Hey Heather, it's me again.

Iron, man

Hey Heather, it's me again.

Did you know that iron deficiency is the most common nutritional deficiency in the world? I did not. What’s weird about it is that while there are many symptoms, they can be misconstrued as signs stemming from other causes. Tired in the afternoon? Oh well, I didn’t sleep well. Trouble focusing? Must be because of the lack of sleep. You look pale. Maybe I should get out more.

As you can guess from the fact that I’m writing this article, I lacked iron. Most of my symptoms were inconspicuous. I mean, everyone gets tired now and then. Though I did have one symptom that wasn’t mentioned in any article I read. The skin on my hands and face was less taut. I just though it was due to the passage of time.

Diagnosis and treatment is usually pretty simple. You get a blood test which checks the levels of a protein that stores and releases iron called Ferritin. If the levels are low, you take an iron supplement that will increase your stored iron. That’s if you don’t have an absorption problem. You can also modify your diet to make sure you get enough in your meals. There are also other indicators that can be checked during the blood test but I know less about those.

Anyway, I found this table that shows how much ferritin you should have depending on your sex and age:

Adult males 40–300 ng/mL (μg/L)
Adult females 20–200 ng/mL (μg/L)
Children 50–140 ng/mL (μg/L)
Infants 50–200 ng/mL (μg/L)
Neonates 25–200 ng/mL (μg/L)

To close off this tale of suspense, do you wanna know what my levels were?

I had 2 μg/L. It’s a marvel I could still function with such a stark deficit.

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