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07th Dec 2016

This breakthrough pill could solve your extreme tiredness

And you can grab it at the pharmacy.

Katie Mythen-Lynch

Juggling all the many demands of modern womanhood is an exhausting business, but if you feel like you’re permanently battling to keep your eyes open, even after a good night’s sleep, then you might be suffering from extreme fatigue caused by an iron deficiency.

Incredibly, it is estimated that only 18 per cent of Irish women get adequate iron from their diet and one in three women stop taking iron supplements because of side effects.

Now the Irish scientists at a TCD spin-out company called Solvotrin have come up with Active Iron, a clinically proven solution to address iron deficiency, while avoiding the nasty side effects such as constipation and upset stomach and dramatically increasing the iron absorption in the body.

“Women are currently battling on despite feeling tired or fatigued. Iron shortfalls are being overlooked,” says Dr Patricia Ryan, GP.

“Iron deficiency is a huge problem particularly for women and young adults in Ireland and we need to understand that using caffeine or chocolate and even rest, may not be the solution. Many people have had bad experiences taking iron products because of side effects, and often try dietary measures such as eating leafy greens which simply cannot address iron deficiency satisfactorily”.

Irish research also shows that the majority of women are not getting enough iron in their diets before, after and during pregnancy.

“Women and also adolescent girls are at particular risk because of blood loss during monthly menstruation and in addition, the need for iron also increases during pregnancy. Other at risk groups include vegetarians, vegans and endurance athletes. Iron is essential for energy production and oxygen transportation, so tiredness and lethargy are usually the first signs of a shortfall.

“Other warning signs include cold hands and feet, headache, feeling short of breath, pale skin, hair loss and heart palpitations.”

According to the HSE, these are the most common symptoms of iron deficiency:

  • tiredness
  • lethargy (lack of energy)
  • shortness of breath (dyspnoea)
  • palpitations (irregular heartbeat)
  • a pale complexion
  • an abnormally smooth tongue (atrophic glossitis)
  • painful ulcers (open sores) on the corners of your mouth (angular chelosis)
  • dry, flaking nails
  • spoon-shaped nails

If you feel you may be suffering an iron deficiency, speak to your doctor or pharmacist.