It is perfectly normal to feel a little tired now and then. Late night or long working hours may leave you exhausted and feeling deprived of energy. However, if this tiredness persists for days or weeks altogether, it may be a significant sign of chronic fatigue.
Natural tiredness passes away once you sleep for seven to eight hours. But chronic fatigue is something that lasts for a long time and no amount of rest or sleep helps. And one of the most common reasons for this fatigue is iron deficiency in the body.
According to the World Health Organization, almost two billion people across the world suffer from iron deficiency anemia. This is a serious medical disorder that causes several distressing symptoms that meddle with one’s daily life. However, for most people, chronic fatigue is the most common symptom that makes performing regular activities very hard.
In most cases of iron deficiency, consuming an iron-rich diet together with some dietary supplements helps to find relief.
Understanding the Relation between Iron Deficiency and Chronic Fatigue
Fatigue is one of the most common symptoms of iron deficiency. An insufficient amount of iron in the body makes it difficult to produce an adequate amount of hemoglobin. This hemoglobin is an integral part of the red blood cells and is vital for carrying oxygen to all of the body cells.
Typically, the gastrointestinal tract absorbs iron that is present in different foods. This iron then travels to the liver where it gets stored until it is required by the body to produce new red blood cells. But in people with iron deficiency, there is not enough iron to produce fresh red blood cells. Thus, fewer cells translate to less hemoglobin transporting oxygen all through the body which leaves you feeling fatigued.
Many times, people suffer from chronic fatigue that interferes with their ability to perform their everyday chores. If this is the case, you must consult a doctor immediately. He might recommend taking certain dietary supplements to reduce the intensity of the iron deficiency anemia symptoms.
Moving on, there are some other symptoms of iron deficiency anemia. Depending on an individual’s iron levels in the body, one may experience the following symptoms:
- Headache and dizziness
- Chronic fatigue
- Shortness of breath
- Heart palpitations
- Cold hands and feet
- Damaged hair and brittle nails
- Soreness in the mouth and tongue
Who is Most at Risk for Iron Deficiency Anemia?
Generally, anyone can get iron deficiency. However, there are certain groups of people that are at a greater risk for iron deficiency and anemia. These include:
- People who donate blood very frequently
- Infants, children, and older adults
- Women, especially those who are menstruating
Best Ways to Treat Anemia –Induced Chronic Fatigue?
There are different ways to treat chronic fatigue caused by anemia. One such way is red blood cell transfusion. However, it is a very costly procedure. Apart from that, many people also opt for intravenous iron therapy. It is a simple procedure in which iron is administered through IV to replenish the levels of the nutrient in the body.
Lastly, there is also an option of surgery. But all these procedures are only opted for in cases of severe anemia. Less severe cases are often resolved by taking certain dietary supplements as suggested by your doctor.
Moving on, there are some lifestyle changes that help to fight anemia-induced chronic fatigue. The most common and effective ones include:
- Include iron-rich foods in your everyday diet.
- Make sure to maintain a healthy lifestyle with balanced eating, regular exercise, and adequate sleep.
- Include vitamin C-rich foods in your diet as the nutrient helps to increase iron absorption in the body.
- Cut down on the consumption of caffeine, added sugars, and alcohol to keep your energy levels boosted.
- Drink plenty of water as dehydration may further contribute to the condition of chronic fatigue.
- Monitor your condition and symptoms and visit your doctor for regular checkups.
- Try to do exercise daily as that helps to fight fatigue. Indulging in some kind of aerobic exercise is a good idea.
Make sure to notify your doctor in case of any worsening of the symptoms. This will help to keep the anemia in check.