Iron is an important mineral. The significant reason we require it is that it transports oxygen all through the body. Iron is needed for the production of red blood cells (a procedure known as haematopoiesis), but it is also part of haemoglobin (pigment of the red blood cells)
Once the oxygen is delivered the iron (as part of haemoglobin) ties the carbon dioxide which is then transported back to the lung from where it gets breathed out.
Each living cell—whether plant or creature—contains iron. Most of the iron in the body is found as part of two proteins called myoglobin, which is found in muscle cells and haemoglobin, which is found in red blood cells. Haemoglobin in blood carries the oxygen you inhale into your lungs to all tissues all through the body, and myoglobin in muscle holds and stores oxygen for use during this process.
Although, lot of people do not think of iron being a nutrient, but you might be surprised to know that low iron is the most widely recognised nutritional deficiency in the India. Nearly, 70-80% of women in India are iron deficient, as per the figures from the Canters for Disease Control and Prevention.
Iron is a vital component of hemoglobin, the substance in red blood cells that conveys oxygen from your lungs to transport it throughout your body. Hemoglobin represents almost two-thirds of the iron in body. If you don’t have enough iron, your body can’t produce sufficient healthy oxygen-carrying red blood cells. A lack of red blood cells is known as Anaemia (an iron deficiency).
Your body can’t get enough oxygen without healthy red blood cells. You’re going to become exhausted In case you are not getting adequate oxygen in the body. That exhaustion can influence everything from your immune system’s ability to brain function to fight off infections. If you are pregnant, extreme iron deficiency can increase your child’s risk of being born too early, or smaller than normal.
Iron has other vital functions, as well. “Iron is also important to maintain glowing and healthy skin, cells, nails, and hair,”
How Much Iron do You require?
The amount of iron you require every day relies upon your age, gender and overall health.
Newborn children and toddlers require more iron than adults because their bodies are growing so quickly. In adolescence, boys and girls require the same amount of iron — 10 milligrams per day from ages 4 to 8, and 8 mg daily from ages 9 to 13.
Starting at adolescence, a lady’s daily iron requirement increase. Ladies require more iron because they lose blood every month during their monthly period. That is the reason ladies from ages 19 to 50 need to get 18 mg of iron every day, while men the same age can get away with only 8 mg.
After menopause, a lady’s iron requirement drop as her menstrual cycle ends. After a lady starts menopause, both men and ladies require the same amount of iron – 8 mg every day.
You may require more iron, either from food or from an iron supplement, if you:
- Are pregnant or breastfeeding
- Have an ulcer, which can cause blood loss
- Have kidney failure (especially if you’re undergoing dialysis, which can remove iron from the body)
- Have a gastrointestinal issue that prevents your body from absorbing iron normally (such as celiac disease, or ulcerative colitis)
- Take too much of antacids, which can prevent your body from absorbing iron
- Have had weight loss (bariatric) surgery
- Work out a lot (extreme workout can destroy red blood cells)
If you are a vegetarian or vegan, you may also require to take an iron supplement, because the body does not absorb the type of iron found in plants and meat
How Do You Know If You’re Iron Deficient?
Individuals often don’t know they have iron deficiency or anaemia until they have signs or symptoms, for example, they appear pale, are exhausted, or have difficulty working out.
If you’re low in iron, you may also:
- Have fast heart beat and feel short of breath
- Have cold hands and feet
- Crave strange substances such as dirt or clay
- A sore tongue
- Have hair loss or brittle and spoon shaped nails
- Sores at the corner of the mouth
- Severe iron deficiency can cause trouble in swallowing
In case you are tired and dragging, consult with your doctor. It’s very easy to indentify and diagnose the different phase of iron deficiency with a simple blood test. Ladies who are pregnant and Individuals with a gastrointestinal disorder such as Crohn’s, ulcerative colitis, or celiac disease should have their iron tested on a regular basis.