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Iron and beauty
Iron can make the difference between you feeling on top of the world and downright
miserable. It has a direct effect on your appearance in several ways.
What is your iron status?
Iron deficiency is the most common nutri6onal deficiency and women are among those at greatest risk. Iron is cri6cal for producing hemoglobin, a protein that helps red blood cells deliver oxygen throughout your body.
So without it, everything suffers—and can lead to anemia. Check out these symptoms of iron deficiency and, if you have them, see your doc and request a ferri6n test, which measures your body's iron stores. hGp://www.health.com/health/gallery/0,,20798655,00.html#you-re-pale-0
The most common symptom of iron deficiency, it's also possibly the most difficult one to detect. "Women are so used to having frene6c lives and feeling 6red," says Nancy Berliner, MD, deputy editor of Blood, the journal of the American Society of Hematology.
"They o^en just dismiss being 6red as part of life." However, iron deficiency causes less oxygen to reach your 6ssues, so your body is deprived of the energy it needs. If your "normal" fa6gue is coupled with you feeling, weak, irritable, or unable to focus, iron (or a lack thereof) might have something to do with it.
In women, the number-one cause of iron deficiency is too-heavy periods, says Jacques Moritz, MD, director of gynecology at Mount Sinai St. Luke's Roosevelt in New York City. "They lose too much blood, replace about half of it, and then lose too much again the following month," he says.
"It's like filling up a car with a small hole in the tank." Your period should only fill two to three tablespoons each month. Try the tampon test: If you have to change your tampon more frequently than every two hours, talk to your gyno.
There's a reason the words "pale" and "sickly" are o^en used interchangeably. Hemoglobin gives your blood its red color and, thus, your skin its rosy hue.
That means that low levels of the protein can suck the color straight from your skin, Dr. Moritz says.
If you have a light complexion, it's preGy easy to spot. No maGer your skin tone, though, if the inside of your lips, your gums, and the inside of your boGom eyelids are less red than usual, low iron may be to blame.
Gegng short of breath easily
No maGer how deeply you breathe, if your oxygen levels are low, you'll feel out of air, explains Dr. Berliner.
If you no6ce yourself gegng out of breath doing things that you'd normally handle just fine—be it climbing a flight or stairs or knocking out your usual workout—iron deficiency could be to blame.
An overworked heart can end up suffering from irregular heartbeats, heart murmurs, enlargement, and even heart failure.
For things to get that bad, you would probably have to suffer from iron deficiency anemia for quite some 6me, suggests a review of cardiomyopathy and iron deficiency in the Texas Heart Ins6tute Journal.
However, if you know you have heart problems, it's important to get your iron levels checked as iron deficiency can worsen exis6ng heart problems.
Restless leg syndrome
Can't stop fidge6ng? About 15% of people with restless leg syndrome have iron deficiency, according to John Hopkins Medicine.
The lower the iron levels, the worse the symptoms.
Craving (and actually ea6ng) non-food substances can be a sign of of iron deficiency.
Iron-deficient people may be tempted to chow down on chalk, clay, dirt, and paper. Luckily, most women opt for ice, says Dr. Berliner, who tells her anemic pa6ents to come back to see her if they start craving ice.
Anxiousness for no reason
As if your life wasn't stressful enough, iron deficiency can trick you into feeling even more anxious.
A lack of oxygen revs up your body's sympathe6c nervous system, which is kind of like your body's gas pedal, Dr. Berliner says.
Plus, since iron deficiency can send your heart racing, it's easy to feel like you're in fight-or-flight mode even when you have every reason to feel relaxed. hGp://www.health.com/health/gallery/0,,20798655,00.html#you-re-pale-0
Iron deficiency, especially when it progresses into full-blown iron deficiency anemia, can cause hair loss.
"It sends your body into survival mode, so your body channels oxygen to support vital func6ons as opposed to ones like keeping your hair intact," explains Dr. Moritz.
