Iron Deficiency – Cure and Concern

It has been often observed that the deficiency of certain important elements has a considerable effect on the overall working of the human body.Iron is an important element which is required by almost all living organisms to function properly.The function of Iron in our body is multi- dimensional. It helps the red blood cells to transmit oxygen to all parts of the body. It is also necessary for transporting electron and synthesis of deoxyribonucleic acid. About 70% of iron present in the body is found in hemoglobin and myoglobin. Moreover, a large number of enzymes in our body requires iron as a cofactor to operate properly. ( www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3999603/)

History reveals that even in the ancient time’s people had recognized the importance of iron in the proper abcfunctioning of the human body.In the year 1932, it was finally proved that iron was needed for hemoglobin synthesis.It was always regarded as one of the most common causes of anemia.(https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3999603/)

Iron deficiency is a condition that results from too little iron in our body.Iron deficiency is a concern because:
• Iron deficiency can lead to delay in normal motor function in infants
• Deficiency in iron can cause fatigue, memory and even affect mental functions
• Overall fatigue, weakness, and shortness of breath
• Poor appetite, cold hands, and feet are also common sign of iron deficiency

There are, however, many common reasons for the people to need iron like:
• Children in their growing up years need more iron than what is available from their normal diet
• Pregnant women are also advised to take iron supplements
• Sometimes people lose iron from their body because of some chronic disease and are in need of iron.

How is iron deficiency treated?

To correct the deficiency of iron in the human body, certain strategies need to be adopted.
• Food Diversification: Some crucial dietary changes like consuming iron rich fruits and vegetables. Dark green leafy vegetables, cereals and bread with extra iron, meat, and pulses should be consumed to increase the intake of iron.
• Consuming food reach in Vitamin C: Ascorbic acid helps in the absorption of iron in the intestines. Thus eating foods enriched with vitamin C can help in the prevention of iron deficiency.
• There are various herbs available naturally that bring about wonderful results to the human body.
• Branolia Chemical Works uses herbs like Kulekhara, Ashwagandha, Nagkesar is few of the best-known antidote available naturally to fight iron deficiency. The herb Kulekhara (Hygrohila Spinosa), was tested and was found to increase red blood cell count and WBC in rodents. (Gomes, Manika Das an SC Dasgupta, Department of Physiology, the University of Calcutta, Published in Indian Journal of Experimental Biology, Vol 39, April 2001, pp 381-382, “Haematinic effect of Hygrohila Spinosa on experimental rodents”.)

Steps to control iron-deficiency in Odisha

India is a country where adolescent girls are the most neglected lot as far as their health, nutrition, and overall growth and development are concerned. Odisha as compared to all India figure of 55.8% has a high prevalence of anemia.A recent study by the Regional Medical Research Centre (RMRC), ICMR, Bhubaneswar shows the prevalence of Anaemia among 11-19 years girls in Orissa is as high as 96.5%.With this data in hand, to combat Anaemia amongst Adolescent Girls, the Department of Health and Family Welfare (DH&FW) initiated implementation of Adolescent Anaemia Control Program (AACP) in 9 districts (all the 8 KBK districts viz. Koraput, Malkangiri, Rayagada, Nabarangpur, Bolangir, Sonepur, Kalahandi and Nuapada and 1 Non-KBK district i.e. Mayurbhanj) of Odisha. The initiation of the project has been done but much remains to be achieved. Various other programs have been adopted state-wise to fight iron-deficiency. (http://www.nrhmorissa.gov.in/writereaddata/Upload/Documents/Quick%20Assessment%20of%20AACP.pdf)

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