understanding iron deficiency


understanding iron deficiency

Iron, this precious mineral, is one of the constituents of hemoglobin that plays a major role in our body. We take you through this article to discover iron, its benefits for the body and the effects of iron deficiency.

Our iron needs

Iron is the chemical element that is essential for the body to function properly. The human body recycles and retains much of the iron. Indeed, an adult on average stores between 1 and 3 g of iron in his body. About 1 mg of iron is lost each day by shedding dead cells. Women in pre-menopause have an average daily loss of about 2 mg. Children and adolescents have increasing needs during growth and puberty. Finally, pregnant women have a great need for iron during pregnancy due to the rapid development of the placenta and fetus.

The average daily nutritional requirement for iron is 7 mg for an adult male and 12.3 mg for an adult female. These values ​​correspond to consumption and loss requirements, and are therefore minimum recommended intake values.

In view of the body’s iron requirements, this lack should be compensated for with balanced foods for the proper functioning of its vital organs.

Causes and symptoms of a lack of iron in the body

Several causes may well be at the origin of an iron deficiency such as when, over a prolonged period, the iron intake is no longer sufficient to meet the body’s needs, possibly exceeding our storage capacity. . The occurrence of iron deficiency can have several causes such as:

  • Chronic blood loss ;
  • Parasitic diseases ;
  • Infections such as hookworms and trochus, occult bleeding ;
  • A hemorrhoid at an advanced stage ;
  • Etc.

    This deficiency may well have consequences on the functioning of our vital organs and our health in general. The main consequence of iron deficiency is anemia; fatigue and dizziness; pain, physical weakening of the immune system, shortness of breath on exertion; hair loss; sensitivity to cold, etc. A person with iron deficiency may experience one or more of these symptoms. Lack of iron in a pregnant woman can stop the development of the fetus.
    It is better to prevent this deficiency than to cure it.

How to prevent iron deficiency ?

In our body, this trace element iron plays a fundamental role. It makes hemoglobin, which is used by red blood cells to carry oxygen throughout the body and release carbon dioxide; myoglobin, a protein in muscle that stores oxygen; and many enzymes involved in respiration or the production of neurotransmitters.
Its lack in the body can be a source of discomfort and dysfunction of certain organs.

It is therefore advisable to take precautions to avoid iron deficiency by increasing the intake of vitamin C through a balanced diet of vegetables and fruits, for example, which increases the absorption of iron. Limit black tea, coffee and wine as much as possible, which slows assimilation. Eat foods rich in iron, or wheat germ and spices.

Remember that every day we lose iron, and we must compensate for this loss by a daily iron intake by a suitable diet rich in vitamin C.