Why Do You Need Iodine During Pregnancy?

Iodine During Pregnancy

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Are you feeling weak and fatigued during pregnancy? Are you suffering from an enlarged thyroid gland? If you said yes, chances are, you are suffering from iodine deficiency! What is it, how do you treat it? Read our post here and get the answers to your questions here.

What Is Iodine?

Iodine, obtained from the iodized salt, is an essential nutrient that helps in the production of thyroid hormone. These hormones assist in the development of the baby’s brain and nervous system. Hence, it is important for pregnant and lactating women to have enough iodine in their diet.

Why Do You Need Iodine During Pregnancy In Pregnancy?

The thyroids glands store hormones. They are quite active during pregnancy and produce about 50% more thyroid hormones than usual. As a to-be mother, you need to increase your iodine intake support your body and your fetus. A deficiency of iodine will make it difficult for you to support the unborn baby in the later stages of pregnancy. It may also have adverse effects on the brain and nervous system of the unborn child.

Iodine Deficiency:

Iodine deficiency is the second most significant cause of brain damage and preventable intellectual disability worldwide. With the rise in the consumption of processed foods, iodine deficiency is becoming widespread. The salts used in the processed food are not iodized. According to a journal published in the “Journal”, about 1/3rd of all pregnant women suffer from iodine deficiencies. A lack of iodine during pregnancy can increase the risk of preterm delivery, miscarriage, and stillbirth.

[ Read: Symptoms of Anemia in Pregnancy ]

Causes Of Iodine Deficiency In Pregnancy:

A lack of iodine in the body can lead to iodine deficiencies, which are dangerous for your baby and you.

Symptoms Of Iodine Deficiency During Pregnancy:

The symptoms of iodine deficiency include:

  • Fatigue
  • Weakness
  • Depression
  • Sensitivity to cold
  • Weight gain
  • Enlarged thyroid gland

[ Read: Ways To Cope With Fatigue During Pregnancy ]

Recommended Dietary Allowance Of Iodine For Pregnant Women:

What Your iodine requirement increases substantially during the pregnancy to ensure adequate supply to the baby. The RDA of iodine for pregnant women is 220 micrograms a day. The maximum amount of iodine considered safe by the Food and Nutrition Board of the Institute of Medicine is 1100 micrograms per day. Don’t aim to consume the recommended amount of iodine daily. Instead, you should aim for the sum as an average over the course of a few days or a week.

Sources Of Iodine:

Sea vegetables are excellent sources of iodine. In fact, they contain too much iodine for a regular consumption. Kelp contains 1986 micrograms of iodine per tablespoon, which is far above the tolerable intake level.

The other top sources of iodine include:

  • A ¼ teaspoon of iodized salt contains 71 micrograms of iodine.
  • 1 cup of yogurt contains 75 micrograms of iodine.
  • 3 ounces of baked cod contain 99 micrograms of iodine.
  • 1 cup of milk contains 55 micrograms of iodine.
  • 1 gram of seaweed contains 16 to 2900 micrograms of iodine.

[ Read: Sources Of Magnesium During Pregnancy ]

Iodine Supplements:

UNICEF and WHO recommend iodine supplements for pregnant women in countries when less than 20% households have access to iodized salt. To prevent iodine deficiencies, most of the table salt in the United States rich in iodine. But the iodine amount can vary widely- from 250 micrograms to 400 micrograms per teaspoon of salt.

If you are considering iodine supplements, then we would suggest you to go for potassium iodide and sodium iodide. You must take iodine supplements that have at least 150 micrograms of iodide and iodized table salt. A combined intake of iodine rich foods and supplements will give you around 290 to 2,100 micrograms of iodine a day.

When Should You Consume Iodine Supplements?

You should consume iodine supplements from the point of planning pregnancy through the length of the pregnancy and breastfeeding. If you have an unplanned pregnancy, then you should take iodine supplements soon after finding out about the pregnancy.

[ Read: Calcium Rich Foods During Pregnancy ]

Consult Your Doctor:

If you are thinking of taking iodine supplements, then you must talk to your doctor about it first, especially if you have a pre-existing thyroid condition. According to doctors, vegan or vegetarian women, or women who do not consume two or more food sources of iodine, must get a urine test to see if they have an iodine deficiency. Remember, too much iodine during pregnancy can also have health consequences. So don’t take multiple doses in a day.

Did you take iodine supplements during pregnancy? Did you suffer from iodine deficiency during pregnancy? Tell us in the comment section below.

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