Are you one of many people who are low in iron?
Iron deficiency is the most common nutritional deficiency in Australia. It is significantly under-diagnosed. For example, 34% of Australian women of child bearing age are iron deficient.
Feeling exhausted and rundown? You may not be getting enough iron for your needs. Iron is an essential mineral that has a number of jobs in the body, including making healthy red blood cells. These deliver oxygen to all of your other cells where it is used to create energy – so it is not surprising that you can feel extremely fatigued if you are low in iron.
Frequent colds or flu
Impaired cognitive (brain) function
Paleness on the inside of lower eyelids
Poor response to thyroid medication
Pregnant or menstruating women
Vegetarians and vegans
It is essential to know your iron level before taking an iron supplement as having too much iron can be dangerous. It is also important for your doctor to check if there are other causes of low iron.
Your diet should always be the first place you obtain iron. Animal sources of iron (haem iron) include beef, fish, chicken, kangaroo, lamb and sardines. Vegetarian sources of (non haem) iron include dark leafy greens such as spinach, silver beet and kale.
Symptoms such as bloating, diarrhoea and constipation are warnings that your digestive system is not healthy and needs to be healed so that you can absorb the nutrition that your body needs.
Blood tests for iron levels are easily requested if you have any of the above symptoms or lifestyle risks. You need to know that your results are at an optimal level as distinct from just average and take well tolerated and well absorbed supplements. You are welcome to see me to discuss iron deficiency as well as any other causes of feeling unwell or tired.
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