Jan 27

The Importance of Iron

Your iron levels have a very important role so you can recover from injury or build muscle strength at the gym.

As women age, we start to go through perimenopause. There can be a change in the monthly flow with your menses and you can start to get heavy periods. When this occurs, you can start to develop low iron levels. This issue may be identified by your women’s health physiotherapist who you might be seeing for urinary incontinence or pelvic pain.

Iron is needed in the blood so that oxygen can bind with it. This is the haemoglobin in the blood. It helps to deliver oxygen to all the cells in the body including the brain and the muscles. If the iron level falls, you can become anaemic. There will be less oxygen for your brain to use and also all the muscles to use. The muscles are the skeletal and smooth muscles. The skeletal muscles are used in your recovery from injury by building up your strength. The smooth muscles are found in blood vessels, the heart and other internal organs. When the iron is low, you are actually starving your body of one of its important nutrients, oxygen.

If you have noticed a change in your monthly periods, make sure you discuss this with your family doctor. You may be having symptoms of fatigue, low energy, or dizziness when getting up from sitting or lying down. You might need to have an iron test to check your levels of available iron and your iron stores.

You may end up having to have a hysterectomy to address the issue of the heavy bleeding.
You may not realize how run down you had become before your surgery. Your muscles may not be in peak performance mode before your surgery. So once the six weeks are completed, you can start to seriously improve the strength in your weaker muscles. Your local women’s health physiotherapist can assist you with your recovery from a hysterectomy or other abdominal surgery.

You can reach Janice Webber, PT, and Tai Chi Instructor at 902-469-3214. She works at Janice Webber Physiotherapy Services in Dartmouth. She treats women and men with urinary incontinence, pelvic pain, and post op recovery including chronic pain.

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