Learn about Iron Deficiency

Why is Iron So Important for Your Health?

Iron is essential for your body. It is needed for your mental and physical health and to keep your energy levels up. Iron is present in a substance called haemoglobin, which is found in red blood cells. Haemoglobin carries oxygen in the blood from the lungs to the rest of the body. Oxygen is required in your brain for concentration and in your muscles for physical energy. Iron is also needed to maintain a healthy immune system, helping you to fight off infections.

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Definitions

How is Iron Deficiency defined?

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Are You Getting Enough Iron?

Balancing the supply and demand for iron in your body is important to maintain good health. Normally your body keeps your iron levels balanced, and the iron that is used every day to make new red blood cells is replaced by the iron that is present in your food. The iron in your food is absorbed into the bloodstream in your small intestine. The supply and demand for iron in your body can become unbalanced for a number of reasons and this can lead to iron deficiency.

Do You Feel "More Than Just Tired"?

Everyone gets tired from time to time, but if you feel exhausted every day, you may be suffering from fatigue. It can be useful to consider your lifestyle and daily stresses and strains and to find out what, if anything, makes you feel more awake and energised. If you are experiencing fatigue, you may feel physically and mentally exhausted and lack energy for a number of days each week, even if you have not been doing any physical activities that are particularly tiring. There are many causes of fatigue, including iron deficiency. Speak to your doctor about your fatigue and use the fatigue questionnaire to track your tiredness.