Iron is a highly important mineral in the human body, helping to make red blood cells and carry vital oxygen around your body to your brain, muscles and all your other cells. Without iron, humans get the disease anaemia, which can seriously damage their health. Here are five more reasons to take iron supplements:
1. You are on medication
Some medications interfere with iron absorption, which could mean you need to take liquid iron supplements. The following medications, for example, can all affect your iron levels: the antibiotics ciprofloxacin (Cipro), levofloxacin (Levaquin) and tetracycline (Panmycin); angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors for high blood pressure; ranitidine (Zantac) and omeprazole (Prilosec) for stomach ulcers and heartburn; and cholesterol lowering bile acid sequestrants such as colestipol (Colestid) and cholestyramine (Prevalite).
2. You experience blood loss
Women who menstruate are at higher risk of iron deficiency; therefore, women need to be extra careful that they get enough iron in their diet and may take a supplement to be sure. Women need 14.8mg of iron a day, while men only need 8.7mg. If you lose blood through donating blood or gastrointestinal issues, you are also at a greater risk of iron deficiency. You should not donate blood regularly if you are low in iron; therefore, speak to your doctor for advice on supplements.
3. You like to exercise
Exercising means your body requires more red blood cells to carry the oxygen around your body to your lungs and muscles. Female athletes are at particular risk of iron deficiency, as menstruation depletes the body further. You should check with your doctor if you experience symptoms of anaemia and are a moderate or heavy exerciser, as you may benefit from taking liquid iron supplements.
4. You have ADHD
People with ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder) could have low iron levels. Studies have found children with ADHD have low iron and ferritin levels, with ferritin storing iron for later use. ADHD sufferers should consider taking an iron supplement.
5. You are on dialysis
If you are on kidney dialysis, you will need to consume extra iron. The kidneys help the body to produce red blood cells, with weak kidneys affecting your blood count and causing anaemia. It is vital to talk to your doctor to determine how to maintain healthy iron levels if you are on dialysis.