The three stages of iron malnutrition are:
a.) Iron deficiency
b.) Iron deficiency with non-specific symptoms
c.) Inappropriate treatment of iron deficiency
If you have a family history of developing iron deficiency, there are steps that you can take to help prevent iron deficiency and its complications.
The first step is to get more than just zinc. Iron absorption requires a large amount of iron as well. In the last 20 years a number of scientific studies have shown that a diet rich in vitamins C and E, especially vitamin C, reduces iron absorption and increases blood copper levels, which makes the body more vulnerable to an Iron deficiency.
The second way to promote iron absorption is to eat more fruits and vegetables. Iron supplements are not effective for iron deficiency. Foods such as bananas, green beans, broccoli, and whole grains are all good sources of iron.
Foods rich in iron are especially good sources of vitamin C and have also been shown to lower iron absorption.
When you are iron deficient, you may be sensitive to the effects of iron on the kidney (this is known as iron overload) and may be more likely to suffer from kidney damage or infection.
You may also develop anemia — a decreased production of red blood cells and iron — if you don’t get enough iron. Also, too little iron may disrupt the calcium balance, and you may be more likely to develop iron overload if you experience fatigue.
These three conditions may lead you to be hospitalized and require intensive follow up.
Once vitamin C levels and iron levels are within an acceptable range, then you can move on to the next stage.
Iron overload can occur even if you follow a food pyramid and eat more fruits and vegetables, but this should be the exception rather than the rule.
When iron overload does occur, it typically happens when you consume more than 7 grams (2 Tbsp) of iron per day, about 250 mg. (1 Tbsp = 1 cup). Since only 6.68% of the adult population gets the recommended daily intake of vitamin B-12 (8,400 mcg as opposed to the recommended recommended 2,300 mcg), this can lead to severe complications.
Vitamin C and Vitamin B-12 are needed both physically and psychologically. When our bodies don’t get adequate levels of these vitamins a number of diseases can result — the highest incidence of which is osteoporosis. When you are deficient in these vitamins a
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