Irritability, Hair Loss And 3 More Unexpected Effects Of Iron Deficiency In The Body

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Irritability, Hair Loss And 3 More Unexpected Effects Of Iron Deficiency In The Body
Irritability, Hair Loss And 3 More Unexpected Effects Of Iron Deficiency In The Body

Video: Irritability, Hair Loss And 3 More Unexpected Effects Of Iron Deficiency In The Body

Video: Hair Loss And Iron Deficiency In Women | English | DMH 2022, December

"Anemia", "pale sickness", "poor blood" As soon as iron deficiency was not called during the existence of mankind. Why is so much attention paid to the level of this micronutrient? How its deficiency affects health and why it is important for you to check your iron level - answers to these and other questions in the material of and gastroenterologist Anna Borisova.


Iron plays a significant role in the body: it participates in cell growth, blood formation, tissue respiration, energy and cholesterol metabolism, affects the activity of the endocrine and immune systems, is an integral part of enzymes, coenzymes, proteins.

With his participation, water-soluble vitamins are assimilated. With its help, the liver detoxifies

Iron deficiency symptoms

Therefore, iron deficiency cannot remain invisible to the body and has many different manifestations:

  • asthenic syndrome develops (increased irritability, tearfulness, fatigue, chronic fatigue, weakness, deterioration of mood),
  • headaches, dizziness, decreased attention, memory impairment appear,
  • heartbeat increases, extrasystoles may appear, manifested by a periodic sensation of interruptions in the work of the heart,
  • appetite worsens, dysphagic phenomena may appear (difficulty in swallowing food, a feeling of "lump" in the throat, heaviness in the stomach, a feeling of quick satiety), dyspeptic symptoms, including bloating, constipation, burning and dry lips,
  • dry and itchy skin, brittle nails, hair loss and thinning.


With iron deficiency, it is impossible to reduce weight, improve the condition of the skin, hair, nails. Children with iron deficiency often lag behind in development, often catch colds. The body first of all saturates hemoglobin with iron and only then other enzymes, and therefore a normal hemoglobin level does not indicate a sufficient amount of iron in the body.

Accordingly, it is very important to correctly investigate not only the presence of anemia (decreased hemoglobin level), but also latent iron deficiency (when the hemoglobin level is normal, but the iron metabolism indicators signal a decrease in serum iron and / or ferritin, transferrin and other indicators). Depending on the laboratory, the normal level of hemoglobin ranges from 120-140 g / l, serum iron - from 5 to 35 µmol / l, ferritin from 60 to 150 µg / l. When iron deficiency is detected, a full examination by a specialist is required in order to identify the cause of the loss or non-assimilation of iron by the body. It is also important to consider the level of magnesium, zinc, calcium, chromium, phosphates in the body. These and other trace elements negatively affect iron metabolism. Without taking into account the features, it is impossible to fully restore the iron deficiency.

Sources of iron

The body can receive iron from food, more actively from animal products, because there it is in the form of muscle myoglobin and blood hemoglobin, which contributes to easier and faster absorption. Coming from plant foods, iron must undergo a series of transformations. At the same time, certain components are required for its assimilation, for example, vitamin C.

Among animal products, iron is found in large quantities in red meat (turkey, pork, lamb, rabbit, beef), beef liver, tongue, egg yolk, and in smaller amounts in fish and dairy products.

From plant products, raspberries are the leader in iron content.They are also rich in legumes (beans, peas, lentils), seaweed, dried apricots, millet, buckwheat, some vegetables (potatoes, cabbage, pumpkin, avocado, dark green vegetables, porcini mushrooms, herbs), hazelnuts, berries and fruits (pomegranate, peach, apples, plum, pear, quince, figs, blackberries, rose hips). Of course, you need to take into account individual food intolerances.

Iron consumption rates per day differ depending on age, gender, physiological conditions:

The daily requirement of an adult male for iron is about 10 mg.

In women, this need is more pronounced - from 15 to 20 mg per day. This is due to physiological characteristics, monthly blood loss. Gynecologists know how vulnerable women with adenomyosis, endometriosis, and uterine myoma are in relation to iron deficiencies. During pregnancy, the need for iron increases significantly.

With physical exertion and sports, the need for an adult body in iron varies: from 20-25 mg / day with cardio loads and playing sports to 40-45 mg / day (running, skiing, weightlifting). Therefore, it is important to regularly examine the level of markers of iron metabolism in the body.

Depending on age, children need 5 to 15 mg of iron per day.

How is it treated

In cases where iron levels are normal and there is no chronic disease that lowers iron stores, eating iron-rich foods on a regular basis is often sufficient. It should be borne in mind that vegetarians are at risk of iron deficiency in the body. This is especially critical for children.

But we must not forget that only about 10% of the iron consumed inside can be absorbed by the body through the gastrointestinal tract, which on average is about 1.5-2 mg per day.

In the case of already developed iron deficiency and, especially, anemia, an increase in the amount of iron in the diet is not able to normalize its level. Its additional introduction is required, taking into account not only the amount, but also the bioavailability, the ability of the body to assimilate the substance and preserve it.

There are different ways for this: oral (chelated, heme forms, complex drugs), parenteral (intravenous).

With a pronounced / chronic decrease in the level of iron storage in the body, ingestion of oral preparations / dietary supplements (in the form of tablets, capsules, ampoules) is not able to provide even the daily needs of the body, and even more so to accumulate iron and normalize its level. With oral administration of iron, a lot of side effects are also often observed (constipation, heaviness in the abdomen, nausea, vomiting, etc.). And these drugs are prescribed for at least several months. Given the often poor tolerance, the need for long-term administration of high doses to obtain a slow delayed effect, many people stop taking drugs by mouth and stop treatment. As a result, about a quarter of the population live with latent iron deficiency, with a reduced quality of life, with often incorrect treatment of various symptoms, with the subsequent development of already chronic diseases. The statistics are especially sad among women.

Therefore, in situations of blood loss (acute or chronic, which is often observed in chronic conditions), with severe iron deficiencies, parenteral forms of iron (intravenous drip infusion) are successfully used to quickly provide the body with this important microelement.

The use of high-quality drugs from trusted manufacturers, in individually selected doses with control of the human condition after infusion, allows you to quickly normalize the level of iron, including, with hidden iron deficiencies, improve the condition and well-being of a person, and in the future, choose the route and conditions for the administration of iron that is suitable for a particular person.

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