Can a heavy menstrual cycle lead to Iron deficiency?
A healthy period looks different for everyone. However, in some cases, a heavier flow can lead to damaging health conditions. For those who suffer from heavy menstrual bleeding, it can result in too much blood loss and eventually lead to iron-deficient anemia.
What exactly is anemia?
Anemia occurs when there is a decrease in red blood cells and hemoglobin in the body. What’s hemoglobin? Hemoglobin is an iron-containing protein that lives in your red blood cells. Its main job is to bind with oxygen molecules, and transport them throughout the body.
Now let’s talk about red blood cells. Red blood cells originate in the bone marrow and live for about 110 days. During their life cycle, they transport different gases throughout the body and are eventually broken down by the liver, spleen and lymph nodes. When this cycle is disrupted, it can lead to anemia. When there are not enough red blood cells, your body doesn’t receive enough oxygen and this can show up in symptoms such as weakness, fatigue and pale skin.
How can a heavy period cause anemia?
Those who menstruate are more affected by anemia since they lose blood each month during their periods. Since blood contains iron, this means that you’re losing iron each time you have your period. As a result, those who experience exceptionally heavy periods are more susceptible to anemia.
What’s the reason behind a heavier flow?
There are a couple of reasons why some people experience a heavier menstrual flow.
Some of these reasons include:
- Noncancerous growths within the uterus
- When glands within the endometrium become embedded in the uterine muscle
- Abnormal growths on the cervix or uterus
Additional bleeding disorders you have concerns about your menstrual bleeding or think that you may suffer from abnormally heavy menstrual periods, talk to your healthcare practitioner. Iron deficient anemia can also occur during pregnancy and lactation, due to the growth and development that occurs within the body during this time. Those who are pregnant require roughly 2 to 3 times more iron than they normally would. The further blood loss that happens during childbirth can also lead to or contribute to this condition.
So, what should I do if I have anemia?
The best place to start if you suffer from iron-deficient anemia is with your dietary iron intake. Try adding more of these foods into your diet:
- Red meat If you continue to deal with iron deficiency, a supplemental source of iron just might be the answer.
Orange Natural’s Iron Complex is formulated with chelated iron that’s easy to absorb. Unlike many supplements that contain ferrous sulphate, this formula is gentle on the stomach and won't cause gastrointestinal upset. Each 20 mg capsule is enhanced with vitamins C, B6, B12 and folic acid.