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To Know About Iodine Deficiency

Source: Science and Technology Daily | 2023-05-25 10:46:21 | Author: Staff Reporters

The health provider of a kindergarten in Hefei,introduces iodine supplementation to the children,May 15, 2023. (PHOTO: VCG)

By Staff Reporters

Since the introduction of salt iodisation in China to prevent and control iodine deficiency disorders, serious diseases such as cretinism and endemic goiter caused by iodine deficiency have become relatively rare. However, as the incidence of thyroid nodules has gradually increased in recent years, some people began to question the existing iodisation control measures.

To clarify some pertinent concerns, Liu Peng and Fan Lijun from the Chinese Centre for Disease Control and Prevention address people's concerns about iodine deficiency and its treatment.

What are the health consequences of iodine deficiency?

The effects of iodine deficiency at different stages of life are different. To foetuses and infants, it can interfere with their normal brain development, resulting in severe cases of cretinism, deafness and mental retardation; to children and adolescents, it can affect their intellectual and physical development, causing motor, visual and auditory impairment and most importantly, goiter; as a result, adults can suffer from goiter and hypothyroidism.

How to treat iodine deficiency?

Treatment for iodine deficiency usually involves increasing your iodine intake. In some parts of the world, many people don't get enough iodine because the natural environment, such as regions away from the sea and at higher altitudes, contains very little iodine, and the human body has a limited ability to store iodine. Therefore, the people with iodine deficiency should be corrected on a long-term, daily basis, such as eating an iodine-rich diet and iodized salt, taking iodine-containing supplements, among which iodized salt is the safest and most effective measure recommended by the World Health Organization to control iodine deficiency disorders.

Do people suffering from thyroid disease need iodine supplements?

People with an overactive thyroid should avoid eating excessive amounts of iodine-rich foods and medicines. If radioactive iodine is used to treat hyperthyroidism, iodine-rich foods such as seaweed should be avoided for at least 7 days. Patients with hypothyroidism who have had their thyroid gland removed or who have residual thyroid tissue may be able to follow a normal iodine diet.

It is important to note that thyroid disorders are caused by different factors and pathogenesis, and that the need for iodine supplementation in patients with different thyroid disorders is subject to medical advice.

Editor: 毕炜梓

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