Question: I read somewhere that frequent, spontaneous crying can be linked to iodine deficiency. I cry over the silliest things and often. I do have hypothyroidism and take medication, but was wondering if I could still have iodine deficiency, or if my crying bouts are caused by something else?
Dr. Hibberd's answer:
Congenital hypothyroidism can be associated with spontaneous crying spells. Iodine deficiency can infuse hypothyroidism, and may cause similar symptoms in young children. Adults may have depression and mood changes associated with hypothyroidism.
Thyroid problems are sometimes associated with depression, and baseline thyroid evaluations are recommended in patients with mood disorders. Crying spells may indeed be related to incompletely treated hypothyroidism, but is not specific for iodine deficiency.
Iodine deficiency is not very common, but is becoming more prevalent as a cause of hypothyroidism now that some people are avoiding iodized salt and processed food that contains government-mandated iodine supplementation. If you think you might be iodine deficient, you should see your doctor and ask whether a urine analysis for iodine makes sense for you. Approximately 90 percent of ingested iodine is excreted in urine, and such a test can be performed by any reference laboratory at your doctor's request.
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