Iron Deficiency – Causes, Symptoms and Treatment
Iron is one of the most important mineral helps a lot to perform a huge lot of functions in our body. One of its vital functions is to transport oxygen in the blood. This mineral is extremely important to provide energy for daily activities in our life. Iron deficiency results in depletion of the iron reserves within your body which can possibly lead to fatigue, tiredness as well as a sudden decrease of immunity in the body.
Thus it needs to be taken care of that you maintain the iron levels within normal limits.
What exactly is meant by iron deficiency?
When the body has extremely low iron content or there is not enough iron through diets, then it causes iron deficiency.
The disease associated with iron deficiency is known as Anemia.
Causes of iron deficiency:
Well, there are several causes of deficiency of iron in the diet. Some of the prime causes of iron deficiency in include:
- Inadequate intake through diets – This one is the prime cause of iron deficiency in most of the people. This is more common in those who live in the remote areas or are below the poverty line. They can hardly afford to eat something and maintain a balance diet. Thus they are likely to suffer the most. Sometimes even vegetarian diets are not so rich in iron content, and hence lead to its lack and subsequent deficiency.
- Excess blood loss – This is quite common in case of girls. Due to menstrual cycles they suffer huge blood loss, and due to which they are often unable to cope up with the minimum iron requirement of the body. Sometimes, even excessive blood loss due to more clotting time may even lead to deficiency.
- Exercise – In athletes and sportspersons including bodybuilders, due to excessive sweating, iron is mostly lost due to this excess sweat. This is because,some iron is lost through the sweat.
- Inability to absorb iron effectively– Some people have the inability to absorb iron effectively. This is often the case in pregnant women and that is why they fall prey to anemia.
- Increased need for iron- During the growing periods, children have a tendency to need more iron due to the formation of blood as well as tissues. Even often during the menstrual periods, girls fall short of iron due to excessive loss of blood from their bodies.
No self-treatment for iron deficiency:
Well, most people have a bad tendency to pop iron capsules or take iron supplements whenever they feel very tired and weary. This must never be done.
Since iron supplements are available over the counter, it can be tempting to self-diagnose, but this would be a mistake for many reasons, including:
- Fatigue, paleness, dizziness and similar disorders, may not be caused only due to iron deficiency. These may be caused by several other factors.
- Taking iron supplements can stop and even affect the absorption of other minerals in the body, such as zinc and copper.
- Always consult a doctor and never take supplements on your own.
Treatment for iron deficiency
The iron content and its deficiency can easily be understood by doing a blood test easily and getting the results. Treatment may include:
- Iron capsule
- Iron syrup
- Iron supplements
- Iron rich foods(through a balanced diet plan)
Dosage is 50-60 mg orally, in normal conditions.
If you are extremely iron deficient, then it is 325 mg twice daily for three months.
Final words to remember
1.Iron deficiency is very common but do not panic in such cases.
2.Do not take medication on your own, whether it is anemia or any other disease.
3.Iron can be toxic if taken in excess, so always consult a doctor whenever you suffer from tiredness, fatigue, weakness etc.