Iron is a mineral in the blood that helps the red blood cells transport oxygen through the body. It is a part of the blood’s hemoglobin. Iron deficiency is the most common of all blood deficiencies, and low levels can cause fatigue and low energy, interfere with brain function and decrease the effectiveness of the body’s immune system. Lack of sufficient iron levels can prevent people from having healthy skin, hair or nails.
There are more signs and symptoms that may be indications of an iron deficiency. The list includes a fast heartbeat or a feeling of shortness of breath, sores at the corner of the mouth, a sore tongue, cold hands or feet and brittle nails. Fortunately, iron deficiency is easy to detect and treat. One of the most effective forms of treatment is taking iron supplements.
As you know, iron levels in the blood can be detected with a simple blood test. If the results indicate that the iron level is too low, you may want to recommend iron supplements, especially if the patient is not able to keep the iron at the right level through dietary intake. Without sufficient iron levels, the body can’t make enough red blood cells to carry oxygen. This condition is referred to as iron deficiency anemia.
Women who are of menstruation age will likely need more iron than they will after menopause. This is because the blood loss during the menstrual cycle also causes the loss of iron. For this reason, the iron intake requirements typically go down after menopause.
During pregnancy or while breastfeeding, women will need more iron. Pregnant women with iron deficiency anemia are more likely to give birth prematurely or have babies with low birth weights. While the baby is developing in the womb, it is building up stores of iron. When nursing, there is usually not enough iron in the mother’s milk to meet all of the baby’s requirements.
Patients who frequently exercise intensely are also more likely to need iron supplements. This is because red blood cells can be destroyed during vigorous exercise.
Some medications can cause iron depletion or interfere with the body’s ability to absorb iron. This includes some over-the-counter medicines, like antacids. Some antibiotics, medicines for ulcers and ACE inhibitors to treat high blood pressure can cause low iron levels as well. Occasionally, people who take ACE inhibitors develop a cough as a side effect. In some of these cases, iron supplements are prescribed to counteract it.
Based out of St. Louis, Doctors Supplement Store only offers the highest quality iron supplements. If you want the best supplements for your practice to treat conditions such as iron deficiency anemia, contact us today!