For further information see the website www.tiroide.com IMPORTANCE OF IODINE IN PREGNANCY AND CHILDREN Iodine is an essential micronutrient for the thyroid to function correctly and, more in general, for the health of human beings. It is fundamental to have an adequate intake of iodine in the diet to assure the normal development of the organism. DEFICIENCY OF IODINE: A WIDESPREAD PROBLEM But in many countries throughout the world, the quantity of iodine found in the soil, in water and in food is so low that its daily minimum requirements, no matter how reduced, fail to be satisfied. IMPORTANCE OF IODINE IN PREGNANCY For you, future mother, it is particularly important to take the right daily quantity of iodine while you are expecting to ensure your baby a correct neural development. As the foetus is still not able to produce its own thyroidal hormones, your thyroid is in fact put to an ‘extra workload’, particularly during the first three months of pregnancy and requires 50% more than the normal amount of iodine intake. POSSIBLE RISKS FROM DEFICIENCY Numerous medical studies have demonstrated the importance of iodine for the child to grow correctly and all concur in stressing that: • a substantial increase in learning disability during the school age is recorded in children with mothers originating from geographical areas deficient, even slightly, in iodine; • whilst some extremely important problems could be caused in the case of serious deficiency in iodine, such as an increased risk of abortion, foetal and perinatal mortality. What is more cases of goitre and maternal-foetal hypothyroidism could arise; even mental retardation, deaf mutism, spasticity and dwarfism in the child. IMPORTANCE OF A CORRECT IODINE PROPHYLAXIS Supplementary potassium iodide is therefore fundamental from the beginning of pregnancy and throughout breast-feeding. How can you be sure of an adequate intake of iodine for yourself and your baby? It is essential to use salt fortified with iodine, which must be eaten “raw” that is as a condiment for cold dishes in order to maintain all its properties. Also during breast-feeding it is important for you mother to continue to take a greater quantity of iodine. But if you have to resort to artificial milk, there are special formulae able to guarantee your baby the required intake of iodine. Whilst during the weaning period, apart from continuing to drink milk, it will also be fundamental to regularly prepare food rich in iodine, such as fish. And lastly, after the first year of age, the right iodine intake can be assured by using small quantities of iodized salt as a condiment for the food. Finally, should a correct diet enriched with iodized salt not be anyhow sufficient to compensate the deficiency of iodine typical of the place where you live, then specific iodine based dietary supplements should be used to assure the required iodine intake for you and your baby.
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