One of the most common nutritional deficiencies, Iron Deficiency leads to furthermore diseases and complications. It is important that the iron content in your body is not low. What are the reasons it happens, how do we get to know it, what are the type of diseases that can be caused due to it, and what is the food necessary to go back to a healthy life, all are the important things to know about.
Table of Contents
What Is An Iron Deficiency?
When the iron content in the body is too little than required that affects the proper functioning of the organs in a system. It is a thing of caution because an iron deficiency in the body can lead to the following:
‣ It can delay the motor functioning or the mental functioning of an infant.
‣ During pregnancy, if a woman is iron deficient, it leads to an increased risk of preterm babies, who have a higher risk of dying in the first year.
‣ It causes fatigue which results in impaired physical activity in adults. It also leads to memory loss or effects other mental activities in teenagers.
Symptoms of Iron Deficiency
The iron deficiency symptoms are not observed early. It comes in light after the iron deficiency anaemia occurs. What are the signs of iron deficiency?
‣ Tired and weak body
‣ The lower intensity of performing a task
‣ Slow paced social development and cognition
‣ Fluctuation in body temperature
‣ Lower immune function
‣ Inflammation in tongue
Causes of Iron Deficiency
There are many factors due to which the body becomes a victim of iron deficiency. What are these and how do they lead to the deficiency of iron in our body, let us see.
The iron deficiency causes come under two main categories namely, the iron demand of the body and lower iron absorption in the body.
1. The iron demand of the body
There are times when the iron intake is just not enough and our body keeps on asking for more.Reasons? In comparison to older kids, the toddlers are at a faster-growing rate and their normal diet may not contain enough iron.
Pregnant women demand more nutrition than other people since they are eating for two humans. Thus, many gynaecologists suggest iron supplements to them so that there is no hindrance for the growing fetus.
A lot of times, blood loss occurs. It may be in the during the time of periods, blood donation or stomach infections. Blood loss also needs to lose of iron in the body and thus the body faces a deficiency in the same.
2. Lower iron absorption in the body
Sometimes it happens that the body is unable to absorb the iron entering the body completely. This is due to the following factors -
Iron in the food products like meat and poultry gets absorbed in a much better form than the iron in vegetables since meat is the heme-iron food. The level of iron absorbed from the plants depends on what you consume along with it as a plant product is the non-heme iron food.
If non-heme iron food is consumed along with vitamin C enriched food, it gets absorbed in a more efficient way.
Food and drink having substances like phytates, polyphenols, or calcium do not let the iron gets absorbed easily out of the non-heme iron food products. Examples of that food and drinks include tea, coffee, whole grains, or milk. Taking these things together becomes one of the iron deficiency causes in the body.
Non-vegetarian diets are better than the vegetarian diet since it helps increase the iron absorption in the body.
Acid reflux in the body also leads to an iron deficiency in the body as it prevents iron from getting absorbed easily.
Treatment for Iron Deficiency
Iron deficiency treatment is a must and should not be delayed as it acts as a hindrance to the development of an individual. This depends on a person’s age and health.
The doctor after diagnosing iron deficiency in the body may prescribe iron supplements to increase the level of iron in the body for a particular time period after which the patient needs to get his haemoglobin or hematocrit checked. The doctor will ask the patient to eat food products which are rich in iron content.
What Is Iron Deficiency Anaemia?
The iron deficiency anaemia occurs in the body when the level of blood in your body decreases. In red blood cells, the haemoglobin level diminishes which is the main source of protein that is responsible for carrying oxygen to the tissues.
Types of Anaemia
Sickle Cell Anemia: Usually, the RBC in your body are flexible and round, thus easily lets the oxygen travel through the body. In this type of anaemia, the red blood cells become so thick, rigid, and in the shape of Sickels or crescent moon that they do not let the oxygen reach the tissues properly slowing down or blocking the blood flow.
1. Hemolytic Anaemia:
This type of anaemia occurs when the speed of destruction of RBC is more than the production of bone marrow in the cells.
2. Megaloblastic Anaemia:
The blood disorder in which the actual RBC count in the body is less than the normal count. Lack of sufficient blood cells in the body doesn’t allow the oxygen to reach organs and tissues properly.
Symptoms of Anaemia
The iron deficiency anaemia symptoms are not apparent in the beginning and might go unnoticed. Yet the adamant ones are -
‣ Pale skin
‣ Shortness of breath
‣ Weird cravings
‣ Sensation in legs
‣ Cold feet and hands
Causes of Anaemia
The reason for a person to suffer from anemia are -
Lower Iron Intake
Lack of adequate amount of iron in the body is the main reason of anemia and should not be taken lightly.
While periods are going on, the body faces a lot of blood loss which sometimes may lead to anaemia.
If there is an ulcer in stomach or colon cancer, it leads to internal bleeding taking place. This results in anaemia as there is a high amount of blood loss.
Treatment for Anaemia
Anaemia treatment at the right time is very important since if that does not happen, there is a risk of additional problems occcuring in the body.
Iron Supplement Intake
The doctor prescribes iron supplements which increases the amount of iron in the body, thus treating anaemia.
Improved Diet With Iron-Rich Foods
There are a few kinds of products which increase the level of iron in the body. These are Meat, Green Vegetables, Dry Fruits, Nuts, and Cereals.
Treating The Actual Cause of Internal Bleeding
There are medicines which the doctor prescribes to treat the internal bleeding which has occurred inside the body.
Knowing about the human body and how different things and food products can affect us is extremely crucial to lead a healthy and fit life.