Vitamin deficiency: The sensation in your chest that could be warning of low iron levels

Vitamin deficiency: The sensation in your chest that could be warning of low iron levels

Dr Oscar Duke issues warning over ‘fizzy’ vitamins

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The NHS recommends a person should see a GP if they have any symptoms of iron deficiency.

A blood test will subsequently be used to identify whether someone is deficient in iron or not.

There are two main methods of treating iron deficiency.

A person may be prescribed iron tablets in order to replace the iron missing and/or will be recommended foods rich in iron to consume in order to boost levels.

Like other medications, iron tablets can cause some side effects such as constipation, diarrhoea, abdominal pain, heartburn, nausea, and black poo.

Foods high in iron include leafy vegetables such as watercress and curly kale, cereals and bread containing extra iron, meat, dried fruit such as apricots, prunes, and raisins.

Pulses such as beans, peas, and lentils are also high in iron.

It is suggested by the NHS that some substances should also be avoided.

Tea, coffee, milk and dairy products are among those the NHS recommends are not consumed if someone is deficient in iron.

As well as avoiding tea and coffee, it is suggested foods with high levels of phytic acid should also be avoided.

This includes wholegrain cereals.

The reason for this is because these foods can stop the body absorbing the iron from foods and iron tablets.

While iron deficiency is often caused by a lack of iron in the diet, blood loss, heavy periods, or pregnancy, there can be other causes too.

Bleeding in the stomach and intestines is the most common cause for men and for women whose periods have ceased.

Intestinal or stomach bleeding can be caused by taking NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs); examples include ibuprofen and aspirin.

Stomach ulcers, inflammation of the bowel or food pipe, piles, and bowel and stomach cancer are also reasons why there may be intestinal bleeding.

Like other deficiencies, if iron deficiency anaemia is not treated, there can be severe consequences.

It can make a person more at risk of illness and infection.

Furthermore, it can increase the risk of developing heart and lung complications while in pregnancy it could raise the risk of complications before or after the birth of the child.

For more information on iron deficiency anaemia, contact the NHS or consult with your GP.

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