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Iodine Health Benefits, Facts And Symptoms of Iodine Deficiency

by Sarah Syakira

In this article, we will talk about the benefits of iodine health. But beforehand, let’s understand what iodine is.

Everything to Know About Iodine

Iodine is a mineral in food that is needed by the body to carry out various functions. One of the functions of iodine is to ensure that the thyroid gland functions properly. While the benefits of the thyroid gland are carrying out the functions of the body’s metabolism, bone health, nervous system and immune response of the body.

In its capacity, iodine serves to convert TSH or Thyroid Stimulating Hormone to Triiodothyronine (T3) and Thyroxine (T4). TSH changes are important for health in order to create thyroid balance.

About 80% of iodine is found in the thyroid gland located in the neck. While the rest is in the blood, muscles, ovaries, and in other body parts. In western countries, iodine deficiency is rare because it uses iodized salt. However, throughout the world, there are at least 300 million people who experience problems or damage to the thyroid gland.

Before we look at the health benefits of iodine, let’s consider the facts about iodine.

Facts About Iodine

Some key knowledge or information about iodine you should know.

  • Iodine is an important nutrient in maintaining the function of the thyroid gland
  • Excess iodine or iodine deficiency can cause symptoms of hyperthyroidism or hypothyroidism.
  • The best sources of iodine are iodized salt and sea ruminants.
  • To get a supply of iodine in the body, you should visit a doctor.

Symptoms of Iodine Deficiency

Thyroid tissue uses iodine to produce thyroid hormones. Repair a lot of hormones which is damaged and increases the immune system.

Among those who have high risk include:

  • Pregnant women
  • People who live in areas with little iodine soil content. Countries with iodine deficiencies include Southeast Asia, New Zealand, European countries.
  • Those who do not use iodized salt.
  • People who follow a vegetarian diet

While other countries such as America, New Zeland does not need excessive iodine supply. Because their country has land that is high in iodine so that by consuming fruit only it can provide iodine.

If iodine deficiency occurs, the health problems that occur can be severe. Among them are swelling of the neck, problems for pregnant women, difficulty learning and increasing body weight.

Iodine deficiency symptoms are similar to health problems called hypothyroidism, or low thyroid hormones. Because one of the functions of iodine is to produce thyroid hormones so that iodine deficiency results in health problems that lead to hypothyroidism.

Before knowing the health benefits of iodine, let’s see what are the symptoms and signs of iodine deficiency.

1. Swelling in the Neck

One symptom of iodine deficiency is the occurrence of swelling in the front of the neck. This swelling is called goiter as a result of swelling of the thyroid gland.

This swelling in some cases can be treated by consuming sufficient amounts of iodine. However, if you have not been treated for years, goiter can permanently cause damage to the thyroid gland.

2. Increased Weight

If the body is not enough iodine to form thyroid hormones there will be an unexpected increase in body weight. This is because thyroid hormones control the body’s metabolism. If this hormone does not exist, then the body’s metabolism will be slow and food cannot be changed into energy optimally, then finally there is a significant increase in body weight.

One solution is to add iodine to your food. This can reduce the risk of slowing down the body’s metabolism.

3. Fatigue and Weakness

Weak and tired fast are other symptoms of iodine deficiency. Research shows that about 80% of those with low thyroid hormones due to iodine deficiency experience weakness and fatigue without cause.

This fatigue occurs because one of the functions of thyroid hormone is making energy when this hormone is lacking, the body no longer produces energy optimally.

4. Hair loss

One of the benefits of thyroid hormone is controlling hair growth. So, hair loss can be one of the symptoms of iodine deficiency because iodine is useful for forming thyroid hormones.

When your thyroid hormone decreases, the hair follicles stop regenerating the hair roots and will eventually experience hair loss.

5. Dry, Flaky Skin

Furthermore, the symptoms of iodine deficiency are experiencing dryness and flaking. Research shows that 77% of people who lack thyroid hormone experience dull, scaly and dry skin.

Please note that thyroid hormone contains iodine which functions to regenerate the skin. If we lack thyroid hormone, the skin will not regenerate continuously. The effect is a dull, scaly skin.

Besides that, thyroid hormones also play a role in producing sweat. If the body lacks thyroid hormone, then sweat will be less than those who have normal thyroid hormones.

6. There is a Change in Heart Rate

Heart rate is very important to keep it normal. Through the heartbeat, it is known how many times the heart beats in a minute. Someone who lacks iodine will experience a slower heartbeat. While those who experience iodine are higher than normal, the heart rate will be faster than normal.

Severe iodine deficiency can cause your heart to weaken and this will have an effect on weakening all parts of your body. You will also experience fatigue, dizziness and even fainting.

8. Difficulty in learning and remembering

If you feel your memory is different from before or experience a disorder or can not learning and remebering something optimally, it could be a symptom of iodine deficiency.

A study conducted in a thousand adult participants found that those with low thyroid levels had difficulty in memory tests compared to those with high thyroid levels. Thyroid hormone functions to help brain development, iodine is needed which can produce thyroid hormones.

