Can Iron Deficiency Cause Insomnia?
It is widely known that iron deficiency can lead to anemia. Incredibly, it is actually a major cause of anemia worldwide. However, quite interestingly there is evidence of a new type of condition that is caused by a lack of iron but it does not appear to cause anemia and instead can be linked to increased tiredness, skin problems, sleeplessness and depression. Startling isn’t it?
What exactly is this condition and why is it linked to depression and insomnia?
The following is based on information garnered from case studies done in Japan. In case study A, a patient was diagnosed with depression and the doctor administered a particular kind of medication. After a one year period, the patient’s condition improved significantly.Similarly, in case study B, a patient exhibited symptoms of insomnia and was given the same type of medication and over time her condition also improved dramatically.
What was the common variable on both cases?
Well, both were found to have had “ferritin deficiency.” Ferritin is extremely important and it is stored in the spleen, liver and intestines. Quite interestingly, both saw major improvements in their condition after simply taking iron. So if you have found yourself to be constantly tired, suffering from depression and struggling with insomnia and skin irritations then it could very well be that you are lacking in ferritin.
The Role That Ferritin Plays
Iron enables cell growth and when we eat food that contains iron, it is stored as ferritin proteins. Whenever the body signals a need for iron, then this stored iron (ferritin) is released. Therefore, any reduction in ferritin production will invariably result in reduced iron levels and this can negatively affect the body in the following ways:
- The skin may become rough or patchy.
- It will affect your immune system because there will be a decrease in immune cells which protect your body from diseases and various infections.
- Vital chemical substances such as dopamine and serotonin ( the happy and sleep inducing hormones) will also be reduced.
Ferritin Deficiency but No Evidence of Anemia
This is rather shocking, but neither of the two tested positive for anemia. This is both staggering and enlightening since a good hemoglobin reading does not preclude the fact that you might be anemic. As a matter of fact a below level hemoglobin reading is only usually reflected in severe case of anemia.
Therefore the best possible way to determine whether or you are deficient in Iron is by way taking a specific blood test to determine how much ferritin your body is producing.
How to Determine if You Suffer From Ferritin Deficiency in two simple steps
1. If you lower eyelid is white instead of reddish pink then you may be deficient in ferritin.
2. If you are constantly tired, easily annoyed and suffering from persistent depression.
Vitamin C increases Iron Absorption
To safeguard yourself against ferritin deficiency, ensure that you’re getting enough iron and be sure to add Vitamin C so that iron will be more easily absorbed.
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