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DOH7 promotes use of certified iodized salt

CEBU CITY, Cebu, January 25 (PIA) -- The Department of Health Central Visayas Center for Health Development (DOH7) is urging households to use iodine-certified salt and consume iodine-rich food in time for Goiter Awareness Week.

This year’s theme is "Leeg Kapain, Goiter Sugpuin: Isip ay Patalinuhin, Iodized Salt ay Gamitin.”

Ryard Jude Pepito, nurse V of DOH7, emphasized the importance of educating the public about iodine deficiency and the significance of early detection and assessment.

“We collaborate closely with partner agencies like the National Nutrition Council (NNC) to raise awareness among the public and provide counseling to patients suffering the effects of goiter,” said Pepito.

Goiter is characterized by the abnormal enlargement of the thyroid gland, resulting in the development of a visible mass or swelling in the neck.

For asymptomatic cases, there is no enlargement of the thyroid gland.

Symptoms vary and can cause fatigue, fluctuations in weight, changes in appetite, difficulty in swallowing, a feeling of tightness in the throat, dry skin and hair, drowsiness, and digestive issues such as diarrhea or constipation.

Women may also experience menstrual irregularities.

If not addressed, goiter may progress to more severe conditions, posing a potential risk of death in susceptible individuals.

“Based on our data, goiter-prone individuals are those who are 40 years old and above, with a family history of goiter, and people who were born in iodine-deficient areas. Most of them are women,” Pepito added.

DOH7  recommends incorporating iodized salt into meals and consuming iodine-rich foods.

Iodine-rich foods include dairy products such as milk, cheese, and yogurt, seafood (shellfish and seaweeds), meats, bread, and eggs.

Eating in moderation and a healthy lifestyle are also encouraged.

Pepito shared that some hospitals and healthcare units will be conducting talks on goiter awareness.

Pepito added that they have capacitated the health workers, especially those in primary care facilities, to assist in the assessment, early detection, and referral to a higher facility for those who need treatment.

"If you feel anything unusual, regardless if it's your throat or you feel sick, please seek medical attention," said Pepito as he stressed the improtance of early diagnosis. (MYP/PIA7 Cebu)

Ryard Jude Pepito (right), nurse V of DOH7, discussing the importance of iodine-certified salt and consuming iodine-rich foods during the Kapihan sa PIA in Cebu. (PIA7)

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Myrtle Pasigan

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Region 7

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