Approximately 30% of the global population has iron deficiency, with women and children most affected. This makes it a serious global public health problem that needs to be addressed. With awareness of symptoms and treatment when necessary, there are ways to identify iron deficiencies and support your body’s needs.
Iron deficiency is a common type of anaemia, which occurs when your body doesn’t have enough iron, which your body needs to make haemoglobin.
Symptoms of Iron deficiency
- Shortness of breath
- Fast or irregular heartbeat
- Headaches, dizziness, or lightheadedness
- Poor appetite, especially in infants and children with iron deficiency anaemia
How to Treat Iron Deficiency?
Iron deficiency is treated depending on how severe it is and what caused it in the first place. Most forms of this condition involve a lack of iron in your diet or issues with your body absorbing the amount of iron the body needs. The treatment aims to increase the amount of oxygen the blood can carry and also treat the underlying cause of the iron deficiency. Below are the options for treatment;
- Iron supplements and diets help restore the body’s iron levels, allowing it to continue producing required red blood cells. People with iron deficiency would want to stick with iron-rich foods like red meats, eggs, fish, broccoli, and dark green vegetables.
- Vitamin supplements and diet: Vitamin B-12 or folate is also needed to replenish vitamin levels in the body by allowing the body to resume average blood cell production. Vitamin-rich foods like fish, Greek yoghurt, eggs, and milk should be included in our diet if diagnosed with iron deficiency.
- Procrit or Epogen: This is also a medication that can be given information of an injection, which helps to increase red blood cell production. It is advantageous to people with kidney problems as erythropoietin production is reduced in their bodies.
- Stopping a medication that may cause iron deficiency may also reverse it after consulting a medical doctor.
The potential cause of this medical condition may include not eating enough iron-rich food, inability to absorb iron and blood loss due to menstruation. Still, the important thing is to seek medical care if you notice signs and symptoms, and do not try to treat iron inadequacy by yourself to avoid ending up with too much iron in your body, which can lead to other health conditions.