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Iron deficiency and Treatment: What you must know

Iron is one of the most important elements in our body. It plays an essential role in the

functioning of proteins to ensure brain function and development, optimize the immune

system as well as aid in energy generation. Our red blood cells also use iron to build

hemoglobin for delivering oxygen in the body.

Iron deficiency occurs due to insufficient iron supply to meet the body’s demand. In late

stage, anaemia happens and severe anemia can be life-threatening as it leads to heart


Unfortunately, in east and southeast Asia, about 20% of women (age 15- 49) suffer from

iron deficiency, usually from a lack of iron. Commonly, this is due to poor iron intake

(such as vegetarian diet) or heavy menstrual blood loss.

Signs of iron deficiency include weakness, fatigue, difficulty in concentrating, insomnia

or brittle hair and nails.

Diagnosis and Treatment

A simple blood test is needed to diagnose. A low ferritin level <30μg/L indicates

iron deficiency and a haemoglobin <12 g/dl suggests anaemia.

Treatment involves dietary intake of food rich in iron (such as spinach, broccoli, red

meats and liver) and/or iron supplement. For mild deficiency, oral iron supplement is

sufficient. In severe iron deficiency anaemia, intravenous iron infusion is recommended.

Intravenous supplementation is faster replacement with no gastrointestinal side-effect

such as constipation. Blood transfusion is rarely indicated.

#iron_deficiency #amemia #hemoglobin #beauty_and_diet

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