Women tend to experience the symptoms of iron deficiency as a result of loss of blood in their menstrual cycle, incapability of providing the enhanced demands of the female body for iron in pregnancy and absence of sufficient amount of the substance in the diet. You should note that iron is a vital element that is needed for the formation of hemoglobin.
Hemoglobin which is found in the red blood cells also plays a crucial role for the transfer of oxygen to the different regions of your body. It is additionally present in various enzymes, although the element plays the most important role in making hemoglobin.
This is why it is advised for teenage girls, pregnant or nursing women and menopausal women to take in sufficient quantities of iron in the daily diet. Some of the symptoms of iron deficiency include:
In Teenage Girls
Other than transporting oxygen, iron is important for maintaining the metabolism. Iron helps in the synthesis of DNA, dopamine or the brain chemical and the white blood cells. The iron insufficiency symptoms in teenage girls include:
- Regular infections
- Weakness of immunity
- Reduced resistance to diseases
- Lack of clarified thinking
- Poor academic performance
- Low bone density
- Sore tongue
- Behavioral discrepancy
- Affected neurological development
- Affected growth
- Cracked corners of mouth
- Dizziness and lightheadedness
- Enhanced irritability
- Confusion and lack of concentration
- Palpitation and chest pain
- Lack of energy
- Rapid breath or difficulty breathing
- Brittle and pale nails, lips and skin
In Expecting and Nursing Women
Half the total blood in our body is manufactured in pregnant women. More of iron is required for the growing fetus, uterus and placenta. Usually, women cannot provide the required amount of iron and are put on iron supplements. 50% of the pregnant moms suffer from a deficiency of iron. The symptoms of iron deficiency are:
- Pale lips
- Pale palms
- Increased heartbeat
- Problems of breath
- Problems in concentration
- Enhanced irritability
- Pale and brittle nails
- Constant exhaustion
- Too much of weakness
Pica includes a craving for items which are not foods as chips of paint, ice cubes, cigarette butts, clay, paper, chalk etc. Women who follow a vegetarian diet can develop a deficiency of iron due to the lack of intake of meat and red meat. However, vegetables comprising spinach, beets, fruits, broccoli, grapefruit, apples, bananas, dates and nuts like almonds and walnuts are recommended.
In Menopausal Women
About 10% of pre-menopausal and 6% of post menopausal females can suffer from deficiency of iron. The symptoms comprise:
- Problems in swallowing
- Sore tongue
- Sores in the recesses of the mouth
- Rapid heartbeat
- Excessive exhaustion and giddiness
- Dry mouth and throat
- Breathing problems even in slight exertion
- Pale look
- Brittle nails and hair
- Aching legs, headache and angina
If the signs of iron deficiency are ignored, the body can experience a starving of oxygen. This can lead to serious conditions of health such as extreme fatigue, palpitations, skin pallor and breathing problems.
The Recommended Dietary Allowance or RDA for women over 51 years is 8 mg a day. Women aged between 19 and 50 years should take in 18 mg of iron everyday and it is 27 mg for pregnant women. The rich sources of iron include fortified cereals, raisins, legumes, whole grains, poultry, fish, meat, green or leafy vegetables, nuts and seeds, beans and legumes.
Other than the absence of iron in your diet, you can experience a deficiency of the substance through overt intake of medicines like aspirins, parasitic infections, hemorrhoids, tumors, inflammatory bowel diseases, gastritis and internal bleeding due to peptic ulcer. The symptoms of iron deficiency may even occur if the body is not able to absorb the iron that is taken in through the diet, even when it is rich in iron.
The benefit of Vitamin C is that it improves the process of iron absorption and this is why the intake of adequate amounts of Vitamin C is absolutely necessary to maintain appropriate amounts of iron. This is why family members should encourage pregnant and menopausal women to consume a diet that is loaded with iron.