Iodine And Thyroid Health




Iodine is one of the essential micronutrients your body needs to function optimally. One of the most important roles it plays in the body is to produce thyroid hormones. These hormones play an imperative role in thermoregulation and metabolism.


Iodine deficiency can cause severe adversities to the thyroid as well as the general health of an individual. In cases of severe deficiency, it can result in an underactive thyroid, also known as hypothyroidism.


In most cases, you can get your iodine from the diet by including iodized salt and other food items rich in iodine. One common example of iodine sources is an iodized sale fortified with iodine.   

What Is The Link Between Iodine And Thyroid Health?

When your body suffers from iodine deficiency, it automatically has an adverse impact on the production of thyroid hormones. As a result, you might end up developing a condition called hyperthyroidism.



The thyroid hormones play a key role in the body, supporting growth and metabolism. Thus, when your body lacks iodine, it automatically increases the secretion of thyroid-stimulating hormone or TSH. This is a hormone that stimulates the thyroid to produce more thyroid hormones.  


But since your body lacks the appropriate concentration of iodine to produce the hormones, it creates a feedback loop. This feedback loop occurs as the body continues to increase the concentration of thyroid-stimulating hormones. Experts always recommend people to test their TSH levels whenever they feel unsure about thyroid, which can be either underactive or overactive.


The next organ that comes into the scene is the goiter, an enlarged thyroid. This generally appears as a large swollen area in the neck. In most severe cases of iodine deficiency, the TSH levels can increase, which results in further enlargement thyroid resulting in goiter.


Iodine deficiency is one of the most prevalent causes of goiter around the globe. Thus, always consider this as a telltale sign of iodine deficiency and increase the consumption of iodine-rich food. Besides that, consulting a healthcare expert would be the best way to move forward.  

Who Are At The Risk Of Suffering From Iodine Deficiency?

Iodine deficiency is a relatively uncommon health condition in most countries around the globe. However, the number of people at the risk of suffering from such deficiencies can always increase among people such as:  


       People Following Vegan Diets:

Veganism is gaining widespread popularity with the rising environmental concerns. While this is a great undertaking for the environment, one must acknowledge the human dependency on meat. Us humans have evolved eating meat, and stopping its consumption and failing to substitute the nutrients we get from meat can some adverse complications such as iodine deficiency. Avoiding eggs, meat, seafood, and even dairy products can often result in iodine deficiency.

       People Using Sea Salt Instead Of Iodized Salt:

Contrary to popular belief using unprocessed sea salt means increased chances of suffering from iodine deficiency. The simple fact is that unprocessed salt does not contain iodine. Therefore, it is always recommended you choose processed iodized salt over unprocessed sea salt. This will help mitigate the chances of suffering from the adversities that come along with iodine deficiency.

       People Eating Goitrogenic Food With Marginal Levels Of Iodine:

Goitrogenic food is responsible for disrupting thyroid hormone production. They interfere with the proteins needed to produce thyroid hormones resulting in iodine deficiency. This type of food item is generally found in plant-based food such as cabbage, broccoli, kale, cauliflower, and even soy. This is also another reason why vegans are at a greater risk of suffering from iodine deficiency.

       Lactating Or Pregnant Mother:

Growing a baby inside you is not easy as the nutritional requirements of the body amplifies extensively during this period. As a result, pregnant women need 50% more iodine to support the baby's growth in the womb. This is why you will find experts recommending iodine food to be pregnant and lactating women. However, that does not mean one should consume excessive amounts of iodine because that can result in other health complications. The best thing to do is consult a professional and maintain the ideal iodine intake for you and your baby.                 

How Much Iodine Do You Need?

The recommended daily dosage of iodine can vary based on different factors such as age and pregnancy or lactating status. However, most experts recommend consuming 130 mcg for children of 7-12 months, 90 mcg between the age group of 1-8 years, 120 mcg for 9-13 years, 150 mcg for individuals over the age of 14. Besides that, a pregnant woman must consume at least 220 mcg of iodine daily. Further, lactating mothers need more than usual, that is, 290 mcg iodine daily.  



Final Thoughts

As you can see, messing with your thyroid is not something that will benefit you in any way, but if anything, it will result in adverse health complications. Therefore, make sure to take necessary iodine supplements and iodine pills whenever needed. This is your sure shot way to reap all the iodine benefits with ease.   

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