A deficiency of iron, vitamin B12, and folic acid can rapidly deplete red blood cell strength. Iron is a key element in the metabolism of almost all living organisms. It is important for several vital functions like growth, reproduction, healing, and a healthy immune system.
Although iron can normally be obtained from food, certain conditions increase the body's need for iron supplements. These include:
Pregnancy- The demand of iron in the body doubles during pregnancy. Typically, an average woman requires 15 mg of iron, but during pregnancy, the iron requirement increases to 30 to 50 mg, especially from the second trimester onwards.
People with gastrointestinal disorders- Those who cannot absorb normal amounts of iron.
Renal failure- Many people with kidney disease will need iron supplements.
Bleeding problems- People with severe or continuous bleeding can benefit from iron supplements. For instance, women lose iron during heavy menstrual periods or childbirth. Women also lose iron due to uterine fibroids. Conditions with internal bleeding due to ulcers, colon complications, urinary tract bleeding, and hemodialysis also need iron supplementation.
Premature infants and children- Breastfed infants, toddlers, and children undergoing growth spurts will also need iron supplements. Research has shown that by the age of 18, around 7 percent of children in the United States experience anemia at least once.
Though anemia can be treated with iron supplements, it is imperative to get a diagnosis from a healthcare provider before attempting to treat the condition.
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