Iron is an essential mineral that plays a vital role in the body. It’s an essential component in the production of red blood cells that carry oxygen to various parts of the body. Iron deficiency is a common nutritional deficiency that affects millions of people worldwide, particularly women. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll discuss everything to know about iron deficiency, including its signs, symptoms, causes, and treatment.
Signs and Symptoms
Some of the signs and symptoms of iron deficiency include:
2. Dizziness and lightheadedness
3. Shortness of breath
4. Cold hands and feet
5. Pale skin color
6. Fast or irregular heartbeat
7. Brittle nails
8. Cravings for non-nutritive substances, such as dirt or ice (pica)
9. Headache, leg cramps, restless legs or tingling in the legs
10. Poor appetite
Iron deficiency is a common nutritional disorder that can occur due to various factors, including inadequate dietary intake, increased iron losses, malabsorption, and increased iron demand. Here are some real-world examples of how lifestyle factors and disease states can lead to iron deficiency:
Inadequate dietary intake: A diet lacking in iron-rich foods can often lead to iron deficiency. This is particularly true for vegetarians and vegans who may not consume enough iron-rich plant-based foods. Also, infants and young children who are not receiving adequate iron through their diet may develop iron deficiency.
Increased iron losses due to bleeding: Women are more susceptible to iron deficiency due to menstrual blood loss, which can result in a loss of 30-40 milliliters of blood per cycle, leading to iron depletion and anemia if not compensated by adequate iron intake.
Malabsorption: Certain medical conditions such as celiac disease, inflammatory bowel disease, and gastric bypass surgery can interfere with the absorption of iron from food, leading to iron deficiency.
Increased iron demand during pregnancy: Pregnant women require higher levels of iron to support the growth and development of the fetus. Failure to meet these demands can lead to iron deficiency and anemia in pregnant women.
Blood loss due to injury or surgery: Blood loss due to injury or surgery can lead to iron deficiency anemia, especially if the individual has inadequate iron stores.
Treatment for iron deficiency includes dietary changes and iron supplements. Iron-rich foods include lean meat, seafood, fortified cereals, and leafy green vegetables. Iron supplements can help increase iron levels in the body. However, it is important to consult a healthcare provider, as excessive iron intake can be harmful. Occasionally, sever iron deficiency may require an intravenous infusion.
There are many different iron supplements to choose from. Guidance under a Naturopathic Doctor or Nutritionist can help direct an informed decision. In my experience a heme iron polypeptide is best tolerated.
The best way to prevent iron deficiency is by consuming an adequate amount of iron-rich foods. Some iron-rich foods include lean meats, fish, eggs, fortified cereals, beans, lentils, tofu, and nuts. It is important to include these foods in one’s diet to maintain healthy iron levels in the body.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the recommended daily allowance of iron for women aged 19-50 is 18 milligrams per day. During pregnancy, the recommended daily allowance increases to 27 milligrams. It is important to note that too much iron can also be harmful, so it is essential to consult a healthcare provider before taking any iron supplements.
Another way to increase the absorption of iron in the body is by consuming vitamin-C rich foods, such as citrus fruits, berries, kiwi, and tomatoes. Vitamin C enhances the absorption of non-heme iron, which is the type of iron found in plant-based foods and no heme based iron supplements.
It is also a good idea to have iron levels checked regularly by your physician or naturopath. This is especially important for women during their menstrual years.
Iron deficiency can be a serious condition, but it’s preventable and treatable. Have your iron level checked regularly and If you experience any signs of iron deficiency, it is important to seek medical attention. You can increase your iron levels through dietary changes and iron supplements. Understanding the importance of iron in our body is vital, particularly for women who are more susceptible to iron deficiency. By raising awareness about iron deficiency, we can safeguard our health and improve our quality of life.
Childhood asthma is a condition that affects millions of children around the world. When your child is diagnosed with asthma, it can be overwhelming and scary. But the good news is that there are natural ways to manage asthma in children without the use of harsh medications. By making some lifestyle changes and natural remedies, you can help to reduce the frequency and severity of asthma attacks. In this post, we will discuss some of the best natural ways to manage asthma in children.
1. Maintain a Healthy Diet
A healthy diet is one of the best natural remedies for managing asthma in children. Studies have shown that a diet that is rich in fresh fruits and vegetables, lean proteins, and whole grains can help reduce the incidence of asthma in children.
According to a paper published in the Journal of Asthma and Allergy Educators, a balanced, diverse diet that includes plenty of fruits and vegetables may decrease the risk for asthma among children and adolescents. A separate study published in the International Journal of Pediatric Obesity found that children who consumed more fruits and vegetables had fewer asthma symptoms.
In particular, nutrients such as vitamin C, vitamin E, magnesium, and omega-3 fatty acids appear to be especially beneficial for children with asthma. One review of several studies, published in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association, found that higher intakes of vitamin C, magnesium, and omega-3 fatty acids were associated with better lung function and fewer asthma symptoms in children.
