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Iron deficiency in Women. Why Choosing The Right Supplement Is Important.

Iron deficiency in Women. Why Choosing The Right Supplement Is Important.

Iron deficiency in Women. Why Choosing The Right Supplement Is Important.

We know that Iron is an essential mineral in our bodies needed for the production of Haemoglobin, which is how our red blood cells transport oxygen to our organs and muscles. Data shows that iron deficiency in Australia has been increasing in recent years and more than one million Aussies are now iron deficient (1).

Signs that our vital organs are not getting enough oxygen due to iron deficiency include (2);

  • Extreme fatigue
  • Weakness
  • Pale skin
  • Chest pain, fast heartbeat or shortness of breath
  • Headache, dizziness or lightheadedness
  • Cold hands and feet
  • Inflammation or soreness of your tongue
  • Brittle nails
  • Unusual cravings for non-nutritive substances, such as ice, dirt or starch
  • Poor appetite, especially in infants and children with iron deficiency anaemia

Iron deficiency occurs most commonly in Australia when there is a increased need for the mineral, such as in pregnancy or a sustained loss of iron through heavy menstruation or internal bleeding from stomach ulcers, putting women as the highest group at risk of Iron deficiency, followed by infants and children. Iron deficiency can be treated by using iron supplements but choosing the right one is important for compliance and effectiveness. Studies have found that the number one reason people stop taking their iron supplement is due to constipation, resulting in up to 50% of non-adherence (3) If you have constipation from iron, one excellent solution is to change the type of iron salt you are taking. Ferrous gluconate (Ferrous +C) is a less constipating form of iron (4) and has added Vitamin C for enhanced absorption to improve blood iron levels and stores.

Written by Cyndi Khawaja
B.Science (Nutrition) M.Pharm

(1) https://www.medibank.com.au/livebetter/health-brief/health-insights/more-than-1-million-aussiesiron-deficient/
(2) https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/iron-deficiency-anemia/symptoms-causes/ syc-20355034
(3) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4336293/ (4) https://chicagohealthonline.com/there-is-relief-for-side-effects-of-iron-supplements/

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