If you wonder if you have iron deficiency, read this guide from Track Your Max.
What Is Iron Deficiency Anemia?
Your body requires iron in order to make hemoglobin, which is a protein found in red blood cells that allows them to transport oxygen throughout your bloodstream. If your body does not have enough hemoglobin, your tissues and muscles will not get enough oxygen to function properly. While there are a variety of anemias, iron deficiency anemia is the most common type across the globe.
Iron deficiency anemia, as its name implies, is caused by a lack of iron. People with iron deficiency anemia may feel tired and out of breath. Generally, iron deficiency anemia can be treated with iron supplementation. In some cases, further testing and treatments may be required if your doctor theorizes your anemia may be caused by other medical concerns.
Iron-deficiency anemia is more common among women than men. Women who are pregnant or have heavy periods are most likely to suffer from iron-deficiency anemia.
What Are Symptoms Of Iron Deficiency?
Iron-deficiency anemia may start off mild and cause no symptoms, but as it worsens, fatigue and weakness will typically appear. Other possible symptoms could be dizziness, headaches, low body temperature, pale or sallow skin, rapid or irregular heartbeat, shortness of breath or chest pain when you exercise, brittle nails, and even craving for non-food items like paper or ice or icy drinks.
What Are Common Causes Of Iron Deficiency?
Iron deficiency can occur at any age and can be caused by a variety of factors.
- Common causes include: not having enough iron in your diet, which may be due to poor nutrition or restricted eating, having inflammatory bowel disease or celiac disease, higher iron needs during pregnancy, and blood loss from heavy periods or internal bleeding.
- Internal bleeding in the stomach or intestines can lead to anemia in adults who have ceased menstruation. This type of bleeding can be caused by: taking too many NSAIDs like ibuprofen or aspirin, having stomach ulcers, having hemorrhoids, or in rare cases bowel or stomach cancer.
What Iron-Rich Foods Can I Include In My Diet?
If your doctor believes that your iron deficiency is due to a lack of iron in your diet, they may recommend that you increase your consumption of iron-rich foods. These include red meat (e.g. beef, pork, poultry), dark leafy greens (e.g. spinach and kale), dried fruit (e.g. raisins and apricots), legumes (e.g. peas and beans), seafood, iron-fortified foods (e.g. breakfast cereals), seeds and nuts, and organ meats.
If you want to maximize the benefits of your iron supplement, be sure to avoid taking it with any medications, supplements, or foods that contain calcium, such as antacids or milk. This is because calcium can reduce iron absorption. On the other hand, when iron is taken in combination with vitamin C, the iron absorption can be greatly increased. Vitamin C can be found in a variety of foods such as bell peppers, oranges, grapefruit, kiwifruit, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, strawberries, and grapefruit.
Track Your Max Is Your Source For Vitamin Deficiency Testing
If you believe you are experiencing symptoms of vitamin deficiency or simply would like to know how you can support your body better, a vitamin and mineral deficiency test is available to you with Track Your Max. This can help you find out if your diet is supporting your body composition and health goals as well as inform you of any deficiencies so you can add food variety or supplements to your diet.
The physicians and consultants at Track Your Max in Webster, TX dedicate themselves to providing essential services to people who are taking their health seriously. Our team of professionals can help provide you with data and an understanding of your own body. Our doctors will help you improve your selfcare or refer you to the correct healthcare provider to meet your needs.