The arrival of summer has got many of us thinking about health and fitness. If you’re eager to boost your health or get in shape, there are some golden rules to follow. One essential you may need to think about is iron deficiency.
If your body is deficient in iron, it will affect your general health and your energy levels. Iron deficiency is often known as iron deficiency anemia.
What Is Anemia And Have I Got It?
Anemia is a condition, which occurs the number of red blood cells in the body is lower than normal. Your red blood cell count is important because these cells transport hemoglobin around the body. A low blood count reduces the levels of hemoglobin and oxygen in the blood. This is why you may feel tired and lack energy.
Iron deficiency anemia is the most common type of anemia. This type of anemia is associated with a lack of iron in the body.
You may have anemia without even realizing it. It can often be diagnosed when testing for other conditions or as part of a general health check.
The most common symptom of anemia is tiredness. It’s normal to feel tired if you’ve had a bad night’s sleep or a long day. But if you constantly feel lethargic, this could be a sign that something isn’t quite right. Other signs may include paleness, difficulty breathing, and an irregular heartbeat.
Less commonly, those affected may experience headaches, muscle pain, and hair loss. Some people also experience a reduced sense of taste, difficulty swallowing, and mouth ulcers.
Should I See My Doctor?
If you’ve noticed symptoms such as those listed above, or you feel under the weather, see your doctor. Anemia can be diagnosed using a blood test. It’s particularly important to seek advice if you are pregnant. Anemia during pregnancy can increase the risk of complications during and after childbirth.
Treatments For Iron Deficiency Anemia
The most common course of action is to take iron tablets. This is usually a short-term treatment. During and after treatment, your doctor will carry out blood tests to see how your body is responding to the supplements.
You may also be advised to increase your iron intake. Good sources of iron include green leafy vegetables, fortified cereals and bread, and pulses. Brown rice, tofu, eggs, meat and fish are also excellent choices.
If you need advice about your diet, ask your doctor. You can also search health and fitness pages online or visit a nutritionist.
Health is a priority for most of us. If you think you may have iron deficiency, it’s always wise to see your doctor. Anemia can be diagnosed with a routine blood test. If you do have low iron levels, it’s best to remedy the situation before it becomes more advanced.
If it’s treated early, anemia is manageable. Often, taking iron supplements is sufficient to reduce symptoms. If it’s left untreated, there is a risk of severe complications, including heart disease and a racing heartbeat.