What causes the lack of iron in the body?
For normal functioning the body needs many different substances. Iron is an extremely important trace element that is necessary for each of us. And what will happen if there is a deficit?
Why do you need iron?
Why does our body need iron? This is an extremely important trace element that is part of the blood, namely hemoglobin. Hemoglobin is the real carrier of oxygen. It is through this component of the blood that oxygen is supplied to all tissues and cells, ensuring their normal functioning.
In addition, without iron, correct growth and harmonious development would not be possible. And this microelement normalizes the work of the immune system, it is part of some substances that protect the cells of the body from the negative effects of oxidation products, normalizes metabolic processes, and is also responsible for the condition of hair, nails and skin. Iron is also required by the liver, which cleanses the body of toxins.
How much does a person need?
In general, iron is always found in the human body, but a part of it goes away daily with blood, feces, urine, keratinized skin cells, as well as exfoliating epithelium of mucous membranes. And that is why the loss of this trace element must be constantly replenished.
The average human need for iron is on average 1 milligram. But the incoming iron is absorbed only by 10% (and sometimes by 3-5%). There are several factors affecting a specific consumption rate: gender, age, health, and individual characteristics of the organism.
On average, the need for iron is:
- for adult men: 10-15 milligrams;
- for adult women: about 20 milligrams;
- for children: from 5 to 17-18 mg;
- during pregnancy and the postpartum period (2-3 months after birth), the need increases by 2-3 times and is about 30-35 milligrams.
Why not enough iron?
We list the main causes of iron deficiency in the body:
- Accelerated growth. Often iron deficiency is observed in children aged 2-4 years (during this period there is a growth jump).
- Transitional age. At this stage, the body is rebuilt to a new mode of functioning due to changes in the work of some important systems,and the need for iron increases dramatically.
- Unbalanced nutrition. Often iron deficiency occurs in women on a diet. Vegetarians are also at risk. Iron, of course, is also found in some products of plant origin, but in this form this trace element is absorbed extremely poorly. Iron is best obtained from meat and by-products.
- Pregnancy. At this stage, the need for iron increases significantly, because it must also enter the body of a growing fetus.
- Breast-feeding. The baby gets everything they need from milk, so that the iron to the nursing mother will need more.
- Significant blood loss. Iron deficiency can occur with wounds and bleeding wounds, in women due to heavy menstruation, bleeding hemorrhoids, as well as with a stomach ulcer and other ailments of the digestive system, in which the integrity of the mucous membranes is violated.
What threatens iron deficiency?
If there is an iron deficiency in the body, then iron deficiency anemia occurs. And if nothing is done, then this state can lead to quite serious and sad consequences. Here are some of them:
- Violations of the cardiovascular system. So, the heart rhythm and contractile activity of the heart muscle can be disturbed. The level of blood pressure often decreases.
- With a shortage of this trace element will suffer and muscle. Muscle tissue will not receive the necessary amount of oxygen and nutrients from the blood. Because of this, muscle tone will decrease, and then atrophy may gradually develop.
- In children, iron deficiency can cause delays in physical and mental development, reduced intelligence, memory loss and concentration.
- Due to iron deficiency anemia, the immune system is impaired. Immunity will decrease, so that viruses, bacteria and all sorts of pathogenic microorganisms will attack the body, causing frequent colds, infections, acute respiratory infections and SARS.
- The digestive tract will also suffer. Due to the violation of the integrity of the mucous membranes, digestion and the process of absorption of nutrients through the digestive organs are disturbed. Appetite decreases, there will be a violation of the chair.
- Deficiency will affect the condition of hair, skin and nails. Hair will become brittle and will fall out.The skin will dry, there will be cracks. In addition, the color of the epidermis will change, it may become gray or yellowish. Nails will begin to exfoliate and break. For a woman, such changes are especially noticeable and undesirable.
- Women, due to the lack of such a trace element, often have irregular menstruation.
- Can affect the nervous system. Often with iron deficiency anemia, mood changes, nightmares occur, anxiety and increased nervous irritability are observed, and sleep is disturbed.
- Especially dangerous is the lack of iron during pregnancy. If the fetus does not receive the necessary amount of such an important trace element, then it threatens with low fetal weight, as well as developmental delays and serious pathologies. In addition, premature labor often begins with iron deficiency anemia. There is a threat of miscarriage.
- Since, due to iron deficiency and a decrease in the level of hemoglobin in the blood, literally all tissues do not receive the required amount of oxygen, almost all systems suffer: reproductive, endocrine, immune, digestive, urinary, respiratory and cardiovascular.As a result, the overall health of a person will significantly deteriorate.
How to identify the deficit?
Are there any signs on which it is possible to determine the iron deficiency? Yes there is. Here are some symptoms of iron deficiency anemia:
- It is worth paying attention to the appearance. A person with iron deficiency will have dry, grayish or yellowish skin. Dark circles may appear under the eyes. The nails will become brittle and fragile, the hair will fall out and split.
- Many have shortness of breath, which appears even after minor physical exertion.
- Feet and palms can be cold even in the warm season. This is due to circulatory disorders.
- Increased fatigue, chronic fatigue. The person feels tired and tired almost from the very morning.
- Headaches and dizziness may occur.
- Weakness. A person stays in such a state even after sleeping or resting.
- Mood often changes, there may be sudden bouts of anxiety and fear. It is difficult for a person to fall asleep, he sleeps uneasily and sensitively.
- Violations of the heart rate: increased heart rate, slow heartbeat, irregular heartbeat.
- Apathy, depression, loss of interest in life.
- Disorders of digestion, deterioration of appetite.
- Tingling in the palms and in the soles of the feet.
- Frequent colds.
- Memory impairment, decreased concentration.
How to avoid problems?
Prevention of iron deficiency anemia involves, above all, a balanced diet. Include in the diet more foods rich in iron. These include: beef liver, red meat, lentils, beans, spinach, chicken eggs.
Also necessary products containing vitamin C (it contributes to the best absorption of iron): greens, citrus, berries, green vegetables. In addition, reduce the amount of consumed tea and coffee. In case of acute deficiency, consult your doctor so that he will give you an iron-containing vitamin preparation.
Watch for iron intake to avoid unpleasant consequences.
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