The Consequences of Iron Deficiency
When iron levels are not balanced or “normal,” the body sends certain signals that we can’t ignore.
Iron deficit causes many negative consequences for our body and it is important to know about it. In this article, we will tell you about the main consequences.
How does iron work?
Iron is a very important mineral for our well-being. It is found in red meat, fruit, and vegetables.
It is essential for our body to form myoglobin, a protein found in the cells of the muscles. Iron is also found in the enzymes that facilitate certain chemical reactions.
It is also used to produce hemoglobin in the bone marrow. This substance transports oxygen within the red blood cells.
When someone has an iron deficit, they suffer from a condition called iron-deficiency anemia: the red blood cells are smaller and don’t contain enough hemoglobin.
Iron deficiency can happen at any stage of life but is more common in breastfeeding women, adolescents, pregnant women, and the elderly.
We can also suffer from it due to:
- Poor diet
- Intestinal diseases or celiac disease
- Abnormal menstrual periods
- Excessive blood donation
One of the main problems of iron deficiency is that there are no symptoms until the situation is advanced.
Anemia does not develop overnight, but rather is progressive and passes through different stages.
To find out whether our iron levels are adequate for our age, we need to carry out a blood analysis called “complete hemogram.”
See also: The Consequences of Iron Deficiency
The consequences of iron deficiency
Many people have anemia and don’t realize. They think that the symptoms are due to working too much or lack of sleep. However, when they last for a long time, we should pay attention.
As the red blood cells become less healthy and cannot fulfill their functions of transporting oxygen to the cells, the person will feel less energetic and more fatigued.
When anemia is advanced, the person may experience a range of symptoms (which get confused with other diseases or with the effects of the pace of life):
- Fatigue, low energy, sleepiness
- Paleness, lack of air, trouble doing exercise
- Irritability, lack of appetite
- Vertigo, dizziness
- Fast heart beat
- Nails that break easily, hair loss
How to treat iron deficiency
If the anemia is severe, a doctor can prescribe you medicines or injections. If it has been caused by blood loss, some professionals suggest transfusion.
However, for mild or normal cases that are detected in time thanks to an examination, the good news is that natural remedies can be used to improve this condition.
Obtaining adequate and sufficient iron should be done through the diet.
The daily dose of this mineral for men is between 5 and 10 mg. For women it is higher, especially during pregnancy, breastfeeding and menstruation (at least 15 mg a day).
- Among the foods found in our diet, meat and fish offer a good quantity of iron.
- Fruit and vegetables, cereals, eggs, dairy products and legumes follow.
- If we suffer from anemia we should increase our intake of beetroot, nuts, lentils, white beans and wheat germ.
It is good to know that the body assimilates iron better if it is combined with vitamin C. This is why it is recommended to drink freshly squeezed orange juice with meals for example.
The opposite happens when the body receives certain products like coffee, tea, and sodas (especially colas).
Home remedies for anemia
Did you know that the word “anemia” derives from the Greek “alhaima” which means lack of blood? In reality, what is in deficit with this condition is iron and red blood cells.
And, given that since ancient times this problem has been treated with natural remedies, you can use them to complement your treatment.
1. Garlic soup
Garlic soup fights anemia while also increasing body temperature. Many people with this condition suffer from cold feet and hands due to blood supply problems in the extremities.
- 6 heads of garlic
- 1/2 cup of oil (1o0 g)
- 2 slices of dry bread
- 1/2 tablespoon of paprika (5 g)
- 4 cups of water (1 liter)
- Peel the garlic and crush it well.
- Fry it in oil until it is browned.
- Add the dry bread and paprika.
- Add the water and let it boil on a low heat for half an hour.
- After this, take it off the heat.
- Filter and drink up to 2 cups a day.
2. Gentian tea
This plant has many properties due to its main active ingredients which promote the absorption of iron.
It is recommended for women who have a heavy menstrual flow.
- 1/2 tablespoon of gentian root (5 g)
- 2 cups of water (500 ml)
- 1 tablespoon of honey (25 g)
- Put the water and gentian root in a saucepan.
- Boil for 5 minutes.
- Take off the heat and leave to stand for 5 minutes.
- Filter and sweeten with honey.
- Drink half an hour before meals.
We recommend you read: 6 Healthy Juices to Prevent and Treat Anemia
3. Chard smoothie
This smoothie also includes other foods full of iron so it is highly recommended for people with iron deficiency.
We should drink it on an empty stomach every other day.
- 3 chard leaves
- 2 cress leaves
- 10 almonds
- 2 tablespoons of oats (20 g)
- 1 cup of soy milk (250 ml)
- The juice of one lemon
- Wash the vegetables well and put them in the blender.
- Add the almonds, oats and soy milk.
- Squeeze the lemon and add the juice.
- Blend well and drink immediately.