The Insufficient Iodine Effect on the Thyroid Gland

Subject: Endocrinology
Pages: 1
Words: 288
Reading time:
2 min

The thyroid gland is located at the lower frontal neck region, and its function is to produce thyroid hormone secreted to the blood. Thyroid hormone helps the body keep warm, use body energy, speed up or slow down the heartbeat and keep the brain and muscles functioning correctly. The pituitary gland controls the secretion of the thyroid gland. The thyroid requires iodine in order to produce the thyroid hormone. Intake of iodine exceeding some amount causes a condition known as hyperthyroidism, whereas inadequate iodine in the body causes hypothyroidism.

Hypothyroidism is mainly contributed by the lack of adequate iodine in the body. As a result, the thyroid gland swells to try and produce more thyroid hormones required by the body. The swelling of the thyroid gland is referred to as goiter. Patients with goiter may experience symptoms like difficulties in breathing and swallowing and symptoms of choking. Goiter may be diagnosed through a physical exam by a medical practitioner or by performing a hormone test (“Goiter: Causes, risk factors, symptoms, diagnosis & treatment,” 2020). Goiter may be treated or prevented by using foods rich in iodine like eggs, cow milk, and soy sauce or iodized salt or injections with iodized oils.

Too much iodine is, however, not good for the body as it causes hyperthyroidism, which, if left untreated, can result in thyroid inflammation and cancer. Symptoms of hyperthyroidism may include muscle weakness, irregular heartbeat, and changes in menstrual patterns. Excessive iodine intake can lead to the immune system attacking the thyroid gland. Individuals who move from an area with an insufficient amount of iodine to an adequate iodine amount are prone to some thyroid problems since their thyroid may be used to uptake small amounts of iodine.


Goiter: Causes, risk factors, symptoms, diagnosis & treatment. (2020). Cleveland Clinic. Web.