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The Oxygen Iron Deficiency Connection

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We have talked a lot here about oxygen deficiency and it’s role in a miriad of health related problems and illnesses.  One thing we haven’t talked about is the role iron plays in oxygen deficiency.

Can Oxygen Deficiency Be Related to Iron Deficiency?

There is a connection between the amount of iron a body has and the body’s ability to utilize oxygen effectively.

Iron deficiency anemia is the world’s most common single-nutrient deficiency. Iron is a mineral needed by our bodies. Iron is part of all cells and does many things in our bodies. One way it is used is as part of the protein hemoglobin which carries oxygen from our lungs throughout our bodies. Too little hemoglobin is called anemia. Iron also helps our muscles store and use oxygen.

Posted: Tuesday, April 16, 2013 1:04 am | Updated: 8:11 pm, Tue Apr 16, 2013.

The following overview of the importance of oxygen and proper blood flow  for the functioning of our brains suggests just one of myriad of health impacts a lowered level of oxygen can have on the body.

The brain is approximately 2.5% of the body mass on an average individual, yet it receives around 15% of the cardiac output and is responsible for around 25% of the body’s total oxygen consumption
We know how important it is the constant delivery of oxygen to the brain to prevent tissue damage. Oxygen is not consumed equally throughout the brain, and the grey matter consumes most of it, as much as 94%, while the white matter consumes the rest, or as little as 6%.

Does Iron Deficiency Cause Oxygen Deficiency?

So we can see that oxygen is important to the brain, but does an iron deficiency lead to oxygen deficiency?  First,  There are more than one type of anemia, in fact, there are five types of anemia and only one is related to iron deficiency.  Which is why I am not asking if “anemia causes oxygen deficiency”.  In the following descriptions the situations are where anemia is related to low hemoglobin in the blood or low blood volume and how that relates to oxygen deficiency.

O2 saturation only measures how well the oxygen is binding to (“saturating”) the heme in the red cells that are there. O2 sat would be normal (assuming no other problems) in an anemic person, even though they may be hypoxic at the tissue level due to reduced O2 delivery to tissues from reduced red cells.

There is a recent thread about this very thing with some great posts: http://allnurses.com/general-nursing…-a-375712.html

…this is a common scenario. your patient is severely anemic, but the hemoglobin that remains in her blood is fully saturated. that means that her blood is carrying all of the oxygen that it can carry. it does not mean that it is carrying a sufficient amount of oxygen to meet the patient’s demands. this patient’s pao2 is likely well below normal.

Read more: http://allnurses.com/general-nursing-student/does-o2sat-lower-378172.html

 

More about Oxygen Iron Deficiency

The bottom line is that iron deficiency impacts the ability of hemoglobin (red blood cells) to absorb oxygen.  So making sure you have adequate iron in your diet will eliminate one potential contributing factor to low blood oxygen saturation.

Originally posted 2013-04-19 14:55:06.

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May 30th, 2017

Posted In: Oxygen Deficiency

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