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Is Your Diet rich In Iron?
There are various reasons that can lead to anemia. Read on to find out.
A lack of iron is more serious than you might think. According to research, over half of the world's a population has a disorder linked to iron imbalance. Iron-deficiency anemia affects up to 40% of word's population under 34, who commonly mistake its symptoms for stress.

WHAT IS ANEMIA?
A deficiency of iron doesn't sound particularly harmful, but it can be a highly serious condition. In extreme cases, a blood transfusion may be needed. The symptoms are not always easy to detect until you need treatment.

All body cells require oxygen to function efficiently, which the red blood cells carry from the lungs to the tissues. The oxygen is transported by hemoglobin, a pigment in the red blood cells, which binds itself to the oxygen. Anemia comes from too little hemoglobin in the red blood cells. It is believed that anemia may play a role in causing illnesses such as cancer.

WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS?
Excessive tiredness, lethargy and shortness of breath
Pale skin
Palpitations (of the heart) and an irregular heartbeat
Noises in the ear
Thirst
Weight loss
Jaundice
Memory problems

WHAT CAUSES ANEMIA?
Anemia can happen for different reasons, but generally it occurs because of one of three things happening:
The production of your red blood cells slows down mostly because of insufficient iron in the diet. Anemia is also linked to the chemotherapy used in treating certain forms of cancer.
Your body's destruction of red blood cells start to increase. This can be for a variety of reasons, including an infection, chemotherapy, rheumatoid arthritis, hemoglobin defects (including sickle cell anemia) and metabolic disorders.
Blood loss, perhaps from trauma, excessive menstruation, surgery, or slow bleeding over a long period of time (in the case of a stomach ulcer, for example).

Iron-deficiency anemia is the most common form of anemia. Your body's iron supplies are replenished by eating iron-rich foods and anemia tends to occur when this is disrupted. The most common reason for the disruption among women is heavy periods, which cause iron deficiency in up to most women across the world.

HOW IS IT DIAGNOSED?
Iron deficiency can be diagnosed with blood tests. Your doctor can test for anemia by measuring the amount of hemoglobin in your blood. The symptoms of anemia are usually only obvious when the hemoglobin level drops below this amount.

HOW IS IT TREATED?
Make sure you take in enough vitamins (B12 and folic acid, in particular) and iron, usually by supplements.
Have plenty of sleep at night and naps during the day, if you need to.
Eat a well-balanced diet with a variety of iron-rich foods. These can include leafy green vegetables, liver, iron-fortified cereals, milk, red meat, oysters and dried fruit.
Eat foods that are rich in vitamin C to help the body absorb iron.
Eat foods rich in folic acid, including asparagus, sprouts, spinach broccoli, melon, oatmeal, whole-grain cereals, wheat germ and orange juice.
Move around at a steady pace to limit dizziness.
Limit your caffeine intake and avoid smoking.
Limit your intake of alcohol.
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Posted on : 30/12/2005
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