are most susceptible to the effects of an iodine- deficient diet, and treatment before conception or in early pregnancy is essential to prevent irreversible damage. Breast milk contains more iodine than formula milk and premature babies who are formula-fed may be at risk of deficiency.

Breast disorders

Iodine deficiency may play a role in fibrocystic breast disease. Hypothyroidism and iodine deficiency may also increase the risk of breast cancer, as a higher incidence of disease has been found in iodine-deficient areas.

 
 
Search over 10,000 Natural Remedies and Alternative Medicine Articles

Iodine
Iodine health
Iodine sources
Iodine recommended daily
Iodine overdose
Iodine sources
Iodine supplements

 


 

Other Minerals:

Boron
Calcium
Chromium
Cobalt
Copper
Electrolytes
Potassium
Sodium
Chloride
Fluoride
Iodine
Magnesium
Manganese
Molybdenum
Nickel
Phosphorus
Selenium
Silicon
Sulfur
Vanadium
Zinc