When it comes to being deficient in nutrients, iodine is one many people don’t think about. But the reality is that iodine levels have gone down in the general population by 50% over the past thirty years. More and more people are consuming less iodine-rich foods in their diets and aren’t taking actions to keep their iodine intakes at the right amount. Worldwide, 72% of people don’t get enough iodine. But how do you know if you’re iodine deficient? And why do people need iodine in the first place? This article is going to discuss a few common symptoms of iodine deficiency.
- Thyroid Enlargement: One of the most common symptoms of an iodine deficiency is swelling in the front of the neck. This is called a goiter, or an enlarged thyroid. The thyroid is a small gland that makes thyroid hormones by using iodine. However, when the body doesn’t have enough iodine, the thyroid has to work harder to try to make more, sometimes leading to a goiter. If a goiter goes untreated, it could cause permanent thyroid damage.
- Weakened Immune System: An iodine deficiency leaves the body exposed to harmful bacteria and other contaminants. Because of this, many people who have a deficiency experience more colds, flus, and sometimes other diseases. A deficiency can also make it more difficult for people to recover from these illnesses because the thyroid hormone levels cause the body to feel much weaker with less energy.
- Dry Skin: Thyroid hormones are responsible for helping skin cells regenerate. Without enough iodine, thyroid hormones may not be able to help the skin regenerate as often as usual, causing dry, flaky skin. Furthermore, thyroid hormones help regulate sweat levels. Because of this, people with an iodine deficiency usually sweat less. This lack of sweat may also contribute to dry skin.
So, to answer the question of “why do people need iodine?”, iodine is crucial for a number of functions in the human body. From regulating sweat and skin cells to memory and brain function, iodine is one of the most important mineral nutrients for the body. Iodine health benefits are plentiful, so it’s important to make sure your body is getting enough iodine.
Besides eating foods rich in iodine, one of the easiest ways to ensure you’re getting enough iodine is to take iodine supplements. Using iodine as a health supplement is a safe and easy way to give your body the iodine levels it needs.
Now that you know the answer to “why do people need iodine?” and are aware of some of the common symptoms of an iodine deficiency, it’s important to ensure you’re getting enough iodine. With a few simple diet changes or taking a supplement you can be sure your body is getting the iodine it needs to keep you as healthy as possible.