What is Iron Deficiency?

College of DuPage Nursing Student Kimberly Marin shared with Healthy Lombard that Iron is an essential mineral necessary for the human body. Iron is used in RBC to transport oxygen to body tissues. Without iron, our body can’t produce enough hemoglobin needed to carry oxygen to our tissue. Without hemoglobin, we start seeing symptoms of extreme fatigue, weakness, and dizziness.

According to the website Healthline.com, iron deficiency is the most serious nutritional disorder in the world. About 80% of people in the world suffer from iron deficiency. Iron is an essential mineral that human tissues need to obtain enough oxygen. Without iron, our body tissue may lose oxygen. Iron deficiency is seen in children and women. Children are at risk due to not eating iron-rich foods and women are at risk for iron deficiency because of monthly blood loss. Although children and women have a higher risk for iron deficiency, men can also become iron deficient if they have inadequate dietary intake. Healthline.com also suggests many other reasons other for iron deficiency. Iron deficiency can be caused by the inability to absorb iron due to celiac disease, inflammatory bowel disease, or intestinal surgery, all of which may limit the amount of iron. In addition, vegetarians and vegans are at a greater risk for iron deficiency as they may lack enough iron-rich foods, such as red meat. Lastly, people who have experienced serious physical trauma can be at risk for iron deficiency due to the large blood loss. Iron deficiency is a serious problem and it is important to find ways to gain iron. 

It is important once diagnosed with iron deficiency to find ways to increase iron levels, whether by taking supplements or eating a rich iron meal. In addition to supplements, eating foods that are rich in iron is also necessary. Iron-rich foods include beef, lamb, ham, turkey, and chicken and seafood, i.e., shrimp, clams, tuna, and oysters. vegetables that are rich in iron include spinach, peas, broccoli, string beans, and kale. 

Iron is an essential mineral with an important role in our body. Although it may be difficult for some individuals to prevent iron deficiency, there are plenty of foods and supplements that may help to increase and maintain iron levels in the body to ensure good health.


Cafasso, J. (2020, August 03). Iron Deficiency Anemia: Causes, Symptoms, Treatment & More. Retrieved September 11, 2020, from https://www.healthline.com/health/iron-deficiency-anemia

Iron-Deficiency Anemia. (n.d.). Retrieved September 11, 2020, from

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