7 Signs of Iodine Deficiency

Know the signs that can help you recognise iodine deficiency

Health News
3 min read
7 Signs of Iodine Deficiency

According to the American Thyroid Association, iodine plays an important role in the production of thyroid hormones. Iodine is not produced inside our body so we need a proper diet to make sure that we meet the requirements. If you do not have proper amount of iodine as required by your body, you may not have enough production of thyroid hormone.

Deficiency of iodine can lead to hypothyroidism which may result in enlargement of the thyroid. According to PubMed, thyroid hormones also contribute in growth and repair of damaged cells as well as promoting a healthy metabolism.

Deficiency of thyroid hormone due to lack of iodine can lead to complex symptoms and health issues like enlargement of the neck, weight gain, and pregnancy-related issues. Let's know more about the signs and symptoms that can help you recognise iodine deficiency.


Swelling in the Neck

Swelling in the neck happens when there is a goiter forming in the front of the neck as a result of expanding thyroid glands due to iodine deficiency.

The thyroid gland is a small butterfly- shaped gland placed in the front of the neck that begins to produce thyroid hormones after getting signals from the Thyroid-Stimulating Hormones (TSH).

According to PubMed, when there is high levels of TSH in the blood and the thyroid gland cannot produce enough hormones due to lack of iodine, they start to try harder in order to compensate and this results in multiplication and accumulation of the cells which leads to formation of a goiter.

Weight Gain 

Weight gain without a valid reason is another result of iodine deficiency and it may happen when the body is not able to make enough thyroid hormones.

According to US NIH, thyroid hormones are responsible for maintaining a healthy metabolic system which converts the calories into heat and energy. Due to lack of thyroid hormones, the body cannot burn calories at rest and they get stored as fat resulting in weight gain.


According to Healthline, 80% of people with low thyroid levels feel tired, weak and sluggish most of the time. It is because due to lack of iodine, thyroid hormones cannot perform their function of 'making energy properly. '

Low levels of thyroid hormones does not allow the body to function properly and produce energy and that is why weakness and fatigue are common symptoms of iodine deficiency.

Hair Loss 

According to PubMed, thyroid hormones are responsible for hair growth and low levels of thyroid levels prevent the regeneration of hair follicles which then leads to hair loss.

Therefore, iodine deficiency may also result in hair loss. Moreover, 30% of the people suffering from low thyroid levels suffer from hair loss

Dry Skin

According to US NIH, 77% of the people with low thyroid levels suffer from dry and flaky skin. As mentioned before, thyroid hormones are responsible for replacing and repairing the damaged cells and it isn't possible when the thyroid levels are low.

Therefore, iodine deficiency also affects the skin and leads to dry, flaky, irritated skin.

Irregular Periods

According to pubMed, irregular or heavy periods can be a sign of iodine deficiency as well. Like most other common symptoms, heavy or irregular periods may be related to low levels of thyroid hormones as well.

According to researchers, 68% of the women with low iodine levels suffer from irregular and heavy periods.

Pregnancy Problems

A mentioned above, low thyroid levels can result in problems during pregnancy. According to doctors at Mayo Clinic, pregnant women are at a higher risk of suffering from iodine deficiency. This is because their body needs iodine for them as well as for their babies till their lactation period continues.

According to US NIH, iodine deficiency may lead to health conditions in both mother and baby, Mothers may suffer from goiter, weakness, feeling cold whereas the baby may have stunted growth and problems with brain development.

(This article is for your general information only. Before trying out any remedy or treatment, FIT advises you to consult a qualified medical professional. )

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