Iron Deficiency Should Be Looked For During Regular Screening
Iron deficiency, which can cause a slew of health problems, is easily treated yet remains the most common nutritional deficiency in the world, responsible for a staggering amount of ill health, lost productivity, and premature death. In fact, iron deficiency anaemia remains the most common hematologic disease of infants and children.
Iron deficiency can affect people differently, with symptoms including anaemia, weakness, headaches, irritability, shortness of breath, reduced exercise tolerance, lack of cognitive function, etc. Correcting iron deficiency can improve symptoms and quality of life in those living with chronic disease, including (but not limited to):
- Acute or chronic Congestive Heart Failure (CHF)
- Chronic Renal Failure (CRF)
- Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD)
- Anaemia related to chemotherapy in cancer patients
- Rheumatoid arthritis
And also note that correcting iron deficiency has improved exercise endurance in:
- Infants and young children
- Women of reproductive age
- Pregnant or post-partum women
- Pre-menopausal women (with or without anaemia)
Iron tests evaluate the amount of iron in the body by measuring several substances in the blood. These tests are often ordered at the same time and the results interpreted together to help diagnose and/or monitor iron deficiency or iron overload.
Serum iron test - measures the level of iron in the liquid portion of the blood.
Transferrin test - directly measures the level of transferrin in the blood. Transferrin is the protein that transports iron around in the body. Under normal conditions, transferrin is typically one-third saturated with iron. This means that about two-thirds of its capacity is held in reserve.
TIBC (total iron-binding capacity)-measures the total amount of iron that can be bound by proteins in the blood. Since transferrin is the primary iron-binding protein, the TIBC test is a good indirect measurement of transferrin availability.
UIBC (Unsaturated Iron-Binding Capacity) - The UIBC test determines the reserve capacity of transferrin, i.e., the portion of transferrin that has not yet been saturated with iron. UIBC also reflects transferrin levels.
Transferrin saturation - a calculation that reflects the percentage of transferrin that is saturated with iron (100 x serum iron/TIBC).
Serum ferritin - reflects the amount of stored iron in the body.
Many people with iron deficiency aren't anaemic and most doctors won't check iron status unless anaemia is present, something which is believed to be a "serious error" because it leaves many patients with undiagnosed iron deficiency. This is especially frustrating since iron deficiency can be easily treated. Treatment can improve anaemia, fatigue, heart function, exercise tolerance and endurance, and improve the quality of life in those living with many other conditions. Iron deficiency is easy to diagnose and treat, yet this isn't a routine check for many healthcare professionals among patients with or without anaemia.
Oral iron supplements like EBMfer are readily available in the market and can be used without the fear of constipation and other health issues. EBMfer is suitable for vegetarians and vegans and comes with "built-in" vitamin C advantageso that there's no need to take it with vitamin C or orange juice separately for better absorption. EBMfer contains Ferrous Ascorbate, which is why it is generally gentle on stomach. Added advantages such as free from gelatin, lactose, gluten, sugar, dye and common allergens makes it an effective and preferred iron-pill to cure iron deficiency.
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