Athletes


IRON DEFICIENCY ANAEMIA IN ATHLETES

Athletes are especially vulnerable to the effects of iron deficiency
as they depend greatly on their body's ability to transport oxygen
to the muscles.

Oxygen is transported in the blood by "haemoglobin" in the red blood cells.
An adequate amount of iron is needed for haemoglobin to function properly.

A shortage of haemoglobin due to iron deficiency, not only decreases athletic
performance, but can also impair immune function. 1,2

CAUSES OF IRON DEPLETION IN ATHLETES:1,3

  • Foot strike haemolysis (destruction of red blood cells in the feet due to
    constant impact)
  • Poor dietary habits (an inadequate amount of iron in the diet)
  • Increased iron loss through sweat

ATHLETES THAT ARE AT RISK OF IRON DEFICIENCY ANAEMIA: 3,4

  • Female athletes
  • o Lower level of iron as compared to male athletes due to blood loss in menstruation
  • Endurance athletes
  • o The absorption of iron cannot counter the losses incurred during training
  • Vegetarian athletes
  • o Lack of foods that are high in iron e.g. meat and fish

SYMPTOMS OF IRON DEFICIENCY ANAEMIA IN ATHLETES 4

  • Fatigue
  • Irritability
  • Headache
  • Dizziness
  • Palpitation, dyspnoea
  • Atrophic mucosal changes in the mouth
  • Burning tongue
  • Nails become flat, concave and brittle

Fortunately iron deficiency is easily treated with Ferrimed®, SA's #1 prescribed iron treatment.5 Ferrimed® contains elemental iron as iron polymaltose complex and is clinically proven to be well tolerated.6

For more information, please speak to your doctor or pharmacist. For full prescribing information refer to: Ferrimed® Package Insert

References:
  1. Even healthy athletes can become anemia. National Anemia Action Council (NAAC) [online] [cited 2012 Feb 3] Available from: URL:
    http://www.anemia.org/patinets/featurearticles/content.php?contentid=000244&sectionid=00015.
  2. Beard J, Tobin B. Iron status and exercise. Am J Clin Nutr 2000;72(Suppl):594S-597S
  3. Khanna GL. Iron deficiency in athletes. [online] [cited 2010 Mar 10] Available from: URL: http://www.medic.usm.my/~ssu/ ARTICLES/article_3htm [no longer there]
  4. Piko K. Endurance performers and iron-deficiency. [online] [cited 2012 Feb 3] Available from: URL: http://www.coachr.org/iron.htm
  5. IMS Data.
  6. Langstaff RJ, Geisser P, Heil WG, Bowdler JM. Treatment of iron-deficiency anaemia: a lower incidence of adverse effects with Ferrum
    Hausmann than ferrous sulphate. Brit J Clin Res 1991;4:191-198

"The health information contained herein is provided for educational purposes only and is not intended to replace discussions with a healthcare provider"

Takeda Nycomed logo

S0 Ferrimed® Capsules / H840 (Act 101 of 1965) / Each capsule contains 50 mg elemental iron as iron (III)-hydroxide polymaltose complex and 150 µg folic acid. S0 Ferrimed® D.S. Chewable Tablets / L/8.3/201 / Each tablet contains 100 mg elemental iron as iron (III)-hydroxide polymaltose complex. S0 Ferrimed® Syrup / H842 (Act 101 of 1965) / Each 5 ml contains 50 mg elemental iron as iron (III)-hydroxide polymaltose complex.


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