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Video: Signs Of Iron Deficiency
According to statistics, a lack of iron in the body is observed in 30-40% of the population of our continent. It can be caused by a wide variety of factors, from dietary habits to chronic diseases. How to recognize iron deficiency, what are its main causes and how to deal with it, we tell in our material.
The main signs of iron deficiency
Chronic tiredness. Of course, it can be a sign of anything from a lack of fluid in the body to clinical depression and hormonal imbalance, but remember that it is iron that is responsible for the production of hemoglobin. If there is not enough oxygen in the body, the cells are not saturated with oxygen - as a result, we feel tired right after waking up, even if we slept enough and drank coffee for breakfast.
Skin condition. With iron deficiency, even skin that is not at all prone to dryness can crack and peel off, and no moisturizing creams and serums will help here (cosmetics, unfortunately, are not at all able to solve the problem, the root of which is inside). In addition, when iron is deficient, the complexion becomes dull, takes on an unhealthy grayish tint, and the skin loses its natural radiance.
Headaches. They are also associated with a lack of hemoglobin - if the cells do not receive enough oxygen, headaches and migraines may well worsen, which eventually become chronic. An unpleasant bonus with them is a decrease in performance, concentration and memory impairment.
Condition of hair and nails. With a lack of iron, the hair becomes dry, dull, breaks down and falls out more, and, as in the case of the skin, no masks, oils and conditioners will help here. The nails get no less - they become thinner, break, and the plate becomes uneven.
Causes of iron deficiency
Plant based diet. Refusal from animal products undoubtedly has a lot of advantages for the body (more on this here), but there are also some drawbacks here. Iron from plant products is absorbed much worse than from meat or fish due to its lower bioavailability. Vegans and vegetarians should regularly check-up with a specialist who will help to adjust the diet and, if necessary, prescribe dietary supplements.
Poorly balanced diet. In order for the body to lack the necessary substances, it is not necessary to give up meat. According to statistics, people who follow a plant-based diet are less likely to suffer from a deficiency of various micronutrients, because they are more attentive to diet planning. Try to eat as varied as possible and focus on natural, minimally processed foods.
Eating foods that interfere with the absorption of iron in the intestines. The catch here is that, for the most part, these are all healthy foods that the body needs. For example, phytic acid salts found in whole grains, oxalates from fresh vegetables (especially rhubarb, spinach, sorrel), egg whites, and polyphenolic compounds from coffee and tea (which have powerful antioxidant effects). Of course, you do not need to give up these foods, just keep in mind that when using them, you should eat more foods rich in iron.
Chronic diseases. These include diseases of the gastrointestinal tract - celiac disease, peptic ulcer disease, inflammatory bowel disease, tumors, diverticulosis and parasitic infestations. However, in this case, the issue of replenishing the iron deficiency is decided exclusively with a doctor.
Excess weight. With overweight (if it is a medical diagnosis), there is often an increased production of pro-inflammatory substances that interfere with the absorption of iron and reduce its bioavailability.
Regular sports activities. Paradoxically, physical activity is not only beneficial. They significantly increase the need not only for proteins and fluids, but also vitamins and minerals, including iron.
Coping with iron deficiency
If you find yourself with any of the symptoms listed above, you should contact a specialist and take tests that will accurately show the cause. Of course, your doctor can prescribe dietary supplements that will quickly bring all indicators back to normal, but there are many healthy iron-rich foods that should be added to the diet. These include shellfish, lean red meat, buckwheat, legumes (white beans, lentils, and chickpeas), raisins, cashews, and tomato juice.
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