Iron Deficiency, What To Know.
Ever since I was a young girl I have always been low on iron. I remember taking these green colored pills for periods of time in my youth and how it made my poop black. The first time it happened I ran to my mom freaking out. She told me that it was because of the iron pills. Currently I take 325 MG’s of iron daily in order to keep my iron up. It is still a green pill and sometimes it turns my poop black. I now know I’m not dying. It is my iron pill.
Iron is an important vitamin for our bodies. It maintains several bodily functions and it produces the hemoglobin’s that carries oxygen in your blood. Iron is absorbed in the gastrointestinal tract and only a small amount is absorbed at a time. After it is absorbed then it is released into the blood stream where a protein called Transferrin attaches and delivers the iron into the liver. Iron is stored in the liver. The liver then releases iron as the body needs to make bone marrow. Iron can only be stored in the liver for 120 days and after that it is reabsorbed into the spleen.
Here are the people who are at risk for being low in iron:
- Women who menstruate heavily
- Women who are pregnant, breastfeeding, or just gave birth
- People who have gone through a surgery or a physical trauma
- People with celiac disease, IBS, ulcerative colitis, Crohns disease, peptic ulcer disease
- Those who have gone through bariatric procedures. It is important to note that those who have weight loss surgery will have to go in for iron infusions since their stomach can no longer absorb iron.
- Vegetarians, Vegans, and those who don’t have iron rich foods in their eating plan
- Children who drink 16 to 24 oz of cow’s milk a day
- Those who suffer chronic nose bleeds
- Bloods loss from kidney’s or bladder
For me, I had heavy periods and now I go through surgeries every few months so I am watchful of my iron. I get a blood test every six months to make sure my iron levels are up. I have not considered iron rich foods. And I found it awesome that there are things you can eat or take that will help your body increase iron absorption. Hmm, seems like I learn something new every time I do some research.
Here are a list of foods that help you absorb iron better:
- Beet greens
- Collard greens
- Red grapes
- Red peppers
- Sweet potatoes
- Turnip greens
- Yellow squash
The Beta Carotene in these foods helps the body produce Vitamin A which helps your body absorb the iron in your body. Who knew? Also I found out Vitamin C helps with you to be able to absorb iron too. I take vitamin C because I don’t want to get sick, but now I have another reason, to help me absorb iron.
I also found out there are foods that decreases your body’s ability to absorb iron. These include, eggs, coffee, and some herbs.
Now that you read all of this you are probably wondering if you are low in iron. So here you go, the signs and symptoms of iron deficiency:
- Being pale
- Yellow skin
- Unexplained fatigue
- Shortness of breathe
- Chest pain
- Unexplained weakness
- Rapid heartbeat
- Pounding or whooshing in the ears
- Headache with activity
- Craving for ice
- Craving for clay
- Sore or smooth tongue
- Hair loss
- Brittle nails
Take it from me oxygen is our life blood. It helps us breathe and function and do the things we want or need to in order to survive. Iron is a simple thing and I’m thankful that my iron pill is not a gigantic pill.
Here are some links I’d like to share with you: