Recently my grandmother (I believe she's 92) got diagnosed with an iron deficiency (one of the nurses saw her skin color changed and they did a blood test). Apparently, they only do blood tests every 2 years. They're gonna supplement iron.
I heard supplementing iron can shorten someone's life. What can I do to help her. Is there anything I can do, really?
Iron is necessary in the correct amounts - it is excess iron that promotes the generation of highly damaging Reactive Oxygen Species (ROS).
The reason why studies show a link between mortality and iron supplementation is because most people who supplement iron do not actually need it, thus leading to an excess.
I wouldn't worry about it, as your Grandma will likely feel better once her iron levels have been normalised.
Agree that iron supplement doesn't hurt if you're iron deficient!
Her docs need to figure out WHY she's iron deficient; consider colon cancer, stomach ulcer, stomach cancer, occult gastrointestinal bleeding, poor nutrition, etc.
On the other hand, perhaps she doesn't want to know if she has a cancer.
Disclaimer: All matters regarding your health require supervision by a personal physician or other appropriate health professional familiar with your current health status. Always consult your personal physician before making any dietary or exercise changes.
I've been iron deficient for over two years now. As a 35 year old generally healthy male, I've had my fair share of tests done without a clear diagnosis as to why. I've tried iron supplementation and am not a fan as it really messed with my digestion. If she does fine with it, then I agree it could be helpful.
Recently overheard a pregnant vegetarian on a San Francisco bus receive a call from her nutritionist/doctor who explained to her that she needed to supplement with iron because her current prenatal vitamin regime wasn't cutting it. She then called her partner and several friends to explain that she felt so much better knowing that her particularly bad case of lethargy was caused by iron deficiency and that it had been solved. Public transit is a great theater for unintentional comedy.
Why not see if it'd be O.K. to supplement her diet with foods that are iron-rich, so they're bioavailable and her body will absorb the amount it needs (assuming it still has that capacity)? Can you see to it that she has good quality red meat products to eat? Even a small amount of liver could be really helpful. Maybe discuss this with her doctor and see if you're going about through her diet, that maybe then the iron tablet supplementation would be unnecessary.
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