Why self subscribing iron supplements can be dangerous

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When you feel tired you tend to first think about the quality of sleep you maybe getting (or not)  or if you are female, iron levels are generally the next factor to be considered.

How often have you gone to local chemist or health food shop and loaded your self up with a bottle of iron supplements?

Diet is always a good place to start if you feel you are not getting adequate iron intake. Red meat is the highest source of iron and if you’re vegetarian red kidney beans and spinach are the next best thing (remember you need to eat a larger amount for equal benefit).

I always suggest to get a blood test for accurate iron level status. Your blood serum will indicate how much iron you have been consuming in the last few weeks. But your levels of transferrin are taken, and this provides if you have enough protein to CARRY your iron to places needed in your body. No use having plenty of iron when there are no buses to drive them anywhere.

Another important measure is saturated iron levels. This refers to how much your liver is storing of iron. If you levels are creeping up to the high end of the range or are even over the range, this can mean that your liver is holding onto too much iron. Hemochromatosis is a condition where your liver is storing too much iron. And if you go popping more iron supplements this can very detrimental  to your health.

Another reason why your liver maybe holding onto extra iron is because there could be underlying inflammation happening in your body. There are types of bacteria that FEED off iron and your liver is very clever this way, and will hold onto the iron to keep it away from the bacteria (helicobacter pylori feed off iron).

Once you have been given confirmation of where your iron levels are at, then you can do the necessary SAFE steps in rectifying it. Vitamin C is needed for iron absorption and can be used as a supplement. Or if you feel that your digestive system is lacking the enzymes to break down animal protein, these could be used prior to each meal (an easy way to tell if you have trouble digesting animal protein is if your flatulence have an odour, or if you suffer from constipation).

If you need help in getting your iron levels where they should be, contact me today or book an appointment online.

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