Iodine: Are you deficient? 

The mineral, iodine, is important for the production of thyroid hormones which are critical regulators of metabolism, development and growth (1).

Hypothyroidism, where the body doesn’t make enough thyroid hormones, affects up to 5% of the general population. Worldwide, environmental iodine deficiency is the most common cause of all thyroid disorders, including hypothyroidism (2).

The symptoms of hypothyroidism is a long and varied list, including fatigue, increased sensitivity to cold, constipation, dry skin, weight gain, puffy face, hoarseness, muscle weakness, elevated blood cholesterol level, muscle aches, tenderness and stiffness, pain, stiffness or swelling in your joints, heavier than normal or irregular menstrual periods, thinning hair, and more (3).

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), the adult RDA for iodine is 150mcg (4). The most common sources of iodine are shellfish, seaweed and diary (5). While the Irish population is a significant diary consumer, the amount of iodine in this source can be very variable to due depletion of iodine levels in the soil (6). Research in 2016 confirmed that a borderline iodine status persists, unchanged, in the Irish population over the past 20 years (7).

To address deficiencies in populations, the WHO has recommended the use of iodised salt. While this is available in other European countries, it is more difficult to buy in Ireland, as demonstrated by research in 2019 (8), where iodised salt was only available in 12% of a total of 89 supermarkets studied.

If you are experiencing symptoms of hypothyroidism, contact us today or book in for a one to one consultation. Testing your iodine status may be one part of the puzzle on the way to optimising your health.