8 Signs You’re Deficient In Iodine

8 Signs You’re Deficient In Iodine


Iodine is essential for healthy living. That’s because it is vital for healthy thyroid functioning. And having a healthy thyroid is important, seeing as thyroid hormones aid in brain development, growth, healing, and metabolism.

The body does not produce iodine, which means it’s essential to get it from your diet. According to The American Thyroid Association, iodine exists in foods like:

  • Cheese
  • Cows milk
  • Eggs
  • Frozen Yogurt
  • Ice Cream
  • Iodine-containing multivitamins
  • Iodized table salt
  • Saltwater fish
  • Seaweed (including kelp, dulse, nori)
  • Shellfish
  • Soy milk
  • Soy sauce
  • Yogurt

When the body does not get enough iodine, this prevents the body from being able to make enough thyroid hormones. This is known as hypothyroidism.

So how do you know if you’re deficient in iodine?

8 Signs You’re Deficient In Iodine

Neck Swelling

The thyroid gland enlarges in the neck when it’s low in iodine, thus causing swelling. That’s because it’s attempting to soak in more iodine from the blood.

Irregular or Heavy Periods

Low levels of thyroid hormones can mess with the hormones that affect women’s periods. Having heavier periods than normal, or having periods more (or less) often than usual may be a sign of an iodine deficiency.

Slow Heart Beat

An iodine deficiency can cause the heart to beat slower than normal, which can lead to fainting, or feeling sick/dizzy.

Trouble Getting Warm

A lack of thyroid hormones due to a lack of iodine can cause the metabolic rate to slow down. This causes the person to produce less energy (which causes warmth) and makes them feel cold.

Here’s four more signs of an iodine deficiency from Medical News Today:

Putting on weight

One of the most noticeable signs of an iodine deficiency is unexpected weight gain.

When a person has a healthy metabolism, they burn calories to give them their energy. Hypothyroidism, or a lack of thyroid hormones, slows down a person’s metabolism.

When a person’s metabolism slows down, calories are more likely to be stored as fat, leading to weight gain.

It is important to remember that weight gain is not always a sign of an iodine deficiency. It may only be a symptom when weight gain cannot otherwise be explained. A more common explanation for weight gain is eating more calories than needed or not exercising enough.

Feeling tired

A drop in metabolic rate also makes a person feel tired. Therefore, feeling tired is another sign of an iodine deficiency.

As with weight gain, feeling tired does not always mean a person is iodine deficient. If a person is not getting enough rest, it is natural for them to feel tired.

If tiredness is unexplained, it may be a symptom of an iodine deficiency.

Losing hair

Hair loss is another possible sign that a person might have an iodine deficiency.

Thyroid hormones support the hair follicle renewal. When a person has hypothyroidism, a shortage of thyroid hormones means the follicles stop being renewed.

Hair falls out naturally but is replaced by new follicles. Over time, the fact this stops happening means a person has less hair.

Drying skin

Having dry, flaky skin could be a sign of hypothyroidism, as it can be the result of iodine deficiency.

Thyroid hormones help cells renew. A lack of these hormones may cause dead skin cells to build up, sometimes resulting in dry, flaky skin.