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Iron is a crucial mineral as well as is involved in numerous body functions. It supports the production of hemoglobin, improves oxygen transport in the body as well as guarantees a far better state of mind and a great concentration. Iron additionally maintains skin, hair and nails healthy and balanced and also reinforces the body defenses.
Our body has to absorb iron with food since it cannot produce it itself. Insufficient iron intake is one of the most common causes of iron deficiency. But chronic blood loss, pregnancy and the inability to properly absorb iron can also cause iron deficiency.
Women of childbearing potential are at higher risk of iron deficiency, mainly due to the loss of blood during menstruation.
The daily amount of iron varies depending on age, gender, training status and pregnancy. Too little iron can affect the body in different ways. There are several symptoms that indicate iron deficiency. The more symptoms there are, the greater the likelihood of iron deficiency.
Fatigue and exhaustion
Iron is very important for the production of haemoglobin. It helps to maintain an optimal haemoglobin level and thus ensures good oxygenation in the body.
If there is an iron deficiency, the oxygen can no longer be sufficiently distributed in the body, which leads to increased fatigue and a feeling of exhaustion.
Shortness of breath
With a low iron content, less oxygen reaches the different parts of the body. When the body’s oxygen content is low, there is shortness of breath no matter how deeply you breathe.
This shortness of breath also occurs during situations that are usually easy to handle. Climbing stairs, taking a short walk, or carrying small items can cause shortness of breath. Shortness of breath can be mild, moderate or very severe and often normalizes after a break.Difficult breathing and constant wheezing can also indicate an iron deficiency.
Haemoglobin gives the blood its red color and the skin a rosy skin tone. With a low iron level, the body is no longer able to produce enough haemoglobin. As a result, the skin loses its normal color, becomes pale and looks exhausted. This can be seen particularly well with a light skin tone.
A low iron level also creates a lighter inside of the lips, lighter gums and a lighter inside of the lower eyelids.
Due to the reduced haemoglobin production and the disturbed oxygen transport in the body, the healthy growth of the nails is also prevented in the case of iron deficiency.
If there is an iron deficiency, the nails are often pale, brittle and brittle. There is often a concave or spoon-shaped depression in the nails.
Other nutrient deficiencies, frequent contact with water and the constant use of nail polish can lead to brittle nails.
With a low iron level, the body goes into a survival mode and feeds oxygen to the most important organs and vital functions and less oxygen to the less important functions, as does hair growth.
Iron deficiency can be an important factor in the development or worsening of hair loss, especially in postmenopausal women. Adequate iron intake can be the key to restoring hair growth.
To find out whether the iron deficiency is the cause of hair loss, it is important to measure the amount of iron and the amount of inferring in the blood. Inferring is a substance that helps to store iron in the blood.
Increased sensitivity to cold
Iron helps red blood cells to distribute oxygen throughout the body, which leads to the development of heat and nutrient supply to the cells.
If there is an iron deficiency, the red blood cells can no longer function properly, which in turn causes increased sensitivity to cold and frequent tremors.
Iron is also very important for the healthy functioning of the thyroid gland, which also regulates body temperature. If the thyroid gland malfunctions due to a low iron level, hypersensitivity to cold develops, this ensures a cold feeling even in a warm environment.
When there is an iron deficiency, too little oxygen reaches the brain. This causes the arteries of the brain to swell and cause headaches. This type of headache makes it difficult to concentrate or relax.This type of headache can occur, especially during menstruation.
A lack of oxygen in the brain can be a cause of the development of psychological problems. Depression, anxiety disorders, bipolar disorders, and delayed development and intellectual disability in children and adolescents are often associated with iron deficiency anaemia.
Iron deficiency can also cause symptoms such as loss of appetite, irritability, fatigue, and mood swings.
Iron levels can be checked using a blood test. With the right diagnosis and timely treatment, iron deficiency can be remedied and symptoms reduced.
What to do in case of iron deficiency
There are several tips to prevent iron deficiency:
Eat foods with a lot of iron. Beans, pomegranate, beetroot, barley grass, spiritual, beef and dark leafy vegetables, such as spinach, contain a lot of iron.
Eat foods high in vitamin C. The vitamin C helps to increase iron absorption. Bell peppers, goji berries, strawberries, oranges, lemons and broccoli contain a lot of vitamin C.
Avoid too much tea as well as coffee, specifically around meals. Both contain tannin that interfere with iron absorption.