The period problem
Periods suck—the cramps and bloating, not to mention the feeling of being totally run down. While there are remedies to relieve cramping and bloat, period-related fatigue is a much harder symptom to tackle. A hot water bottle may help soothe cramps, but it isn’t going to put a spring back in your step.
If your period leaves you feeling drained, you may need to up your iron intake. Here’s one way to tell: Ever find yourself craving a big, juicy steak during your period? That could be a sign that your body’s iron levels are low.
Why iron is important
A large percentage of your body’s iron is found in red blood cells. These cells perform the critical task of transferring oxygen in your lungs to tissues throughout the body.
Your body’s iron stores are seriously depleted when you’re on your period. In other words, losing blood every month means you’re also losing the iron within those red blood cells. Women with light flows may be able to replace the lost red blood cells, but women with heavier periods are at higher risk of iron-deficiency anemia, which can leave you feeling tired, weak and irritable—sound familiar? (Other symptoms of iron deficiency anemia include paleness, shortness of breath, difficulty concentrating, hair loss and poor circulation.)
The solution: Take a daily iron supplement
Women between the ages of 19 and 50 should aim for 18 mg of iron a day, according to the Dietitians of Canada. Food sources of iron include meat, fish, beans, kale, and cooked spinach. However, plant sources aren’t as easily absorbed as animal sources. That means vegetarians need about twice the recommended amount of iron as non-vegetarians. Regardless of diet, though, it’s not always easy to get enough iron from diet alone.
Taking a daily supplement will help you meet your iron needs and will go a long way in reducing or even eliminating period-related fatigue. Plus, research has shown that, for women with heavy periods, iron supplements can actually improve health and overall quality of life.
When it comes to iron supplements, you want to look for a high-quality formula that’s easily absorbed and free of artificial colours and flavours. Try Floradix® Liquid Iron and Vitamin Formula, a plant-based supplement that helps fight iron deficiency by promoting the formation of healthy red blood cells.
So many iron pills on the market are hard on the stomach, and some are do not absorb well. But Floradix is formulated with a highly-soluble iron compound that’s easy on the digestive tract. Plus, it’s combined with herbal extracts and vitamins to further enhance its absorption. Each 20 mL serving meets the recommended daily amount of iron for women of childbearing age. (No wonder it’s the best-selling natural liquid iron supplement in North America.)
The plant-based formula is suitable for vegetarians and free of alcohol and synthetic preservatives. For more information, go to FloraHealth.com.