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How to prevent and treat Iron Deficiency

Iron deficiency is an easily identifiable and treatable condition.1 Your healthcare professional will investigate the underlying cause of iron deficiency and decide on an appropriate therapy.2 Iron treatment in adults should continue daily for 1 month after which your healthcare professional should check your levels to determine whether treatment is working, and continue for 3 months after anaemia has been corrected.2 Should oral iron therapy not be sufficiently absorbed or tolerated, your healthcare professional may consider intravenous iron therapy.2
Dietary changes are often included in iron deficiency management and treatment.3 Two types of iron exist in food, being heme iron and non-heme iron.3 Heme iron is found in meat, poultry and seafood while non-heme iron is found in plant foods and fortified foods.3 It is easier for the body to absorb heme iron.3 The recommended daily allowance for iron is 10 mg for men and 12 mg for women, so it is important to ensure that you include food in your diet with sufficient iron and other vitamins that are important for red blood cell and haemoglobin production. Examples include:3
  • Meat
  • Poultry
  • Seafood
  • Leafy greens, such as spinach and kale
Some important things to remember when it comes to an iron-rich diet plan:3
  1. Miller J. Iron deficiency anemia: a common and curable disease. Cold Spring Harbor Perspectives in Medicine. 2013;3(7):a011866.
  2. Short M, Domagalski J. Iron Deficiency Anemia: Evaluation and Management. Am Fam Physician. 2013;87(2):98-104.
  3. McDermott A. Anemia: best diet plan [Internet]. Healthline. 2020 [cited 3 June 2022]. Available from: