How to detect a lack of iron in the body

How to detect a lack of iron in the body

Iron deficiency anemia is considered a serious public health problem in Brazil and worldwide. It is therefore important to be aware of the signs that indicate this condition. It is estimated that this type of anemia (called iron deficiency) is much more common than the others, representing about 90%.

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This is because, as pointed out by the World Health Organization (WHO), iron is an essential nutrient for life and acts mainly in the manufacture of red blood cells and in the transport of oxygen to all cells in the body.

The Ministry of Health points out that it is necessary to carry out laboratory blood tests in order to confirm the diagnosis of iron deficiency anemia. The main signs and symptoms are:

  • generalized tiredness
  • Lack of appetite
  • Pallor of the skin and mucous membranes (inner part of the eye, gums)
  • Less willingness to work
  • Learning difficulties in children
  • Apathy

Experts reiterate that iron deficiency anemia has several adverse effects or consequences for health, such as:

  • Decreased productivity at work
  • Decreased learning ability
  • growth retardation
  • Apathy (morbidity)
  • Significant loss of cognitive ability
  • Low weight at birth
  • perinatal mortality

Furthermore, this type of anemia may be the primary cause of one in five deaths in parturients or be associated with up to 50% of deaths.

But then, how to get iron for the body? This is possible through food of animal and plant origin. “The best sources of iron are red meat, especially the liver of any animal and other viscera (offals), such as kidney and heart; poultry and fish meat, raw seafood”, says the Ministry of Health.

Among plant-based foods, dark green leafy vegetables (except spinach) stand out as a source of iron, such as watercress, cabbage, parsley, taioba; legumes (beans, fava beans, chickpeas, peas, lentils); whole or enriched grains; nuts and chestnuts, cane molasses, brown sugar, brown sugar. There are also iron-enriched foods available on the market, such as wheat and corn flour, breakfast cereals, among others.

Source: La Nacion, Ministry of Health