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How To Know If You Have Iron Deficiency

How To Know If You Have Iron Deficiency

If you wonder if you’re experiencing symptoms of iron deficiency, check out this blog from 911 Labs in Santa Monica.

Do I Have Iron-Deficiency Anemia?

Iron is an essential nutrient for the production of hemoglobin, a protein found in red blood cells responsible for transporting oxygen throughout the body via the bloodstream. When hemoglobin levels are insufficient, tissues and muscles do not receive an adequate oxygen supply, resulting in impaired functionality. Among various types of anemia, iron deficiency anemia prevails worldwide as a significant health concern.

Iron deficiency anemia occurs due to insufficient iron levels in the body. Individuals with this condition often experience fatigue and shortness of breath. Typically, iron supplementation effectively treats iron deficiency anemia. However, if there are underlying medical conditions suspected to cause anemia, further testing and treatments may be necessary, as determined by a medical professional.

When compared to men, iron deficiency anemia is more prevalent among women, particularly those who are pregnant or experience heavy menstrual periods.

Symptoms Of Iron Deficiency

Iron-deficiency anemia can initially manifest as a mild condition, often without noticeable symptoms. However, as the deficiency worsens, fatigue and weakness are common presenting signs. Individuals may also experience symptoms such as dizziness, headaches, lower body temperature, pale or sallow skin complexion, rapid or irregular heartbeat, shortness of breath or chest pain during physical exertion, brittle nails, and unusual cravings for non-food items like paper, ice, or icy drinks. These symptoms can serve as important indicators of iron deficiency anemia’s progression and should prompt medical attention for proper evaluation and management.

What Are Common Causes Of Iron Deficiency?

Iron deficiency can manifest at any stage of life and stem from diverse factors. The primary causes encompass inadequate dietary intake of iron due to poor nutrition or restrictive eating patterns, as well as underlying conditions like inflammatory bowel disease or celiac disease. During pregnancy, the demand for iron increases, making women more susceptible to iron deficiency. Additionally, blood loss resulting from heavy menstrual periods or internal bleeding can contribute to iron deficiency anemia. In adults who no longer menstruate, anemia can arise from internal bleeding in the stomach or intestines. This form of bleeding may be triggered by excessive usage of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen or aspirin, the presence of stomach ulcers, hemorrhoids, or, in rare cases, gastrointestinal malignancies.

Iron-Rich Foods To Include In Your Diet

In the event that your doctor determines your iron deficiency to be a result of inadequate dietary iron intake, they may advise you to increase your consumption of iron-rich foods. These include a range of options such as red meat (e.g., beef, pork, poultry), dark leafy greens (e.g., spinach and kale), dried fruits (e.g., raisins and apricots), legumes (e.g., peas and beans), seafood, iron-fortified foods (e.g., breakfast cereals), seeds and nuts, and organ meats.

To optimize the benefits of iron supplementation, it is important to avoid taking it alongside medications, supplements, or foods that contain calcium, such as antacids or milk. Calcium can hinder iron absorption. Conversely, combining iron with vitamin C can significantly enhance iron absorption. Vitamin C-rich foods such as bell peppers, oranges, grapefruits, kiwifruits, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, strawberries, and grapefruits can serve as excellent sources of vitamin C to complement iron supplementation.

911 Labs Is Your Source For Nutrient Deficiency Testing

For patients based in Santa Monica and the surrounding Los Angeles cities, 911 Labs is proud to be your one-stop source for all your laboratory testing needs. From allergy testing to hematology, to immunology and microbiology, pregnancy and sex identification, and drug monitoring and medication management, 911 Labs is here for you.

Our mission is to facilitate health outcomes and early prevention using predictive preventative services as a tool. We want to be the partner of choice, for preventative information services, to our customers. We plan to achieve this through research, accessibility, and technology. 911 Labs is proud to exceed both industry and regulatory standards in providing the very best for their clients. For service, call us today at 888-878-9111.


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