17 Mar Deficiency of Iron: Causes and Risk Factors
The human body is a complex structure comprising various vitamins, minerals, and enzymes. And you never know when it goes low or deficient on one or more components. It only comes to your notice when you start experiencing some unusual symptoms. One of these is the deficiency of iron.
In this blog, you will learn about the causes, symptoms, and risk factors of iron deficiency and how you can tackle them.
What is the deficiency of iron?
When your body doesn’t have enough iron, it’s called an iron deficiency.
Iron is required for the production of hemoglobin, a protein found in red blood cells that allows them to transport oxygen through your blood arteries.
Your tissues and muscles will not perform effectively if you don’t have enough hemoglobin in your body. As a result, your body develops anemia.
Causes of deficiency of iron
Iron deficiency has many causes, including:
Blood loss: This is one of the most common causes of iron deficiency. It can be due to heavy menstrual periods, gastric ulcers, or colorectal cancer. Other causes include childbirth (in women), surgery, or injury that results in blood loss.
A diet low in iron: If you don’t eat enough iron-rich foods, you may develop an iron deficiency. You need more iron during pregnancy and breastfeeding. Vegetarians who do not consume meat are also at risk of developing an iron deficiency because the meat is the best source of heme iron, which your body can easily absorb.
Your body can’t absorb enough iron from food: You may have a condition that makes it difficult for your body to absorb iron from food (malabsorption). This may be due to gut surgery or a gastrointestinal disorder such as coeliac disease or inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).
Symptoms of iron deficiency
It can be hard to tell if you have a deficiency of iron since it develops slowly. Symptoms often don’t appear until enough iron has been lost that you develop anemia.
The most common signs and symptoms include:
- Extreme fatigue
- Pale skin
- Chest pain, fast heartbeat, or shortness of breath
- Headache, dizziness, or lightheadedness
- Cold hands and feet
- Inflammation or soreness of your tongue
- Brittle nails
- Poor appetite
There are people out there who are at more risk of developing a deficiency of iron.
Bleeding: It can come from heavy periods, gastrointestinal bleeding, or bleeding during surgery or after an injury.
Childbirth: Babies take iron from their mothers during pregnancy, which can result in anemia if the mother doesn’t have enough reserves of her own. This is also why women need extra iron during pregnancy.
Donating blood: Blood banks screen donors to make sure they won’t be harmed by blood donation, but even so, frequent blood donors may develop iron deficiency over time because they lose red blood cells each time they give blood.
Vegetarian diet: A vegetarian diet is generally lower in iron than diets that include meat, especially red meat and liver.
To treat iron deficiency, you can try taking supplements. NanoVeda’s Iron Strips help to manage your iron deficiency. These strips dissolve rapidly and are vegan and organic in composition. They help you with the daily iron intake which you might be lacking in your diet.