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WLS Glossary
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Term Definition
Iron
Iron is an essential constituent of hemoglobin, cytochrome, and other components of respiratory enzyme systems; its chief functions are in the transport of oxygen to tissues (in hemoglobin) and in cellular oxidation mechanisms. Dietary sources include muscle meats, eggs, grains, and certain vegetables and fruits. Depletion of iron stores may result in iron-deficiency anemia . Excessive consumption of iron causes iron poisoning (see under poisoning).
Iron Deficiency
Iron is absorbed by the duodenum as well as the lower small bowel.  When a gastric bypass is performed, the duodenum is bypassed as well.  Therefore iron is not absorbed as well after bypass.  Women who are menstruating lose blood and therefore iron with each period. These women can't get enough iron in the diet and should take a daily iron supplement.  Women who don't menstruate and men will generally get enough iron in the diet to prevent deficiency. These patients should take a multivitamin with iron, but generally don't require a specific iron supplement.

Learn more in our section on Iron Deficiency.