Iron deficiency and anaemia..

Iron deficiency is the most common cause of anaemia in the world affecting 12-15% of women between 15 and 50 years old. Unfortunately many suffer in silence not knowing that effective treatment can help.

Iron deficiency can also frequently occur in patients with cancer or chronic diseases such as inflammatory bowel disease, heart failure and chronic kidney disease. Left unchecked, iron deficiency can severely effect patients with these diseases, including increased hospitalisation, reduced quality of life and even higher death rates.

What is iron deficiency?..

Why iron is important to your health:

Iron is essential for your body. It is needed for your mental and physical health and to maintain your energy levels. Iron is present in a substance called haemoglobin, which is found in red blood cells.

Haemoglobin carries oxygen in the blood from the lungs to the rest of the body. Oxygen is required in your brain for concentration and in your muscles for physical energy. Iron is also needed to maintain a healthy immune system, helping you to fight off infections.

Are you getting enough iron?

Balancing the supply and demand for iron in your body is important to maintain good health. Normally your body keeps your iron levels balanced, and the iron that is used every day to make new red blood cells is replaced by the iron that is present in your food. The iron in your food is absorbed into the bloodstream in your small intestine.

The supply and demand for iron in your body can become unbalanced for a number of reasons and this can lead to iron deficiency.

Do you feel more than just tired?

Everyone gets tired from time to time, but if you feel exhausted every day, you may be suffering from fatigue.

If you are experiencing fatigue, you may feel physically and mentally exhausted, even if you have not been doing any physical activities that are particularly tiring.

The science of iron and anaemia..

Iron metabolism:

Iron is used in the body as the key component of haemoglobin, a substance found in red blood cells that allows them to transport oxygen.

Normally, iron is recycled by the body through cells called macrophages which recycle iron from old red blood cells in the spleen and transport iron for storage, in the liver. When required
iron from these ferritin stores is transported by transferrin to the bone marrow where new haemoglobin and red blood cells are produced. Natural losses are replenished by absorption of iron from the gut.

Issues such as blood loss, digestive problems, illness or inflammation can disrupt these vital functions of recycling and storing iron, and can lead to iron deficiency and anaemia. In conditions where the gut’s ability to absorb iron is affected, intravenous iron is most effective.

Signs of iron deficiency..

There are many common symptoms of iron deficiency and anaemia. these include fatigue, headache and paleness.

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