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Iron is a fundamental mineral for he alth, as it is essential for the formation of hemoglobin, which is one of the components of red blood cells responsible for transporting oxygen in the body, as well as being important for the proper functioning of the system immune system and metabolism.
Symptoms of lack of iron may arise due to a poor diet in foods that are sources of these minerals or as a consequence of excessive bleeding, such as bleeding and heavy menstrual flow, which causes a lower amount of iron and, consequently, hemoglobin, resulting in symptoms, the main ones being:
- Extreme tiredness, frequent sleep or discouragement;
- Difficulty learning or paying attention;
- Swollen ankles or swelling in other joints;
- Hair loss or weak and brittle strands;
- Pale skin or colorless inner eyelids;
- Lack of appetite, taste changes or flat tongue;
- Frequent infections due to low immunity.
In the presence of these symptoms, it is important to consult the doctor so that tests are carried out to confirm the low levels of iron and to identify the cause of the alteration, so that appropriate treatment can be initiated.
How to confirm iron deficiency
To confirm iron deficiency, an evaluation of the signs and symptoms presented by the person is usually performed by the general practitioner, in addition to performing a blood count to evaluate the hemoglobin levels, which may be reduced, since Iron is essential for the formation of hemoglobin.
In addition, it is necessary to carry out blood tests to assess the circulating levels of this mineral, such as serum iron dosage, in addition to ferritin, which is the iron-storing protein, and transferrin, which is the protein responsible for transporting iron to fabrics.
In this way, it is possible to assess the severity of iron deficiency and verify that the storage and transport proteins are working properly, and it is possible to indicate the most appropriate treatment to relieve symptoms and restore iron levels.
What to do
To alleviate the symptoms of lack of iron, it is important to increase the consumption of foods rich in this mineral, such as red meat, eggs, tuna, pumpkin and sunflower seeds, bananas, broccoli and spinach, for example. Discover other foods rich in iron.
In some cases, iron supplementation may also be indicated by the doctor, especially in cases where iron levels are very low and do not increase even with adequate nutrition. Thus, the use of 1 or 2 iron tablets a day for a few months may be indicated until the levels of this mineral are adequate.