What Happens If You Do Not Get Enough Iodine?


Quick Answer

The American Thyroid Association lists the symptoms of iodine deficiency as enlargement of the thyroid, goiter, hypothyroidism and various problems with pregnancy, including pre-term delivery and congenital abnormalities. Iodine is an important element that is necessary for proper thyroid function.

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What Happens If You Do Not Get Enough Iodine?
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Full Answer

WebMD explains that iodine in salt is essential to infant brain development and too little iodine in the mother's diet during pregnancy can lead to a mental birth defect known as cretinism. It can also cause impaired intellectual development and abnormal brain development in fetuses. Iodine deficiency is more common in women than men, particularly pregnant women. Iodine deficiency is not as common in the United States as it is in third-world countries, but it is considered a borderline issue. Many canned and frozen foods do not contain iodized salt, and only 70 percent of table salt is fortified with iodine.

According to the Mayo Clinic, iodine is an essential element for thyroid hormone development. Iodine is commonly found in plants that are grown in soil that is rich in iodine as well as in seafood and seaweed. While consuming too little iodine can lead to an under-active thyroid gland, too much iodine in the system can lead to an over-active thyroid, which is known as hyperthyroidism.

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