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Jan
13
2016

Iron Deficiency

If the body doesn’t absorb its needed amount of iron, it becomes iron deficient.

Having weight loss surgery increases your chances of becoming iron deficient over time.

Symptoms appear only when iron deficiency has progressed to iron deficiency anemia, a condition in which the body’s iron stores are so low that not enough normal red blood cells can be made to carry oxygen efficiently.

Symptoms include:

  • Fatigue
  • Pale skin and fingernails
  • Weakness
  • Dizziness
  • Headache
  • Glossitis (inflamed tongue)

Food Sources of Iron

The body absorbs two to three times more iron from animal sources than from plants. Some of the best dietary sources of iron are:

  • Lean beef
  • Turkey
  • Chicken
  • Lean pork
  • Fish

Although you absorb less of the iron in plants, every bite counts, and adding vitamin C to vegetarian sources of iron will enhance absorption. Some of the best plant sources of iron that are acceptable to eat after weight loss surgery are:

  • Beans, including pinto, kidney, soybeans and lentils
  • Dark green leafy vegetables such as spinach

Be sure to keep up on having your bloodwork checked as recommended in order to catch any deficiencies.

It’s smarter to prevent deficiencies rather than have to correct them!

Reference source: eatright.org