Iron deficiency

Iron deficiency can manifest with different complaints, such as exhaustion, loss of performance or hair loss in particular. In the case of pronounced iron deficiency, this also causes iron deficiency anaemia, which manifests in shortness of breath, dizziness, palpitations and pale skin. Iron deficiency is treated by eliminating the cause and administering iron with different iron supplements.

Iron is an essential element and fulfils various functions in the body. Iron is an integral component of haemoglobin for the transport of oxygen in the blood. Iron is also an important component of different metabolic disorders. Our body requires around 10 to 15 mg of iron per day. Iron deficiency is a relatively common phenomenon. Women are affected by it slightly more frequently than men.  It is estimated that around 15% of women who are not yet in menopause are deficient in iron. Iron deficiency occurs when the balance between iron intake and iron loss is disturbed. The most frequent causes for this are increased loss of iron via bleeding (such as menstrual bleeding), increased need for iron (children, sportspeople, older women) or reduced iron intake via the bowel in the case of inflammatory bowel diseases or food intolerances.

A variety of symptoms occur in patients with iron deficiency due to the various functions for which iron is responsible in our body. The most common symptoms are exhaustion, reduced performance, concentration difficulties, hair loss, dizziness, breathlessness and rapid heartbeat.

If the patient has suspected iron deficiency, a blood test is carried out. If they do actually have iron deficiency, the cause of the deficiency must be found and remedied. Severe menstrual bleeding is usually responsible for iron deficiency in women who have not yet undergone menopause. If this is no longer a cause, other diagnostic clarifications and examinations, such as a colonoscopy, may be required.

On one hand, iron deficiency is treated by remedying the cause and on the other by administering iron. Different supplements such as tablets, drops, syrups, injections or infusions are available to administer iron. The chosen supplement depends on every patient’s individual situation and the extent of their iron deficiency.