How to avoid iron deficiency
Iron deficiency isn't normally understood as an serious health concern, but for those who suffer from iron deficiency anemia and don't get treatment, it can lead to death.
Mayo clinic considers that 20 % of women and up to 50 % of pregnant women experience iron deficiency, which in most cases can be cured with iron supplements and good nutrition. Iron deficiency causes the anemia: you can have iron deficient: if the problem is not solved, you may develop anemia.
Iron deficiency if it is not solved causes anemia, an aspect in which your body doesn't have the number of red blood cells it needs to transport oxygen throughout the body. The human body uses iron to make hemoglobin, which is an essential component in red blood cells. Red blood cells are made in your bone marrow, which demands iron and vitamins to make hemoglobin. Hemoglobin gives that characteristic red color: red blood cells carry oxygen to the brain and lungs, so when there isn't enough hemoglobin, these cells can't provide the body with the oxygen it needs.
When you haven't the appropriate level of iron, you begin to suffer from oxygen deprivation: your skin may become pale; you'll feel easily tired and may have problems with shortness of breath. Your hands and feet will be cold and you may be lightheaded. The iron deficiency anemia include brittleness of your nails, cravings for things that aren't food (this condition is called pica), like dirt or ice, headache and loss of appetite. Iron deficiency anemia may also cause your tongue to be sore or swollen, and you may experience restless leg syndrome, where legs feel twitchy, itchy and uncomfortable (usually at night).
Iron deficiency is generated by blood loss through heavy menstruation or internal bleeding from other causes, the body's greater need for iron that isn't met (such as in pregnancy) or nutritional deficits. Some people cannot assimilate iron or they have problems to absorb iron, which can cause anemia. Although symptoms may be barely noticeable at first, if the deficiency isn't solved, symptoms will worsen.
If you have a good health, you should be able to meet your body's requires for iron with the food you eat. Foods rich in iron are meat, poultry, seafood and eggs, whole grains and foods that have been fortified with iron (many cereals have iron added). Meats contain the form of iron most easily assimilated by the body, but you can also obtain iron from beans, nuts, raisins and spinach. If you're observing your weight and aren't eating much meat, you may want to take iron supplements. Generally pregnant women are advised to take supplemental iron because their bodies' increased blood volume and the needs of the growing fetus make extra demands on their iron supplies. Children's vitamins should have iron, and parents should make sure that kids are getting the right kinds of iron-rich foods.