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naatz
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INFORMATION: Iron Deficiency

I've been diagnosed with iron deficiency some months ago. Since it's a pretty common problem with women, I thought I'd put here the information I gathered, in very simple terms for those who can't find themselves in academic papers {like me}.

WHAT IS IRON?
Iron is mainly a mineral we need for the blood. It's the main ingredient of hemoglobin, which is found in red blood cells. Hemoglobin causes the movement of oxygen in our bodies. It's those little trucks who give your muscles the power to move.

HOW IS IRON DEFICIENCY CAUSED?
Iron deficiency is caused by a diet without iron and heavy blood loss, such as menstruation.

WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS?
- Lack of energy, feeling tired and weakness.
- Feeling unnaturally cold.
- Inability to lose weight.
- Rapid and forceful heart-beat.
- Dizziness when changing position (sitting to standing).
- Finger nails become thin, brittle and white. They may grow abnormally and get a spoon-shaped appearance.
- Severe menstrual pain and bleeding.
- Decreased appetite especially in children.
- Headache - frontal-
- Shortness of breath during exercise. (even during a simple exercise like walking)
- Brittle hair.
- A strong desire to eat nonfoods such as ice, paint or dirt. A condition called pica.
- Disturbed sleep.
- Abdominal pain.

Against popular belief, iron does not only affect oxygen transport in the body. It also affects metabolism regulation. Iron is required for the brain to work properly, and messes up with their temperature regulation. {For example, I was alsways cold before getting treated for it.}

"iron deficiency can do much more harm than merely causing anemia; it can have widespread effects -- from damaging a person's ability to think to weakening their resistance to infection."

HOW DO WE TREAT IRON DEFICIENCT?
The best way is to consume it through foods. However, not all food sources that contain iron are absorbed equally. Iron consumed from spinach, for example, is absorbed in a lesser degree from iron consumed from liver. Iron is absorbed best when consumed with vitamin C and whole grains.

There is also iron supplements. Iron supplements are to be taken if the doctor prescribes them to you, and even then there are rules for consuming them:
- Take the iron supplement daily.
- Do not consume with the iron {and the span of an hour both before and after} diary products, eggs, caffeine and cocoa.
- You should eat a meal of carbs {I eat oatmeal} before taking it, and right after take it with a fruit juice {orange juice for me}, to increase absorption rate. I understand that eating before taking the supplement {tablet, valid for capsule I think}, you must eat.

If I was wrong, or didn't put information you feel I should've, feel free to tell me! :D

{Main resource is Mama's Health}

|Meduza|
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