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Iron deficiency can cause shortness of breath, dizziness, faster heart beat. You can check it by taking a blood test. If it turns out that you are deficient in iron, you need to quickly replenish the level of this element in your body and make sure that you do not get more of it. The safest method is to eat a sensible diet. What are the causes of iron deficiency?

Shouldiron deficiencyactually keep you awake at night? Why is iron so important? How much iron we have depends on, among others the level of red blood cells, proper heart function, hormonal balance, muscle efficiency, immunity.

As much as 70 percent of iron is contained in hemoglobin, which is involved in the transport of oxygen to cells and carbon dioxide from tissues to the lungs.

About 10 percent is in enzymes and proteins involved in metabolism.

The remaining 20 percent is spare iron stored in the liver, bone marrow, spleen, and muscles.

In order for the body to function properly, there must be a balance between using and replenishing this mineral.

Iron deficiency symptoms: from fatigue to anemia

As the supply shrinks, fewer and fewer he althy red blood cells are formed and disturbing symptoms appear. The first sign of a lack of iron is usually listlessness and constant fatigue for no apparent reason.

We lose energy to work, put ourselves down and enjoy taking a nap. The complexion and mucous membranes turn pale (especially the conjunctiva), dark circles appear under the eyes, we look unhe althy. The skin is dry, rough, dabbing on creams does not help. Hair breaks, falls out, split ends.

According to the WHO standard, anemia is diagnosed when the level of hemoglobin in the blood drops below 120 g / l in women and children aged 6-14 years, and in pregnant women - 110 g / l, in men - 130 g /l.

The nails are brittle, with characteristic longitudinal stripes with grooves. Another symptom is pain and burning (ulceration) in the throat, mouth and tongue. There are often chews in the corners of the mouth.

Headaches, decreased concentration, thinking and remembering efficiency can also signal a deficiency. Children who lack iron learn less.

Due to a weakened immune systemwe catch colds more often and we are prone to infections. Typical symptoms of an element deficiency are also dizziness, shortness of breath during exercise, increased heart rate and breathing, tendency to bruise and nosebleeds. The severity of symptoms depends on age, he alth (e.g. heart disease, kidney disease, liver disease) and the duration of the deficiency.

The effect of chronic iron deficiency is anemia. We talk about it when the amount of ferritin (protein containing iron stores) drops below the norm, which is in the range of 12-200 μg / l (norm for men: 15-200 μg / l, for women: 12-150 μg / l) ). It can manifest itself at any age. It affects women more often than men.

Are you in danger of an iron deficiency?

He althy people who eat properly are not likely to be deficient in iron. The most common cause of the deficit (80%) is the loss of an element due to heavy bleeding.

Most iron escapes from the body with menstrual blood. Therefore, women who have long and very heavy periods or abnormal postmenopausal bleeding and people suffering from gastrointestinal haemorrhage (e.g. due to overuse of certain painkillers, ulcers, hemorrhoids, and cancer) are most likely to suffer from its lack.

Less frequent causes of deficiency are bleeding from other organs, blood loss after injuries and surgeries, or as a result of a coagulation disorder.

Iron may be lacking in people suffering from chronic diarrhea, suffering from chronic diarrhea, after gastric surgery.

And all those who do not care about what they eat (e.g. eat highly processed products) use drastic slimming diets, vegetarians, people practicing endurance sports (e.g. intensively exercising in the gym).

Products rich in iron. What foods contain the most of it? [gallery]

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Iron deficiency - the most important wise diet

Premenopausal women should provide the body, depending on age and physical activity, 16-19 mg of iron per day (pregnant - 26 mg), men - 15 mg, and postmenopausal women - 13 mg.

This amount will be provided by a well-balanced, varied diet. Iron is found in almost all foods. But the problem is that the body of a he althy person can absorb only 10 percent on average. the mineral they contain.

The notorious spinach is not as valuable a source of iron as it was once believed. In 100 g of spinach there is only 2.4-3.9 mg of it. The most iron is in the liver and meat

It is better absorbediron from products of animal origin than plant origin … For example, the body uses only 1% of rice and spinach, 3% of corn, 4% of lettuce, 11% of fish, 12% of liver, 22% of veal. delivered element.

This is due to a different chemical structure: divalent (heme) iron is present in animal products, and trivalent (non-heme) iron in plant products.

A lot of iron is in beans, peas, cereals, broccoli, and prawns. Iron contained in vegetables is less assimilated, but they have fewer calories, so you can eat them at will, providing a lot of this priceless element. The absorption of iron is increased by vitamin C (even 2-3 times).

That is why every meal should include products that provide the most of it, e.g. peppers, parsley, tomatoes, strawberries, black currants, citrus fruits. And because it is sensitive to temperature, the best sources of it are raw vegetables and fruits, and freshly squeezed juices.

It is worth combining vegetables and fruits on your plate, which are the treasury of vitamin C with animal products containing a lot of iron. It is good to put a few slices of tomato on a sandwich with sausage and eat the cutlet with a sauerkraut salad.

Iron absorption is hindered by phytic acid found in bran and oatmeal, as well as oxalic acid, the source of which is sorrel and rhubarb. In their presence, iron s alts precipitate and are not absorbed.

The greatest enemies of iron are tea and coffee, because they contain tannins - compounds that inhibit the absorption of the mineral from the gastrointestinal tract. Therefore, it is better to limit them in your daily diet. Their effect can be reduced by drinking these drinks not during but between meals.


Too much iron is also harmful

Some studies link too high iron levels in the body with an increased risk of heart attack and cancer. As a result of combining iron ions with hydrogen peroxide, free radicals are formed, which are responsible for the development of atherosclerosis and damage the membranes and nuclei of cells - this can promote cancer. A few tablets with a large dose of the mineral can cause serious poisoning in a young child.

Latent iron deficiency

When iron is missing, hemoglobin is unable to bind enough oxygen to ensure its constant transport to the tissues. Then the body begins to reach for the reserves of this element accumulated in the liver, spleen and marrow. Therefore, at first we do not feel iron deficiency.

Iron deficiency - take care with supplements

Sometimes the diet failsit is enough and you need to support the body with iron preparations. Dietary supplements, especially those containing the mineral itself, should not be taken without consulting a doctor.

They are recommended in special cases, e.g. pregnant women and sick people, but only when the level of the element in the blood cannot be balanced by diet. Usually, it is enough to eat more liver and add a bunch of parsley and dill to the food every day for the level of the element to increase quickly.

If your doctor determines anemia, you need to find out what's causing it and treat it.

Taking supplements on your own can make it difficult to spot the true cause of anemia, such as stomach ulcers.

Iron can be overdosed, but only from supplements.

The organism that receives them from food carefully regulates the concentration of the micronutrient, absorbing it as needed.

Stomach problems, e.g. constipation, may be a side effect of taking the preparations.

By interacting with certain drugs, such as antibiotics, they impair their absorption. Therefore, you should always inform your doctor about the use of iron tablets.

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