Don't panic if there are a few hairs in your drain, though. Most scalps lose about 100 hairs on a good day. hGp://www.health.com/health/gallery/0,,20798655,00.html#you-re-pale-0
Iron deficiency slows your body's thyroid func6on and blocks its metabolism-boos6ng effects, according to the Na6onal Academy of Hypothyroidism.
Hypothyroidism if o^en missed—six in 10 people with a thyroid disease don't know they have it, according to the American Thyroid Associa6on
—So if you no6ce low energy levels, weight gain, or even a lower body temperature, talk to your doctor. hGp://www.health.com/health/gallery/0,,20798655,00.html#you-re-pale-0
Folic acid deservedly gets a lot of pre-natal press, but babies-to-be also need iron, and they can steal mom's stores.
What's more, many women lose a substan6al amount of blood during delivery, which can lower iron counts, Dr. Moritz says.
If you're pregnant with mul6ples, have pregnancies close together, or regularly vomit because of morning sickness, you may need to boost your iron intake.
Celiac or IBD
Even if you get enough iron in your diet, celiac disease and inflammatory bowel diseases like Crohn's and ulcera6ve coli6s can lead to problems absorbing nutrients, iron included.
These condi6ons cause inflamma6on in and damage to the diges6ve tract.
If you've been diagnosed with any of these GI diseases, talk to you doctor about how you can increase your iron absorp6on.
Iron is important
“The hair cells are the fastest growing cells in the body but they are also the first ones to be affected you don’t eat right or suffer with deficiencies because they are not required for survival.
All the nutrients that you consume are first sent to the parts of the body that really need them like the heart, liver, kidneys and then what’s le^ benefits your hair.
This makes it important for you to consume the right nutrients and in the right quan66es.” hGp://food.ndtv.com/beauty/iron-and-protein-gegng-to-the-root-of-hair-loss-768613
Iron is important
"Un6l I became pregnant I had always suffered with spots and blemishes.
During my pregnancy I was found to be anaemic and put on a iron & folic acid supplement and my skin cleared up instantly. When the course of tablets ran out my skin became blemished and spoGy again.
I purchased some more tablets and my skin cleared within two days- not a single spot! A^er years of was6ng money on creams that never worked, I'm wondering what it is about iron that does wonders for your skin." hGp://www.netdoctor.co.uk/ask-the-expert/skin-and-hair/a3205/why-have-iron-supplements-improved-my-skin/
Iron is important
"Iron is also necessary to maintain healthy cells, skin, hair, and nails," says Elaine Chogner, MD, clinical assistant professor and director of General Hematology Clinics at the University of Michigan Medical Center” hGp://www.webmd.com/vitamins-and-supplements/features/iron-supplements
Iron is important
According to Tamara Lior, a Florida-based dermatologist, healthy nails reflect a healthy body. hGp://www.healthyfood.co.nz/ar6cles/2008/june/8-steps-to-healthy-skin-hair-and-nails
As die66an Cindy Williams explains, beauty really does come from the inside…Glossy hair, strong nails and glowing skin may be signs of a great beauty regime, but the importance of a great diet shouldn't be underes6mated. www.healthyfood.co.nz/ar6cles/2008/june/8-steps-to-healthy-skin-hair-and-nails
Look (And Feel) More Energized "..Iron contributes to your overall beauty and wellbeing, says Elisa Zied, author of Younger Next Week:
Your Ul6mate Rx to Reverse the Clock, Boost Energy and Look and Feel Younger in 7 Days. "When you deplete your iron stores, you can develop anemia and experience fa6gue and weakness," she says.
"That certainly won't help you look and feel vibrant or energized." hGp://www.womenshealthmag.com/beauty/vitamin-c-benefits
Two types of iron
All iron is not created equal. Your body absorbs heme iron—which comes from meat, poultry, and fish—two to three 6mes more efficiently than non-heme iron from plants, says nutri6onist Rania Batayneh, author of The One One One Diet. hGp://www.health.com/health/gallery/0,,20798655,00.html#you-re-pale-0
Today there are extremely well-tolerated heme iron supplements in the Op6Fer® series available.
They will not ruin the therapy with stomach trouble and they are more efficient than any other form of supplemental iron,
Superior heme iron supplements