- Pale or yellowish skin
- Irregular heartbeats
- Shortness of breath
- Dizziness or lightheadedness
- Chest pain
- Cold hands and feet
During pregnancy, we need double the amount of Iron that nonpregnant women need as our body needs this Iron to make more blood to supply oxygen to our baby. So if we don’t have enough iron stores or get enough iron during pregnancy we can develop anemia.
There are two main reasons why we don’t have enough Iron.
When we don’t eat enough foods rich in Iron. This condition is very common among vegans and vegetarians.
If you eat plenty of meat and beans, and you still are Iron deficient, you could have an absorption issue.
What does an absorption issue mean?
The main role of our small intestine is to absorb nutrients from the food we eat into our bloodstream, but sometimes there can be certain foods or underlying conditions which could cause that our intestine doesn’t absorb the vitamins and minerals we need.
Factors that may cause malabsorption include:
Leaky gut: damage to the intestine from infection, inflammation, trauma, or prolonged use of antibiotics.
Celiac disease, Crohn’s disease, chronic pancreatitis, or cystic fibrosis.
Gluten or Lactose sensitivity.
Gallbladder, liver, or pancreas conditions.
Intestinal conditions such as Intestinal Bowel Syndrome (IBS), or Small Intestinal Bowel Overgrowth (SIBO)
Cystic Fibrosis or severe hormonal imbalances.
Iron deficiency can be solved pretty straightforward with supplements that doctors can provide. However, if you really want to solve this issue, you should start investigating!
Simple things you can try.
Increase the amount of Iron-rich food sources in your diet such as animal protein, beans, and peas, dark green leafy vegetables, such as spinach.
Avoid gluten and lactose for some time to see how it goes. There is plenty of evidence of the correlation between gluten and anemia (1)
Whenever you eat foods with Iron mix them with Vitamin C as vitamin C increases iron absorption. For example, sprinkle your meat with some lime or lemon. (2)
If you’re not pregnant yet or are struggling to conceive, look into your Iron levels. Optimizing this mineral can be a game-changer!
If you belong to my tribe, you won’t take a “this condition is forever” answer. Hack your health and get on top of it, so you can be as well and vibrant as you can possibly be.