Do You Know Iron Side Effects?
Most of people are aware how important in our diet iron is. This precious mineral can help you fight against anemia, fatigue, insomnia and mental stress. According to scientists iron is an essential to support oxygen to the blood vessels. Also it will boost your brain functions, immune system, muscle functions and concentration. The problem is that even such a healthy nutrient has side effects. Too low or too high iron levels can leads to several health disorders. You should know them – you should be aware whenever iron can be dangerous for you – you have to be aware of iron side effects. It is really important especially when you are planning your diet.
Low Iron Levels
- Strict vegetarians
- Long-distance runners
- People who frequently donate blood
- Women who are pregnant
- Women who are menstruating
- Women who have just had a baby
- People with problems to absorbs nutrients from food
- People with any type of bleeding in the intestines.
Low levels of this mineral over a long period may lead to iron deficiency anemia. Good news is that your body stores some iron “just in case”. However you should know that the symptoms of iron deficiency anemia are: irritability, lack of energy, weight loss, headache, shortness of breath and dizziness. Who is at risk of low iron levels?
Remember that babies and young children have to receive proper foods – rich in iron. Infants are born with enough of this mineral for approximately six months. Additional iron should be provided by breast milk. If it is impossible they should consume iron-fortified infant formula or iron supplements. What is important iron is significant especially for children between ages 1-4. These children grow rapidly and they need more iron. This is why they should be given iron supplements or iron-fortified foods. Remember that milk is not a good source of this mineral and therefore children who avoid other types of foods and concentrate only on milk may develop “milk anemia”.
Too Much Iron
- Weight loss
- Grayish color to the skin
- Shortness of breath.
Hemochromatosis is a genetic disorder that affects your ability to control absorption of iron. It can leads to too high level of iron in your body. To fight against this illness you have to apply a low-iron diet, avoid iron supplements and phlebotomy on a regular basis. The good news is that it is hard to take too much iron. However such a situation can take place. Especially children can suffer from iron poisoning (by consuming too many supplements). What are the symptoms of iron poisoning?
Proper Dosage and Administration
You can think about different forms of iron supplementation including carbonyl iron, ferrous fumarate, ferrous ascorbate, ferrous sulphate and ferrous gluconate. A person with diagnosed iron deficiency should add iron supplement to diet. Proper amount recommended for iron deficiency treatment is 100 mg per day (for adults). Of course after some time this amount will be reduced. It is important to fight not only against iron deficiency but also against causes of this disorder. Most of the time the problems are not so serious like menstruation or blood donation. However, sometimes low level of iron can be caused by colon cancer or an ulcer.
Sometimes premenopausal women have to add iron supplements to their diet to avoid iron deficiency. A multivitamin-mineral supplement with 18 mg of this mineral is enough to prevent iron deficiency. Still it is good idea to consult all your decisions with your doctor.
Special Precautions and Warnings
- Hemoglobin disease
In people suffering from hemoglobin disease taking iron can cause iron overload. This is why they should not take iron without consultation with healthcare provider.
A diet rich in iron can increase the risk of heart disease in women with type 2 diabetes. However there are no proofs for this belief. Still, people suffering from diabetes should consult iron consumption with doctor.
- Pregnancy and breast-feeding
Breast-feeding and pregnant women should not be afraid of iron applying. Iron is likely safe for them when it is used in low doses. Iron taken by mouth in high doses might be dangerous. If you do not suffer from iron deficiency do not take more than 45 mg daily of elemental iron. Higher doses can lead to vomiting or nausea.
- Premature infants
Iron might be really dangerous for infants with low level of vitamin E. Before you apply this mineral to your infant you have to solve the problem of vitamin E deficiency. Consult with your physician before you make any decision.
- Intestinal inflammation, Stomach or intestinal ulcers
Use iron with care – it can cause irritation and also make this condition worse.
Iron works just like other minerals – you need it but in proper amount. Too much or too less of iron can leads to different health problems. This is why you have to be careful with iron supplements consumption. If you have any doubts consult your doctor. There is no point to risk your health.