What are the health benefits of iron supplements? One of the benefits is it provides you with a lot of energy while keeping you healthy. Iron supplements play a role if you are not getting enough iron in your diet which would mean you are iron deficient. And this affects quite a bit of North Americans.
What are the health benefits of iron supplements? Photo credit: iStock-ayo888
Iron deficiency anemia is when your blood doesn’t contain enough healthy oxygen carrying red blood cells. And some of the symptoms of this are:
- Pale skin
- Lack of energy
- Hair Loss
- Difficulty swallowing or sore tongue
- Heart palpitations
- Shortness of breath
The best way to identify if you have IDA or low levels of iron is to consult your healthcare provider. Some of the types of people that would be low in iron and would need to obtain an iron supplement would be:
- Infants and young kids
- Pregnant women
- Women experience heavy menstruation
- People with cancer
- People with heart failure
- People with alcoholism
- Following a vegetarian diet
- People with blood disorders such as sickle anemia or thalassemia
- People with gastrointestinal disorders like celiac disease, Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis.
It is important to understand if you take iron supplements when it’s unnecessary it could harm your health. Why? Because it contains high doses of iron which can cause digestive issues and affect your gut.
Some of the negative side effects are cell damage, organ failure, coma or even death. These side effects can be quite prominent in children.
Here are some of the stages of iron deficiency.
- Mild functional iron deficiency-This condition is when you have depleted iron stores with ferritin levels lower than 10 mcg/L. And a normal red blood cell count with hemoglobin above 12 g/DL.
- Mild iron deficiency-This condition consists of low iron stores with ferritin levels between 10-30 mcg/L. As well as red blood cell count with hemoglobin above 12 g/DL.
- Iron deficiency anemia- It is a condition when you have depleted iron stores with ferritin levels lower than 10 mcg/L.
One of the best ways to diagnose iron deficiency status is through either hemoglobin or hematocrit tests. People who have no history of low iron levels should get tested at least once a year.
“One of the benefits is it provides you with a lot of energy while keeping you healthy.” Celebrity Fitness & Nutrition Expert Obi Obadike
The Bottom Line are iron supplements would be only used if you are deficient in iron and don’t get enough iron in your diet. The types of people that are prone to low iron levels are pregnant women, young children, infants, and cancer patients. These types of people should get their iron tested regularly.
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