Iron is an essential nutrient for growth and efficient bodily functions. The lack of iron in the body is called as anemia or iron-deficiency anemia. The body needs it to make a protein called hemoglobin. Low hemoglobin levels hamper the red blood cells from carrying oxygen to the body organs. If not checked in time the situation could deteriorate and stop the organs from functioning properly.
A healthy diet ensures that the body makes up for its iron needs. But if you have been feeling fatigued all the time, suffering from a poor appetite, and feeling a general sense of incapacity, you might need to get a blood test done. Women of child-bearing age, children and old people must be especially careful about their hemoglobin levels.
However, there are cases of Iron-Deficiency anemia caused which are not linked to gender, lifestyle or even diet. They are as follows:
A Low- Iron Diet
If you have been substituting your full meals with a soda and a sandwich, you need to sit up and read this. Fast food, apart from harming your waistline is hugely deficient in iron. A diet that doesn’t incorporate leafy greens, meats, eggs, fruits, and vegetables could be sending you an anemic downward spiral. A regular supply of the above items in your food habits will keep your iron levels above the average and ensure high hemoglobin in the blood.
Are You Absorbing the Iron in Your Diet?
You might be supplying your body with all the iron-rich food, but if it is not absorbing it efficiently, it is a lost cause. Ensure that you compliment your iron-rich diet with some dose of Vitamin C in the form of a dash of lemon juice, an orange or some other citrus. Celiac disease could also cause iron-deficiency because it affects the intestine which is the site of iron absorption. Many people lose parts of their small intestine after facing gastrointestinal issues like colon cancer. They are bound to suffer from iron-deficiency anemia.
Heavy periods can lead to severe iron-deficiency anemia in women because of high blood loss. Women must ensure that they eat and stay healthy to make up for the monthly blood loss. Menstruation affects all women, not just those who are in the fertility window. Young girls in their attempt to have size zero figures cause irreparable damage to their systems by eating only certain kinds of food and that too in low quantities. Parent must get their daughters checked regularly for their hemoglobin levels. If you suspect your periods are heavier than usual, consult your gynecologist. Apart from, peptic ulcer and colon cancer can also lead to iron-deficiency anemia.
Many times, iron-deficiency anemia can be because of pregnancy. The growing baby puts excessive demands on the mother’s biological system. Also, the pregnant woman’s blood volume increases to supply nutrients to the baby. Expectant mothers must supplement their diets with an iron capsule apart from eating iron-rich foods and iron-fortified cereal.