Check The Gut PART 2….Iron Deficiency
Healthy gut function and iron deficiency go hand in hand. Are you iron deficient, taking supplements but seeing no improvements? Maybe you need to check your gut.
Finding where the problem lies….
Is it coming in?
A common cause of iron deficiency is a diet that is low in iron rich foods whether it be a diet of processed foods, vegan or vegetarian diet or just lacking iron rich foods.
- Include iron rich foods in the diet: red meat, organ meats like liver, green leafy vegetables, molasses and spinach
- Eat Vitamin C sources alongside iron rich foods to increase absorption
- Did you know that cooking food in cast iron cookware causes the food to absorb iron and increases your iron?
Is it staying in?
If the diet has plenty of iron rich foods the problem could lie with the absorption of the diet. Common things that inhibit absorption of iron are caffeine and tannins, competing minerals, poor digestive function or other digestive issues such as parasites, or medications, especially antacids and proton pump inhibitors.
- Consume caffeine at least 1- 2 hours away from iron rich foods and supplements. Cut down on caffeine if you are deficient
- Consuming vitamin-c alongside iron rich foods and supplements to enhance the absorption of iron. These foods include oranges, kiwi fruit, red capsicum, strawberries and broccoli
- Reduce unnecessary medications by trialling lifestyle changes. Avoid certain foods that trigger sensitivities, no heavy meals at night, heal the gut and manage stress etc
- Digestive enzymes support optimal digestion and absorption of nutrients, increasing the absorption of iron from both foods and supplements. Supercharging the iron being taken
Is it leaking out?
So you have ensured you are getting iron in and your body is absorbing the iron, it is essential to find out why the iron is leaking out otherwise it’s like filling up a bucket of water with holes in it. You can continue to fill all you want but it will never “be full”.
- Conditions such as inflammatory bowel disease, ulcerations or tumours could be a culprit. Chronic unexplained iron deficiency needs to be further investigated
- If you generally experience gut symptoms, work on healing your gut which will help with absorption of nutrients
- Do you have heavy menstrual bleeds? If yes, look into hormone testing and work with a professional to heal your hormones
- During pregnancy the needs of iron double. Prenatal vitamins containing iron or an iron supplement is advised
- Coeliac and gluten intolerance is a common cause of iron deficiency that won’t improve. In chronic unexplained iron deficiency this should also be tested
- Get iron tested before taking a supplement. Excess iron is not good. Supplement if you have a proven deficiency, then maintain levels with diet
- Not all iron supplements are created equal, some are high dose but poorly absorbed and some are lower dose but easily and well absorbed. Chat to your health care professional to find a good formula and one that doesn’t cause gut symptoms
- Replenishing iron stores can take up to 4 months. Retest after 3-6months
- Studies have shown that taking iron on alternate days is more effective for absorption
Mild iron deficiency
Liquid iron like Spatone and Flordix although lower doses are very easily absorbed iron formulas, that don’t have the side effects if you are very sensitive.
Love Alissa & Kristyn ❤
**Always read the label. Follow the Directions for Use. If symptoms persist, talk to your health professional. This medicine may not be right for you. Read the warnings before purchase.**