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5 signs and symptoms of iodine deficiency

Today GoBeauty Blog is going to tell you about iodine and symptoms of its deficiency.

Iodine is an essential mineral commonly found in seafood. Your thyroid gland uses it to make thyroid hormones, which help control growth, repair damaged cells and support a healthy metabolism.

An iodine deficiency can cause uncomfortable and even severe symptoms. They include swelling in the neck, pregnancy-related issues, weight gain and learning difficulties.

Here are 5 signs and symptoms of an iodine deficiency.

Swelling in the neck

Swelling in the front of the neck is the most common symptom of an iodine deficiency. It is called a goitre and occurs when the thyroid gland grows too big.

The thyroid gland is a small, butterfly-shaped gland in the front of your neck. It makes thyroid hormones upon receiving a signal from the thyroid-stimulating hormone. When blood levels of TSH rise, the thyroid gland uses iodine to make thyroid hormones. However, when your body is low in iodine, it can’t make enough of them. To compensate, the thyroid gland works harder to try to make more. It causes the cells to grow and multiply, eventually leading to a goitre.

Unexpected weight gain

Unexpected weight gain is another sign of an iodine deficiency. It may occur if the body does not have enough iodine to make thyroid hormones.

When your thyroid hormone levels are low, your body burns fewer calories at rest. Unfortunately, this means more calories from the foods you eat are stored as fat. Adding more iodine to your diet may help reverse the effects of slow metabolism, as it can help your body make more thyroid hormones.

Fatigue and Weakness

These symptoms occur because thyroid hormones also help the body make energy.

When thyroid hormone levels are low, the body can’t make as much energy as it usually does. This may cause your energy levels to plummet and leave you feeling weak.

Hair loss

When your thyroid hormone levels are low, your hair follicles may stop regenerating. Over time, this may result in hair loss.

If you experience hair loss because of an iodine deficiency, getting enough of this mineral may help correct your thyroid hormone levels and stop hair loss.

Trouble learning and remembering

An iodine deficiency may affect your ability to learn and remember. A study including over 1,000 adults, found that those with higher thyroid hormone levels performed better on learning and memory tests, compared to those with lower thyroid hormone levels.

Thyroid hormones help your brain grow and develop. That’s why an iodine deficiency, which is required to make thyroid hormones, can reduce brain development.

Studies have found that the hippocampus, the part of the brain that controls long-term memory, appears to be smaller in people with low thyroid hormone levels.

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