Iodine deficiency produces adverse effects which is widespread in a population. Global Iodine Deficiency Disorder Prevention Day, observed on 21st October, is a global awareness campaign that focuses on reducing the spread of iodine deficiency disorder and to educate the public about the disease. Inadequate supply of iodine can cause a health condition called iodine deficiency disorder (IDD), which generally affects young children and pregnant women and causes mental abnormalities.
Good to know facts:
- Our body requires iodine for the production of hormones, secreted by the thyroid gland, which is required for physical and mental growth.
- The deficiency of iodine causes goiter, stunted growth, low mental development and brain damage in people.
- In pregnant women, iodine deficiency can result in a child with physical and mental retardation or sometimes may even result in stillbirth or abortion.
- One-sixth of the world population is still in the risk of IDD.
- IDD is caused due to low dietary intake of iodine through fruits, vegetables and sea food.
- Usage of iodized salt is one of the best and inexpensive ways to fulfill the body’s iodine requirements.
Iodine deficiency can cause the following negative effects on our body:
- Muscle stiffness including neuromuscular weakness
- Stunted physical and mental growth
- Hair loss
- Mental illness including subnormal intelligence, mental retardation, impaired cognitive development
- Defect in vision, speech, and hearing
- Spontaneous abortion and still birth in pregnant women
Food sources of iodine:
Apart from salt which is the best source of iodine, milk, eggs, seaweed, shellfish, sea fish, meat and cereal grains are other iodine-rich sources.
The average daily requirement for a normal adult is 1gm. The absence of this small nutrient in your body can lead to a big setback in leading your normal life! Increase your dietary iodine intake and keep IDD at an arm’s length!
- World Health Organization. Accessed Oct 15, 2015.
- Iodine Global Network. Accessed Oct 16, 2015.
- National Health Portal. Accessed Oct 20, 2015.