Causes and signs of iron deficiency in the female body
Iron is one of the most important microelements for the organism, as it participates in the process of hematopoiesis, immune defense, enters with the composition of hormones and various enzymes. A general blood test for hemoglobin (iron content) is an indicative method of detecting abnormalities in the state of health. For women, due to the peculiarity of their physiology, the lack of iron in the body can arise due to abundant periods of men, during pregnancy or diseases of the genital area. Therefore, it is especially important to eat right to compensate for the deficit.
- What role does iron play in the body?
- Causes of iron deficiency in women
- Symptoms of iron deficiency in the female body
- Products with the highest iron content
What role does iron play in the body?
The normal iron content is important for all people, but it is women who are most often deficient in this element due to regular loss of blood during menstruation. A microelement is necessary for carrying out various functions:
- Transportation of oxygen. Iron is part of the hemoglobin of blood, a protein from which red blood cells are built. Hemoglobin is able to enter into a reversible reaction with oxygen, transferring it with the flow of blood from the lungs to the tissues of other organs. Here he gives oxygen, which is necessary for the course of vital biochemical processes. The resulting carbon dioxide is released through the lungs through the hemoglobin. It provides a "breathing" of cells.
- Synthesis of proteins and enzymes. Participates in the reactions of the formation of proteins and enzymes necessary for metabolism, the destruction of toxins in the liver, the creation of DNA, the synthesis of blood cells. The content of iron depends on the composition of blood, the level of leukocytes, which perform the function of protection from infection.
- Synthesis of hormones. Iron is an essential component of creating thyroid hormones. With the help of these hormones and with the involvement of the nervous and immune systems, the work of the heart, kidneys, brain and other organs is regulated.
The daily requirement for iron for women is 18 μg (for men - 10 μg). In pregnancy, it is twice as large. The cause of this is hormonal changes that lead to fluid retention, dilution of blood, a decrease in hemoglobin concentration. The body starts to spend iron from the "stores" contained in muscle tissue, bone marrow, liver. This leads to increased fatigue, susceptibility to infectious diseases, nervous system disorders. For fetal growth, the construction of cells also requires iron. Deficiency affects its development.
Iron is contained in the blood (about 68%), as well as the liver, muscles, brain, spleen. The total amount in tissues is approximately 3.5 grams.
Causes of iron deficiency in women
Lack of iron in the body can occur as a result of two factors: increased iron consumption and insufficient intake.
Increased consumption of iron
One of the reasons for the increase in expenditure in the body can be a large loss of blood. In women, during one menstrual period, about 80 ml of blood is normally released. If there are dysfunctional disorders associated with diseases of the organs of the reproductive system (endometriosis, uterine myoma, adenomyosis), uterine bleeding occurs . They also appear due to vascular damage during scraping, abortion, childbirth. Reducing the volume of circulating blood leads to iron deficiency anemia (anemia).
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Internal bleeding also occurs with diseases of the stomach and intestines, during various operations, injuries. The lack of iron leads to frequent donations of blood donors.
The second reason for the increased consumption of iron in the female body are physiological processes, which include pregnancy, breastfeeding, a period of growth and physical development, puberty.
Video: Significance of hemoglobin during pregnancy. The Right Diet
Addition: With exercise, sports, energy costs increase. Enzymes are required to break down food and release energy. In connection with this, the consumption of iron increases.
Insufficient intake of iron
In the body, iron is not produced. The source of its receipt is food. Assimilation of iron improves in the presence of copper, cobalt, manganese, ascorbic acid. Excess of calcium worsens this process.
The iron entering the body with food may not be enough in the following cases:
- the use of products with a small content, a vegetarian food system;
- poor absorption of nutrients due to gastritis, increased acidity of the stomach;
- menopause , during which the absorption of nutrients in women is significantly reduced;
- lack of vitamins C, B12, folic acid, promoting iron absorption;
- excess in the body of vitamin E, as well as zinc, phosphorus, calcium, oxalates, interfering with its assimilation;
- The presence of parasites that take away valuable nutrients from the body.
Poisoning by domestic and industrial poisons also leads to iron deficiency. To neutralize them, enzymes are actively produced in the liver, for the synthesis of which it is necessary. In addition, a decrease in the level of thyroid hormones in hypothyroidism leads to a lack of substance. To fill up requires an increased amount of iron, there are symptoms of its lack.
Symptoms of iron deficiency in the female body
Because of a lack of iron, the hemoglobin level of the blood drops. There is a state of so-called iron deficiency anemia. Its symptoms depend on the degree of iron deficiency. There are 3 stages of deficiency of this element in the body.
The first symptoms of iron deficiency are persistent malaise, fatigue and weakness. Even with a slight load, the woman's heart rate increases. Irritability, depressive mood, headache, head dizzy. There are difficulties in swallowing, on the surface of the tongue there are furrows, redness areas, inflammation of the taste buds.
There is a predilection for the smell of gasoline or other unusual flavors, a perversion of taste sensations (one wants to eat chalk). A woman is worried about burning in the vagina. Hair starts to fall out, nails break, the skin dries.
Iron deficiency is progressing. In this case, the woman's skin becomes pale, with a bluish tinge. Forms of mischief in the corners of the mouth , pain in the abdomen. Temperature and pressure are lowered. Memory and ability to perceive information deteriorates.
Stage of severe iron deficiency
There is a disruption of the digestive system (belching, heartburn, constipation, swelling of the intestine). Immunity decreases. Often there are colds, infectious diseases are possible. The probability of tumors arising due to hormonal disorders in the body increases.
There is a deformation of the nails, they become concave (a spoon-like shape). Hair and nails do not grow well. Excruciates breathlessness, drowsiness, tachycardia, pain in the heart. Further progression of the disease can be life threatening.
Video: How iron deficiency manifests itself. Products with its high content
Products with the highest iron content
Iron is best absorbed in the presence of animal proteins, vitamin C, simple carbohydrates (fructose). Dishes of cereals and legumes are recommended to eat with meat or fish. Strong tea and coffee make it hard to absorb iron. With prolonged frying, iron passes into a poorly digestible form.
The iron content in 100 g of edible part
|Products |||% of daily allowance|
|Beef liver fried||51|
If the laboratory analysis confirms the lack of iron, the woman is prescribed taking his medications together with vitamins. Measures are being taken to eliminate the causes of the deficit, the treatment of the underlying disease. Proper nutrition is recommended.