According to the WHO, 30 million children around the world are iodine deficient. Iodine deficiency, over time, has become the most widespread preventable health problem. Your body needs iodine. There are no two ways about it. This is because iodine ensures the health and development of vital organs, including your brain. Iodine deficiency leads to cognitive development issues in children, and can also impact their organs. However, iodine deficiency is not restricted to children alone. Adults are as, if not more, likely to be iodine deficient.
A clinical study, involving more than 5,000 people, concluded that over 95% of them were iodine deficient. The WHO itself stated that over 70% of the people across the world don’t have sufficient iodine in their systems. This is despite the fact that over 70% of households consume iodized salt on a regular basis. Hence, it is surprising to note that the overall iodine levels have been decreasing for the past 3 decades. The main concern regarding iodine deficiency is that it can lead to a number of health problems, including
High blood cholesterol
Fibrocystic breast disease
This is just the tip of the iceberg. There are many other health problems that you can develop as a result of iodine deficiency. But, the main question here is that how you can determine if you are indeed iodine deficient. Here are some of the most common signs and symptoms of this condition:
Dryness of the skin
Loss of hair volume
Increased vulnerability to infections
Inability to lose weight
Along with this, iodine deficiency can also cause brain fog, joint stiffness, and muscle weakness. Your hands and feet might also start getting colder. Iodine deficiency can also impair your kidney, rendering it unable to function optimally.
If you notice any of these signs and symptoms, it is important that you get yourself checked for iodine deficiency without delay. Increasing your iodine intake will restore the levels of this chemical in your bloodstream and prevent the complications the deficiency can cause. However, prevention is better than treatment for iodine deficiency. You should maintain a sufficient iodine intake to ensure you don’t fall short of the standard levels. For this, you can consult the guidelines provided by the Institute of Medicine.
According to the Institute of Medicine, the general recommended intake of iodine for men and women is 150 micrograms (mcg) a day. Women who are pregnant or nursing need to increase their intake to 220 mcg and 290 mcg respectively. This will help prevent any developmental issues in the newborn. Overall, watching your iodine intake is crucial for your health and wellbeing. Don’t go below the recommended intake, or it could lead to a number of health problems, some of which are difficult to manage and live with.