Iodine deficiency, which is necessary for the synthesis of thyroid hormones, which have very important functions in the human body since birth, is one of the problems that deeply affects the quality of life. Internal Medicine Specialist Dr. Gülden Yürüyen said, “Iodine deficiency is a public health problem that requires diagnostic and corrective action at the social level, not at the individual level. Underlining that a healthy thyroid function is critical for general body health and development, Dr. Yürüyen pointed out the necessity of preventing and treating iodine deficiency.
Iodine deficiency is a condition that affects the normal functions of the thyroid gland. Internal Medicine Specialist Dr. Gülden Yürüyen at Yeditepe University Hospitals said about this condition, which occurs due to a decrease in the production of thyroid hormones and can cause many important problems, from goiter to the brain development of babies. She gave important information about iodine deficiency, which is still considered a public health problem worldwide.
Expert says that iodine is necessary for the synthesis of thyroid hormones, which have very important functions in the human body since birth. Spc. Dr. Yürüyen said, “Iodine is a chemical element found in nature as Iodide, which must be taken from outside because it is not produced in our body. It is mostly found in nature in oceans and sea water. If iodine is insufficient, thyroid hormone cannot be produced and thyroid hormone deficiency develops.”
“One of the most important causes of preventable mental retardation”
Pointing out that iodine is critical for a healthy thyroid function, general body health and development, and therefore the prevention and treatment of iodine deficiency is necessary, Dr. Yürüyen gave the following information, “When thyroid hormone, which has very important functions for health starting from life in the womb, is produced insufficiently, we encounter serious health problems. For example, iodine deficiency during pregnancy can cause problems in the baby, from mental retardation and neurological disorders to stillbirth and miscarriage. One of the most important causes of preventable mental retardation in the world is iodine deficiency. Iodine deficiency, which is associated with growth and developmental delay in childhood, enlarges the thyroid gland and develops goiter when experienced in adulthood. Due to insufficient hormone production of the thyroid gland, it causes many health problems such as dry skin, fatigue, constipation, high cholesterol, weight gain, chills, depression and hair loss.”
“Never use supplemental iodine without a doctor’s recommendation.”
Stating that very small amounts of iodine are sufficient for the body and that the average daily iodine need of a healthy adult is 150 micrograms, Dr. Yürüyen said, “The most important source of iodine is iodized refined table salt. Excessive iodine intake as a supplement causes negative health consequences. For this reason, supplementary iodine should never be used without a doctor’s recommendation.”
“Consume refined iodized table salt”
Internal Medicine Specialist Dr. said that the Society of Endocrinology and Metabolism of Türkiye (SEMT) recommends the consumption of refined iodized table salt throughout the country in its current guide published in 2023. Gülden Yürüyen listed her suggestions against iodine deficiency as follows, “Unless your doctor states otherwise, we should prefer iodized refined salt in our product selection, while using normal amounts of salt in our kitchens and tables, rather than adding extra iodized salt to meals. Additionally, saltwater fish, shellfish, cow’s milk, cheese, yoghurt, soy milk and eggs also help meet our iodine needs when consumed in a balanced manner. If you have a restriction regarding salt consumption, such as high blood pressure, heart or kidney disease, you should consult your doctor about how you should take it, as you cannot get iodine support from table salt.”