Some signs of iron deficiency or anaemia in the body
Posted on May 18th, 2017

Dr Hector Perera    London

People just and drink but sometimes do not care if they are eating healthy food. Iron is an important element in the blood. Each haemoglobin protein is made up subunits called hemes, which are what give blood its red colour. More specifically, the hemes can bind iron molecules, and these iron molecules bind oxygen. The blood cells are red because of the interaction between iron and oxygen.

Some signs of iron deficiency

Some people easily feel tiredness and lack of energy and this might be a sign of lack of iron in your blood, further they might experience short breath and heart palpitations, dizziness  pale skins. Not only these signs there are few others such as, these symptoms, unusual weakness and fatigue, poor concentration, brittle nails,  recurrent infections, breathlessness and always feeling cold. If anyone shows these kinds of signs, it is better to consult your doctor to check about the iron deficiency.

There are plenty of food that are rich in iron

Red meat, pork and poultry, seafood and beans. People always eat vegetables such as spinach which is a rich source of iron. Then the dried fruits, such as raisins and apricots. Iron-fortified cereals, breads, pastas and peas. There are plenty of food other than the above list, that include clams, liver, sunflower seeds, nuts, beef, lamb, beans, whole grains, dark leafy greens (spinach), dark chocolate, and tofu. Tofu is a food made of condensed soy milk that is pressed into solid white blocks. It originated in China, and the process is quite similar to how cheese is made.

Why iron is important

Iron is an essential mineral used to transport oxygen to all parts of the body. A slight deficiency in iron causes anemia (fatigue/weakness), and a chronic deficiency can lead to organ failure. Conversely, too much iron leads to production of harmful free radicals, and interferes with metabolism, causing damage to organs like the heart and liver. So one cannot ignore the iron deficiency in the body. How about some more food that are rich in iron. Squash and Pumpkin Seeds, Liver (Chicken), Seafood (Oysters, Mussels, Clams), Nuts (Cashew, Pine, Hazelnut, Peanut, Almond), beef and Lamb (Lean Chuck Roast), beans and pulses (White Beans, Lentils).

There is a place called Bataleeya” along Kandy Colombo road that sells nothing but cashew nuts. As an additional attraction, they are sold by local beauties called Kaju kello”. One cannot tend to forget to miss the place if you travel by car or by bus because of the special fragrance of the roasted cashew nuts.

As mentioned above, iron is an essential nutrient, without iron, blood cells have difficulty in transporting oxygen to your muscles and cells, and you may easily become fatigued.

Why not learn how to increase your body’s ability to absorb iron.

The human body typically absorbs iron from dietary sources. In order to absorb the iron, you must consume it through food or supplements. Vegetarians, young children, pregnant women, and individuals with certain chronic illnesses may be at increased risk for poor iron absorption or inadequate iron levels. Certain foods are naturally high in iron and can be regularly incorporated into the diet to increase the amount of iron you absorb. Even vegetarians who eat high quantities of fortified grains and iron-rich vegetables can still suffer from iron deficiencies. The form of iron found in plants is more difficult for the body to absorb, but combining them with foods or drinks that contain vitamin C can increase absorption levels.

Taking Iron Supplements

Speak with a health professional about iron supplements. Iron needs vary during different stages of life and for men and women. Young children, adolescents experiencing growth spurts, menstruating women, and pregnant women often have elevated iron needs. Many infants are given iron supplements or fed iron-fortified formula to achieve adequate iron levels. Anaemic individuals or people taking antacids also may require iron supplements to ensure adequate intake. Your doctor can help you decide whether you need additional iron supplements.

In most cases, adequate iron intake can be achieved through the diet or through a standard multi-vitamin. Pregnant women taking prenatal vitamins may already be receiving iron supplementation.

Get tested for iron deficiency. In many cases, a simple blood test can give immediate feedback on your current iron levels and alert you to a potential deficiency. To confirm an actual deficiency or anaemia, additional blood tests must be conducted. These can help determine whether the deficiency is caused by inadequate intake or another medical condition. The people most at risk of iron deficiency are pregnant women, infants and young children, women with heavy menstrual bleeding, frequent blood donors, and people with cancer, gastrointestinal disorders, or heart failure. People who live in developing countries are also at higher risk. Your comments are welcomed perera6@hotmail.co.uk

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