Iron is the most common nutritional deficiency in the United States. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), approximately 10% of women suffer from iron deficiency. Iron is a fundamental component of hemoglobin, the protein molecule in red blood cells that carries oxygen from the lungs to the cells of the body and returns carbon dioxide to the lungs.

Approximately 70% of the body’s iron is stored in an individual’s hemoglobin. If not enough iron is available, the body will not be able to produce a sufficient supply of oxygen-carrying red blood cells, causing a condition referred to as iron-deficiency anemia.

It is very important to be aware of the common symptoms of iron deficiency. They include:

  1. Fatigue
  2. Weakness
  3. Dizziness
  4. Headaches
  5. Shortness of breath
  6. Cold hands and feet
  7. Chest pain
  8. Heart palpitations
  9. Difficulty concentrating
  10. An inability to fight infection

While these symptoms are common to a number of disorders, there are also several easily identifiable physical signs of iron deficiency. They include:

  1. Pale or yellow skin
  2. Brittle nails
  3. Cracks at the side of the mouth
  4. Inflammation of the tongue
  5. Hair loss

The main causes of iron deficiency are poor dietary habits, malabsorption of iron due to gastrointestinal conditions, and blood loss. Congestive heart failure, kidney failure, internal bleeding and obesity can also lead to a deficiency in this essential nutrient.

Fortunately, the diagnosis of iron deficiency can be determined by a simple blood test. In most cases, treatment is also simple. Unless the deficiency is caused by heart failure, kidney failure or internal bleeding, iron pills will typically return levels to normal within two months.

Beacon of LIFE, in Oceanport, NJ, is a government-approved PACE program created to provide seniors, their family, caregivers and professional health care providers the flexibility to meet their health care needs while continuing to live in their community.

Beacon of LIFE maintains an interdisciplinary team of professionals who give each client the coordinated care they need. Our staff specialize in working with older people, and work with each client and their family to develop the most effective plan of care.

We provide a variety of services, including primary care, hospital care, medical specialty services, prescription drugs, nursing home care, emergency services, home care, physical therapy, occupational therapy, adult day care, recreational therapy, meals, dentistry, nutritional counseling, social services, laboratory / X-ray services, social work counseling, and transportation.

Our care and services allow people who would otherwise need to live in a nursing home to live where they want — in their own communities, in their own homes.

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