There are several types of anemia, which affect a quarter of the world’s population, but iron-deficiency anemia is the most common. From endurance athletes to women who’ve just given birth, iron deficiency is common in many walks of life. Recent research has tried to dive into the world of iron to understand how to properly identify and treat an illness such as a deficiency in ways that are safer for the affected person. However, many questions remain regarding accurate treatment according to a person’s individual situation and needs.
Gaps in Knowledge & Understanding of Iron Deficiency
There are over 100 published clinical trials of iron interventions both for pregnant women and women who have just had a baby. And, even though doctors and various medical companies continue to engage in research regarding the preparations of iron, there’s still a gap between the research and the distribution of such treatment. One of the main issues is the lack of access to proper care, followed closely by the lack of awareness surrounding the importance of iron in one’s body. More people around the world should understand the symptoms of low iron and the significance that means on their minds and bodies. Once people understand what to look for, they’ll be better equipped when seeking medical attention. On top of this awareness, new statistical methods will need to continue to develop that allow doctors to compare all treatments against one another and build a network of comparisons.
The Dangers of Emerging Treatments
People who are anemic or who are experiencing low iron levels are typically prescribed iron tablets and guided on how to alter their diet to naturally include more iron-rich foods. However, patients who have trouble taking iron pills orally, can’t absorb iron through their gut, or who need to increase their iron levels fast might be prescribed an iron infusion. During this procedure, iron is delivered to the body intravenously and can take up to 3 or 4 hours.
While this seems like a positive development in the treatment of iron deficiency, some patients can have an iron infusion reaction in which they experience severe hypotension, shock and other problems associated with low phosphate levels. The key surrounding these types of rapid treatments is to try and monitor low iron levels from the onset of symptoms and ensure that proactive treatment is considered. This allows patients to properly manage their iron before it gets to a point of needing a rapid infusion.
Iron Deficiency Can Be Treated
Regardless of an individual’s specific situation, iron deficiency can be treated with proper diet, exercise and management. Doctors now have the capacity to perform a simple blood test to determine if someone is iron deficient or not as well as understand the root of the cause. While waiting for a diagnosis and plan of action, people who feel that they have low iron can eat foods high in iron such as red meats, beans and greens and ensure they’re getting a well-rounded dose of vitamins and minerals from other natural food sources as well.