Globally Iron Deficiency Anaemia is a big problem. The most common cause for many people is maintaining optimum iron stores through food. Causes of iron deficiency vary, based on age, gender, and socioeconomic status and general health.
A lack of iron containing foods associated with Vegan and vegetarian diets, or budget restraints prevent adequate dietary intake of iron containing foods and may lead to chronic iron deficiency anaemia.
Chronic intestinal, inflammatory problems and menstrual problems in women, may all inhibit or deplete the iron levels at any age. If iron levels become low there is a reasonable chance other vitamins and mineral are as well.
Iron deficiency anemia is a common type of anemia — a condition in which blood lacks adequate healthy red blood cells. Red blood cells carry oxygen to the body’s tissues to give us lots of energy for daily living.
Tannins from tea, coffee, high levels of oxalates common in silver beet and beetroot and too high levels dietary fibre. Alcohol abuse results in inflammation the digestive tract which then may inhibit the uptake of iron. Foods and Drugs that Impair Iron Absorption:
– Caffeinated beverages (especially tea)
– Calcium containing foods and beverages
– Calcium supplements – Antacids
– H-2 receptor blockers – Proton pump inhibitors
There is a protein connected to inflammation response in the body that can slow down the absorption of iron called hepcidin. If iron supplementation is intermittent, eg every second day rather than everyday, minimizes the effects this protein has. Other versions are cheaper and more widely used however Iron Bisglycinate Chelate (FeBC) has been shown to significantly increase iron stores and is our preferred version. The dose is dependent on age and health status.
This brings us to the opposite end of the Iron story – Heamochromatosis
This inherited condition is a result of very high iron levels and is more common in men. For those who have symptoms that are not treated significant effects on the cardiovascular system can occur. As a result we will not take peoples word for it that they need iron and that is especially men. Be warned, if you are a male do not take iron unless you have had blood tests.
So to summarise – eat well, haem and non-heam iron foods, take vitamin c with meals and avoid certain foods mentioned above.
As always, our team at Bodywise will ask questions about your health in some detail during any interaction over the counter. When it comes to iron, we may say – get a blood test first.
If in doubt – come talk to us.