If you have iron deficiency, it usually means you are anemic. Anemia is when there are not enough red blood cells in the body. You need your red blood cells to deliver oxygen to the
tissues of your body.
Iron deficiency is the most common type of anemia.
Causes Of Iron Deficiency Anemia
include the following:
Blood loss. You lose blood by various means and don’t have the substrates to
replace the red blood cells.
You do not absorb iron very well.
You are not eating foods that contain iron in it.
You have heavy or frequent menstrual periods.
You lose blood from the gastrointestinal tract.
You have esophageal varices, which are dilated veins in the esophagus from having liver cirrhosis.
You have gastric bleeding from taking too much aspirin or other medication for the
treatment of arthritis.
You have peptic ulcer disease.
You have Celiac disease, which results in malabsorption of iron.
You have Crohn’s disease, which also affects iron absorption.
You have had gastric bypass surgery with its resultant malabsorption syndrome.
You take antacids containing calcium.
You do not eat any meat products.
You do not eat a diet high in iron.
Symptoms of Iron deficiency include the following:
If the anemia is mild, you may not have any symptoms at all. If you develop symptoms,
they usually come on gradually so you might not be aware that you are iron deficient.
You feel irritable all the time
You feel tired and weak, especially when you try to exercise
You experience headaches
You cannot think clearly or concentrate
The whites of your eyes are bluish in color
Your fingernails are brittle
You develop the desire to eat things that are not food or chew on ice. This is called pica
You feel lightheaded when you are trying to stand up
Your skin color is pale
You are frequently short of breath
Your tongue is sore
You have tar-colored stools or can see blood in your stool
You have heavy periods
You have pain in the upper abdomen from ulcers
Treatment Of Iron Deficiency
The main treatment of iron deficiency anemia is to take iron pills or to eat foods that are high in iron.
It takes about two months to restore the hematocrit to a normal level. It may take a full year to build up the iron stores completely.
Diet To Restore Iron Levels
Foods you can eat to restore your iron levels include:
Any Kind Of Red Meat
Iron-fortified cereals, breads and pastas
Kale, Spinach And Other Types Of Greens.
As long as you continue eating this type of diet, your iron stores should stay up and
you won’t be iron deficient.