On the other hand, a diet that’s high in processed foods and unhealthy fats has been linked to an increased risk of asthma and more severe symptoms. A study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that a diet high in saturated fats, trans fats, and refined sugars was associated with an increased risk of asthma in children.
2. Get Enough Sleep
Sleep is very important for a healthy immune system and body. Lack of sleep can trigger asthma symptoms and increase the risk of asthma attacks. Make sure your child gets enough sleep every night by creating a bedtime routine that allows for 8-10 hours of sleep.
Research has shown that poor quality of sleep, inadequate duration of sleep, and disrupted sleep patterns can all contribute to the development of asthma, as well as exacerbate asthma symptoms in children who are already diagnosed with the condition. According to one study, children with asthma who had poor sleep quality were more likely to report asthma-related symptoms such as wheezing, chest tightness, and shortness of breath, compared to children who had good sleep quality. Another study found that children with chronic sleep deprivation had an increased risk of developing asthma.
Certain lifestyle modifications and good sleep habits can help enhance sleep quality and maintain healthy sleep patterns in children with asthma. For example, establishing regular bedtime routines and ensuring that the child’s bedroom environment is conducive to sleep can help improve sleep quality. Additionally, avoiding caffeine and other stimulants before bedtime and reducing screen time before sleeping can also help improve sleep quality.
3. Stay Active
Regular physical activity has been shown to have a positive impact on childhood asthma. Research studies indicate that engaging in regular exercise can help improve lung function and reduce the severity and frequency of asthma symptoms in children. Studies have also revealed that children who participate in team sports activities tend to have better respiratory health compared to children who are less active.
Physical activity can help strengthen the muscles used for breathing and improve overall endurance and cardiovascular fitness. A study published in the Annals of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology found that children with asthma who participated in a six-week physical activity program saw significant improvement in lung function and reduced the need for medication compared to those who did not participate in the program.
Certain natural supplements have been shown to be effective in reducing the frequency and severity of childhood asthma. Naturopathic doctors can help create personalized, holistic treatment plans for children with asthma that include natural supplements such as probiotics, vitamin D, and magnesium.
Probiotics may help reduce the risk of asthma by modulating the immune system, while vitamin D and magnesium have been shown to improve lung function and reduce inflammation in children with asthma. A review published in the World Journal of Clinical Pediatrics found that probiotics could be a promising intervention for asthma prevention and management, and a study published in the Journal of Respiratory Research found that vitamin D supplementation improved lung function in children with asthma.
Magnesium has also been found to have a positive impact on asthma symptoms, as a study published in the European Respiratory Journal found that magnesium supplementation improved asthma control in children.
5. Keep The Air Clean
Poor air quality can trigger asthma symptoms in children. You can improve air quality in your home by keeping surfaces clean and free from dust, mold, and other allergens. Keep windows and doors open to allow fresh air in. Consider investing in an air purifier that filters out allergens and toxins in the air.
Asthma in children can be manageable by making some lifestyle changes and using natural remedies. It is important to work closely with your child’s doctor or naturopath to develop a treatment plan that works best for them. Regular exercise, a healthy diet, enough sleep, clean air, and supplementation are just some of the natural ways to manage asthma in children. With proper management, your child can live an active and healthy life.
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FPIES (Food Protein-Induced Enterocolitis Syndrome) is a type of food allergy that affects the gastrointestinal system. It typically affects infants and young children and is characterized by severe vomiting, diarrhea, and dehydration.
The exact cause of FPIES (Food Protein-Induced Enterocolitis Syndrome) is not fully understood, but there are several theories behind its etiology. Here are some examples:
1. Immune system response:
FPIES is thought to be caused by an abnormal immune system response to certain food proteins. Specifically, it is believed that the immune system in children with FPIES overreacts to certain food proteins, leading to inflammation and damage to the gastrointestinal tract.
There may be a genetic component to FPIES. Studies have shown that children with a family history of food allergies, eczema, or asthma may be at increased risk for developing FPIES.
3. Delayed immune response:
Unlike other food allergies, FPIES does not involve an immediate allergic response. Instead, FPIES is characterized by a delayed immune response, which can make it difficult to diagnose.
4. Gut microbiome:
The gut microbiome, which is the collection of microorganisms that live in the digestive tract, may play a role in the development of FPIES. Some studies have suggested that an imbalance in the gut microbiome may contribute to the development of food allergies, including FPIES.
5. Environmental factors:
Exposure to certain environmental factors, such as pollution or toxins, may increase the risk of developing FPIES. However, more research is needed to fully understand the role of environmental factors in the development of FPIES.
It’s important to note that while these theories provide some insight into the development of FPIES, more research is needed to fully understand the underlying causes of this condition.
There are several non-pharmacological treatments that have been suggested for managing FPIES symptoms. Here are some evidence-based examples: