Keep it Real TV Episode 22

Video by Dr. Chad Larson

In episode 22 of his video series, Dr. Larson discusses: 

  • Anemia is a condition where the body doesn't produce enough red blood cells
  • Since red blood cells are responsible for delivering oxygen to every living cell, having a low red blood cell count leads to your body not getting enough energy
  • There are many different types of anemia like B12 anemia, copper anemia, and iron anemia
  • The most prevalent form of anemia, especially in women of childbearing age, is iron deficiency anemia
  • A recent study in Belgium that looked at pregnant women in their first trimester found that 35% were iron deficient
  • That becomes very problematic because a pregnant woman's needs for iron goes up dramatically to supply oxygen to her body and the fetuses as well
  • Iron deficiency anemia can lead to health conditions for both the mother and the growing fetus
  • Iron is necessary for thyroid function, so if you are deficient, it can lead to thyroid autoimmunity which can last throughout pregnancy and well beyond
  • The production of something called thyroid peroxidase is completely dependent on iron, if you don't have enough of it, then it can lead to thyroid dysfunction
  • If you are pregnant, it is important that you have the doctor check your red blood cell count through a CBC, but that isn't enough.
  • By the time that iron deficiency affects your red blood cell production your anemia is far advanced
  • Checking for something called Ferritin levels is the way to detect iron deficiency anemia in its early stages so you can treat it
  • Symptoms of iron deficiency anemia are fatigue, "brain fog", and mood disorders
  • Your brain demands an enormous amount of energy to function
  • If you don't have enough oxygen, it will decrease the energy your brain has. That will affect things called neurotransmitters, which are the chemicals in the brain that are responsible for the regulation of your mood
  • Neurotransmitters such as serotonin, dopamine, and GABA are all produced in the brain
  • Serotonin, a major mood stabilizer, is dependent upon iron. If you are low on serotonin, it can lead to symptoms of depression and anxiety
  • Women are typically iron deficient because they don't eat foods that are high in iron like beef and shellfish
  • The RDA for iron in women of childbearing age is 18 milligrams up to 27 milligrams for pregnant women
  • Don't supplement unless you know that you are deficient; you can overdo it
  • Not all forms of iron are equally absorbable, the form with the highest absorption rate is iron bisglycinate
  • Other cheaper forms aren't as absorbable and can lead to constipation
  • Everyone who is experiencing symptoms of fatigue, mood disorders, or brain fog, should have their iron checked to make sure that they don't have iron deficiency anemia


Related Slideshows:

Amino Acids Associated with Improved Arterial Health in Women

Heart disease is the number 1 killer of women in America, but there is plenty you can do to lower your risk of cardiovascular disease, and now that list may include making sure you're getting certain amino acids in your diet.
View Slideshow

Multivitamin May Ward Off Cardiovascular Disease in Women

A few years ago we discussed the results of a study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. Here is a summary of what we learned in that study.
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Keep it Real TV Episode 4

Dr. Chad Larson discusses the conflicts of medication for cardiovascular disease, cholesterol and cardiovascular health.
Watch Video


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