Whether Iron Supplementation

Whether Iron Supplementation

Iron is a mineral needed by the body to produce red blood cells. And, iron supplements prescribed when diet alone can not prevent or treat a lack of iron in the body. Iron deficiency can be caused by chronic blood loss, malabsorption, or dietary insufficiency, and can lead to symptoms of anemia such as fatigue, weakness and loss of concentration. Recommendations for daily iron intake is provided by the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences and included in dietary reference intakes. Side effects of treatment with iron supplements may include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and constipation
Importance
Iron deficiency is a common problem that can cause serious health consequences if not treated. The World Health Organization has stated that iron deficiency is the most significant nutritional disorder in the world. Almost a third of the world’s population may have iron deficiency anemia, and as many as 8 out of 10 may suffer from an iron deficiency. At this time, iron supplements are the only effective treatment for iron deficiency when dietary sources of iron is not enough, or when medical conditions increase iron waste or decrease absorption.
Function
Iron is essential for normal human physiology and is an integral part of the functioning of a number of key enzymes and proteins in the human body. Iron is necessary for the transport of oxygen to the cells, and is necessary for regulation of cell differentiation and growth. Almost two thirds of iron in the body is in hemoglobin, with smaller quantities held in myoglobin and enzymes responsible for certain biochemical reactions. Unnecessary iron is stored in proteins for later use.
When dietary sources of iron are sufficient, or medical conditions impair the body’s absorption of iron stores of iron in the body dwindle and symptoms of iron deficiency can occur. If these stores are not replenished, the normal functioning of the body does not take place. Iron supplements work by filling body’s stores of iron, thus reducing the symptoms of iron deficiency and improve the overall health and function
types
Iron supplements are available in two forms :. Ferrous iron salts and ferric iron. Ferrous iron is also marketed as iron sulfate, iron gluconate, and iron fumarate, and are more easily absorbed by the body than ferric iron. All iron supplements containing some amount of elemental iron, which is the amount of iron in addition to absorption. Iron is best absorbed when taken from dietary sources such as red meat, poultry and fish, but iron supplements are an effective alternative when dietary sources are insufficient or absorption is impaired.
Benefits
The foremost benefit of iron supplements is their treatment of iron deficiency anemia, a condition that most often affects children, women of childbearing age and pregnant women. People experiencing kidney failure may also develop an iron deficiency, that their kidneys are not able to create a hormone essential for the production of red blood cells. Iron deficiency can cause symptoms such as fatigue, weakness, difficulty maintaining normal body temperature, an inflamed tongue, and reduced cognitive performance. Iron supplements may reduce these symptoms and is used to treat or prevent decreased immunity associated with iron deficiency and the potential for impaired cognitive development that is common in iron deficient children.
Warning
Excess iron absorption may result in numerous serious health consequences, many of them are at least as severe as conditions caused by iron deficiency. A risk of excess iron, iron overload, a condition usually caused by genetic disorders, such as hemochromatosis. Iron overload causes iron to be stored in the heart, liver and other organs, and can lead to heart failure and liver cirrhosis. Iron overload can also be caused by repeated blood transfusions. Because only small amounts of iron excreted from the body, iron is accumulated in organs and tissues and iron toxicity can develop quickly. Iron toxicity, which can be fatal, is especially prevalent in children who have swallowed iron supplements belonging to an adult. Iron toxicity is a medical emergency.

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