Iron deficiency is a condition where there is very little iron in the body. Iron is a type of mineral in the body. It helps the body grow well and develop. Iron makes hemoglobin. Hemoglobin is a protein in the blood which carries oxygen. However, hemoglobin also gives blood its red color. In addition, iron is also very important in the body because it helps in making some hormones.
Without iron, the body is not able to make red blood cells. Therefore the mineral deficiency is dangerous and calls for speedy action.
Symptoms of iron deficiency.
Iron deficiency is hard to notice. However, as the body lacks more iron, the signs and symptoms become worse. The symptoms are:
- A lot of tiredness.
- Bad body weakness.
- Bad appetite.
- Pain in the chest.
- Severe headache.
- Feet and hands get cold.
- Very pale skin.
- Lastly, swelling of the tongue.
As earlier indicated, this condition is when there is little or no iron in the body. If one does not eat food that is rich in iron, it results to iron deficiency. Some of the deficiency causes are;
- Loss of blood. Lost blood has the red blood cells that have iron. Therefore, loss of blood brings iron deficiency. This may result from periods. Girls and women that have heavy periods lose a lot of blood.
- Other reasons can be for instance peptic ulcers.
- Being pregnant. A lot of blood is of use during pregnancy. This is what helps the fetus grow. However, when a pregnant lady does not take enough iron, it leads to iron deficiency.
- A diet that does not have iron. A balanced diet should have iron. Foods that contain a lot of iron include eggs, red meat, and green vegetables. If a person does not include these foods in the diet, it results to iron deficiency.
Note that people who are at a high risk of having iron deficiency mostly are women because of menstruation and vegans.
Doctors take blood tests to check for the size and the color of red blood cells. They also look at the level of hemoglobin in the blood. In addition, they check the protein that stores the iron in the body.
Treatment of this condition.
The doctors recommend patients take iron supplements. This helps restores iron in the body. However one should not take the iron tablets when they have not eaten. Also, a patient should avoid antacids since they distract iron absorption. Medicines such as contraceptives help women get a lighter flow. Antibiotics also help to treat peptic ulcers.
How can we prevent Iron Deficiency in the body?
People prevent iron deficiency by eating foods that have a lot of iron. They include; pork, meat, spinach, beans peas, and food from the sea. However, for people with vegan, that means they do not eat meat. Therefore, they need to eat plant foods that are so rich in iron.