Feeling unusually exhausted lately? You may be suffering from iron deficiency






(NaturalNews) The most common nutritional deficiency in the world, iron deficiency, affects a sizable portion of the U.S., particularly infants, children, adolescents and expecting mothers. Often, the signs of having an iron deficiency aren’t obvious; however, the symptoms can be life-altering – highlighting the importance of recognizing them in order to restore your nutritional balance before permanent damage ensues.

Women’s Encyclopedia of Health & Emotional Healing: Top Women Doctors Share Their Unique Self-Help Advice on Your Body, Your Feelings and Your Life, written by authors Denise Foley and Eileen Nechas, tells the story of one woman unknowingly suffering from an iron deficiency. The following is an excerpt from their book:

Cheryl Henry always considered herself a low-energy person, but the weakness and fatigue she started to feel after she lost ‘that last 10 pounds’ had her wanting to crawl back into bed by noon.

“It’s a good thing I worked at a job where I could sit most of the time,” says the 33-year-old secretary and mother of two, “because I wouldn’t have made it through the day in a job requiring more physical exertion.”

As it was, Cheryl would have to lie down on the sofa as soon as she got home from work.

“My husband would fix dinner while I rested,” she says, marveling now at his patience, “and then after dinner I’d put on my pajamas and get into bed. No matter how much sleep I got, I would still be wiped out by the end of the day. Forget taking walks together. I couldn’t even make it once around the mall without having to sit down. I had no life.”

Cheryl says that she was frequently short of breath and felt light-headed, too.

“One time I fainted in church, flat out on the pew. When I came to, I heard organ music playing and saw all these people standing over me. I thought I was dead.”

It was enough of a scare to send her to the doctor. A simple blood test was all it took to uncover the reason for Cheryl’s symptoms: She had iron-deficiency anemia, the “tired blood” disease that’s a threat to all women.

Iron Drain

“No blood,” that’s what anemia literally means. A bit of an exaggeration, but if you asked Cheryl, she probably wouldn’t think so. Besides feeling tired and light-headed, she also had the symptoms indicative of a severe case of anemia, her pulse rate went up, her blood pressure went down and she often felt dizzy and weak.

Why? The body’s energy levels are taxed when it doesn’t get enough iron, the mineral essential to the production of hemoglobin in red blood cells. Hemoglobin carries oxygen through the blood. Without sufficient iron, hemoglobin levels drop and tissues and organs don’t get enough oxygen to energize you.

For women, the problem is common.

Women’s iron reserves can be strained by menstruation, especially for those with a heavy flow. On top of that, a woman’s penchant for watching her weight adds to the risk of reduced iron stores. Pregnant women are also at risk. They need more iron because they’re sharing their supply with a growing baby. In fact, experts estimate that 5 to 15 percent of menstruating women and 30 percent of pregnant women have iron-deficiency anemia.

Cheryl says that not only were her periods very heavy, but after giving birth to two children, they became even worse. “At first I thought this extreme exhaustion was from caring for two little kids and holding down a part-time job. And I’m sure that contributed to it. But I soon realized that I wasn’t just tired, I was dysfunctionally tired, and I had to find out why.”

Robbing the Reserves

Iron-deficiency anemia in itself isn’t a disease but a symptom that there’s something else awry in the body, explains Suzanne McClure, M.D., Ph.D., assistant professor of medicine in the Division of Hematology- Oncology at the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston.

“It’s important to get to the root of the problem. For most women it’s a case of too much blood loss from menstruation and not enough iron in the diet to replace what’s lost. But if you’re past menopause and no longer bleeding every month, then your doctor needs to do a little investigating.”

Severe iron loss could be caused by a whole host of ailments, from a bleeding ulcer or hemorrhoids to a more serious condition such as gastrointestinal cancer, although this is rare.

And iron-deficiency anemia doesn’t always come on with three-alarm symptoms as Cheryl’s did. In fact, you may not even be aware that you have anemia.

Identifying Iron Deficiencies

According to the book’s authors, getting a blood test on a routine basis can help guard against anemia; however, if you’re a smoker, it’s much more complicated.

If you smoke you could be anemic even though your levels of hemoglobin, which carries oxygen through the blood, appear to be within the normal range, according to researchers from the Division of Nutrition at the Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta.

Here’s why.

The carbon monoxide in cigarettes bonds to hemoglobin to form a substance called carboxy-hemoglobin. This is an inactive form of hemoglobin that has no oxygen-carrying capacity. “To compensate for the decreased oxygen-delivery capacity, smokers maintain a higher hemoglobin level than nonsmokers,” say the researchers.

What’s more, the more cigarettes you smoke, the higher your hemoglobin reading will be, masking a possible anemia.

For more on this topic, or general information regarding women’s health, check out Women’s Encyclopedia of Health & Emotional Healing today!




Source Article from http://www.naturalnews.com/052146_anemia_blood_loss_iron_deficiency.html

You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

Leave a Reply

Powered by WordPress | Designed by: Premium WordPress Themes | Thanks to Themes Gallery, Bromoney and Wordpress Themes