Iron deficiency is one of the most common of the nutritional deficiencies. Iron is present in all cells in the human body, and has several vital functions. Examples include as a carrier of oxygen to the tissues from the lungs as it,s a key component of the hemoglobin protein acting as a transport medium for electrons within the cells in the form of cytochromes, and as an integral part of enzyme reactions in various tissues. Too little iron can interfere with these vital functions and lead to morbidity and death. If you don’t have enough iron, your body can’t make enough healthy oxygen-carrying red blood cells. A lack of red blood cells is called iron deficiency anemia.
Causes of iron deficiency includes:-
Iron deficiency is a common health problem. High-risk groups include menstruating women, pregnant and lactating women, babies and toddlers, teenage girls and female athletes. Without intervention, a person whose dietary intake of iron is inadequate to meet their body’s needs will eventually deplete their iron stores and develop iron deficiency anaemia. Women who are pregnant have higher iron needs. To get enough, most women must take an iron supplement as recommended by their healthcare provider. Iron deficiency easily occurs in situations of chronic blood loss. Common causes include heavy menstrual periods, regular blood donation, regular nosebleeds, chronic disorders that involve bleeding (such as peptic ulcers, polyps or cancers in the large intestine) and certain medications, particularly aspirin.The body absorbs haem iron much more easily than non-haem iron. There are many reasons why the dietary intake of iron could be inadequate, including a poorly balanced vegetarian diet, chronic fad dieting or limited access to a wide range of fresh foods – for example, as a result of living in remote areas or having a low income.
Signs of iron deficiency in women includes :-
1) Fatigue :-
This is one of the most common sign . Fatigue, also referred to as tiredness, exhaustion, lethargy, and listlessness, describes a physical and/or mental state of being tired and weak. It is not compulsory that if you feel fatigue once in a week you are suffering from iron deficiency !
2) Difficulty in focusing things:-
Yes ! You aren’t able to focus on concentrate on one specific thing. You take time like a lot time , to do one single work .And then only you can move on to the other work.
3) Breathlessness :-
You suddenly feel breathless! You feel suffocated and you aren’t able to breath properly . You get a feeling of being week and vomiting too .
4) Difficult to do normal workout :-
You suddenly feel week.Normal trademill or a walk may make you feel really weak . You feel very very tired. You just cannot workout . It becomes really difficult For you just to do simple exercise !
5) Pale skin :-
Your skin becomes really pale. Yellow pale skin and nails are a sign of iron deficiency .
6) Headache :-
Headache is very usual sign of iron deficiency . Your head starts bursting every second day .
7) Painful Ulcers at the corners of the mouth :-
Mouth ulcers are very painful . You get a burning sensation in your mouth .The ulcer boils are a sign of iron deficiency.
8) Brittle nails :-
Your nails become brittle ! They break very easily,they become very weak. Your nails may even become pale or yellow in colour.
9) Pinkish urine :-
Your urine turns pinkish or slightly redish . This is a very major sign of iron deficiency !
10) Sore muscles :-
Your muscles become sore and painful. You get a severe body ache ,you wish to stay at home and sleep all day because of so much body ache.
There are several select groups of people that are more at risk for developing iron deficiencies. First, women are more likely to develop this problem, partly because of the loss of red blood cells during menstruation.
Further, adolescents, both males and females, may be lacking, due to their rapid growth processes. Finally, athletes, especially runners, may be at risk. This is because exercising regularly can cause iron loss through perspiration. Finally, iron absorption can be impaired by the frequent drinking of tea and coffee.
The health benefits of iron mainly include its job of providing life-giving oxygen to organ systems through its role in red blood cell production. About two-thirds of the body’s iron is found in hemoglobin. Other health benefits of iron are the reduction of iron deficiency anemia, anemia of chronic disease, cough, anemia in pregnancy, predialysis anemia and many other varieties. It is an essential protein component for metabolism, and the human body needs iron to produce red blood cells.
Iron has other important functions, too. “Iron is also necessary to maintain healthy cells, skin, hair, and nails”.
Iron is a vital element for muscle health and is found in myoglobin, a muscle protein. Myoglobin carries oxygen from hemoglobin and diffuses it throughout muscle cells. This is required for contraction of muscles.
Iron deficiency is very common today! This is because of the junk unhealthy diet we have . This unhealthy diet is lack of iron and thus causes iron deficiency to the people. It is more prone to women and small children ! One should be aware of this defeciency by its symptoms .