Iron is very important trace mineral required by our body. It is required for energy metabolism, protein synthesis, oxygen transport, cell growth, normal brain function, enzyme reactions and gene regulation. But it is also a fact that the most prevalent nutritional deficiency among all age group and gender is iron deficiency.
Range of haemoglobin
The normal range of haemoglobin for children is 11-13 gm/dL. The same for adult male is 14-18 gm/dL and for female is 12-6 gm/dL. Haemoglobin level less than this range indicates anemia.
Problems cause by Iron deficiency
Deficiency of iron in the body causes decreased work capacity, low immunity, low IQ, delayed brain maturation, weakness, fatigue, impaired temperature regulation and recurrent body infections.
Anemia during pregnancy can cause retarded foetal growth, increased risk of pregnancy complications and even premature delivery. There are few symptoms that signals the deficiency of iron in the body.
Symptoms of Anemia
- Weakness, lethargy, extreme fatigue or tiredness
- Thin, brittle and white finger nails with spoon-shaped appearance
- Pale skin on the lining of the eyes, the inner mouth and nails
- Reduced immunity and recurrent infections
- Rapid and forceful heartbeat
- Shortness of breath during exercise
- Sore, smooth and reddened tongue
- Angular stomatitis (cracks at mouth corners)
- Low appetite and taste disturbances
- Desire to eat non-foods (such as ice, paint or dirt or pica)
- Abdominal pain, frequent headache, brittle hair
- Ringing in ears
- Restless leg syndrome
If iron deficiency is suspected then it is better to ascertain this condition through blood tests, haemoglobin level measurements and manage the same through supplements and dietary changes.