Who is at higher risk for iron deficiency anemia?
Have you ever wondered what groups are at high risk for iron deficiency anemia? Well, if you have, you are in luck because this article will explain those groups and why.
First, let’s explain what iron deficiency anemia is. Iron deficiency anemia is when there is a low red blood cell count. This can be caused by blood loss, poor production of red blood cells, and elevated rates of red blood cell destruction. Hemoglobin is the iron-containing protein molecule in red blood cells that helps to carry oxygen throughout the body, that is why iron is so important for the body.
How can you notice if you are iron deficient? Listed below are the top signs and symptoms of iron deficiency.
-Shortness of breath
-Headaches and dizziness
-Dry hair and skin
-Swelling and soreness of the tongue and mouth
-Cold hands and feet
High-risk groups of iron deficiency:
-Women: Women, in general, are at a higher risk of iron deficiency because of the blood loss during menstruation.
-Pregnant women: Because of the demands on the blood supply during pregnancy, pregnant women tend to get low in iron.
-The elderly: The elderly are at high risk because of other health conditions, diseases like diabetes, kidney disease, cancer, inflammatory bowel disease, and cardiovascular disease have all been linked to a higher chance of anemia.
-Vegetarians or Vegans: Meat is the number one source of iron, and so because vegetarians and vegans do not eat meat, it puts them at risk. Iron that comes from grains and vegetables has a hard time absorbing into the body.
-Individuals who have had bariatric surgery: Iron deficiency is a side effect after surgery because of the changes made during the surgery. Most iron is absorbed by foods like meat, legumes, and grains. Those foods are absorbed in the small intestine. But after surgery, the food will bypass the small intestine and will not absorb, which will cause iron deficiency.
-Infants and children: Infants with low birth weight or born premature, usually have a difficult time getting enough iron from breast milk or formula. Children will also need extra iron during growth spurts, because of its important role in muscle development.
If you fall under one of these high-risk groups mentioned above, you should consider an iron supplement. Iron supplements are designed to absorb iron into the body.
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