Iron is one mineral the body cannot do without, it is known for significant roles. Iron, like vitamin C, plays a significant role in bone health and everything else. Its effect is felt all over the body, from bone health to oxygen transport and immune system boost.
However, low iron levels could lead to various health complications, including an increased risk of heart disease.
In this article, we will explore the relationship between low iron levels and heart health, examining how iron deficiency can impact cardiovascular function and the steps you can take to maintain healthy iron levels and protect your heart.
Low iron levels and heart attack
Iron is a vital component of haemoglobin, the protein in red blood cells that carries oxygen to the body's tissues. When iron levels are low, the body finds it cumbersome to produce haemoglobin, causing reduced oxygen transport and delivery.
This stresses the heart, increasing the risk of heart attack and other cardiovascular diseases. Studies have found that people with low iron levels are more likely to have high blood pressure, elevated cholesterol levels, and inflammation, all of which are risk factors for heart disease.
In addition, iron deficiency may also impair the function of the endothelium, the inner lining of blood vessels that regulates blood flow and clotting. This can further increase the risk of heart attacks and other cardiovascular events.
According to studies, individuals with iron deficiency anaemia are three times more likely to experience a heart attack. It's essential to note that while low iron levels can increase the risk of heart attacks, not everyone with iron deficiency anaemia will experience a heart attack.
Other causes of heart attack
While low iron levels can increase the risk of heart attacks, many other factors can contribute to heart disease and heart attacks. Some of the most common risk factors include:
High blood pressure
When blood pressure is always high, it damages the arteries, increasing the risk of heart disease and heart attacks.
High LDL cholesterol
Not all types of cholesterol are harmful to the heart. While the body needs HDLs, a High amount of LDL cholesterol (often called "bad" cholesterol) causes plaque in the arteries.
These plaques could increase the risk of heart attacks.
It's written on every cigarette pack smoking kills. It damages the blood vessels and increases the risk of heart disease and heart attacks.
People with diabetes are at increased risk of developing heart disease and heart attacks.
If you have a family history of heart disease or heart attacks, you may be at increased risk yourself.
Lack of exercise and a sedentary lifestyle can increase the risk of heart disease and heart attacks.
Being overweight can increase the risk of high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and type 2 diabetes, all of which are risk factors for heart disease and heart attacks.
It's important to note that lifestyle changes could help manage or prevent these risk factors. Quitting smoking, eating a healthy diet, exercising regularly, and managing high blood pressure and high cholesterol levels could just be your roadmap to hearty health.
If you are concerned about your risk of heart disease or heart attacks, speak with your healthcare provider to discuss the best ways to reduce your risk.
Preventing iron deficiency to reduce the risk of heart attack
To prevent this anomaly and reduce the risk of heart attacks, here are some things to do;
Eat balanced meals
It's crucial to consume a balanced diet, one rich in iron-containing foods. Red meat, poultry, fish, and leafy greens are some of the richest iron foods.
You can also consider getting iron supplements from reputable companies like Chewwies, which go the extra mile to produce only the best.
There is this popular saying; prevention is always better than cure. This is especially true for matters of health. Hence, you don't want to err on the side of caution. See a Doctor regularly to ensure you're free from this silent killer.
Being proactive about your health can help you avoid potential heart-related problems in the future.
Healthcare professionals all recommend exercise for not just a healthy heart, but general well-being. Exercise could improve one's health by over 50%. Thus, while you diet, a couple of runs and others won't hurt.
In conclusion, maintaining a healthy iron level is crucial for overall health, especially as we age. Low iron levels can put your heart at risk. Iron produces haemoglobin, which carries oxygen to the heart and other organs.
If you experience symptoms of iron deficiency, such as fatigue, weakness, and shortness of breath, seek medical attention to get your iron levels checked. Healthy iron levels could be all you need to reduce your risk of heart disease and improve your overall well-being.