Iodine deficiency

Can Iodine Deficiency Interrupt Fetal Growth?

, – You know how important nutrition is in pregnancy. Therefore pregnant women should take folic acid and vitamin D supplements. The point is to make sure their growing baby gets the best start. Even so, only a few are aware that iodine can improve children’s brain development since in the womb and iodine deficiency can cause learning disabilities in children.

Iodine deficiency during pregnancy can harm the child before he is born. Iodine experts usually advise pregnant and lactating women to take iodine supplements to make up for the deficiency.

Know the 5 things that happen when the body is deficient in iodine

Reasons Iodine Is Important for Fetal Growth

Iodine is essential for the production of thyroid hormones, which are essential for healthy metabolism, growth and development. Apart from that, iodine is also very important during pre-conception and the first 16 weeks of pregnancy to ensure the healthy development of the baby’s brain.

Goiter, which is known to cause large swelling of the neck where the thyroid gland is located, is typical of severe iodine deficiency. A prolonged deficiency can cause thyroid hormone production to decrease or dry up completely. Mild iodine deficiency can also cause fatigue, weight gain, sore muscles, brittle nails, and dry skin.

However, the real problem is during pregnancy, which makes iodine very important for the fetus. Iodine is essential for building a healthy brain, skeleton and metabolism. During the first 14-16 weeks of pregnancy, the fetus is completely dependent on the mother for supplies of thyroid hormones . If a pregnant woman is deficient in iodine and thyroid during pregnancy and during pre-conception, the baby is at risk for mental disorders. Severe iodine deficiency can lead to extreme disability known as cretinism.

Also read : List of Good Foods for People with Thyroid Disease

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), iodine adequacy is defined as having a ratio of iodine to creatinine called 150 micrograms per gram (mcg / g) or more. If you have a ratio below 150 mcg / g it is considered iodine deficiency.

Iodine deficiency during pregnancy can also increase the risk of a child having a lower verbal IQ, and poor reading accuracy and comprehension by the time they are 8 or 9 years old. What’s more, the more iodine levels fall during pregnancy, the lower the child’s performance in terms of IQ and reading and writing abilities.

Prepare Better Iodine

Every pregnant woman or you who are planning a pregnancy must ensure adequate iodine intake. Good sources of iodine come from foods, including milk, dairy products and fish. You can also ask your doctor for information about iodine during pregnancy through the application . 

In countries with iodine deficiency, taking iodine supplements is the most convenient way to consume adequate levels of iodine, especially during pregnancy. At least the iodine content in the supplement is at least 150 micrograms of iodide and uses iodized table salt. The combined intake from food and supplements should be 290-1,100 micrograms a day. Potassium iodide is the preferred form.

10 Symptoms the Body Shows if Iodine Deficiency

Apart from enhancing brain development, iodine also seems to help protect babies from certain environmental hazards. Iodine is also able to protect newborns from well water that contains excess nitrates and from cigarette smoke, both of which can harm the thyroid. Perhaps so far there are still many people who ignore the importance of adequate iodine in food for normal fetal development and that women with certain marginal levels have no indication of their iodine status.


The Guardian. Accessed 2019. Pregnant Mothers and The Dangers of Iodine Deficiency

Web MD. Retrieved 2019. Low Prenatal Iodine May Affect Childs Brain Development