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Addressing Iron Deficiency and Low Stomach Acid: A Comprehensive Guide

Iron deficiency is a widespread concern, but its roots often run deeper than simply not getting enough iron in your diet. As a nutritionist at Eat For Your Future, I've seen firsthand how crucial it is to tackle iron deficiency head-on and address underlying factors like low stomach acid. In this blog post, I'll walk you through essential steps to address iron deficiency and optimize stomach acid levels for better digestion and nutrient absorption.

1. Rule Out Medical Causes

First and foremost, it's essential to determine the root cause of iron deficiency. Internal bleeding, often caused by conditions like gastric ulcers, fibroids, or endometriosis, can significantly drain your iron stores and perpetuate deficiency. Additionally, conditions like coeliac disease or gut-related malabsorption issues such as Crohn's or IBD can hinder iron absorption. Don't overlook these potential underlying issues—they could be silently contributing to your iron deficiency.

2. Rule Out Helicobacter Pylori Infection

Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) infection is a common gastric bacteria that thrives in a low stomach acid environment. If left untreated, H. pylori can hinder the absorption of iron, zinc, B12, and other essential nutrients. Conventional tests for H. pylori may yield false negative results, so it's crucial to explore higher-level testing to accurately diagnose and treat this infection.

3. Optimise Sodium Levels

Sodium is a critical component in the production of stomach acid. Ensure you have optimal sodium levels in your diet, especially if you're experiencing adrenal fatigue or low blood pressure.

4. Include Iron rich food and Vitamin C-Rich Foods

There are plenty of iron-rich plant foods available. Legumes like soybeans, tofu, and lentils, along with dark leafy greens such as kale and spinach, provide significant iron. Dried fruits like raisins and apricots, as well as grains like quinoa and wholegrain pasta, also contribute to your iron intake. Additionally, pumpkin seeds, cashews, and almonds are excellent sources. For seafood lovers, oysters and mussels are great options to boost iron levels.

Pairing iron-rich foods with sources of vitamin C, such as capsicums, kiwi fruit, and berries, enhances iron absorption. Avoid relying solely on ascorbic acid supplements, as they may compromise absorption of other minerals like copper.

5. Practice Mindful Eating and Avoid Overexercising

Slow down and savor your meals to optimise stomach acid production. Mindful eating in a calm environment promotes proper digestion and nutrient absorption. Avoid overexercising, especially if you're struggling with low iron levels. Intense workouts can deplete iron stores and compromise thyroid function, hindering your weight loss goals in the long run.

6. Consider Supplementation and Personalized Treatment

If your iron levels are already low, appropriate supplementation is crucial. However, many over-the-counter iron supplements are poorly absorbed and can cause constipation. Consult your complementary healthcare provider to find supplements tailored to your needs. In some cases, personalised dose compounded pharmacy skin creams may be a more effective option for bypassing digestive issues and delivering iron directly into the bloodstream.

Don't let iron deficiency hold you back from feeling your best. By addressing underlying factors like low stomach acid and optimizing your diet and lifestyle, you can take proactive steps towards resolving anaemia and improving your overall health and well-being. If you're struggling with iron deficiency symptoms, don't hesitate to reach out—I'm here to help you navigate your journey to better health. Contact me to schedule a consultation and start your path to permanent anaemia resolution.

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