Iron deficiency, the most common cause of anemia and often initially asymptomatic, can cause serious long-term health problems. Here are 10 signs to watch out for.
Iron is one of the essential minerals for the healthy functioning of the body. Iron deficiency is the most common deficiency, especially in women and children. Iron deficiency is thought to affect approximately 500 million people worldwide.
Iron deficiency, especially in the last trimester of pregnancy and in the child, is very important because it can cause serious brain development disorders.
Iron deficiency is the most common cause of anemia. Anemia is diagnosed by determining hemoglobin by blood test.
The level of hemoglobin in adults varies by gender and age:
– 130 gr/l for adults
– 120 g/l for women
– 105 g/l in pregnant women (from the second trimester of pregnancy)
The amount of hemoglobin in children varies at each stage of growth.:
– 150 to 180 g/l in newborns
– 1 ila 2 is 115 g/l
– From 2 months to 1 year old 105 g/l
From 1 year to puberty 115 g/l
Anemia is indicative when the hemoglobin level is below the above-mentioned normal values.
What are the symptoms of iron deficiency?
Symptoms of iron deficiency depend on the extent of the deficiency. Usually there are no symptoms at first. Iron deficiency can be diagnosed with a blood test that shows anemia even if there are no symptoms. Anemia is defined as a hemoglobin level below 130 g/l in men, 120 g/l in women, and below 105 g/l in pregnant women.
Anemia has many causes, but iron deficiency is the most common. In addition to a blood test, certain symptoms can warn you of a possible deficiency as iron stores decrease.
The 10 most common symptoms of iron deficiency are:
– Concentration difficulty,
– Pale skin,
– shortness of breath,
– Dry or rough skin,
– Dry and damaged hair or hair loss,
– Brittle nails
– Ringing in the ears.
Causes of iron deficiency anemia
The daily iron requirement for adults is 1 mg for men and 2 mg for women. This iron is partially used to carry oxygen in red blood cells. Iron deficiency is the most common nutritional deficiency in the world. It particularly affects women.
Iron is one of the essential minerals for the human body, it is found in all cells. Anemia is a condition that occurs when red blood cells no longer bring enough oxygen to the tissues. It can be caused by different factors. Since iron deficiency anemia develops very slowly, it does not cause any symptoms when it starts. Hemoglobin, the pigment in red blood cells that gives blood its red color, carries oxygen to the tissues with the help of iron.
Iron deficiency anemia is mainly caused by either blood loss or a lack of iron in the daily diet. Iron absorption disorders by the digestive system may also be seen.
blood loss causing iron deficiency
Iron deficiency anemia in adults is often caused by mild but prolonged bleeding. Peptic ulcer, colon polyps, digestive bleeding due to colon and rectum cancer, uterine fibroids and bladder cancer can cause blood loss and lead to iron deficiency.
In addition, vomiting present in ulcerative colitis, black stools, red blood in stool or blood in rectal bleeding, very heavy or long menstrual periods or bleeding between periods are among the causes of iron deficiency.
A blood loss of 200 ml corresponds to a loss of approximately 100 mg of iron.
Insufficient iron intake
Anemia can also be caused by insufficient iron intake in the diet compared to the body’s needs. This type of deficiency is particularly important in children aged 6 months to 5 years and pregnant women.
Rapid growth in children aged 6 months to 5 years, especially up to 3 years of age, requires significant amounts of iron. Deficiency is common in infants aged 6 to 18 months. Iron deficiency affects the child’s psychomotor development and immune system.
In pregnant women, the need for iron increases significantly with the growth of the fetus and the growth of the baby. Pregnant women are particularly affected by iron deficiency at the end of pregnancy.
In addition, insufficient iron intake can occur in a strict vegetarian or vegan diet.
Poor absorption of iron
Iron deficiency affects the digestive wall such as Crohn’s disease, celiac disease, or gluten intolerance It can also be caused by poor absorption of iron by the digestive system due to a health problem.
The use of iron for the production of red blood cells may be impaired due to inflammatory mechanisms seen in conditions such as infection, cancer, and chronic inflammatory diseases. In this case, deficiency can be seen due to misuse of iron.
What should I eat if I have an iron deficiency?
Whether you have an iron deficiency or not, it is important to follow an adequate and balanced diet. Many foods are full of iron and should be added to the diet, including:
– Red meat,
– Chicken, turkey and fish,
– Legumes and legumes such as beans, peas and lentils,
– Vegetables such as spinach, cabbage and broccoli,
– Nuts and oil seeds.
Iron absorption can be increased by combining foods containing iron with foods rich in vitamin C. Vitamin C enables the conversion of iron into a more absorbable form by the intestine. On the other hand, tea and coffee contain tannins that inhibit iron absorption when consumed at the same time. Therefore, it is recommended to drink 30 minutes before or 2 hours after a meal.