Iron deficiency is a common form of
anemia caused by the lack of iron in the blood. Iron is needed for the blood to
create hemoglobin, which enables red blood cells to carry oxygen to the body’s tissues. Having an iron deficiency can leave you feeling
tired and short of breath.
What Causes Iron Deficiency in Women?
Although there are different causes of iron deficiency, women are at a higher risk of developing an iron deficiency for the following reasons:
Iron lost through
bleeding. Bleeding can cause the body to lose
more blood cells and iron than it can replace. Some of the most common causes
for women to lose blood include:
Heavy menstrual bleeding or longer
than usual menstrual periods
Digestive system problems, such as
colon polyps, ulcers, or colon cancer
Uterine fibroids are non-cancerous,
but they can cause heavy bleeding
Blood donation without giving enough
time to recover
Increased need for
iron during pregnancy. During pregnancy,
the body needs more iron to help support the growing baby.
Not enough iron in
diet. Iron is absorbed when we eat
animal-based foods, such as beef, chicken or fish, two to three times better
than it is through eating plant-based foods.
absorbing iron. If you have Crohn’s disease, celiac disease, or have had gastric bypass
surgery, your body can have difficulty absorbing iron from food.
Do you have concerns?
If you’re experiencing iron-deficiency anemia, talk with your Baptist Health Provider