By Analou De Vera
The Department of Health (DOH) is encouraging the public to use iodized salt in their food as it is vital in preventing thyroid disorders such as goiter.
“Since iodine deficiency is the most common cause of goiter in the Philippines, people are advised to use iodized salts in their meals and to eat food rich in iodine such as dairy products, seafood (shellfish and seaweeds), meats, bread, and eggs,” said the DOH.
“Special attention should be provided to pregnant women because iodine deficiency during this critical period can cause premature birth, miscarriage or delivery of a baby with low intellect,” it added.
The DOH said the prevalence of thyroid function abnormalities in the country is 8.53 percent among the adult population, and that goiter is the most common thyroid disorder.
“People with goiter often have an abnormal enlargement of the thyroid gland which can lead to the appearance of a mass or swelling in the neck,” the DOH said.
“The signs and symptoms of goiter can be varied and may include tiredness, a decrease or increase in weight, low or increased appetite, depression, dryness of skin and hair, sleepiness, diarrhea or constipation and menstrual irregularities (for women),” it added.
The health department encouraged individuals to immediately seek medical help if they experience the said symptoms.