Q: Hi doctor, I’m short of iron in my body so what must I eat?
A: Shortage of iron can lead to iron-deficiency anaemia because iron is needed to produce new red blood cells. Folic acid and Vitamin B-12 are also important in the process. Anaemia occurs when the amount of red blood cells in the blood is not enough. Simply put, a shortage (deficiency of red blood cells). To confirm this diagnosis, a Full Blood Count (FBC) or Packed Cell Volume (PCV) test is done.
To make up deficiency of red blood cells, iron and vitamin intake should be increased. Supplements are an option, however, as I always say, supplements are meant to plug holes that exist in the diet and not be the main stay of the diet itself. So, it’s much better to eat iron rich food like: eggs, shellfish, beans and other legumes, green leafy vegetables, lean red meat, iron-enriched wheat bread and cereals.
People particularly at risk are pregnant women and menstruating women. For some ladies, during menstruation, the bleeding is heavy with lots of clots. It may lead to a situation where the body is unable to keep up by manufacturing new blood cells to replace those being lost. These women need to increase their intake of iron.
Iron, however, can lead to constipation and so, for people who use the supplement, be sure you are taking enough fruits and vegetables and drinking sufficient water.
Be sure that you are also being guided by your doctor as some levels of anaemia will require a blood transfusion.
Have a good night, everyone 🙂