Iron deficiency is a serious health problem, leading to fatigue and exhaustion. Iron is a nutrient and an extremely important mineral of our body as it carries oxygen throughout our body. Fortis Hospital Mulund, Director of the Department of Hematology and BMT, Dr. Speaking to The Indian Express, Subhaprakash Sanyal stated that iron is an important component of hemoglobin, the substance that carries oxygen from the lungs and carries it throughout your body. According to the expert, hemoglobin represents two-thirds of the iron in the body, and a lack of red blood cells is called iron deficiency anemia.
Some Iron Deficiency Symptoms
- Fatigue or weakness
- Pale or yellow skin
- shortness of breath
- Dizziness or headache
- Irregular heartbeat
- Cold feet and hands
- Cracked nails, spoon-shaped nails
- hair loss
- Cracks on the side of your mouth
- Pica (craving for dirt, starch, clay, or ice)
- Sore and swollen tongue
- restless leg syndrome
How much iron does a person need?
According to the expert, the need for iron depends on a person’s age, gender and overall health. Babies and toddlers need more iron than adults because their bodies are growing rapidly. The doctor said that in childhood, boys and girls need the same amount — 10 milligrams of iron (daily) from 4 to 8 years of age and 8 mg (daily) from 9 to 13 years. He explained that women need more iron if they lose blood each month. Therefore, women aged 19 to 50 should get 18 mg of iron each day, while men of the same age can only get 8 mg.
- You can consume iron, either from dietary sources or from an iron supplement, in case you are pregnant or breastfeeding.
- have kidney failure (if you are on dialysis, as it removes iron from the body).
- Have an ulcer because it causes blood loss.
- Having a gastrointestinal disease that prevents the body from absorbing iron.
- Taking too many antacids also prevents the body from absorbing iron.
- Have had weight loss (bariatric) surgery.
- Exercise a lot because intense exercise destroys red blood cells.
- If you’re a vegetarian or vegan, you’ll need to take an iron supplement because the body doesn’t absorb the type of iron found in plants as well as the iron from meat.
Foods rich in iron include:
- Meat such as lamb, pork, liver, chicken, turkey.
- Legumes (lentils, dried peas, beans.)
- Vegetables (spinach, broccoli, peas).
- Food products such as eggs, fish, grains and cereals.
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