One of the most vital minerals in our health is Iron. Deficiency of which can cause anemia and several other mild to severe health conditions. Most of the iron in our body is contained in red blood cells, but all our body cells have some amount of it. Iron helps the red blood cells in the transmission of oxygen and nerve impulses. It helps in creating energy from nutrients. Iron helps in coordinating the actions of different parts of the body. On average, people get enough iron from the food they eat, but under some conditions, they may make it necessary to add some iron supplements to the diet.
Anemia- Iron Deficiency
When you are not getting enough iron for red blood cells to function correctly, it causes iron deficiency called anemia. Without an adequate level of iron in your body, red blood cells cannot provide sufficient oxygen to your tissues and cells. You will experience the following symptoms if you are anemic:
- Difficulty in concentrating
In the United States, one of the most common forms of anemia is due to iron deficiency. Around 5 million Americans are suffering from iron deficiency anemia. Some of the common causes of anemia include prolonged flow during menstruation, blood loss due to injury, cancer in the digestive tract, or gastrointestinal bleeding.
If you are pregnant
Women who aren’t nursing or pregnant require 15 to 18 milligrams of iron in a day, but who are pregnant require more iron. If you are pregnant, your body needs a significant amount of iron approximately 27 milligrams daily. A balanced diet full of nutrition is recommended for them during pregnancy. However, some times, food alone is not enough to provide sufficient iron to the body, so some iron supplementing could be needed.
While menstruating women’s bodies deplete iron and if the iron intake during this period is not adequate, then it can cause iron deficiency. Because of menstruation, women are likely to have higher anemia rates than men. Even some health researchers say that ethnicity is a risk factor for anemia, and around 19% of African-American and Mexican-American women are anemic.
When you are experiencing blood loss regularly
Your body requires an extra amount of iron if you are experiencing excessive blood loss often. People having gastrointestinal bleeding or regular blood donors are at risk of iron deficiency. Medical conditions like cancer or ulcer can cause the bleeding of gastrointestinal. Blood donors having low consistency in iron are not suggested to donate blood regularly.
According to a study, women athletes require more iron than men athletes as they are at higher risk of anemia. Athletes require more red blood cells to carry out oxygen from the lungs to the tissues and other body parts so that they can keep exercising. Therefore, some doctors suggest the iron supplementing to them to fulfill the iron needs of the body.
You are on dialysis
People with kidney problems who are on dialysis need extra iron. Anemia is a side effect if your kidney does not work well, and the kidney is responsible for making red blood cells. During dialysis, your body loses an amount of iron, and the dialysis diet does not have sufficient iron in it. Therefore, people are required to take iron supplements to maintain healthy blood iron levels.
Taking medication which is depleting iron
Your body’s ability to absorb iron can be comprehended by certain medications you take. Some of the medications that can deplete iron in your body are:
- Antibiotics that include ciprofloxacin and levofloxacin.
- Zantac and Prilosec for ulcers, heartburn, and other stomach problems.
- Angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) for high blood pressure.
- Prevalite for cholesterol-lowering.
If you take any of the medicines and are experiencing symptoms of anemia, you should see a doctor. But don’t stop taking your medication until unless you are directed.
In Final Words
Iron deficiency is prevalent but can be harmful to health if left untreated. You can have a nutrition-rich diet and still be diagnosed with iron deficiency. Because sometimes, the nutrition our food contains is not enough for the body, so we need to add iron supplements to it.