What is iron deficiency anemia?
A common kind of anemia, iron deficiency anemia is a condition wherein your blood lacks sufficient red blood cells. Your body tissues receive oxygen through healthy rbc. Lacking enough hemoglobin in red blood cells can also cause anemia. Hemoglobin is a protein rich in iron that supplies oxygen from your lungs to the entire body.
Usually, iron-deficiency anemia develops eventually if the body lack sufficient iron needed for making healthy rbc. As a result, your body uses the stored iron. Soon, it ends up using entire stored iron. Due to this, your body now makes less rbc. Such rbc have a smaller amount of hemoglobin than usual.
Iron-deficiency anemia tends to cause breathing difficulties, chest pain, fatigue and many other signs. Acute iron-deficiency can cause infections, heart problems, development and growth problems in children.
What are the symptoms of iron deficiency?
The condition can be mild to an extent that it may go unnoticed. However, as your body gets more iron deficient and anemia get worse, the symptoms intensify. Few symptoms are:
- Pale skin.
- Extreme fatigue.
- Breathing difficulties.
- Frequent infections.
- Chest pain.
- Lightheadedness or dizziness.
- Cold feet and hands.
- Soreness or inflammation of the tongue.
- Fast heartbeat.
- Brittle nails.
- Odd cravings for starch, dirt or ice.
- Poor appetite.
What are the causes of iron deficiency anemia?
It occurs when the body lacks sufficient iron to make hemoglobin. Hemoglobin is highly needed for the body as it enables your rbc to transfer oxygenated blood all through the body. By not consuming sufficient iron, or in case of loosing excessive iron, the body gets unable to produce needed hemoglobin, eventually developing iron deficiency anemia.
Few causes of Iron deficiency anemia are:
- Blood loss: an injury or excessive menstrual bleeding can lose iron, since the blood have iron with rbc.
- If you do not consume enough iron in the diet.
- Pregnancy: usually, iron deficiency anemia tends to occur in pregnant women as they lack enough iron stores to serve the placenta and the growing baby.
- Failure to absorb the iron: the small intestine’s bloodstream absorbs the iron from the food you eat, any intestinal disorder, for example celiac disease can affect the ability of the intestine to absorb the nutrients from the digested food. Thus, leading to the condition.
Who is more likely to develop iron deficiency anemia?
- Regular blood donors.
What are the complications?
Slight deficiency of iron does not tend to cause serious complications normally. Though, if left untreated, the condition can worsen causing certain health problems, such as:
- Heart problems.
- Growth problems (children).
- Problems in pregnancy.
How is iron deficiency diagnosed?
In order to diagnose the condition, the doctor can conduct tests to seek for:
- Color and size of red blood cell.
In order to indentify basic cause of the condition, the doctor can suggest few additional tests such as:
How is iron deficiency anemia treated?
Iron supplements can be recommended by your doctor to treat the condition. If necessary, he will treat the basic cause of the condition as well. You must consume the iron tablets before having meals. Never take them with antacids. Also take vitamin C with iron tablets as it helps to improve iron absorption.
By : Natural Health News