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.
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. Since iron plays an important role in regulation of metabolism and synthesize some vital substances (e.g. DNA, white blood cells and the brain chemical), iron deficiency also damages our ability to think and weakens our resistance to infection.
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.
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.
Examples of iron-rich foods:
- Red meat
- Dark green vegetables such as broccoli
- Egg yolk
- Nuts and seeds (e.g. almond)
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.
What is the treatment for iron-deficiency anaemia?
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.