|How common is it?
Although there are no strong epidemiological studies on the rates of iron deficiency, it has been estimated that approximately 1 in 5 women under the age of 50 have iron deficiency.
What does iron do?
Iron is involved in essential body functions, including oxygen storage and transport, energy metabolism and host defences. A serious consequence of iron deficiency can include anaemia requiring blood transfusion.
What should the iron level be? The Royal Australian College of General Practitioners guidelines suggest that a Ferritin level below 30 is highly likely to be indicative of iron deficiency. Especially in the context of symptoms of fatigue, lethargy and low energy.
How is it diagnosed?
The diagnosis of iron deficiency is usually done with a blood test. It can sometimes be a little more complicated by differing normal values between labs and artificially increased plasma iron level in acute inflammation.
How does iron deficiency happen?
Iron deficiency is generally the result of an imbalance between iron intake and iron loss.The cause of low iron should be determined and can be done through further investigations including blood tests and gastrointestinal investigations.
Replacing iron, what are the options?