What Causes Iron Deficiency?

Common Risk Factors That Cause Low Iron

Iron is an essential and vitally important mineral in our bodies…and yet, iron deficiency & iron deficiency anemia is the most common blood disorder worldwide.

Our bodies depend on iron for an incredible number of functions & processes, which is why the symptoms of iron deficiency can significantly affect your quality of life.

Am I at Risk of Low iron deficiency?

First, let’s take a look at the factors that often cause low iron.  These common conditions increase the likelihood that you may become iron deficient.

Blood Loss:  In pre-menopausal women, menstrual blood loss is the most common cause.  In men and post-menopausal women, blood loss from the gut is the most common cause. 

  • Menstrual blood loss 
  • Blood loss from the gut
  • Surgical Patients
  • Kidney dialysis
  • Gastric ulcers

Increased Iron Requirement:  Physical demands of pregnancy, rapid growth, or endurance athletics increase the iron required for healthy function.

  • Pregnancy
  • Breastfeeding
  • Rapid growth
  • Athletes

Reduced Absorption of Iron (Malabsorption):  Those with damage to their gut have a reduced ability to uptake iron and are at risk of developing iron deficiency and iron deficiency anemia.

  • Antacids, PPIs (proton pump inhibitors)
  • Partial or total removal of the gut (ie: bariatric surgery)
  • Inflammatory bowel disease
  • Vegetarian or Vegan

You can download a free risk factor & symptom checker printable in The Iron Repair Manual here

Iron deficiency is the most common nutrient deficiency worldwide

The World Health Organization estimates that one-third of the world population is affected by iron deficiency. It is most prevalent in menstruating, pregnant, or pre-menopausal women, and children under the age of five. In Europe for example, iron deficiency affects up to 33% of pre-menopausal women, up to 77% of pregnant women, and up to 48% of children.

Iron deficiency also often affects those with chronic inflammatory diseases and restrictive surgical procedures. It is estimated that 36-90% of patients with Inflammatory bowel disease, and 25-50% of bariatric patients are affected by iron deficiency.

Despite the fact that iron deficiency affects millions throughout the world, it still goes unrecognized and undiagnosed far too often.  Sadly, many women struggle for years with debilitating symptoms (fatigue, hair loss, headaches, anxiety, etc), without discovering the root cause of their suffering.

I am in one of these risk categories, what should I do?

If you feel you are at risk of iron deficiency or you are experiencing the symptoms of low iron, it is important to request the important blood tests necessary to identify iron deficiency and work with your doctor to identify what is causing your deficiency.

Sometimes the root cause of your low iron is easy to identify, as in cases of heavy menstrual bleeding, pregnancy, or gastric bypass.  Other times the culprit is not as obvious, and you must work with your doctor to identify and treat the root of the problem.

For More of the Science & Secrets I discovered about Iron Deficiency, I’d love to give you a FREE copy of the Iron Repair Manual.

The Science & Secrets You Can Use to Fight Back against Iron deficiency. Including:

  1. Symptom Checker: What is your body trying to tell you?
  2. Risk Factors: Am I at risk of iron deficiency?
  3. Secret Blood Tests: Test you NEED, but your doctor probably hasn’t ordered!
  4. Iron In Your Diet: What helps & hurts iron absorption?
  5. The Secret Iron Body Guard: The newly discovered iron regulator (that your doctor may not even be aware of) that controls iron absorption.
  6. Iron Supplements: Why the iron supplement you’re taking is actually working AGAINST you and making it almost impossible to raise your iron levels!
  7. The Iron Repair Method: The science based road map I created to improve your iron levels and take back your life!

Click Here to get your free copy!

References:

World Health Organization on micronutrient deficiency

Herrmann, Wolfgang, Heike Schorr, Rima Obeid, and Jürgen Geisel. “Vitamin B-12 status, particularly holotranscobalamin II and methylmalonic acid concentrations, and hyperhomocysteinemia in vegetarians.” The American journal of clinical nutrition 78, no. 1 (2003): 131-136.

Gibson S, Ashwell M. The association between red and processed meat consumption and iron intakes and status among British adults. Public Health Nutr. 2003;6:341–350

Public Health Nutr. 2003 Aug;6(5):485-96.

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