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  4. Difficulty in breathing can be a sign of iron deficiency; here's what you should add to your diet

Difficulty in breathing can be a sign of iron deficiency; here's what you should add to your diet

Iron deficiency in the body reduces the hemoglobin levels in the body. But eating a balanced diet can give you sufficient energy to promote healthy living. Check signs and symptoms if your balanced diet doesn't contain iron.

Written By: Health Desk New Delhi Published on: December 25, 2022 11:45 IST
A man facing breathing issues
Image Source : FREEPIK A man facing breathing issues

One can suffer from iron deficiency at any age. It is an important component of blood and the body needs enough hemoglobin to regulate oxygen levels. Due to insufficient iron in your diet, a person may have regular mood swings and may also have symptoms of dizziness, as their body becomes lazy and unstable. It becomes more important to include this mineral in your diet in such times because of rising COVID-19 cases. 

Signs and symptoms of iron deficiency

Here are some common signs and symptoms one may face if they have iron deficiency:

1. Breathing problems 

2. Severe headaches 
3. Palpitations of heart 
4. Soreness and Swelling of your mouth 
5. Restlessness in legs 
6. Brittle and spoon-shaped fingernails 
7. Strange cravings 
8. Depression 
9. Poor appetite 

High Iron deficiency in Women

Menstruation: As per a survey conducted by National Family Heath Survey, nearly 50 percent of Indian women, suffer from iron deficiency. Less intake of iron indicates lack of hemoglobin synthesis which can create complications in the oxygen level. This can also lead to heavy periods and heavy periods scan leads to blood loss. 

Pregnancy: Severe iron deficiency can also lead to pregnancy. It can also result in the risk of premature birth. If iron deficiency occurs in women during pregnancy then it can lead to low weight in babies and postpartum depression.    

What to eat to avoid iron deficiency

If this remains unchecked, it can lead to severe complications like heart problems, trouble during pregnancy and growth issues. Iron deficiency in the body can occur due to common causes such as poor diet, heavy blood loss, pregnancy, and the body's decreased ability to absorb iron.

To avoid these complications, it is very crucial to maintain good iron intake. The risk of iron deficiency can be reduced by consumption of foods rich in iron. There are two types of iron in foods: Heme iron and Nonheme iron, explains Shelatkar . Heme iron is found in meat, poultry, and seafood. Non Heme iron is found in plant foods and foods fortified with iron. Some of the foods that should be consumed include:

  • Red meat, pork and poultry
  • Seafood
  • Eggs
  • Beans
  • Dark green leafy vegetables, such as spinach
  • Dried fruit, such as raisins and apricots
  • Iron-fortified cereals, breads and pastas
  • Peas

The body absorbs more iron from meat as opposed to other sources of food. Thus, vegetarians and people who choose not to consume meat may need to increase intake of plant-based foods that are rich in iron, in order to get the same levels of the mineral as one who consumes meat, Shelatkar points out.

The body's absorption of iron can be boosted by eating foods rich in Vitamin C, in order to achieve the desired levels, as they help the stomach absorb iron from food. Some of the best foods that aid in this process include fruits and vegetables like broccoli, tomatoes, kiwis, oranges, strawberries and peppers.

Other than this, one can use iron supplements. Care must be taken not to overdo it, as there can be unpleasant side effects of consuming too many iron supplements like stomach pain, constipation or diarrhoea, heartburn and nausea. Slow release capsules or tablets or low dose liquid supplements could be ideal.

Disclaimer: The article is for educational and informational purposes only. It does not constitute as medical advice. Please consult a doctor before starting any treatment.

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