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World Iodine Deficiency Day: Some Common Consequences of Hypothyroidism

Every year, October 21 is celebrated as World Iodine Deficiency Day. The day is also known as Global Iodine Deficiency Disorders (IDD) Prevention Day.

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Updated:October 21, 2019, 4:30 PM IST
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World Iodine Deficiency Day: Some Common Consequences of Hypothyroidism
Representative image. (AFP Relaxnews/ FRANCK FIFE)

Every year, October 21 is celebrated as World Iodine Deficiency Day. The day is also known as Global Iodine Deficiency Disorders (IDD) Prevention Day. Iodine is one of the essential micronutrients required for normal thyroid function, growth, and development. Iodine deficiency can lead to a number of health conditions that can even be fatal. Therefore, a certain amount of iodine is always required in your body in order to create a vital chemical known as thyroid hormone.

The deficiency of Iodine in the body can lead to a condition called Hypothyroidism, which also means underactive thyroid or low thyroid. In this disorder of the endocrine system, the thyroid gland does not produce enough thyroid hormone. Some of the common consequences of hypothyroidism include:

Cardiomegaly (an enlarged heart): An enlarged heart is medically known as cardiomegaly. It can be caused due to a number of conditions, which also results in longstanding anemia and thyroid diseases, among other conditions. It can also lead to heart failure and other heart ailments.

Depression: Iodine deficiency can also affect the mental health of a person, causing depression. This is because of the symptoms of iodine, which leads to abnormal weight gain, fatigue and weakness, among other issues. It can also cause cognitive impairment.

Thyroid Enlargement: The thyroid problems are essentially caused due to low levels of iodine in the body. This leads to an abnormal enlargement of the thyroid gland, also known as a goiter. This leads to swelling and neck in pain.

Peripheral Neuropathy: Iodine Deficiency can also damage the body's peripheral nerves. In this condition, one can face several issues, such as tingling in the hands or feet, sharp, stabbing pains, numbness in the hands or feet, thinning of the skin, drop in blood pressure and others.

Infertility in women: Another consequence of Iodine Deficiency is infertility among women. In fact, low amounts of thyroid hormone in pregnant women can increase their child’s risk of birth defects. It can also introduce other pregnancy-related issues like miscarriages, stillbirth, preterm delivery and congenital abnormalities in newborns.

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