Iron, Immune System Problems, and Tests
In the body, iron is responsible for the formation of lactoferrin, which is a protein used by the immune system to help fight certain infections. This can include viral, bacterial, fungal, and parasitic infections. Iron is a critical component of this protein, especially in relation to leaky gut syndrome. Additionally, the protein aids in growth and has shown cancer protective qualities. Children who have low iron levels can often develop chronic infections and may even spike fevers.
To replenish iron, people need to eat meat, specifically dark chicken, beef, turkey, and lamb. Molasses, pumpkin seeds, raisins, and prune juice are also an option for people wanting some sort of vegetable intake rather than meat. The absorption of iron through these foods will increase as people eat foods that contain Vitamin C. Studies have shown that people will celiac still have an iron deficiency, even after going gluten free.
If patients still show signs of pica and crave various foods, they probably still have low iron levels. Patients should monitor ferritin level and aim for a level of 45 plus. If the number is low, people need to consider taking iron supplements along with the foods that contain iron. These supplements are often necessary to combat the low levels, even if people are taking in iron-rich foods. The supplements can cause stomach discomfort, including nausea, stomach pain, and constipation if taken on an empty stomach. As a last stand, doctors may use an iron bysglycinate injection to provide the necessary levels of iron.
A simple blood test is able to tell if a person has iron deficiency, which is usually diagnosed as anemia. If a patients has been suffering from low levels of iron for a long time, blood tests will not be able to detect iron deficiency. In this situation, doctors can test iron levels with a more sensitive blood test called serum ferritin. Patients should ask for this test if they have continually had issues will low levels of iron.