Iron deficiency anaemia, its full name, is caused by lack of iron. This in turn causes a lack of adequate healthy red blood cells in the body.
It’s usually treated with iron tablets prescribed by a GP and by eating iron-rich foods – but how can you recognise if you have an iron deficiency in the first place.
According to the NHS, symptoms can include tiredness and lack of energy, shortness of breath, and noticeable heartbeats (heart palpitations).
Pale skin can be another indicator.
Less common symptoms of the condition are a headache, hearing ringing, buzzing or hissing noises inside your head (tinnitus), food tasting strange, feeling itchy, and a sore tongue.
Hair loss, wanting to eat non-food items (such as paper or ice), finding it hard to swallow, painful open sores in the corners of your mouth, spoon-shaped nails and restless legs syndrome can also be signs.
If you experience these symptoms you should see a GP. A simple blood test will then confirm if you are anaemic.
What happens if your iron deficiency is left untreated?
If the condition is left untreated, the NHS states it can make you more at risk of illness and infection or may increase your risk of developing complications that affect the heart or lungs – such as an abnormally fast heartbeat or heart failure.
In pregnancy, it can cause a greater risk of complications – before and after birth.
How is iron deficiency treated?
If you are diagnosed with iron deficiency by your GP you will usually be prescribed iron tablets to replace the iron that’s missing from your body. These are stronger than supplements you can buy on the high street.
The health body adds that drinking orange juice after you’ve taken the tablets can also help your body absorb the iron.
If your diet is the cause of your iron deficiency, your GP may recommends foods rich in iron you should eat more of.
These include dark-green leafy vegetables like watercress and curly kale, cereals and bread with extra iron in them, meat, and pulses, such as beans, peas and lentils.
Another mineral important for healthy functioning of the body is calcium.
Calcium deficiency, also known as hypocalcemia, may not cause any symptoms at first, but as the condition develops, signs may begin to show.
Severe symptoms of hypocalcemia include confusion or memory loss and easy fracturing of the bones.
Calcium has several important functions, including helping build strong bones and teeth, regulating muscle contractions, including heartbeat, and making sure blood clots normally.
It is also important to get enough vitamin D as it helps regulate the amount of calcium in the body.
Published at Thu, 10 May 2018 21:20:00 +0000