Iron is an important nutrient responsible for the production of hemoglobin. Hemoglobin transports oxygen through the bloodstream via red blood cells. This allows for regular organ functions and physical activity.
Iron deficiency lowers the production of hemoglobin which in turn transports less oxygen to the bloodstream. B12 and Iron deficiency cause anemia, which can be mild, moderate, or even severe. Mild to moderate anemia may not require hospitalization, but they do disrupt your life by causing fatigue. This leads many to wonder how they can raise iron levels quickly.
Before learning how to produce more iron quickly, it’s important to understand its role and the signs to look for indicating a need for increasing iron levels.
Iron is a complex nutrient that requires B12 and vitamin C to properly metabolize in humans. This means that stable iron levels achieved through nutrition require paying attention to other nutrients as well.
Most people can get adequate iron from their diets. In cases where the diet is not enough, drugs or blood transfusions might be necessary.
However, while too little iron is dangerous, heightened iron levels lead to hemochromatosis.
Low iron levels manifest in fatigue, weakness, and paler skin (than your usual healthy skin tone). At this stage concentration and other regular functions are disrupted. If you find your breathing is labored, and that your lips and fingernails are always blue, it may be the time to see a doctor.
Anemia and low iron levels are linked because a patient with anemia has too few red blood cells or hemoglobin. Raising iron levels can reverse adverse anemic symptoms depending on a patient’s medical history.
There are different types of anemia, though the most common and the one that raising iron levels resolve is Iron Deficiency Anemia.
So, How do I Raise Iron Levels Quickly?
If you determine you have an iron deficiency, there are several things you can do. Depending on the cause of anemia, the first approach should be a change in your diet. Following changes to your nutrition, it may be necessary to get a blood test and pursue further steps.
In cases of minor anemia, it can take 2-4 weeks to reverse the symptoms of anemia. While most people can get iron through their diets, vegetarians and vegans may have to be more intentional about ensuring they get enough iron and b12 in their diets.
Focus on iron-rich foods such as:
- Leafy Greens (which are also often rich in Vitamin C)
- Fortified cereals (look for ones that have B12 and Iron)
- Prunes and Raisins
- Red Meat or Iron enriched meat substitutes
- Enriched Rice
Combine these iron-rich foods with peppers, eggs, tomatoes, and beans (or all of the above!) for a meal with iron and necessary B12 and Vitamin C.
Oral supplements are a popular way to augment your diet when levels are low. There are traditional oral iron supplements, though they do risk hemochromatosis when taken with increased dietary iron levels. In addition, most of them can cause various side effects in the digestive system, like constipation, diarrhea, and nausea.
Other supplements include ones that affect metabolization. IronCatch supplement is iron-free but increases absorption of dietary iron. This reduces the risk of side effects and hemochromatosis while still raising iron levels quickly.
Appropriate Iron Levels are Required for Daily Function
Whether it’s increasing absorption from your diet, or taking a supplement, it’s important to know your body and see a doctor before pursuing oral supplements or injections.