Why take iron?

Why is iron so important?

Iron is a mineral in the human body and is essential for good health. Iron is necessary in the production of hemoglobin, the substance in red blood cells that carries oxygen throughout the body. If you do not have enough iron, you may develop iron deficiency which may prevent your body from making enough hemoglobin. This is the most common nutritional problem worldwide.1 Iron deficiency is often undiagnosed and left untreated.

What happens if you don’t treat iron deficiency?

If left untreated, it can become severe and lead to health problems, including:

  • Rapid or irregular heartbeat3
  • Poor performance on mental and psychomotor tests4
  • Premature births3
  • Low birth weight babies3

Factors that can lower your body’s supply of iron include:

  • Blood loss (caused by ulcers, some cancers, monthly periods, or other conditions)5
  • A diet that doesn’t have enough iron in it
  • An increase in the body’s need for iron (for instance, in women during pregnancy)5
  • Body destroys RBCs2

What are the symptoms of anemia?

If left untreated, it can become severe and lead to health problems, including:

There are several symptoms that may occur in all types of anemia. They are:

  • Fatigue
  • Paleness
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Dizziness
  • Headache
  • Feeling cold (including the sensation that your hands or feet are colder than usual)
  • Infections (caused by weakened immune system)

Who is most likely to develop iron deficiency anemia?

Anyone can develop iron deficiency, although the following groups have a higher risk:

  • Women: Blood loss during monthly periods and childbirth can lead to anemia3
  • People over 65, who are more likely to have iron-poor diets5
  • People who are on blood thinners such as aspirin, Plavix®, Coumadin®, or heparin5
  • People who have kidney failure (especially if they are on dialysis), because they have trouble making red blood cells5
  • People with intestinal disorders2

 

 

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