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Iron supplements can help women who aren't anemic feel more energy, according to Swiss researchers. Women who have low iron levels, but who don't qualify for the diagnosis anemia, can still feel lethargic and fatigued. Low iron levels are a common problem among women of childbearing age, as menstruation depletes iron. The study was published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal, and examined 198 women who had unexplained fatigue. Half of the women got iron pills, while the other half received a placebo. The results were quite amazing, as Dr Bernard Favrat from the University of Lausanne in Switzerland, explained. "We found that iron supplementation for 12 weeks decreased fatigue [scores] by 50 percent. Iron deficiency may be an under-recognized cause of fatigue in women of child-bearing age. For women with unexplained, prolonged fatigue, iron deficiency should be considered." Low iron levels are quite common in women, because menstruation depletes iron levels every month.

Pregnancy anemia is also a very frequent problem, which can make women who are already tired because of their hormones and extra strain on their body even more fatigued. Low iron levels can have negative consequences, especially if a woman has gone down to anemic levels. But it's also important to keep in mind that taking an overdose of iron supplements is dangerous too. Too many iron supplements can lead to blood pressure problems and constipation. Adding iron-rich foods into your diet is an alternative way to treat and prevent low iron levels and anemia. Here are some iron-rich food suggestions for you:

  • Spinach and other leafy greens
  • Beets
  • Artichokes
  • Egg yolks
  • Lentils and beans
  • Dried fruits like prunes and apricots. Unlike iron pills, this stuff will cure your pregnancy constipation, rather than contribute to it!

Do you have frequent unexplained fatigue? Are you going to give iron supplements a go after reading about this study? If you are, please tell us how it goes! Imagine credit: Acid Zebra via Flickr Creative Commons.

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