Did you know that iron deficiency is among the top nutritional deficiencies in the world? Unfortunately, one can have low iron levels in the body without even realizing it. Therefore, one must constantly check the iron levels in their body for earlier treatment with chewable iron tablets if they have low iron levels. But, first things first, why does the human body need iron?
Why Iron Is Important
Iron is among the essential elements that the body requires for various cellular metabolic functions. The essential need for iron is the creation of red blood cells. The purpose of red blood cells in the human body is to transport oxygen throughout the different organs in the body. Red blood cells can only perform that function with the help of a protein known as hemoglobin. Low iron levels in the body mean that there is insufficient production of red blood cells. As a result, iron deficiency affects the transport of oxygen throughout the body.
Signs that You Have Low Iron Levels
Iron plays a key role in many body functions. A deficiency in the iron levels in the body will produce a symptom that may manifest differently. Some signs that you have low iron levels in your body include:
Hemoglobin is responsible for the red color in blood. As a result, the human skin has a rosy color. When the hemoglobin levels are low in the blood, the red blood cells shrink in size and become pale. That results in paleness throughout the body. The condition also manifests in bad skin health and brittleness in nails.
Pica refers to the compulsion to consume non-foods. A person may desire to eat weird things such as dirt, ice cubes, or plaster. This behavior is common to pregnant women and children. There is no solid explanation why low iron levels cause one to desire to eat non-food items.
A feeling of tiredness is the most common sign of iron deficiency in the human body. That is especially if the fatigue does not go away when one takes a rest. Low iron levels in the body make it hard to transport oxygen throughout the human body. This ultimately shows in decreased energy levels as your cells are not obtaining enough oxygen.
Shortness of Breath
Difficulty in breathing manifests in individuals who undertake regular physical activity. When there are low iron levels, the blood cannot transport oxygen to all the body parts. The reduced oxygen levels in the body cause your body to demand more oxygen. As a result, your breathing rate increases to meet the body’s oxygen demands.
What to Do When You Have Low Iron Levels
Here are some ways that you can use to solve the issue of low iron levels in the body.
Consume Foods that Are Rich in Iron
Iron deficiency in the body may be due to insufficient iron in the diet. If that is the case, you can boost iron by taking iron-rich foods such as organic meat, dried fruit, red meat, leafy vegetables, seafood, and iron-fortified foods.
Increase Rate of Iron Absorption
While your body absorbs iron naturally, you can increase the rate at which it absorbs iron by consuming vitamin C. You can increase Vitamin C by consuming foods that are rich in Vitamin C, such as vegetables and fruits. Consequently, you should avoid foods that prevent your body from absorbing iron. These foods include coffee, tea, dairy products, and whole-grain cereals.
There are iron supplements that you can take to increase the iron levels in your body. You should only take supplements if your general practitioner prescribes them to you. Supplementation is often a resort after you fail to meet the required levels through diet. When taking iron supplements, swallow with orange juice to increase iron absorption in your body. Alternatively, take your iron supplement with a supplement containing Vitamin C.
Although iron deficiency affects both men and women, it is more common in women. Pregnant women or those that experience heavy menstrual periods are at a high risk of iron deficiency. Fortunately, there are signs that one can check out to determine the iron levels in their body. The surest way to detect the iron levels in the body is to conduct a home nutrient test kit or get tested by a general practitioner. If you have low iron levels in the body, the recommendation would be to improve your diet or get iron supplements in the form of chewable iron tablets.