Claire Wakefield - Naturopath
Ok… so you’ve just heard the current ad on the radio, talking about how low Iron can lead to fatigue and dizziness.. and the statistic that around half of all women are low in Iron. The ad then quickly prompts you to run out and purchase a certain brand-named Iron supplement, which is then quickly backed up with and endorsement from the Medical fraternity.
Whoa! I bet you didn’t even know you needed Iron until you heard that compelling story, right?
Sadly, Iron is something that I believe is-overmarketed in this country.. and to suggest that its as simple as popping a tablet to fix all your woes, is really just another way of delivering the band-aided ‘symptomatic relief’ model that we have come to accept as the norm.
I aliken low iron to headaches – and instead of just taking a tablet for relief, I want to challenge you to ask yourself the question ‘WHY is this happening to me??”. You see, its all good and well to reach for that supplement drawer when you know you are low, but is this really an ideal long-term solution? Remember that taking elemental iron can come with a myriad of side effects, including nausea and constipation.
So before you kneejerk in the exact manner than a cleverly-designed ad wants you to, I urge you to have a read of some of the ways one can end up with low Iron. If you think you can relate to any of them, I would suggest that at some point, you take the initiate to resolve the problem for good, and seek some sound advice. Your’re welcome.
Low stomach acid = poor Iron absorption. If you are hypothyroid or have adrenal fatigue, you are more likely to have low stomach acid.The Contraceptive pills can decrease your ability to absorb Iron, as does many other medications.People who drink tea around meal times can have low Iron- the tannins in tea will bind iron, rendering it hard to absorb.Low B12 will prevent your red blood cells from being the right shape to take on Iron Low vitamin D can decrease your ability to hold Iron.Low Zinc will decrease your stomach acid, and therefore hinder your ability to absorb Iron.Heavy periods; which is really a chicken-and-egg scenario, because quite often, heavy periods are contributed to by low adrenals or thyroid (which is often to contributed to by low Iron). Undiagnosed food intolerances and sensitivities; If you are not digesting your food properly, you will have a decreased ability to assimilate the nutrients in it (including Iron) Chronic infections of the gastrointestinal tract; again, preventing the ability to absorb minerals such as Iron.