Do You Have Iron Deficiency? Know the Reasons That Can Cause It
- Posted on May 13, 2023
- By ojashwini shrivastava
- 112 Views
Iron deficiency is a common health condition that occurs when the body lacks sufficient iron to function properly. Iron is an essential Mineral that plays a crucial role in the production of red blood cells, which carry oxygen throughout the body. When the body doesn't have enough iron, it can lead to a range of health problems. In this article, we'll explore the causes of iron deficiency, its symptoms, and what can be done to prevent it.
What is Iron deficiency?
Iron deficiency is a condition where the body lacks the necessary iron to carry out its functions. Iron is required for the production of hemoglobin, a protein in red blood cells that carries oxygen from the lungs to the rest of the body.
What are the Reasons Behind Iron Deficiency?
There are several reasons why someone might develop iron deficiency. The most common cause is a lack of iron in the diet. Other causes include:
Blood loss: Heavy menstrual periods, injury, or surgery can cause significant blood loss, leading to iron deficiency.
Pregnancy: The growing fetus requires a significant amount of iron, and pregnant women may not get enough iron from their diet to meet these demands.
Malabsorption: Some medical conditions, such as celiac disease and inflammatory bowel disease, can interfere with the body's ability to absorb iron from food.
Vegetarian or Vegan Diet: People who follow a vegetarian or vegan diet may not get enough iron from their diet, as the best sources of iron are meat, poultry, and seafood.
Blood Donation: Frequent blood donation can lead to a loss of iron from the body, leading to iron deficiency.
How much Iron is required as per the age group?
Different age groups and sex have different Iron requirements. Here is the general amount.
Adult men require around 8 milligrams of iron per day, while
Women of childbearing age require around 18 milligrams per day.
Pregnant women require even more iron, around 27 milligrams per day.
Infants and children also require varying amounts of iron, depending on their age.
The information above is general and may vary from person to person, consultation with experts is recommended.
What are the food sources that provide iron?
There are variety of foods that you can include in your diet as per your preference:
Red meat: Beef, pork, and lamb are excellent sources of iron.
Poultry: Chicken and turkey are good sources of iron.
Seafood: Clams, oysters, and sardines are high in iron.
Beans and legumes: Lentils, kidney beans, and chickpeas are excellent sources of iron.
Fortified cereals: Many cereals are fortified with iron.
Dark, leafy greens: Spinach, kale, and collard greens are good sources of iron.
What are the diseases caused by Iron Deficiency?
Iron deficiency can lead to a range of health problems, including:
Anemia: Iron deficiency anemia is the most common type of anemia, and it can cause fatigue, weakness, and shortness of breath.
Delayed growth and development: Children who are iron deficient may experience delayed growth and development.
Compromised Immune System: Iron deficiency can weaken the immune system, making it harder for the body to fight infections.
Pregnancy Complications: Iron deficiency during pregnancy can increase the risk of preterm birth, low birth weight, and maternal mortality.
What are the Preventions required?
Preventing iron deficiency requires a combination of dietary changes and medical treatment, depending on the underlying cause. Here are some prevention tips:
Eat a balanced diet: Incorporate iron-rich foods into your diet, such as meat, poultry, seafood, beans, and dark, leafy greens.
Take iron supplements: If your doctor recommends it, take iron supplements to increase your iron levels.
Manage medical conditions: If you have a medical condition that interferes with iron absorption, work with your doctor to manage the condition and prevent iron deficiency.
Blood donations: If you donate blood regularly, make sure to eat a diet rich in iron and talk to your doctor about supplementing with iron to prevent iron deficiency.
Routine checkups: Visit your doctor regularly to check your iron levels and address any potential health concerns.
Iron deficiency can lead to a range of health problems, but it's a preventable condition. By eating a balanced diet, taking iron supplements when necessary, managing medical conditions, and getting regular checkups, you can prevent iron deficiency and maintain optimal health. If you suspect that you have iron deficiency, talk to your doctor , who can perform tests and recommend a treatment plan tailored to your needs.
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