Low iron? Here's what to do...
Iron is important for many functions in the body including thyroid function, liver detoxification, mood, immune function and energy. If your iron levels are consistently low, we need to address why...
There are many factors involved, but from a TCM perspective, low iron is associated with Blood & Spleen Qi deficiency. The Spleen relates to our gut health, digestion and our ability to absorb nutrients from food. An overworked or weak Spleen is unable to produce enough Blood to meet our needs or replace what is lost.
🩸Signs of Blood deficiency- dizziness, dull headaches, depression, sleeping issues (waking up in the night), fatigue, thin/ brittle hair or hair loss, vivid dreams, cold feet, anxiety, blurred vision or floaters in the eyes, muscle cramps, pale complexion (and tongue).
🩸Signs of Spleen deficiency- low energy, poor appetite especially in the morning, early or heavy periods, feeling stuck in thought loops, poor digestion (easy bloating or diarrhoea/sticky stools).
Why is it low?
It may be because diet is inadequate, you have digestion/absorption issues, you are overdoing the exercise, constitutionally predisposed (genetics), there’s an underlying infection or inflammation, heavy periods or abnormal bleeding (this also can be due to a Spleen deficiency), are pregnant or lost a lot of blood during childbirth, even certain medications.
What can you do?
1️⃣ Firstly address diet… are you eating enough food, warm & cooked meals, eating breakfast, enough blood nourishing foods (dark coloured foods, red foods, iron rich food sources). Also look at food combinations (e.g. vitamin C helps absorb iron, calcium and tannins such as those in coffee/tea reduce iron absorption… keep it 30-60min from supplement/food.
2️⃣ Address lifestyle- are you overdoing exercise or work? Are you resting enough (true rest)? Are you constantly worrying/ruminating on things? How are your sleep habits?
3️⃣ Get acupuncture- this works to support digestion (so you can better absorb iron) & nourish blood. It is also important to address WHY your iron is low (e.g. any underlying infections/ inflammation, digestive or absorption issues or heavy/abnormal bleeding)
4️⃣ Chinese herbal medicine- same as above… there are some amazing herbal medicines to nourish the blood 😍
5️⃣ See a relevant health professional regarding the proper iron supplementation for you. Testing if you are actually low is important before supplementing yourself, as too much iron is damaging to the body.
Interesting to note… on a psycho-emotional level, blood relates to self worth and feeling worthy of being deeply nourished. So it can be helpful to go within and ask yourself this question ❤️
I hope this helps! ✨🌱