Iodine affects a sensitive gland in called the thyroid, which regulates the metabolic rate of the human body. The presence or the absence of a small amount of the substance can be the difference between an overactive thyroid or under active one. Iodine itself is in turn sensitive, and can be inadvertently purged out of the body based on a person’s dietary choices or lifestyle. This can lead to iodine deficiency symptoms which can include extreme fatigue, goiter, mental slowing, depression, excess weight gain, and low basal body temperatures.
Episodes of hypothyroidism are the results of an iodine deficiency, symptoms of which are all the above. This also leads to enlargement of the thyroid gland, which increases in size in order to produce more thyroid hormones to make up for the lack of iodine. This condition is called “goiter” and may be hard to reverse once it sets in. Additional signs of the deficiency are low levels of energy, scaly, yellowish or dry skin, personality changes, anemia, heavy and prolonged menstruation periods in women, numbness or tingling in the extremities, depression and forgetfulness.
Sometimes location or geographic area contributes to conditions leading to iodine deficiency symptoms. Remote island areas and semi arid climates create a situation where there are no ready sources of iodine from the local foods (since there’s no marine food or other sources of iodine available in such areas). Physical activity, or lack of same can also add to the problem – those possibly affected are encouraged to take frequent walks, which will offset the issue by improving circulation, lessening depression, improving sleep, and decreasing the onset of headaches.
Additional outcomes from lack of iodine can be problems with pregnancy, considering iodine is critical for women as it concentrates in the breasts and ovaries, and is important for early child brain development. If a person is experiencing iodine deficiency symptoms despite having an apparently normal dietary intake of of the nutrient, it may be because other aspects of the diet are displacing any iodine ingested. Fluoride, chloride and bromide are known to displace iodine, so subject should be very careful to examine these and other factors that may be inhibiting its bioactivity within the body.