Persistent Cough? Low Iron Levels Could Be Culprit


I found this to be an interesting piece of health information for women. It seems that many women simply do not get enough iron in their diets, which can lead to feeling lethargic and unfocused, since your blood needs iron to transport oxygen to all of your body’s cells, including those in your muscles and your brain. Skimping on iron may also be one reason why some women are not able to shake a chronic cough.

A recent study suggests that iron deficiency damages the tissues that line the mouth and nose, back of the throat and trachea, making them more vulnerable to irritants and more prone to ­inflammation.

Interestingly enough, women that were studied in the research project and had persistent coughs that would not go away, had these coughs clear up after taking an iron supplement for three to four months.

This research could help explain why women are more likely than men to suffer unexplained coughs. Women are more likely than men to have insufficient iron stores because women lose the mineral through menstruation.

Tips for getting iron in your diet:

There are two forms of iron in the diet: heme and nonheme. In foods from animal sources, such as meat, poultry and fish, about half the iron is heme iron and the rest is nonheme. Iron from dairy foods, eggs and plant-based foods is entirely nonheme. Iron is better absorbed by the body from heme sources. Vitamin C also improves absorption of both forms of iron when consumed at the same meal. Fortified products, such as breads, cereals and breakfast bars, can contribute significant amounts of nonheme iron to the diet as well.

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