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Medical Edge: How your body's iron content affects you

Updated: Thursday, December 18 2014, 03:18 PM EST
CINCINNATI (Liz Bonis) -- Iron deficiency is the number one reason women are not able to donate blood, and with iron being what is known as an essential nutrient, iron deficiency is not something that you should allow yourself.

Iron is needed in every cell in the body, and when you do not have enough of it you begin to notice symptoms quickly. Your energy will drop, your skin may become pale, and people often report trouble and weakness with hair and nails. If you notice any of these symptoms it is important to have your iron levels checked by your doctor so that you can start on the rebuilding process if needed.

Iron can be found in iron rich foods such as: red meat, eggs, spinach, raisins, iron fortified cereals and beans. Iron supplements can also be used to increase your daily iron intake and meet your nutritional goals. Foods high in Vitamin C, such as oranges and grapefruits, can assist in your body's iron absorption process.

If you are planning on donating blood then it is important that you make sure your iron levels are optimal, as the donation deferral process has recently been extended. Don't let low iron in your diet slow you down.

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