Iron is a mineral that performs many essential functions in the body. It’s primarily involved in transferring oxygen from the lungs to the tissues as a part of the hemoglobin molecule. It’s also involved in metabolism when bound to certain proteins and catalysts.
At Concierge IV Nutrition, conveniently located in Beverly Hills, California, our expert team understands just how important iron is to your overall health and the ways you can become deficient in this nutrient. That’s why we offer iron IV therapy to bolster your levels and get your health back on track.
How iron functions in your body
In its free state, iron is toxic to the body. That’s why it binds with proteins, either directly or by incorporating itself into a porphyrin (ring-shaped) group. Together, the ferrous form of iron and protoporphyrin IX is called heme, which is found in proteins involved with oxygen transport.
About 70% of the body’s iron is found in the two protein groups hemoglobin and myoglobin. Hemoglobin is found in red blood cells that carry oxygen to the tissues from the lungs. Myoglobin is found in muscles and is used for oxygen storage.
There are any number of reasons why your body becomes deficient in iron, leading to iron-deficiency anemia. The primary causes include:
You need to get iron from your diet. How much depends on your age and gender. Men need at least 8 milligrams a day. Women 50 and younger need more — 18 milligrams — primarily because of blood loss through menstruation.
The iron you consume is absorbed in your small intestine. However, inflammatory conditions such as celiac disease, ulcerative colitis, and Crohn’s disease make it more difficult for your intestines to absorb iron, so you can become deficient. Gastric bypass surgery used to help treat obesity removes part of the intestines, thereby limiting absorption capability as well.
Internal blood loss
Some conditions cause internal bleeding. These include:
- Gastric reflux and medications used to treat it
- Heavy menstrual periods
- Uterine fibroids
- Colon polyps
Prolonged use of aspirin and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) can irritate the stomach lining and, in severe cases, lead to internal bleeding.
Pregnancy and other conditions
When you’re pregnant, you need to eat for two, and that includes taking in extra iron to nourish a growing fetus. End-stage kidney disease can cause internal blood loss, and chronic inflammatory health conditions, including congestive heart failure and obesity, can lead to absorption problems.
5 signs of iron deficiency
While mild iron-deficiency anemia often produces few symptoms, when the condition becomes more severe, you may experience:
- Fatigue or weakness
- Headache and difficulty concentrating
- Shortness of breath
- Dizziness or lightheadedness
- Restless legs syndrome
Additional signs include a fast or irregular heartbeat, chest pain, brittle nails, cold hands and feet, hair loss, and a sore and swollen tongue.
Iron IV therapy
When your iron levels are compromised, your body doesn’t operate efficiently. You feel unwell, and you also become more susceptible to other illnesses. Properly administered by our licensed naturopathic doctors, iron IV therapy replenishes your iron supply with very low risk and no major side effects. Benefits include:
- More efficient breathing and oxygen delivery
- Strengthened immune system
- Reduced fatigue
- Improved muscle strength
- Heightened concentration
- More efficient sleep
If you’re feeling sluggish and think you may be low on iron, schedule an evaluation with Concierge IV Nutrition. Give us a call at 424-260-8912, or request an appointment online today.