Iron Deficiency: How It Effects Your Health

Iron is a mineral that the body needs for healthy blood. Blood carries oxygen throughout the body, and stores it in the muscles for energy. It is also very important for growth and development as well as a high functioning immune system. Although iron is so important for the human body, many people have iron deficiencies. It is especially prevalent in women and children. Iron deficiency, also referred to as iron deficiency anemia can be subtle at first. It's common to not notice the symptoms right away.

Symptoms of Deficient Iron Include:

  • tired for no reason
  • pale skin
  • fast heart rate and shortness of breath
  • cold hands and feet
  • lightheadedness or dizziness
  • Poor appetite or unusual cravings for non-nutritonal substances
  • weak hair and/or nails
  • Soreness in the mouth or to the tongue
  • Frequent illness or infection
  • chronic headaches

Studies have also found that individuals with deficient iron levels are more likely to have restless leg syndrome. Similarly, depression is also common with those who are iron deficient.

Low iron levels can also have a negative impact on your spine health. Studies show a correlation between inadequate iron and degeneration of the discs in the spine. It's also common to experience joint pain.

Iron Deficiency
Iron supplements can be used to treat iron deficiency.

Managing Iron Deficiency

For average adult men and post-menopausal women, 8mg of iron per day is recommended. Adult women require much more, about 18mg per day. Pregnant women need the largest amount (27mg) to help with growth and development of the fetus.

You can increase your levels of iron through your diet or supplements.

Foods rich in iron include:

  • red meat
  • shellfish
  • spinach
  • quinoa
  • turkey
  • legumes
  • eggs
  • liver or other organ meats
  • tofu
  • dark chocolate

If you struggle to include iron rich foods in your diet, supplementation can help. Iron supplement come in various forms, such as pill, chewable, and even transdermal patches. Supplements aren't regulated the same was food is, so it is important to research the brand and what it contains before consuming.

If you think that low iron levels might be a health concern for you, Silver Chiropractic and Wellness can help. Contact the office today to learn more!