- Aging & Longevity
Corrrecting iron-deficiency anemia
There are some illness that we have total control over while, with others, were are a victim of genetics. Anemia is one illness that can be caused by either of the two. So what exactly is anemia? It is the lack of circulating hemoglobin to deliver oxygen in the body. Its cause can vary from being secondary to other illnesses such as Renal, Chron's disease or alcohol-induced. It may be caused by folic acid deficiency, iron deficiency or as a result of inadequate production or hemolysis of red blood cell (RBC) . We will look at the most common type of anemia in this article -Iron Deficiency.
Iron deficiency Anemia
If we were to collect all the iron in our body and put it into one place and weigh it, it would weigh probably as mush as a penny. Approximately two thirds of this iron is located in the hemoglobin of the RBCs and the rest is shared up among the spleen, liver, bone marrow and muscles. Iron deficiency anemia is said to be the most common type of anemia, affecting approximately 10% of children and 10 to 30% of adults in the United States. Generally a haemoglobin level between 11 and 14g/100ml is considered normal. However iron deficiency anemia occurs when the body's iron content has fallen below the normal level, it begins to affect the bodies function and ones energy level.
Causes of iron deficiency anaemia :
- Blood loss such as heavy menstrual or bleeding within the intestines
- Poor diet, or even worm infestation. If our diet does not supply our recommended iron intake, this could also result in iron deficiency anaemia.
- Pregnancy periods of rapid growth in children
- Iron malabsorption.
Who may develop iron deficiency
- Pregnant mothers may develop iron deficiency especially in their last trimester therefore their iron level intake should increase to prevent defects in the unborn child.
- Babies are born with a supply of iron to last them up to six months. After six months of breast feeding babies should be introduced to formulas that are fortified with iron to maintain normal iron level.
- Improper dieting -Person that have poor dietary intake, such as weight watchers or persons with low income or poor choice of food, can result inadequate intake of iron due poor planning and lack of knowledge.
Signs and symptoms
Common signs and symptoms of iron deficiency anemia are:
- Easily become fatigued and dysneic (difficulty breathing).
- Pallor of skin, in dark skinned persons pale palms and sole of feet
- Pale mucous membrane and nail bed.
- A smooth, sore tongue can also be a sign that you are suffering from iron deficiency.
- Pica and spoon shaped fingernails are also indicative of reduced levels of iron.
Watch your diet.
Our cooking utensils are not just for holding our food. It has been proven that cooking in the old time cast-iron pots and kettles gave a good supply of iron! (No wonder our ancestors were so strong) . Yes, when acidic foods were cooked in these containers , the longer the food was left to simmer the higher the iron content would be. Okay, very few of us have these types of pots and kettles so were are going to look at foods and vitamins. There are many food that can boost our iron level that does not cost a fortune. It has always been said that dark green leafy vegetables are full of iron, well that saying is true. Eating a balance diet can correct iron deficiency anemia.
Eating whole grain breads and cereals can help build red blood cells. Here are some fruits and vegetables that contains high levels of iron; broccoli, spinach collard ,dried peach, beans and peas, broccoli, beetroot, amaranth, callaloo, raisins, prunes, lettuce, dried figs, kale mustard, cherimoya, brussel, sprouts, pak choy, celery, fennel ,french beans, molasses and nuts.
Organ meats such as liver and kidney are known to contain high level of iron. For proper absorption of iron, meals should be taken with any form of vitamin C such as a cool glass of lemonade. For some group an iron supplement such as ferrous sulphate or ferrous gluconate may be required. Iron supplement turns stool black and should not be mistaken for blood! Do not live to eat, instead eat to live.