There are nearly 4 million people in the UK who may be living with iron-deficiency anaemia (IDA) considered the most common and prevalent nutritional disorder in the world. Although there are no specific statistics as to the ethnic breakdown of affected groups, 1 in 3 persons in hospitals or 1 in 10 of the female population may come from the 695,000 Caribbean folks who form 3.9% of the UK population. Caribbean people whether born in or outside of the UK brought with them the spirit of carnivals and soca dancing. Unfortunately, dancing during carnivals can become exhausting and requires lots of energy. Without adequate levels of iron in the body, it is difficult to withstand intense movements associated with the traditional form of soca dancing that’s prevalent during festivities.

Iron-Deficiency Anaemia (IDA) Can Lead to Anaemia

There are no clear statistics as to the incidence of anaemia amongst the Caribbean community, but it is a blood disorder that can be easily overlooked. Low stores of iron in the body do not always mean that you have anaemia. However, a low level of hemoglobin can lead to anaemia which has serious health consequences.

Iron is a mineral that assists the bone marrow in the production of red blood cells that in turn carries oxygen to your body tissues. When you don’t get enough iron from the food that you eat, the body extracts the iron that is stored in the ferritin to make hemoglobin. Once everything is used up, you’ll have low levels of hemoglobin causing anaemia.

The symptoms of iron-deficiency and anaemia are unusual tiredness, paleness, shortness of breath, headaches, dizziness, heart palpitations, dry & damaged skin and swelling & soreness of the mouth (NHS, 2018). Hence, if you are dancing, you won’t even have enough energy to withstand long hours of vigorous movement. Anaemia or IDA impairs the delivery of oxygen, saps the energy, weakens the muscle and reduces strength.

Treatment and Remedies

IDA and anaemia can be treated in several ways. Changing diets and incorporating rich sources of iron such as red meat, pulses, dark leafy vegetables, dried fruits, and iron-fortified cereals improve the levels of iron in the body. Other methods of treating anaemia and IDA are through injections, transfusions, infusions, and supplements. However, it is important not to overdose with supplements or injections as excessive iron in the body may result to lethal consequences. It can cause poisoning, stomach pain, vomiting, digestive tract irritation, and liver damage. You want just the right balance of iron for a healthy physical condition.

Insufficient iron levels are barriers to aerobic activities such as dancing. Get tested and talk to your doctor if you are experiencing the symptoms of low hemoglobin levels. Treating IDA and anaemia ensure that you can celebrate the Caribbean heritage of soca dancing without a problem.