Are you suffering from Iron deficiency?

The most common cause of anemia is iron deficiency. The Iron Deficiency Anemia is recognized a public health problem in Sri Lanka. Iron is present in many foods and absorbed into the body through the gastro intestinal tract.

Let’s look on what is the story behind iron.  During this process of absorption, oxygen combines with iron and is transported into the plasma portion of blood by binding to transferrin. From there, iron and transferrin are used in the production of hemoglobin. And also stored in the liver, spleen, and bone marrow, and utilized as needed by all body needs. Only 1 mg of iron is absorbed for every 10 to 20 mg of iron ingested. If a person unable to have a balanced iron-rich diet it will caused to some degree of iron-deficiency anemia. All stages of life can be suffered with that problem.  Infants can often have low birth weight, and risk of dying in infancy and childhood, premature births, delayed growth and development and delayed normal infant activity and movement. Children and adults with IDA have poor memory or poor cognitive skills resulting in poor performance in school, work, and in recreational activities. And also lower IQs have been linked to iron deficiency occurring during critical periods of growth.

When considering about causes of iron deficiency anemia, diets low in iron is the major one. And also special physiological changes of human will affect to iron deficiency. Some physiological changes increase the demand for iron. It will cause to an increased iron requirement and increased red blood cell production is required when the body is going through changes such as growth spurts in children and adolescents, or during pregnancy and lactation. Most of the iron taken in by foods is absorbed in the upper small intestine. Abnormalities in the gastrointestinal (GI) tract could alter iron absorption and result in iron-deficiency anemia. Blood loss will case to anemia also. Sources of blood loss may include gastro intestinal bleeding, menstrual bleeding, or injury.

Symptoms may include abnormal paleness or lack of color of the skin, irritability, fatigue, increased heart rate, swollen tongue, enlarged spleen and desire to eat peculiar substances such as dirt or ice (a condition called pica).Iron-deficiency anemia is usually discovered during a medical examination through a blood test that measures the amount of hemoglobin present.

Prevention and treatment of iron deficiency anemia includes the consumption of iron rich foods such as lean meats, fish, nuts, green leafy vegetables (such as niwithi, Gotukola, Sarana, Murunga Leaves, Kathurumurunga and Thampala), pulses and eggs. Sources of Vitamin C such as fruits or vegetables can also help the body to absorb iron better. Also eating iron rich iron-enriched white bread, pasta, rice, and cereals is better.

Iron supplements can also be taken over several months to increase iron levels in the blood.So, include iron rich sources in your meal and prevent from the Anemia.

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