Iron deficiency: 3 typical triggers
Apparitions of iron deficiency are widespread. Especially women of childbearing age often come into a situation with iron deficiency because of the monthly blood loss. Principal causes of iron deficiency are:
- Iron loss: Longer lasting bleeding from ulcers or chronic inflammation in the gastrointestinal tract, haemorrhoidal bleeding or heavy menstrual bleeding lead to iron loss. At high exercise load, the loss of minerals and trace elements on the kidney or sweat increases.
- Low iron intake: People who do not eat animal food often have a low iron level. Although there is enough iron in plant foods, it is in a form that the body can not utilize.
- Increased need: During pregnancy and lactation, the increased need for iron in many cases can not be compensated by the diet. In this case it is necessary to take iron tablets. Even children in the growth phase and puberty need a higher iron intake.
Iron deficiency: symptoms and consequences
The body can compensate for iron deficiency over a period of time, but symptoms such as brittle hair and nails, dry skin, tears in the corners of the mouth, mucosal changes in the mouth and esophagus, and tongue burns occur in iron deficiency.
As the number of oxygen-carrying red blood cells becomes less and less, the oxygen supply of the cells also deteriorates. If the body has too little iron for a long time, this iron deficiency leads to anemia with the typical symptoms: tiredness, reduced efficiency, paleness, dizziness and headache.
Overdose of iron
An iron accumulation is hardly conceivable in a healthy body, since there are sufficient regulatory mechanisms that prevent this. The iron overload of the organism occurs only in the context of diseases (hemochromatosis, hemosiderosis). However, uncontrolled high iron intake is also not recommended for the healthy, as it is suspected that at high iron concentrations, the cancer-protective effect of vitamins is lost.
6 tips to prevent iron deficiency
- With a healthy, well-balanced mixed diet, you will normally consume enough of the trace element iron.
- Meat, offal are the main suppliers of iron - so eat a serving of lean meat or liver three to four times a week.
- Whole grains and legumes such as lentils or white beans provide iron and other valuable minerals.
- An adequate intake of vitamin C improves the absorption of iron from plant foods, therefore: combine the meals with vitamin C-rich vegetables such as paprika, Brussels sprouts, sauerkraut or potatoes or enjoy a glass of orange juice to eat.
- Do not drink coffee or tea for iron-rich meals, keep at least half an hour in between! Other "iron robbers" are phosphates and oxalic acid (for example in rhubarb, spinach).
- In case of imminent iron deficiency, drink herbal blood juice from the pharmacy or health food store.