A Crucial Substance for Our Organism
Iodine is one of the vital elements and our body cannot function properly without it. Thus, we need to ensure its intake so as not to get sick or compromise our health in any possible way. However, iodine is not easy to be found in nature, and mostly, we get it from the hormones located in our thyroid glands. For all these reasons, we need to make sure we are not suffering from iodine deficiency. This can be done by several simple tests, some of which we ourselves are able to perform at home. For other analysis regarding iodine deficiency, we need to seek medical assistance.
Why Do We Lack Iodine?
First and foremost, we tend to develop a iodine deficiency due to our nutrition. Namely, this mineral is scarcely found in soils where most of our food is grown, even though many other minerals are there in abundance. Rather, iodine is found in the sea. Subsequently, by consuming sea food and using sea salt in our nutrition, we compensate for our iodine loss and replenish our levels of this element. Thus, logically, people who live far away from seasides tend to lack iodine and suffer from many diseases this deficiency may cause. Some of these are cretinism, goiter and similar illnesses, affecting the brain, as well as one's thyroid hormones.
Facts about the Iodine Deficiency Test
The above mentioned home test involves you purchasing a tincture of iodine from a local pharmacy. This substance is widely available since it is used in the first aid kits. Then, once you have it, take a small portion of it, apply it onto a small skin part of either your upper arm or inner thigh and leave it there for several hours. If your body lacks iodine, it will absorb the one you left on the skin, making the diagnosis clear. On the other hand, if the iodine remains on the surface of your skin after this longer period of time, you can be sure that the iodine levels in your organism are satisfactory.
As for medical tests, they involve urine analysis. Firstly, you are to provide urine samples taken early in the morning. These are analyzed for iodine. Then, afterwards, you take a iodine-rich capsule or tablet and give additional urine samples. If the extra iodine is expelled in quantities above 90% of those taken, your iodine levels are good. However, if it is absorbed instead of expelled, you are suffering from a iodine deficiency. Alternatively, thyroid tests may be done in order to get an insight into your iodine levels as well.
It is good to keep track with the levels of this mineral in your and your family's organisms. Prevention is better than cure in this situations, since the negative effects of iodine deficiency may cause problems which cannot be repaired.