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Iodine in Pregnancy
Iodine is an integral element of a pregnant woman’s diet for numerous reasons. It is a mineral that ensures that the thyroid gland remains healthy and functional. It is required to aid in the production of the hormones thyroxin and triiodothyronine, which control development and growth as well as reproductive functions in human beings.
Thyroid regulates the body temperature and metabolism rate. For a pregnant woman, iodine is crucial not only for her own body but also for baby’s thyroid hormones production and mental development.
The production of thyroid hormones increases by up to 50% during pregnancy. Hence a greater amount of iodine is needed by the female’s body. Iodine intake is of concern for the mother and the baby from the 11th week of gestation period to the time the child is 3 years of age.
IDD is the most prevalent reason for brain damage and mental retardation in the world. Intaking the right amount of iodine in your diet during pregnancy, a woman can save her child from being born mentally retarded.
One can face severe problems like stillbirth and spontaneous abortions due to iodine deficiency. The child can be squint, have slow mental and physical development, hypothyroidism and other irreversible brain damages. Iodine deficiency is also a reason behind infant mortality.
Minor problems due to less iodine in diet include constipation, brittle nails and dry hair and skin during pregnancy. It can also cause gain in weight and in severe cases, hypothyroidism in a pregnant lady.
How much iodine should one have during pregnancy?
Doctors recommend that a pregnant woman must consume 235-250 micrograms of iodine every day. The iodine should not come only from iodized salt but also from other iodine-rich foods. Iodine supplements can also be taken if advised by the doctor. Apart from this, iodine is equally important for lactation. A mother must have around 290 mcg of iodine during breastfeeding duration.
All infants below the age of 1 year must have iodine in their diet so that their mental development is normal. The ideal iodine requirement for babies is 50 to 90 mcg.
Sources of Iodine
Iodine Deficiency Symptoms
Some signs that point to iodine deficiency include fatigue, depression, enlarged thyroid gland, weakness and weight gain. One needs to consult a doctor immediately in such cases to get proper treatment on time. Do not consume medications and supplements on your own without consulting a doctor.