Iodine deficiency is a serious problem in the developing world but many Europeans and North Americans are also deficient. Iodine consumption has decreased by about 50% in the United States since the early part of the 20th century.
If you are experiencing any of the below symptoms, you may want to have your thyroid tested as well as your iodine levels and then, after speaking with your provider, consider whether adding extra iodine to your diet would be beneficial.
Low iodine levels can lead to hypothyroidism. This is because iodine regulates thyroid hormones in the body.
Fatigue is a common symptom of iodine deficiency and hypothyroidism.
Low iodine levels can cause weight gain. Weight gain may be one of the early warning signs of hypothyroidism.
Like fatigue and weight gain, depression is a common symptom of hypothyroidism caused by iodine deficiency.
When iodine levels in the body are too low, the thyroid can enlarge. An enlarged thyroid is referred to as a goiter.
Fibrocystic Breast Disease
Research indicates that iodine deficiency may be responsible for fibrocystic breast disease, a condition in which painful but benign lumps develop in the breasts that can worsen with hormonal fluctuations.
Iodine deficiency in pregnant women can lead to complications including miscarriage, stillbirth, premature delivery and birth defects.