Iron Supplements May Help Women with Heavy Periods Improve Their Lives

First Posted: Jun 10, 2014 12:22 PM EDT

Anemia results from a lack of iron and now, scientists have found out that diagnosing this condition is important for improving the quality of life among certain women with heavy periods. In fact, iron supplements could greatly help these women and their health.

One of the most common causes of iron deficiency and anemia is heavy bleeding during menstruation. This iron deficiency can impact a person's physical performance, cognitive function, mood and overall quality of life. This means that treating iron deficiency is crucial for helping women.

In order to see the impact of anemia and iron deficiency on health-related quality of life, the scientists assessed 236 women treated to heavy menstrual bleeding. The participants were separated into two groups-women with hemoglobin levels less than 120 g/L and those with levels greater than 120 g/L. Women with less were classified as anemic.

So what did the researchers fine? At the start of the study, 27 percent of women were anemic and 60 percent were severely iron deficient. In the anemic group, only 8 percent took a supplement. One year following treatment, hemoglobin levels increased and women in the anemic group had a significant increase in energy, along with physical and social function.

"The quality of life of women with heavy periods is plural, but the treatment of anemia is important to get good results," said Pirkko Peuranpaa, one of the researchers, in a news release. "Our findings suggest that clinicians should screen for anemia in women with heavy menstrual bleeding and recommend early iron supplementation as part of the treatment process."

The findings reveal the important of treating women and finding out if they're anemic or not. Taking simple steps like taking iron supplements can greatly improve the quality of life for these women.

The findings are published in the journal Acta Obstetricia et Gynecologica Scandinavica.

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