Women are more likely than men to experience iron deficiency, particularly during menstruation, pregnancy and breastfeeding. Women’s health expert Dr Penny Adams explains what you need to know about the condition.
WHAT IS IT?
“Iron deficiency occurs when the body doesn’t have enough of this essential mineral,” says Dr Adams. “Seventy per cent of the body’s iron is in haemoglobin, in red blood cells. This carries oxygen to all cells in the body.”
There are three progressive stages, starting with iron depletion, where your body only has a small amount of iron stored. Then, iron deficiency is when your levels are low and haemoglobin levels have dropped below a normal level. And iron deficiency anaemia is the most serious stage, where your blood is unable to deliver enough oxygen to your cells.
WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS?
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