Iron deficiency is a condition in which the level of iron in the blood goes down. This leads to anaemia. Iron is required by the body to make a protein called haemoglobin. Haemoglobin is in charge of transporting oxygen to different parts of the body, to the tissues and the muscles.
In this case taking an effective diet rich in iron and an additional supplementation of iron-rich supplements for a brief period to bring the blood iron levels to normal can be helpful. But after that discontinuing the treatment is important as additional iron can lead to toxicity.
Iron deficiency is mostly noted in women as they menstruate every month. During menstruation, women lose a lot of blood and most of them do not take enough iron-rich foods that compensate for the iron deficiency. Men do not necessarily have low iron levels in the blood and do not face problems as much as women.
Eating too little iron for a long period of time causes iron deficiency in the body. Hence, one should consume eggs, liver and lean meat which are rich sources of iron. Vegetarians need to consume green leafy vegetables like spinach and kale which are also rich sources of iron.
Pregnant women should take iron supplements as it is essential for the proper growth of the foetus. Iron deficiency in pregnant women can lead to the birth of an abnormal child. Children also need to consume foods that are rich in iron because it is essential for their growth.
When you start taking iron supplements, it is wise to check your iron levels regularly. If you are experiencing any adverse effects please consult your physician and reduce the amounts if need be. Supplementation of iron may cause constipation as well as discolouration of stool.
Constipation might occur whenever you begin your iron supplements in several cases. Iron tablets should be taken with orange juice before eating anything to avoid constipation. The vitamin C in citrus fruits assists the iron tablets to be quickly absorbed and reduces constipation. Also, you could increase your intake of water.