One of the commonly known forms of nutritional deficiencies is iron deficiency or hypoferremia. Iron is present in all cells of the human body and it performs several major functions, such as
- In the form of hemoglobin, it carries oxygen from the lungs to the tissues,
- In the form of cytochromes, it acts as a transport medium within the cells.
When the body does not have enough healthy red blood cells which provide oxygen to the body tissues, it leads to ‘iron deficiency anemia’ which means decrease in the number of red cells in the blood due to too less iron.
Causes, Risk Factors and Incidence
Anemia is the most common form of iron deficiency. About 50 percent of pregnant women, 20 percent of women and 3 percent of men lack iron in their body. For proper and normal function of the body, oxygen is required for every cell and the blood cannot carry oxygen properly and effectively without iron.
By recycling iron from old red blood cells and through balanced diet our body normally gets iron. The role of iron is vital as it helps oxygen carry protein in the blood. The causes of iron deficiency are as follows:
- Blood loss,
- Less iron in the diet
- Poor absorption of iron by the body.
- When bone marrow and the normal store of iron in the body run out, slowly anemia develops. In this case, men are at lower risk than women as women have smaller stores of iron because they lose more through menstruation.
Gastrointestinal bleeding also causes anemia in post menopausal women and men due to:
- Peptic ulcer disease
- Certain types of cancer
- long-term use of aspirin or anti-inflammatory medication
Symptoms of Iron Deficiency
- Brittle nails
- White color of the eyes turns paler
- Shortness of breath
- Pale skin color
- Decreased appetite
- Sore tongue.
Treatment of Iron Deficiency
- The older patients face the greatest risk for gastrointestinal cancer, hence the cause of the iron deficiency must be found.
- Iron supplements can be taken in an empty stomach for the best iron absorption. These can be taken through veins or by an injection into the muscle, if the patient cannot tolerate it by mouth.
- As antacids and milk interfere with the absorption, they should not be taken with the iron supplements. -Vitamin C is essential in the production of hemoglobin and it also increases absorption of iron.
- Everyone’s diet should include enough iron- liver, egg yolks, red meat and fish, which are important sources of iron.
So, the right intake of diet is vital to keep iron deficiency anemia at bay and lead a healthy and disease free life.
For more information visit us http://www.healthfore.com/. HealthFore Technologies Limited is a global healthcare IT solutions and advisory services company. Our patient-centric healthcare solutions focus on wellness, preventive care and condition management. Our information and health advisory services ensure prompt diagnosis and treatment of diseases. We create mass awareness to improve the quality of life through self-care.