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How Does Iron supplements help with Anemia?

Are you feeling constantly tired, looking pale, or short of breath often? In case you are going to say yes, then these are the symptoms of anemia. Yes, you have read it right. Despite lots of rest, still having low energy means you are suffering from anemia. What is anemia? In anemia, the quantity of red blood cells is below usual, or the hemoglobin content in the red blood cells is significantly less.

How does anemia affect your energy level?

With the help of iron-containing hemoglobin, red blood cells move oxygen from your lungs to bodily tissues. Even a slight change in cell size, number, or functions affects the transportation of oxygen to the different body parts. Because of this, your energy level is greatly affected.

What are the symptoms of anemia?

Did you know that some anemia patients don’t have a single symptom? In such cases, it is pretty tricky to diagnose the problem. But people with symptoms are easy to treat. Let’s have a look at anemia symptoms.

  1. The patient feels tiredness, despite a lot of sleep.
  2. The patient seems to be unusually pale.
  3. The patient might have difficulty in breathing.
  4. The patient can have headaches, chest pain, cold hands, and feet.
  5. The heart has to be more functional to pump oxygen-rich blood through your body, resulting in fast heartbeats.

If you have witnessed any of these symptoms, then it is an alarming situation for you. You must consult with your doctor to find out the real culprit.

What would be the possible reasons for anemia?

Various reasons can develop anemia in people. Let me introduce them.

  1.  Iron deficiency in the body is the most common reason for anemia. Iron is one of the hemoglobin components, the element in red blood cells that helps blood to move oxygen everywhere in the body. Iron deficiency means it is difficult for the body to make hemoglobin. And it leads to anemia.
  2. The second reason for anemia is the low intake of vitamin B12 and folic acid in the body. The blood cells are affected by a deficiency of these vitamins and resulting in anemia. It is called Megaloblastic anemia.
  3. The lack of an intrinsic factor that absorbs vitamin B12 can be a possible reason for anemia also. The intrinsic factor is a chemical substance released by cells in the stomach. It is called Pernicious anemia. 

Let’s dig more about iron deficiency anemia and how iron supplements help with anemia.

Who is more prone to develop iron deficiency anemia?

Iron deficiency can develop in any individual. But the following category of people falls at higher risk of anemia.

  1.  You need to check on your family members’ diets who are over 65. People over 65 mostly take iron-poor diets. And it can develop iron-deficiency anemia in them.
  2. Women are at higher risk of anemia. They lose blood during the menstrual cycle and childbirth.
  3. Sometimes people are on blood thinner medication like aspirin, Plavix®, Coumadin®, etc, these people also have a high risk of developing anemia.
  4. People with kidney failure are at higher risk. They have difficulty producing red blood cells.
  5. If a person has difficulty absorbing iron, he/she falls under the category of higher risk of anemia.

How does iron supplement help with anemia?

To treat anemia, doctors suggest having iron supplements orally. You can take iron supplements as a pill form, a liquid form, or a salt. It is essential to manage the iron-deficiency anemia with a daily dose of iron supplements. Iron supplements boost iron numbers and hemoglobin in your body. And it will help the blood to move oxygen everywhere in the body.

There are various oral and Intravenous supplements available. Let’s check them out.

Oral supplements

  1. Ferrous Sulfate: Did you know that Ferrous Sulfate is a crucial body mineral? It treats iron deficiency anemia.
  2. Ferrous Gluconate: This iron supplement treats low levels of iron in the body.
  3. Ferric Citrate: Ferric citrate treats iron deficiency anemia in grown-ups with chronic kidney disease.

Intravenous supplements

For some people, it isn’t easy to take iron supplements orally. So they take iron supplements intravenously. If you wonder why they cannot take supplements orally, let me dispel a few things.

  1.  It is not easy for everybody to tolerate oral supplements. Some side effects like nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, constipation make it challenging to take iron supplements.
  2. If a person is suffering from prolonged blood loss, then intravenous supplements are a good alternative.
  3. In case the gastrointestinal has some difficulty in absorbing iron, then the doctor suggests intravenous supplements.

 Iron supplement dosage required for anemia

To treat iron deficiency anemia, around 100 to 200 mg of elemental iron per day has been suggested for adults. We need to keep in mind that a high dose of iron is not good at all. The doctor recommends taking the initial dosage of 60 mg of elemental iron one or two times a day. It is difficult to absorb a high dose of iron at once and have various adverse effects like dark stool, constipation, and nausea.

Things to keep in mind:

  1. Never take an iron supplement with milk, caffeine, antacids, or calcium supplements. 
  2. Please have your iron supplement with a vitamin-C drink like orange juice.
  3. An empty stomach works well for iron supplements.

Besides these supplements, you can also have an iron-rich diet to fight back anemia. Let’s dive in to know about the foods that are excellent sources of iron.

  1. Spinach: 100 grams of raw spinach have 2.7 mg of iron.
  2. Beans: kidney beans, chickpeas have around 5 to 8 mg of iron per 100gm. Navy beans have 1.9mg of iron per 100gm.
  3. Brown rice: 195g Brown rice has 0.8mg iron.
  4. Leg of lamb: 100mg cooked lamb leg has 1.9mg of iron.
  5. Peanut butter: 100mg peanut butter has 4.6mg of iron.
  6. Eggs: 100mg boiled eggs have 4.6mg of iron. 
  7. Whole-wheat bread: 100mg whole-wheat bread has 2.4mg of iron.
  8. Tofu: 100mg tofu has 5.4mg of iron.
  9. Tuna: 100mg tuna contains 0.8mg of iron. 
  10. Lentils: 100mg boiled lentils contain 0.8mg of iron. 

I’m sure this write-up helps you to understand the importance of iron in your body. A significant amount of iron is required to maintain good health. Iron supplements are the best method to avoid complications that occur because of iron deficiency anemia. Life is full of chaos, and you might ignore yourself. But never do that. If you see any symptoms of anemia, take out some time, check with your doctor to find the root cause of anemia. The doctor will let you know whether iron supplements are the right fit to solve your problem or not.

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