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Iron Deficiency

by Advanced GI WA

Iron deficiency is still the most common nutritional deficiency in Australia, especially among children and women of childbearing age where it can lead to iron-deficiency anaemia, a serious condition where red blood cell production falls.

If dietary iron requirements are not met, the body's iron stores gradually run down.

Iron is an important dietary mineral involved in various bodily functions. Iron is part of haemoglobin, the red pigment in the blood that carries oxygen from the lungs throughout the body, and myoglobin that transports oxygen in the muscles. Iron deficiency means less oxygen is delivered to the cells leading to fatigue, tiredness and decreased immunity.

High-risk groups include menstruating women, pregnant women, babies and toddlers, teenage girls and female athletes. Indigenous Australians, refugees and recent immigrants from developing countries, vegans and vegetarians, people who repeatedly crash diet, and hospitalised or institutionalised patients are also at risk.

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