You made a new year resolution to hit the gym every day but gave up on the target because you were too tired? You wanted to dance at a friends’ wedding, but the rehearsals made you feel out of breath often? If you can relate to either of these situations, then you better get your iron levels checked because feeling tired without a strong reason can be a sign of iron deficiency.
What is Iron Deficiency?
Iron deficiency is one of the most common deficiencies in the world. There are many high-risk groups present in Canada as well. So, reading about it and learning how to fight it is worth your time. In simple terms, iron deficiency occurs when your body doesn’t have adequate iron levels. Iron plays a key role in different physiological functions such as adenosine triphosphate production (ATP) and transporting oxygen to the red blood cells.
Common signs of low iron levels are increased fatigue, decreased concentration, low moods, reduced performance, hair loss, etc. Some health issues associated with low iron levels are depression, optimal thyroid function, and weight gain.
How to Test Your Iron Levels?
If you suspect that your iron levels are low, you should go for a blood test for ferritin. The ideal levels for men are 100 while for women, the ideal levels are 70. Ferritin is an iron storage protein that ensures that iron remains non-toxic to the cells around it and is available in usable or dissolvable state at all times.
Who is More Likely to Have an Iron Deficiency?
Marathon runners, people who take aspirin regularly, pregnant women, individuals with ulcers, parasitic infections and hemorrhoids, gastrointestinal cancers, Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis and other conditions that lead to blood loss are at high risk of having an iron deficiency.
The most obvious solution to the problem of low iron levels is to buy iron supplements from a leading online store like Yes Wellness where you can find genuine products at great prices. Make sure you choose an iron citrate supplement from the website because it doesn’t lead to issues like constipation. It is also advised that you take at least 1000 mg of vitamin C because it will ensure that the iron you get from the supplement is easily absorbed in the digestive tract.
In case you don’t want to or can’t take iron supplements for some reason, you can still increase your iron levels. You just need to know about the top iron-rich food sources and include it in your diet. Though this change would need some time and patience from your end, it is a safe option.
Avoid Too Much Iron
While increasing your intake of iron-rich foods or depending on iron supplements, you should know that you can overdo the iron intake. Yes, excessive levels of iron are bad news because you become at risk for several problems like heart disease or increased levels of inflammation. Men and postmenopausal women are more at risk of having too much iron in the body. If you are among them, you should contact a doctor to guide you. Also, never take iron supplements in more quantities than the recommended doses because it can lead to a lot of health issues and dangerous side effects.
How to Maximize Iron Absorption?
If you want to maximize your body’s ability to absorb iron, you should make sure that you fix your diet and lifestyle habits. For instance, people who have too much caffeine by having coffee or cold drinks may not be able to absorb iron easily. Similarly, people who have a high level of alcohol in their bodies might find it hard to absorb iron. Even calcium can influence the way your body absorbs iron. So, you should make sure that you never take these to supplements at the same time and have at least four to five-hour gap in the intake of both.
The other medications you are taking can also influence iron absorption, or it can affect the effectiveness of those medications. For instance, if you take thyroid medications regularly and you agree to have iron supplements, you should not take the supplement with the medication as it can reduce the effectiveness of thyroid medication. An ideal solution would be to take thyroid medication in the morning and iron at lunchtime.
We hope that now you have a clear idea of how to get adequate levels of iron and how to maximize the benefits of iron supplements. Use this information to live a healthier and energetic life. You can also get this information rechecked with your doctor to be 100 percent sure of your decision of taking iron supplements. As most doctors prescribe iron supplements these days, there will hardly be a doctor who would stop or discourage you.