It’s just fatigue or iron deficiency?

If it is cold and dark outside, many people feel listless, pale, and vulnerable. This is only the winter Blues or lack of something? Some find in the drugstore or pharmacy in accordance with the remedies to help the tired body back on the jumps. The popular food Supplement with iron then.

In fact, iron deficiency is common relatively. “In Europe, about 10 percent of the population are affected. Among the women it is even 20 percent,” says Georgia Metzgeroth, senior physician of Hematology and Oncology at the University clinic of Mannheim.

However, the expert does not recommend any over-the-counter iron supplements. If you feel tired, drive arm, and pale, so the typical anemia symptoms show, then it is a case for the doctor. The must first consider whether it is, in fact, a lack of iron.

In addition, the funds from the drugstore are dosed too low to treat iron deficiency or iron-deficiency anemia, the anemia effectively. The preparations brought, therefore, only seems to do something against typical iron-deficiency symptoms. For certain risk groups, such as people with a so-called iron storage disease, there is still the risk of an Overdose.

Not without medical advice!

The Federal Institute for risk assessment (BfR) and the German nutrition society (DGE) recommend that iron supplements only after doctor’s advice to take. Because it could not be excluded that a longer-term, uncontrolled intake the risk of Diabetes as well as heart and cancer increases diseases. More than six milligrams a day you should not take without a doctor’s consultation to be.

But when it is time, the doctor present? Supply you notice in the first. The body relies first on existing reserves, declared Metzgeroth. Only if you take over a longer period of time, too little iron to be, there is a deficiency. Among the first symptoms

  • dry skin,
  • Hair and nail brittleness,
  • Tears in the corners of the mouth,
  • an increased susceptibility to infection.

It does not control against at least now, it can lead to anemia. It shows through in every case

  • Fatigue,
  • General weakness,
  • Concentration problems
  • and the disturbance of body temperature regulation.

According to Metzgeroth, the symptoms can be even more diverse: Some see the so-called Restless Legs syndrome, in which the legs twitch during the night.

Risk Factor Is Menstruation

To a true iron-deficiency anemia in this country only in the case of only 0.6 per cent of the population. A lack of only certain risk groups should prevent therefore. This one differs in accordance with the increased needs and decreased consumption.

An increased need in particular for girls and women of childbearing age and Pregnant women, according to Metzgeroth: “Because, at birth, a woman loses approximately one gram of iron. Also at each menstrual period the woman is iron loses. Therefore, women are generally iron poorer than men.” Also extreme sports enthusiasts and athletes, the muscle building operate, as well as children and adolescents during growth spurts need more iron. Diseases associated with chronic bleeding, such as Gastritis also lead to an increased need.

Decreased iron absorption can, however, be caused by disease – for example, when too little stomach acid is then formed. Also some medications affect the absorption of Iron. One of the most common causes of an unbalanced diet, however.

Also vegetables contain iron

Who now thinks of vegetarians and Vegans is wrong. Junk food and the wrong combination of foods are problematic. “It is true that the body iron from animal can utilize food better than from plant foods. Which is not to say, however, that you must be taken care of as a vegetarian or Vegan automatically,” says nutritionist Antje Gahl of the German nutrition society.

Vegetarians should, however, be careful, a lot of Vitamin C with food, as this increases the absorption of iron from plant foods.

In order to prevent an iron deficiency, recommends the DGE, an iron intake of 10 milligrams per day for men and 15 milligrams per day for women. This can be achieved via a healthy, balanced diet is good to. “Our most important sources for the supply of iron – if you look at the amount of consumption, frequency of consumption, and the iron content are bread, meat, sausages and vegetables,” says the nutritionist.

Iron food, among other things, chanterelles, spinach, salsify, lentils, beef, pork, oatmeal, rye, are rich as well as whole wheat bread.