Are you finding yourself stopping to get a cup of ice? Does this happen several times during the day? Many bariatric patients say that this behaviour developed after their surgery. Chewing ice does not mean you have low iron levels, it does mean getting your iron levels checked and it might mean you need to take bariatric vitamins.
Iron is a major element in the metabolism of all organisms and it helps to make up hundreds of enzymes and proteins. Iron has many functions with a few listed below:
- Heme is the compound found in molecules that contain iron;
- Hemoglobin and myoglobin are heme-comtaining proteins and help to transport and store oxygen;
- Hemoglobin is the main protein in red blood cells and makes up 2/3 of the body’s iron. It helps to move oxygen from lungs to the rest of the body.
There are many symptoms that are related to iron deficiency such as fatigue (low energy levels) heart rates increased (especially during physical activity), heart palpitations (especially during physical activity), breathing rapidly on exertion, decreased physical or athletic work capacity, the inability to maintain a normal body temperature, spoon-shaped and brittle nails, sores in corner of mouth, taste buds diminish (no sensation) tongues are sore, forms of hair loss and a lower immune status (easily getting sick).
Other symptoms include scaling, dry, cracking skin that is itchy, confusion, mental capacity decreases, headaches, irritability, amnesia, restless leg syndrome, depression and, dizziness. If iron deficiency stays it can cause problems with swallowing by the formation of webs of tissue in the throat of the esophagus.
This problem often develops in those people who have had bariatricsurgery, so it is important to talk to your physician.