When it comes to thinking of important minerals, Iodine is often not top of the list. However, it is much more important to overall health and well being than most people may realize. First, Iodine is vitally important because it plays an overwhelmingly important role in the functioning of the thyroid. The thyroid utilizes iodine and converts it into the thyroid hormone. In fact, the number one serious result caused by a deficiency in iodine is thyroid disease. Iodine deficiency is very common in many parts of the world, but fortunately it is nearly eradicated in the United States. However, due to the fact that iodine deficiency can have serious consequences, it is very important to use iodine supplementation if you are not regularly taking adequate amounts.
However, there are certain people that are more predisposed to
having a deficiency. These include pregnant women, the elderly,
adolescents, and is seen more often in women than in men. Because
iodine is vital for normal functioning of the thyroid, if there
is a deficiency there won't be enough thyroid hormone. The symptoms
of iodine deficiency include: depression, weight gain, extreme fatigue,
tiredness, or sleepiness, intolerance to cold temperatures, constipation,
dry coarse hair, dry skin, swelling of the legs, decreased concentration,
muscle cramps, various aches and pains or chronic pain. In addition,
there may be swelling or puffy eyes and as the deficiency becomes
more severe the symptoms increase in severity as well. These may
include coma, heart failure, enlarged heart, and fluid in the lungs.
These severe symptoms are the result of a lack of thyroid hormone
for a long period of time.
It should also be noted that the body does not store iodine for
a long length of time. Therefore it is important that people consume
it on a daily basis. It is recommended that adult men and women
consume between 100 and 200 micrograms each day. That figure increases
to 175 micrograms for pregnant women and 200 micrograms for breastfeeding
women. Children require varying amounts of iodine depending upon
their age. For infants, it is recommended that they have between
40-50 micrograms and children between the ages of one to three years
old need 70 micrograms. Children between the ages of four and six
need 90 micrograms and children between seven and ten years old
need 120 micrograms. It is recommended that all children after the
age of eleven have 150 micrograms per day.
Since food may be grown in soil that is iodine deficient, the solution
is to take iodine supplementation. It is always a good idea to discuss
taking any supplements with your health care provider first. Iodine
supplements are no exception. If you are taking other medications
it is extremely important to check with your physician or health
care provider to ensure that there are no side effects or complications
while taking both medications. It is also important to realize that
just as there are serious consequences involved with iodine deficiency,
there are also complications associated with an excess of iodine.
You should always check with your health care provider and determine
how much you are receiving in your diet before beginning supplementation.