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19 Apr 2013

Do I have an iron deficiency?
Hi there. I am a 17 year old female, 154cm tall and 49 kgs. I have been experiencing fatigue along with brain fogginess, dizzyness, rare black outs and the occasional burst vein. I have exceptionaly pale skin, which I had always though was due to being indoors for the majority of the day. I am also very active, exercising quite a bit as well as being kept busy with work. A few weeks ago I downloaded My Fitness Pal app to keep track of my calorie intake incase I wasn't eating enough. When I reviewed my intake for the day, I found that I was eating enough but that my iron intake was inordinately low (around 9% sometimes increasing to around 30%). Could I have an iron deficiency?
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Expert
Vitamin Expert

21 Apr 2013

Good day, 
First of all, with the blackouts you report, you have to visit the doctor, to make sure that if there are any underlying medical reasons you present with these symptoms, that you are given the correct medical treatment.
While you are at the doctor, ensure that your iron levels and blood pressure levels are tested.
If there are no other medical conditions and your blood pressure is low, you may benefit greatly from a multivitamin enriched with ginseng, a herbal remedy that helps support energy levels, especially in people that suffer with low blood pressure.
You may suffer with an iron deficiency based on the information you shared with me - if you do have an iron deficiency, this may explain your fatigue to some extent. However, there is one sure way to find out whether you do have an iron deficiency and that is via a blood test - it is advised to have a test rather than self-diagnosing, as this may be inaccurate. In case of an iron deficiency, it would be advisable to take an iron supplement, notably one that also contains vitamin C for optimal iron absorption,  and B-vitamins that also contribute to the formation and maintenance of healthy blood cells.
Your weight is at the lower end of the healthy range for your age - this may also have some influence on your energy levels, so it is advised to follow a healthy balanced diet and to make sure you eat enough.
I hope this information helps - all the best, let us know how you are doing.
Kind regards 
Andrea du Plessis

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical examination, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.
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