Most of us get iron from our food. It is one of the essential elements of a balanced diet, and we should pay attention to the amount of iron we consume daily. The fact that we don’t is the reason why one-quarter of the world is iron deficient. In time, we realise that it is not about how much we eat, but what we eat that matters. Filling the stomach does not solve the problem. Incorrect quantity and unhealthy intake are one of the root causes of iron deficiency.
And then there is the other issue that even healthy diets might not be able to resolve. It is about our body’s ability to absorb the right amount of iron from our diet. This is critical to ensure that the body can make enough healthy oxygen-carrying red blood cells. Not many connect the two. When you get tired or have otheriron deficiency symptoms such as hair loss and dry skin, you assume it is the diet and could end up doing more harm than good.
This is because the body can deal with only so much iron. The excess is stored in the organs such as the pancreas, liver and heart. Excess iron can lead to severe conditions such as heart issues and diabetes.
Keeping an eye on the signs of iron deficiency is critical. But it can also vary depending on
- Your age
- The seriousness of the iron deficiency
- Your current state of health and
- How quickly it becomes serious
The usual symptoms of iron deficiency are
- Unusual fatigue and paleness
- Shortness of breath, headaches and dizziness
- Heart palpitations
- Dry and damaged hair and skin
- Brittle fingernails
The next question that will be asked is, who is at most risk for iron deficiency.Infants, preschool children, adolescents and women of childbearing age, particularly pregnant women, are at greatest risk of developing iron-deficiency anaemia. However, adult males may also be at risk, especially where there is inadequate food intake or frequent parasitic infestation. Research says that more than 10% of community-dwelling adults ≥ 65 years of age have a World Health Organization (WHO) – defined iron deficiency. (hemoglobin < 12 g/dL in women and < 13 g/dL in men). After 50 years of age, iron deficiency's prevalence increases with advancing age and exceeds 20% in those ≥ 85 years of age. Women in their reproductive years (particularly pregnant women), infants and young children are at greater risk of developing iron deficiency than others. It might come as a surprise to many, but iron deficiency is more common in women than in men.
Apart from the age factor, there is also the health factor that needs to be considered. People with certain health conditions such as obesity, chronic heart failure, Crohn's disease, celiac disease and ulcerative colitis are more prone to iron deficiency.
There are different types of iron deficiency
- Your body is unable to make sufficient haemoglobin
- Your body makes the haemoglobin, but it does not function properly
- Your body does not produce sufficient red blood cells
- The red blood cells are broken down too quickly.
How does iron deficiency affect the body?
Iron deficiency, when not treated, leads to heart failure, frequent illnesses and depression. It also depends on the age of the person concerned. In children, it could cause a lack of attention, delayed development of motor skills and problems with learning. In older children, it affects growth spurts and menstrual cycles.
Iron and immunity
Iron deficiency is the most prevalent nutritional problem that comes with its own set of other health issues. Lowered immunity is one of the most significant issues, as this health issue comes with various other consequences. Iron plays an important role in immune function. A diet containing too little iron can cause anaemia and weaken the immune system. This increases your vulnerability to infection. Some may feel the cold more easily or have cold hands and feet. Frequent infections are the result of lowered natural defences.
The first thing that people do when they are diagnosed with iron deficiency is to take iron supplements. It is a very logical course of action. It is very natural to look for the best iron supplement. There are numerous restrictions and limitations that come with it.
- Iron and antacids do not mix. If you are taking medication to relieve heartburn symptoms, it will interfere with the absorption of iron.
- Vitamin C is needed to improve the absorption of iron.
- Iron tablets could upset your stomach; hence some take it on an empty stomach. But it could also cause stomach cramps and nausea in some people. In such cases, it needs to be taken with some food. However, milk and calcium should not be taken at the same time as these iron supplements.
- Many iron supplements come with side effects. Constipation is by far the most serious of them all.
An ayurvedic iron supplement is what you need. If you want to know how to enable your body to absorb iron better, you should read more about Raktda.
Raktda: The best iron supplement naturally
Most forms of iron deficiency can be sorted out with an iron-rich diet or an iron supplement. But what you need is something that does not come with side effects. More than that, many doctors recommend additional Vitamin C with a course of iron supplements to enable your body to absorb the nutrient better. Raktda is also the bridge between iron and immunity.
Raktda consists of Iron Bhasma in micronized particles, enhancing the body to absorb it from your diet without any side effects naturally. It is also enriched with Vitamin C, which enables better iron absorption by the body. Hence, it maintains haemoglobin levels naturally, boosts energy and restores skin & hair health.
If you think you are showing signs of iron deficiency, do talk to our Vaidya. Tell us what you are experiencing, and the list of medications, if any. This is because your needs could vary from what is usually suggested for someone your age and gender. Understanding your body and consuming the right quantity of health supplements is an excellent way to begin the journey to holistic health.Connect with us now.