Posted by Chantel Martiromo, Research article by Kyle J. Norton
During the last stage of the menstrual cycle, normally a layer of endometriosis lining on the inside of the uterus is expelled, known as menstruation blood, instead some of the endometriosis tissues grow somewhere in the body to cause endometriosis. Endometriosis also react to hormone signals of the monthly menstrual cycle, by building and breaking up tissues and eliminating them through menstrual period.
Iron is a mineral with the chemical symbol Fe and atomic number of 26. Even though it only represents a tiny percentage in our body, it plays important roles in maintaining our body's functions with other minerals such as zinc, magnesium, calcium, and copper. Deficiency of iron causes a variety of diseases while overdose of iron is toxic to our body.
1. Red blood cells
Red blood cells is essential for circulation system. Women with endometriosis are found to have iron deficiency caused by heavy blood flow during menstruation or by the inability of the digestive absorption leading to anemia and symptoms of endometriosis(384)(385) such as fatigue, loss of memory, confusion, and dizziness(386) as a resulting of circulation disorder.
2. Immune system(387)
Immune system helps to fight against the invasion of virus, bacteria, formation of endometrial implants and adhesion. Deficiency of iron causes the inability of our blood to transport the necessary nutrients to our body's cells leading to a weakened immune system in many aspects(388).
3. Nervous system(386)(390)
Since protein synthesis and fat metabolism by liver provide the necessary nutrients to our brain for regulating our body's daily functions(389). Iron increases the production of red blood cells which is vital for nutrient transportation in our bloodstream and helps to nourish a strong nervous system. Without enough iron, it causes tension in the nervous system resulting in endometrial symptoms.
4. Digestive system(391)(392)
Since iron is hard to absorb for our digestive system, study shows that only 10% of iron supplements are absorbed(393) and ranged from 2.1% to 23.0% from whole diet and may be even lower for women with endometriosis. Intake with vitamin C will help to increase the level of absorption by 30%(394)(395).
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(384) A simple and feasible questionnaire to estimate menstrual blood loss: relationship with hematological and gynecological parameters in young women by Toxqui L, Pérez-Granados AM, Blanco-Rojo R, Wright I, Vaquero MP1.(PubMed)
(385) Comparison of two iron supplementation methods on Hemoglobin level and Menstrual Bleeding in Tabriz students by Bani S1, Hassanpour-Siahestalkhi A2, Hassanpour Sh1, Mommad-Alizadeh-Charandabi S3, Mirghafourvand M3, Javadzadeh Y4.(PubMed)
(386) [Iron deficiency and digestive disorders.][Article in French]by Cozon GJ.(PubMed)
(387) The effect of iron deficiency anemia on the function of the immune system by Ekiz C1, Agaoglu L, Karakas Z, Gurel N, Yalcin I.(PubMed)
(388) [The involvement of the components of the immune system in iron deficiency].[Article in Russian] by Golovin AA, Red'kin IuV, Sokolova TF, Shirinskiĭ VA, Beloglazova TI.(PubMed)
(389) The altered autonomic nervous system activity in iron deficiency anemia.by Yokusoglu M1, Nevruz O, Baysan O, Uzun M, Demirkol S, Avcu F, Koz C, Cetin T, Hasimi A, Ural AU, Isik E.(PubMed)
(390) Molecular mechanisms of cognitive impairment in iron deficiency: alterations in brain-derived neurotrophic factor and insulin-like growth factor expression and function in the central nervous system by Estrada JA, Contreras I, Pliego-Rivero FB, Otero GA.(PubMed)
(391) [Effect on the absorption of iron from the digestive system of simultaneous absorption of nutrients. 3. Effect of fructose].[Article in Czech]by Brodan V, Brodanová M, Kuhn E, Kordac V, Válek J.(PubMed)
(392) [Iron deficiency and digestive disorders.][Article in French]by Cozon GJ.(PubMed)
(393) Absorption by 1-year-old children of an iron supplement given with cow's milk or juice by Abrams SA1, O'Brien KO, Wen J, Liang LK, Stuff JE.(PubMed)
(394) Dietary Determinants of and Possible Solutions to Iron Deficiency for Young Women Living in Industrialized Countries: A Review.by Beck KL1, Conlon CA2, Kruger R3, Coad J4.(PubMed)
(395) Gold kiwifruit consumed with an iron-fortified breakfast cereal meal improves iron status in women with lowiron stores: a 16-week randomised controlled trial. by Beck K1, Conlon CA, Kruger R, Coad J, Stonehouse W.(PubMed)