Iron Deficiency and Dementia: The Link Between Anemia and Alzheimer’s

Anemia and Alzheimer’s
Eating a well-balanced diet is beneficial for our bodies and brain. The human body needs a spectrum of nutrients to function at optimum levels and to help prevent problems with our health, especially as we age. Regrettably, if we are not mindful of what we are putting into our bodies, disease and disorders are more likely to occur. In fact, many disorders are linked to a deficiency, such as anemia, or low hemoglobin levels. Even though there are a few health issues that can cause a person to be anemic, the most common form is iron-deficiency anemia. Iron-deficiency anemia occurs when you don’t have enough iron in your diet. Unfortunately, new research has discovered that anemia can lead to some severe health problems down the road, finding a link between anemia and Alzheimer’s.

A recent study published in Neurology reveals that there is a connection between anemia and Alzheimer’s. Low levels of hemoglobin can deprive the brain of oxygen, which is required for optimum function. During the study, over 12,000 participants without dementia were followed for roughly 12 years. Over time, it was discovered that the people who had low levels of hemoglobin were at a 29% increased risk for developing dementia, and had a 36% increased chance of developing Alzheimer’s.

If you have anemia, it does not necessarily mean that you will end up with dementia. However, knowing what to look for and being aware of the risks can help you navigate on the road to good health. If you are experiencing any of the signs and symptoms of anemia, be sure to get checked out by your doctor:

• Headaches
• Fatigue
• Pale skin
• Dizziness
• Weakness
• Insomnia
• Shortness of breath
• Unusually rapid heartbeat

Remember, if you are looking to keep your iron levels up and prevent iron-deficiency anemia, make sure you add a variety of high-quality, organic iron-rich plant and animal-based foods into your daily diet. Your body and mind will thank you for it.

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