Iron Deficiency... The Weight Loss Spoiler You Never Saw Coming?

Iron Deficiency... The Weight Loss Spoiler You Never Saw Coming?

Iron Deficiency... The Weight Loss Spoiler You Never Saw Coming?

Struggling with weight loss despite your best efforts might be more complex than you think. For many, the surprise factor isn’t about lack of discipline but an underlying health issue—specifically, iron deficiency.

Did you know that close to 50 % of people who are overweight have impaired iron metabolism? This can be shown on blood tests, but the most surprising thing is that many of these people are actually getting plenty of iron in their diet.

So what could be causing their deficiency?

It's been shown that when someone is overweight, inflammation is increased, elevating a hormone found in the liver called Hepcidin.

Hepicdin has the effect of REDUCING iron absorption into your body from your digestive tract.

When this happens, the result is a metabolic disaster of weight gain, chronic fatigue, and weak thyroid function.

Iron is an important mineral that your body needs. It’s an essential building block of hemoglobin - the most important component of your red blood cells. Hemoglobin binds to oxygen, enabling your red blood cells to transport oxygen to tissues and organs.

What is Hepcidin?

Discovered in 2000, hepcidin is a hormone produced by your liver that plays a critical role in regulating iron absorption in the body. It controls how much iron is available for your essential body functions, such as making hemoglobin and red blood cells. It does this by communicating with the cells found in your digestive tract. Hepcidin either allows these cells to let iron in or not.

Consequently, if you have a high level of this hormone, Hepcidin, your body will likely have a low iron absorption, regardless of how much iron-packed food you eat.

What increases Hepcidin levels?

Many don't realize that chronic inflammation, often found in overweight people, can dramatically increase hepcidin levels. This inflammation in the body comes from lack of sleep, alcohol, medications, injury, excessive exercise, stress, and toxin exposure.

If you are carrying extra weight on your body, you might find this to be more of a problem. Being overweight is an ongoing inflammatory condition in which your cells send out inflammatory signals all the time, 24 hours a day.

Those cell signals increase the hormone Hepcidin, and once that occurs, your ability to absorb iron diminishes.

All this low iron results in signals in your liver to store more fat, causing your blood sugar levels to rise abnormally.

The best way to ensure that this situation reverses or prevents it from happening is to focus your diet on anti-inflammatory foods.

That means lots of raw vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, legumes, and fresh juices.

Quality sleep is crucial for reducing inflammation. Aim for 7-8 hours per night to help regulate hepcidin production.

Manage your stress. Chronic stress is a significant contributor to inflammation. Incorporate stress-reducing activities such as yoga, meditation, or walks in nature into your routine.

Consider iron supplements if blood tests show you are iron deficient, consult your doctor about iron supplements. These can be an effective way to boost your iron levels and support your weight loss efforts.

Addressing hidden issues like inflammation and hepcidin production can enhance your body's iron absorption and set the stage for successful weight management. Remember, weight loss is a journey that may require tackling unexpected health hurdles.