Iron Deficiency and Anaemia
Iron deficiency is a common problem, especially for women. In fact, 5% of women between the ages of 20 and 49 have iron deficiency with anemia and 11% have iron deficiency without anemia.
Iron-deficiency anaemia in women is usually caused by depletion of iron during heavy menstrual periods. Some other causes of anaemia includes bleeding into the gut which can happened in older people.
Certain disorders or surgeries that affect the intestines can also interfere with how your body absorbs iron. Even if you get enough iron in your diet. For example, Celiac disease or an intestinal surgery (e.g. gastric bypass) may limit the amount of iron your body can absorb.
Iron-deficiency anaemia may also develop during pregnancy because a growing baby needs iron and will take it from the mother. During pregnancy women may need to boost their iron intake, particularly in the second and third trimesters. It is worth mentioning that vitamin C helps your body absorb more iron. The routine blood tests during pregnancy will identify if you are low on iron.
Dietary factors is also important. Not eating foods with enough iron is sometimes the cause of iron-deficiency anaemia. For example, a restricted diet such as a vegan or a limited vegetarian diet sometimes does not contain enough iron. Also, if you eat a lot of foods, containing a high level of chemicals such as phytates and polyphenols, you can get iron deficient. For example, iron-deficiency anaemia is common in parts of India where chapatis ( a type of flat bread with a high level or phytates). Tea also contain a high level of polyphenols. These chemicals interfere with the way iron is absorbed from the gut. Also diet which is Low in folate, vitamin B12 or vitamin C makes it also hard for the body to absorb enough iron from food.
Some medicines can sometimes cause bleeding into the gut with little or no symptoms. For example, anti-inflammatory painkillers such as aspirin, ibuprofen, naproxen and diclofenac may cause bleeding in some people by irritating the stomach lining.
Examples of iron-rich foods
- Red meat
- Dark green vegetables such as broccoli
- Egg yolk
- Nuts and seeds (e.g. almond)
Treatment for iron-deficiency anaemia
A lack of iron and anemia can gradually starve the body of the oxygen resulting into extreme skin pallor, shortness of breath, heart palpitations and fatigue.
Iron tablets are usually prescribed to correct the anaemia. However, some people have side-effects when taking iron. These include nausea and an upset stomach, constipation or diarrhoea. At the same time, taking the iron tablets with meals can reduces the absorption of the iron and so you may need to take a longer course to correct the anaemia. Some people find it difficult even to take the tablets. The better solution is Super Health Iron Boost spray. It contains a proprietary highly effective formula of dietary iron which is easily absorbed in your blood stream with no interference in your stomach function.
It is a common misconception that the amount of iron our bodies absorb is directly related to the amount of iron we eat. While we do get most of our iron through food, getting enough iron is not quite as simple as eating well. For one thing, the ability of our digestive systems to absorb iron from the food we eat varies; for instance, those who are iron deficient do not absorb iron as well as those who are not.