Iodine Deficiency Is Harmful For Health

Iodine is essential for the human body. It is a chemical element for the hormones that are produced by the thyroid gland. The human body does not make iodine, but it is found in various food items. Therefore, iodine plays an essential part in the diet. If an individual does not have enough iodine in the body, it is unable to produce enough thyroid hormones.

Almost all of us are familiar with the importance of thyroid gland in maintaining human health. Thyroid gland an endocrine gland that is located in the lower front of the neck and its main function is to make thyroid hormones which play an essential role in the functioning of the body. Primarily, the thyroid gland produces two hormones, thyroxine (T4) and triiodothyronine (T3).

Iodine Deficiency is Harmful For Health

The formation of thyroid hormone depends on iodine. The thyroid gland is the only gland in the body that has a capability to accumulate iodine in large quantities and incorporate it into hormones. The formation of thyroid hormones include the following events:

      1. Active uptake of iodide by the follicular cells

      2. Iodide oxidation and the formation of iodo tyrosyl residues of thyroglobulin

      3. Formation of iodothyronines from iodotyrosine

      4. proteolysis of thyroglobulin and hormones T4 and T3 are released into the blood

      5. Finally, the conversion of T4 to T3.

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Symptoms of Iodine deficiency

1. Goiter

Goiter is one of the iodine deficiency disorders which indicates that there is a condition present in the body that causes abnormal functioning of the thyroid gland. The abnormal enlargement of the thyroid gland is defined as a condition which is known as goiter. Deficiency of iodine is one of the most common causes of goiter. The function of the thyroid gland is to concentrate iodine from the blood in order to make thyroid hormone.

When there is a deficiency of iodine in the body, the thyroid gland cannot make thyroid hormone. At the same time, the pituitary gland in the brain senses that the thyroid hormone is too low and send signals to the thyroid. This signal is known as thyroid stimulating hormone and this hormone stimulates the thyroid to produce hormone and leads to the abnormal growth in size. This abnormal growth is known as goiter. Choking, difficulty in swallowing and breathing problem are some of the common symptoms of goiter.

2. Hypothyroidism

Hypothyroidism is a condition which occurs when the thyroid gland fails to produce enough thyroid hormone and iodine deficiency is one of the most common causes of inadequate thyroid hormone. When the level of thyroid hormones become too low, the cells of the body do not get enough hormones and as a result, the body’s process slows down. Thyroid hormones are important for metabolism that helps the body use energy and keep the functioning of the brain, heart, and other organs of the body. Some of the symptoms that occur in patients having hypothyroidism constipation, puffy eyes, drowsiness, fatigue, weight gain, and difficulty learning.

3. Pregnancy related issues

Multiple studies suggest that pregnancy is associated with many changes in the thyroid function and changes in the requirement of iodine in the body. Pregnancy is associated with obligatory loss of iodine and when the intake of iodine is not adequate in pregnant women, it leads to the development of complications. Iodine is essential for a healthy mother and iodine deficiency in the mother has been associated with miscarriages, preterm delivery, congenital abnormalities in the baby.

Multiple studies suggest that women who have iodine deficiency have a high rate of suffering from miscarriages and facing reproductive problems. The chances of pregnancy-related issues increase at a high rate in women with iodine deficiency.

Dietary sources of iodine

Some of the rich sources of iodine are as follows:

  • Seaweed
  • Dairy
  • Shrimp
  • Tuna
  • Egg
  • Prunes

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