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Are you tired, struggle concentrating with brain fog and sick of catching every cold?

Hemoglobin is a protein found in red blood cells. It contains a large amount of iron and helps transport oxygen from the lungs to the rest of the body. Anemia occurs when the number of red blood cells have reduced OR quantity of haemoglobin within red blood cells has been reduced. Without treatment, individuals who don’t receive adequate intakes of iron to meet their body’s needs will eventually deplete their iron stores and develop iron deficiency anemia. An anemic person’s heart is working a lot harder since it has to get whatever oxygen there is available, to all the muscles and organs.

High-risk groups include menstruating women, pregnant and lactating women, babies and toddlers, teenage girls and female athletes.

Iron deficiency, Immunity, Headaches and Mental Health

The Medibank Better Health Index found that those suffering from iron deficiency and anemia were far more likely to present with signs of a low immune system and frequent headaches. Statistics alone show that 62 percent were affected by the common cold in the last 12 months compared with 46.8 percent of the general population. The Index also showed that  35.8 percent of  iron deficient individuals anaemics also presented with more anxiety symptoms compared with 17.4 percent of the general population. The results for depression showed similar findings.

Signs and Symptoms:

  • Lethargy / Low energy
  • Shortness of breath
  • Dizziness
  • Headaches
  • Heart palpitations / Rapid heart beat
  • Mood swings / Irritability
  • Unusually pale or Flush skin
  • Poor attention span

High Risks groups:

  • Women with heavy menstrual flows
  • Pregnant women
  • Post partum women / Breastfeeding women
  • Post surgery
  • Low nutrient diet
  • Vegetarians/Vegans

Prevention:

  • Eat a diet rich in iron
  • Dark leafy vegetables: spinach, kale, mustard greens, dandelion greens, brussel sprouts, cabbage, etc.
  • Animal protein: steak, chicken, turkey, pork, liver, etc.
  • Shell fish: mussels, clams, oysters, scallops, etc.
  • Oily fish: sardines, anchovies, smelts, herring, salmon, tuna, mackerel, etc.
  • Other plant foods: seeds, beans, tofu, broccoli, potatoes,
  • Reduce consumption of empty calories and processed foods e.g.  lollies, cakes/pastries, white flour, refined sugar, most canned and prepared or “fast food,  sodas, fruit punches, sweet tea, etc.
  • Have iron levels checked (particularly if you are at high risk or have any of the signs and symptoms of iron deficiency anemia)
  • Follow doctor’s advice

If you’re concerned, speak with your GP. They can track your blood levels.

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