Many of us, especially women, are not getting the iron we need from our diets. Up to 10% of women are deficient, it seems, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention. However, iron is an important mineral that helps to move oxygen through our systems. Insufficient iron means the body is unable to produce enough of the red blood cells that transport the oxygen we need and can result in iron deficiency anemia.
Symptoms of iron deficiency
fatigue and energy loss
general weak feeling
shortness of breath
tingling in the legs
swollen and/or sore tongue
heart palpitations or fast heart rate
desire to eat ice, dirt or clay
Why are women more susceptible?
The first two leading reasons women are more susceptible to iron deficiency is pregnancy and also blood loss at the time of menstruation. Inadequate iron intake can also be the culprit for people who are not eating enough meat eggs, leafy vegetables etc. or are not absorbing the iron as they should. However, internal bleeding from polyps, ulcers or even colon cancer can be the cause.
A quick fix
A simple blood iron or ferrite test can be taken to discover your red blood cell count and their size and colour and also measure your total iron-binding capacity. Several types of iron supplements are available and your doctor will recommend one to you. Health stores typically carry a variety of iron supplements including a liquid type that supposedly cuts down on the possibility of constipation. Sufficient iron nourishes your nails, skin and hair with the oxygen it needs so making sure you have enough iron will improve more than just your well being.