Iron deficiency early detection: when iron supplements really useful?

If it is outside long after dark and a cold the next replaces, many of them feel tired, pale, and vulnerable. Many are looking for in the drugstore or pharmacy in accordance with the remedies to help the tired body back on the jumps.

Front: a food Supplement with iron.

If you believe the advertising Claims, you can iron protect against fatigue and nervous, immune system and organs of sense, keep fit.

Prof., Georgia Metzgeroth, senior physician of Hematology and Oncology at the University hospital of Mannheim, says: “The over-the-counter iron supplements are dosed basically much too low, in order to treat iron deficiency or iron-deficiency anemia, so the blood of poverty, and loss.”

The preparations bring, therefore, the appearance to do something against typical iron-deficiency symptoms.

“If you look at the statements of the agent carefully, it’s always just about the “normal” function to maintain,” explains Angela Clausen from the consumer advice centre of North Rhine-Westphalia.

People Disease Iron Deficiency?

Given the sheer selection of over-the-counter iron supplements you might not think that a sufficient supply of iron pills is not possible.

“In fact, iron deficiency is still the world’s most common deficiency. In Europe, about 10 percent of the population are affected. Among the women it is even 20 percent,” says Metzgeroth.

Nevertheless, the expert of the precautionary taking advises: If you feel tired, drive arm, and pale, so the typical anemia symptoms show, then it was a case for the doctor.

The must first consider whether it is, in fact, a lack of iron.

That an iron deficiency can lead not only to serious causes, but also consequences, explains the Hematologist: “iron needs for everything: As a vital trace element is involved in blood formation and neurological development. In addition, it plays in many metabolic processes, have a key role.”

But that is exactly why the symptoms are so varied.

Deficiency symptoms are

How do you know so when it’s time, the doctor present? Supply you notice in the first.

Because the body relies first on existing reserves, declared Metzgeroth. Only if you take over a longer period of time, too little iron to be, there is a deficiency.

Initial symptoms include:

  • dry skin
  • brittle hair
  • brittle nails
  • Tears in the corners of the mouth
  • increased susceptibility to infection

It does not control against at least now, it can lead to anemia. It shows, in any case, by fatigue, General weakness, concentration problems, and the disturbance of body temperature regulation.

Menstruation is a risk factor

To a true iron-deficiency anemia in this country only in the case of only 0.6 per cent of the population. A lack of only certain risk groups should prevent therefore. This one differs in accordance with the increased needs and decreased consumption.

An increased need in particular for girls and women of childbearing age and Pregnant women, according to Metzgeroth: “Because, at birth, a woman loses approximately one gram of iron. Also at each menstrual period the woman is iron loses. Therefore, women are generally iron poorer than men.”

Also extreme sports enthusiasts and athletes, the muscle building operate, as well as children and adolescents during growth spurts need more iron.

Iron: vegetarians are a risk group

Decreased iron absorption can, however, be caused by disease – for example, when too little stomach acid is then formed. Also some medications affect the absorption of Iron.

One of the most common causes of the unbalanced diet, however.

But who thinks here immediately of vegetarians and Vegans is wrong.

Junk food and the wrong combination of foods are problematic. “It is true that the body iron from animal can utilize food better than from plant foods. Which is not to say, however, that you must be taken care of as a vegetarian or Vegan automatically,” explains nutritionist Antje Gahl of the German nutrition society.

Also vegetables full of iron

In order to prevent an iron deficiency, recommends the DGE, an iron intake of 10 milligrams per day for men and 15 milligrams per day for women.

This can be achieved via a healthy, balanced diet is also good. “Our most important sources for the supply of iron – if you look at the amount of consumption, frequency of consumption, and the iron content are bread, meat, sausages and vegetables,” says the nutritionist.

Include iron-rich most food-porcini, chanterelles, spinach, salsify, lentils, beef, pork, oatmeal, rye, and whole wheat bread.


  • German nutrition society: reference values for iron, archived from the original on 27.12.2019:

Deutsche Presse-Agentur (dpa)

*The article “iron deficiency detect at an early stage: when are iron supplements really useful?” is published by FitForFun. Contact with the executives here.