Symptoms of Iodine Deficiency: What Is Iodine?
Iodine is a nutrient that our bodies can’t produce on their own, so we have to get it from our diets. Many of us get enough iodine from other foods in trace amounts; some get it from salt, which is sometimes fortified with it. But many of us don’t get enough iodine, because we live in areas with low iodine levels in the soil (such as the northwestern U.S., around the Great Lakes and Canada, and much of Europe). One of iodine’s most important uses is to ensure proper thyroid functioning.
One of the main problems associated with iodine deficiency is something called hypothyroidism, which means an underactive thyroid. Your thyroid is involved in all sorts of processes, so a thyroid problem will generate a wide variety of symptoms. Generally speaking, hypothyroidism leads to a general slowing down. So some of its symptoms include depressed mood, muscle cramps, general aches and pains, cold intolerance, and an inability to focus (brain fog).
Symptoms of Iodine Deficiency: I Can’t Lose Weight
One sign that you need more iodine is an inability to lose weight. Are you exercising regularly and watching what you eat? If so, it might be because your thyroid gland isn’t working properly. Be honest with yourself, though: are you really sticking to that diet as much as you say you are? Or are you cheating here and there? Double-check your weight-loss efforts. If you still can’t lose weight, try an iodine supplement. It might just be the magic pill you need to drop that weight!
Symptoms of Iodine Deficiency: I’m Sleepy All the Time
Another symptom of iodine deficiency is constant fatigue. If you need a nap to make it through the day, even though you get enough sleep at night; or if you wake up sleepy even after eight, ten, or more hours of sleep, then there’s a good chance you need some iodine.
Symptoms of Iodine Deficiency: I’m Losing My Hair
Hypothyroidism can also cause dry, brittle hair, and even lead to hair loss! Now, once again, hypothyroidism is not the only cause of hair loss. You might just be suffering from good old male-pattern baldness. But if your hair loss doesn’t follow the typical hair-loss pattern (starting at the temples and crown of the head), then try an iodine supplement. It might help.