Iron is a vital mineral to overall good health. Each of your cells contains some degree of iron, but the majority of the body’s iron is found in red blood cells. The role of red blood cells is to transport oxygen from the lungs to all the tissues and organs throughout the body.
Iron also has the role of producing energy from key nutrients and contributes to transmitting nerve impulses, which are the signals that direct the actions of various parts of the body. If someone has more iron than necessary, the body will readily store it to use in the future.
The average person gets all the iron their body needs from the food they consume. Sometimes it might be necessary to take iron supplements depending on certain conditions and situations. Here are a few instances that it might be necessary to take iron supplements:
You are experiencing blood loss on a regular basis.
Individuals who experience significant blood loss on a regular basis needs iron supplements. People with gastrointestinal bleeding due to medications or disorders like cancer or ulcers are at risk as well as regular blood donors. If you are consistently running low on iron, it is not recommended to donate blood regularly.
You have diagnosed iron deficiency anemia.
If you are diagnosed with iron deficiency anemia, it means there’s not enough iron for your blood cells to provide enough oxygen to your tissues and cells. Some symptoms of deficiency anemia include dizziness, weakness, difficulty concentrating and fatigue.
You are taking medications that deplete your iron.
Some medications can get in the way with your body’s ability to absorb iron properly. Some of these may include antibiotics like tetracycline and quinolones, or OTC (over-the-counter) antacids or medicines.
You are pregnant.
Women who aren’t pregnant or nursing require anywhere between 15 to 80 mg of iron every day. However, pregnant women need significantly more. According to experts, the RDA (recommended dietary allowance) regarding iron for women who are pregnant is 27 mg per day.
You are menstruating.
Menstruation depletes stored iron. According to researchers, 9 percent of all females between the ages of 12 to 49 have a deficiency in iron.
You have a diagnosis of ADHD.
Research reveals that children and young adults with ADHD may, in fact, benefit from supplementing with iron. In one case study, nearly 90 percent of all ADHD diagnosed children were low in iron as compared to only 18 percent of those without the disorder.
You are on kidney dialysis.
Most people on kidney dialysis require more iron. This is primarily because a small amount of blood is lost during dialysis. In addition, dialysis diets typically limit the amount of iron taken.
You regularly exercise.
According to experts, people who perform intense exercises on a regular basis may need as much as 30 percent more iron than other less active individuals. The reason is not exactly clear. However, one reason concludes that iron cycles throughout the body much more quickly in people who vigorously exercise regularly.
For best results, take iron supplements on an empty stomach since food can sometimes decrease how much iron your body actually absorbs. You should also take only the recommended dosage given to you by your doctor.
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