Iodine is a vital mineral that is essential for the proper functioning of the thyroid gland. The thyroid gland produces hormones that regulate the body’s metabolic rate and it needs a sufficient amount of iodine to do so. Iodine is also important for fetal brain development during pregnancy. Unfortunately, over two billion people worldwide have an iodine deficiency, which can lead to several health problems.
The signs and symptoms of an iodine deficiency are often subtle and can develop over time. One of the most common symptoms is an enlarged thyroid gland, known as a goiter. This is because the thyroid gland enlarges in an attempt to produce enough hormones, which requires more iodine. Other symptoms include: