Iodine deficiency can lead to improper functioning of the thyroid gland. The following article provides information regarding the treatment of this deficiency.
Iodine, which is a chemical element that is found in traces in the human body, plays a crucial role in the functioning of thyroid hormones. Deficiency of this element leads to several thyroid disorders like goiter (thyroid enlargement), hypothyroidism (under active thyroid), hair loss, poor or slowed reflexes, fatigue, dry skin, etc. The importance of this element in our body is certainly immense.
The symptoms of an iodine deficiency include dry skin, unexplained weight gain/loss, mental confusion, dry skin, hoarse voice, etc. Proper medical checkup is essential to determine the exact cause of these symptoms. As per the guidelines of World Health Organization (WHO), it’s very important to plan long-term dietary iodine replacement programs, especially for younger children and pregnant women. In case of pregnant women, this nutritional deficiency can lead to acute problems for both the baby and the mother, which is why pregnant women are asked to include iodine-rich foods in their diet. WHO suggests that it’s best to increase the intake of food items such as iodized salt, milk, egg yolks, and saltwater fish in the regular diet. Surgical care is needed for patients with a large goiter. Thyroidectomy, which involves the surgical removal of the thyroid gland, might be recommended in severe cases.
Recommendations made by Food and Drug Administration (FDA) with respect to the consumption of this nutrient must be followed properly. In the recent years, efforts have been made to find out a specific diet requirement of iodine in a healthy adult man. Nearly, 150 micro gram per day is the recommended intake for a healthy man, while it is 220 to 290 micro gram per day, for a pregnant woman.
Generally, the use of synthetic thyroid hormone have been found to be very effective in replacing the deficiency. However, these hormones are certainly more expensive than various other methods of increasing the iodine intake. In cases of hypothyroidism, a synthetic form of thyroid hormone called levothyroxine, helps in managing and regulating the thyroid levels in the body. Although, there are various natural treatments for hypothyroidism, artificial thyroid hormones have been found to be very effective in several cases.
As such, there are no specific methods to test thyroid deficiency. Episodes of deficiency of iodine in a population are best treated by increasing intake of iodized food in the diet programs of people. Hence, it’s more logical to prevent the occurrence of this deficiency rather than treatment. In the last 80 years, WHO has made herculean efforts to eliminate this deficiency in developing countries. All across the globe iodized salt has been the main treatment method. While complete treatment of the deficiency may not be possible, still it can be controlled to some extent.
Just as an iodine deficiency can cause major problems, excess of iodine can also lead to problems like hyperthyroidism, autoimmune thyroid disease, and several other thyroid problems. Iodine deficiency is best prevented by increasing the intake of foods for low thyroid levels. Hence, it must be ensured that foods rich in iodine are an important part of your diet.
Disclaimer: This article is for informative purposes only and does not in any way attempt to replace the advice offered by an expert on the subject.