“Good health is not something we can buy. However, it can be an extremely valuable savings account.” – Anne Wilson Schaef. A beautiful quote that reminds us how important to take good care of our health – physically and mentally.
As some of you may already know, I was diagnosed with having HPV66, has a hormonal imbalance, and Adenomyosis. I’ve noticed that these health conditions have a common side effect on me: iron deficiency.
So, in this blog, I’d love to share with you some of the FAQs I had about iron deficiency during the times I’ve learned about my health conditions.
But first, as you may already know, iron is an essential mineral that our body needs. An article explained that iron is a mineral required by the body for growth and development. In addition, iron is used by the body to produce hemoglobin, a protein found in red blood cells that transports oxygen from the lungs to all parts of the body, and myoglobin, a protein that provides oxygen to muscles. Iron is also required by your body to produce certain hormones.
We need iron to live and function as usual.
Quick FAQs about Iron Deficiency
What is Iron Deficiency?
A medical article I read explained that Iron deficiency is a common type of anemia. It is defined as a lack of healthy red blood cells in the blood. Remember that these red blood cells transport oxygen to the tissues of our body.
Iron deficiency anemia is caused by a lack of iron, as the name implies. Your body cannot produce enough of a substance in red blood cells that allows them to carry oxygen if you do not have enough iron (hemoglobin). As a result, iron deficiency can cause fatigue and shortness of breath.
Before I was rushed to the hospital, I cannot sit or stand longer because of the extreme fatigue I experience as soon as I try to sit or stand. It was an awful experience!
What happens when you have Iron Deficiency?
The oxygen you require will not reach its destination in your body if you do not have enough iron (hemoglobin), making you considerably tired and difficult to breathe. Here are some other symptoms you can look for to see if you have iron deficiency.
- Extreme exhaustion
- Skin tone is light.
- Chest discomfort, rapid heartbeat, or shortness of breath
- Dizziness, headache, or lightheadedness
- Hands and feet are freezing.
- Your tongue may be inflamed or sore.
- Brittle nails
- Cravings for non-nutritive substances such as ice, dirt, or starch are unusual.
- Appetite loss, particularly in infants and children with iron deficiency anemia
What should you do if you have an Iron Deficiency?
There are home remedies that you can try to boost your iron counts. For example, you may start consuming vitamin C-rich foods such as citrus fruits or natural fruit juices, peppers, and green vegetables like broccoli, spinach, and kale.
Also, note that certain foods can make iron absorption more difficult. As a result, it is preferable to avoid such foods in the meantime. Coffee, tea, milk, egg whites, fiber, and soy protein are some foods you should avoid temporarily until your iron levels improve.
Important Note: If you or your child develops signs and symptoms of iron deficiency, always consult your doctor. Self-diagnosis and treatment of iron deficiency are not recommended. Please consult your doctor for a diagnosis rather than taking iron supplements on your own. Excess iron in the body can harm the liver and lead to other complications.
Is Iron Deficiency deadly?
Frankly, based on my experience, yes, it can lead to death. I experience extreme iron deficiency twice: (1) I got dengue fever and (2) due to heavy and prolonged bleeding caused by my health conditions – HPV66, hormonal imbalance, and Adenomyosis. On both occasions, I remember I went through a blood transfusion of three bags!
So, my point is, don’t dismiss iron deficiency. If you have noticed any symptoms, consult your doctor. Your doctor will assist you in avoiding the worst-case scenario. The good news is that most people recover from iron deficiency in 2 to 3 months with proper care and treatment. So, take a look at me now. I’m grateful that I’m healthy and have stable iron levels.
Learn about the three stages of iron deficiency?
Based on a medical article I read, there are three stages that iron deficiency that can progress.
- Stage 1 – Storage Depletion
- Stage 2 – Mild Deficiency
- Stage 3 – Iron Deficiency Anemia
Find out more HERE.
Four Causes of Iron Deficiency
- Blood loss – this is my case. Unfortunately, due to my prolonged heavy bleeding, I lost so much iron that I need. Other health conditions can also be considered if there’s any complication that causes blood loss.
- Lack of iron in your diet – if we continue not to be mindful eaters and eats junk or unhealthy food, this can be a reason. So, better to start consuming colorful foods like fruits and vegetables.
- An inability to absorb iron can be because of food intake or any dysfunction in our body itself.
- Pregnancy – Iron deficiency occurs in many pregnant women without iron supplementation. Their iron stores must serve their increased blood volume and be a source of hemoglobin for the growing fetus.
Iron deficiency is something that can be avoided and treated. So don’t be afraid to learn about what’s going on in your body because it’s an excellent way to understand it. It’s a great way to figure out what you need to do to cope and live a healthier lifestyle.
Also, please refrain from self-medicating. Always seek the advice of your doctor for a more accurate diagnosis and treatment. Stay safe and healthy, Lounger!
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