9. Problems During Pregnancy

The high risk for iodine deficiency is pregnant women. They need to consume foods that contain more iodine because she needs for herself and for the fetus in the womb.

If during pregnancy there is not enough supply of iodine, this condition can cause side effects for the mother and baby.

If your baby lacks iodine, the growth of the baby can be hampered.

10. Irregular Periods in women

Iodine deficiency can also cause irregular menstruation. This needs to be noticed by every woman so that health is maintained. Symptoms of iodine deficiency are also related to thyroid hormones. A study of a number of women who have menstrual disorders, they have lower thyroid hormone levels compared to other healthy women.

In addition, women with low thyroid hormones also experience more frequent bleeding or menstrual cycles. This is caused by low thyroid hormones which interfere with hormone levels associated with the menstrual cycle.

Top Iodine Health Benefits

Ok, after we know the symptoms of iodine deficiency, and the fact of iodine. Now is the time to see what are the benefits of iodine health.

We only often hear the importance of vitamins and minerals for the body. However, how much information do you know about iodine? Do you know the iodine health benefits, and what happens if the body lacks iodine. Ok, on this occasion we will share the benefits of iodine for health.

Did you know that iodine is used almost in all bodily functions? Iodine deficiency has also changed many human lives throughout the world. Let’s see what are the benefits of iodine for health.

1. Metabolism and Thyroid Function

One of the benefits of iodine is for the body’s metabolic functions. Metabolism is the action of the body in carrying out food processes to be used by the body in various benefits. And iodine is an important part of metabolism. The breakdown of food to become nutrients is through the thyroid gland and several other processes. In simple terms, iodine is fuel for processing food into nutrients that the body needs. In this case, iodine produces two hormones namely Triiodothyronine (T3) and thyroxine (T4).

The formation of this hormone is from iodine, if there is no iodine in the body, then this food-breaking hormone cannot be produced. Another benefit of iodine is stabilizing the heart rate, body temperature, improving digestion, and maintaining normal body weight.

2. Helps Your Brain Stay Sharp

The benefits of iodine for health are also related to the brain. Iodine deficiency can cause cognitive damage and this has been proven by various studies.

While iodine deficiency in pregnant women can cause autistic babies, said the world health agency (WHO).

3. Protect the Body from Poisons

Life is inseparable from toxins from the food we eat or from the air. Fluoride, chlorine, and bromine are dangerous poisons that exist in every ingredient you use, starting from the interior of the new car to tap water. These poisons can also inhibit the function of the thyroid. So, consuming iodine in normal levels can prevent the buildup of these chemicals.

The benefits of iodine also protect the body from xenoestrogens (chemical mimics) which cause problems in ovarian cysts and in uterine fibroids. Health experts also assume that iodine is useful for removing mercury from the body.

4. Iodine Functions as a Natural Antiseptic

When you are injured or your skin is scratched, iodine is a natural antiseptic that can prevent infection in your wounds. This is a sterilizing agent that functions to kill organisms, bacteria, and viruses.

5. Protecting You from Radiation

One of the benefits of iodine health is protecting the body from radiation. So, iodine is a natural protector from exposure to ultraviolet radiation. Understand the results of a study in Australia.

Someone who is exposed to radiation can also be given iodine supplements. Radiation exposure can occur due to drugs, medical equipment, or radiation emitted by the TSA scanner at the airport.

Based on a 2008 study of radiation, it was shown that “terahertz” radiation such as that found at airports is radiation that is linked to genetic mutations, and whoever travels often must have sufficient amount of iodine in his body to counteract the adverse effects of radiation at the airport.

6. Iodine as a Powerful Antioxidant

According to experts, iodine has the same strength as vitamin C. So iodine can also repair damage caused by free radicals. So, the presence of iodine is very important for the immune system because iodine can cleanse the body of harmful substances in the body.

7. Good for Reproductive Health

Based on the research, Japanese women were the lowest at the lowest cancer risk in the world. The results of the research carried out in 2003 provided information that low levels of this risk were due to their frequent consumption of seaweed rich in iodine and selenium. Seaweed is a staple food in the diet of Japanese people.

The benefits of iodine here are as fuel for the reproductive gland and thyroid. If the body gets enough supply of iodine, a person will avoid diseases such as preeclampsia, fibrocystic, ovarian cancer, vaginitis, polycystic ovary syndrome, ovarian cysts, and even breast cancer.

8. Improve Mood

As a result of iodine deficiency can also cause brain problems such as lack of mood. Recent research also says that iodine deficiency can have an effect on stress and anxiety.

9. Prevent Hair Loss

Iodine is also beneficial for keeping skin healthy and radiant because iodine is also related to the action of cell regeneration. Normal iodine levels also provide benefits for preventing hair loss.

10. Strengthen Teeth and Bones

Iodine helps calcium absorption so that bones can get optimal calcium. Calcium is the main component of bone formation. The role of iodine is to maximize calcium absorption so that the bones and teeth become strong.

In addition, the function and benefits of thyroid health are forming the hormone calcitonin, the task of this hormone is to balance blood calcium. Apart from strengthening bones and teeth, this process can also strengthen the function of nerves, muscles and heart.

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