How Do I know If I have Low Iron?

 In anemia, blood work, energy, fatigue, General Health, Guelph Naturopathic Doctor, iron

What is Iron? 

Iron is one of our essential minerals that the body needs for growth and development. Your body uses iron to make hemoglobin, a protein in red blood cells that carries oxygen from the lungs to all parts of the body, and myoglobin, a protein that provides oxygen to muscles. Your body also needs iron to make some hormones and is integral in your endocrine and immune function. 

What are symptoms of Low Iron? 

Iron deficiency is one of the most common nutritional deficiencies worldwide.  It commonly leads to the development of iron deficiency anemia which often effects women more than men. Thank you to our regular periods.  

So what are the common symptoms of low iron?  You may notice or experience: 

  • Tiredness
  • Paleness
  • Shortness of Breath 
  • Weakness
  • Headaches
  • Dizziness
  • Hair Loss

How is Iron Deficiency Diagnosed? 

The best part, is that a simple and quick blood test can help to diagnose and identify women suffering from iron deficiency anemia.  We commonly test your complete blood count, iron, ferritin, total iron-binding capacity, and/or transferrin.  Regularly menstruating women, prenatal and postnatal women should all make sure they are screened for iron deficiency.  

What are 3 quick ways to boost your Iron Status? 

  1. Red Meat  Aim at adding in some red meat into your diet.  Read meat contains heme-iron and is the most absorbable form of iron available. You’ll want to focus on grass -fed sources that are full of protein, zinc, selenium, and several B vitamins.
  2. Spinach – Although this is a non-heme iron source, which isn’t absorbed as well, spinach is also rich in vitamin C which can boost iron absorption.  Spinach is also rich in antioxidants called carotenoids, which may reduce your risk of cancer and decrease inflammation.
  3. Legumes such as beans, lentils and chickpeas, are loaded with nutrients can help bump up your iron levels. Legumes are also a good source of folate, magnesium, and potassium.  Make sure to have your legumes with Vitamin C to help improve absorption by your body. 

Take home: If you’re a woman, and you’re experiencing exhaustion or constantly feeling tired, you need to have you Iron tested.  You deserve to feel your best! 

 

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