Iodine deficiency increases chances of infertility: Expert

LUDHIANA: October 21 is observed as Global Iodine Deficiency Day and the day aims at generating awareness about the adequate use of iodine and highlighting the consequences of its deficiency.

Manav Mander

Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 22

October 21 is observed as Global Iodine Deficiency Day and the day aims at generating awareness about the adequate use of iodine and highlighting the consequences of its deficiency.

Iodine deficiency increases the chances of infertility and recurrent miscarriage by under producing the required levels of thyroid hormones.

Recent studies have shown that mild iodine deficiency is becoming an emerging problem in many developing countries. Iodine is a vital micro-nutrient that is essential for the production of thyroid hormone and for the in-utero neuro development. This concern is being highlighted to the fact that iodine is found in very few food items, most of which is taken from iodized salt, dairy and few bread items.

According to Dr Bakul Kapoor, IVF expert at Indira IVF Hospital, “Low functioning thyroid gland will not produce enough hormones, interfering with the release of egg from ovaries during ovulation that leads to impairing fertility. Once diagnosed with hypothyroidism, women may have loss of libido, menstrual abnormalities and may have difficulty in conceiving. Common symptoms that indicates hypothyroidism include heavy or irregular menses, loss or reduced libido, fatigue, lack of energy, puffy tissues, unexplained weight gain, feeling depressed etc, can be more than indicative for a visit to the doctor.”

“There is an interconnection between the thyroid glands and the ovaries, and hence, any imbalance caused in this web will influence effects on the other. Release of the thyroid hormones is necessary for signaling the ovaries to mature the egg follicles and produce the reproductive hormones estrogen and progesterone,” added Dr Kapoor.

“Iodine deficient women have a low thyroid functioning which may directly be linked with a negative impact on their reproductive health. Hypothyroidism is one of the most common causes for infertility and miscarriage in women than most of them realise,” added another city-based gynecologist, Dr Ridhima.

Symptoms of iodine deficiency

  • Swelling in neck
  • Unexpected weight gain
  • Hair loss
  • Fatigue and weakness
  • Flaky skin
  • Problem during pregnancy

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