Do You Have Iron Deficiency?
In this post we will be taking a look at iron deficiency and the symptoms you may experience and how some foods can help in some cases. First, if you do have an iron deficiency most likely you are anemic which means your body is lacking red blood cells. Delivering oxygen to the tissues of your body is why you need red blood cells in your body.
Having an iron deficiency is the most familiar type of anemia.
Iron Deficiency Anemia Causes
Below is a list of the main causes of anemia or iron deficiency:
- Loss of blood. There are several ways you may lose blood and when this occurs you don’t have the substrates to replace the red blood cells.
- Your body does not absorb iron very easily.
- Your diet lacks foods that contain iron.
- You have frequent or heavy menstrual periods.
- Your gastrointestinal tract is losing blood.
- You are experiencing liver cirrhosis which causes esophageal varices, which are veins that are dilated in the esophagus.
- You are suffering from gastric bleeding from too much consumption of aspirin or other medications.
- You suffer from peptic ulcer disease.
- You have celiac disease which causes the lack of absorption of iron.
- You have Crohn’s disease which also causes the lack of absorption of iron.
- You had gastric bypass surgery. which causes malabsorption syndrome.
- You consume antacids that contain calcium.
- You do not consume any products that contain meat.
- Your diet is low in iron.
Iron Deficiency Symptoms
If you experience a little to mild case of anemia, you may not have any symptoms. If symptoms develop, they ordinarily happen slowly so you may not know you are iron deficient.
Here is a list of common iron deficiency symptoms:
- You are often irritable.
- You feel weak and tired, particularly when you attempt to exercise.
- You are having headaches.
- You have problems concentrating and thinking clearly.
- The white parts of your eyes have a bluish color.
- Your fingernails break easily and are brittle.
- You have pica, which is a desire to chew on ice or eat things that are not food.
- You become lightheaded when you stand.
- Your skin is pale in color.
- You have a shortness of breath frequently.
- Your tongue has a sore feeling.
- You can see blood in your stool or have tar-colored stools.
- Your periods are heavy.
- You feel a pain in your upper abdomen which is usually from ulcers.
- Iron Deficiency Diagnosis
If you are wondering if you are anemic or have an iron deficiency, your doctor can order some tests. The most common tests are red blood cell indices and a hemoglobin.hematocrit Tests that are specific for iron deficiency include serum ferritin, iron binding capacity or TIBC, and serum iron level.
Your doctor may also do an upper GI endoscopy, colonoscopy, or a fecal blood test if the cause of anemia is unclear.
Iron Deficiency Treatment
The main wat to treat iron deficiency is to eat iron rich foods or take an iron supplement. The doctor will determine what supplements to prescribe after measuring your iron levels. There is also an intramuscular injection of iron that can be given if you can not take pills.
You may need to take an iron supplement if you are breastfeeding or pregnant to meet your iron levels.
It will take around two months to bring back the hematocrit to normal levels. It could actually take up to a full year to get your iron levels stored completely.
Rich In Iron Foods
Here is a list of foods that may help improve your iron levels:
- Dried Lentils
- Peanut Butter
- Red Meat
- Iron-fortified breads, pastas, and cereals.
- Spinach, kale, and any other types of greens.
I hope this article gave you a better insight of iron deficiency. If you have any symptoms you should always consult your doctor. It just may be having a diet rich in foods high in iron that can help keep you from having to worry about iron deficiency and anemia.