Anemia is a type of blood dyscrasia that occurs due to low levels of hemoglobin, a protein in red blood cells that binds and carries oxygen to all cells of our body and removes carbon dioxide, in red blood cells.
Iron is an essential mineral required by our body to synthesize hemoglobin and for the proper functioning of red blood cells. If iron stores are depleted in our body, hemoglobin will not be synthesized and the function of red blood cells will be affected and it will result in poor oxygenation of different cells of our body. Symptoms of iron deficiency anemia are not easily visible so people who may live with anemia for many years without knowing
Women of childbearing age are at the risk of iron deficiency anemia and due to blood loss during menstruation or childbirth. A deficiency of iron in the diet and due to intestinal disorder poor absorption of iron from the diet may be a major cause of iron deficiency anemia.
This condition can be prevented and treated by supplementation and by a change in diet.
Symptoms of iron deficiency anemia :
The symptoms of iron deficiency anemia may be mild to severe and are not easily diagnosed.
The symptoms of mild to intense iron deficiency anemia include the following
- General fatigue and tiredness
- Weakness and low energy
- Pale yellow skin
- Shortness of breath during light physical activity
- Dizziness and nausea
- Pica is defined as the desire to eat non-food particles such as ice, clay, and wood particles.
- A tingling or crawling feeling in the legs
- Tongue soreness and swelling
- Low body temperature
- Irregular heartbeats
- Brittle and discolored nails
- Chest pain and shortness of breath
- Poor appetite
Causes of iron deficiency anemia
The deficiency of iron is a major cause of iron deficiency anemia. There are many other causes of iron deficiency anemia listed below:
- Taking a diet that is deficient in iron content
- Poor absorption of iron from the small intestine
Taking a diet that is deficient in iron content
Having an iron-deficient diet for a long period can cause iron deficiency in your body. Spinach, cabbage, red meat, and eggs are foods high in iron. Pregnant women or infants are at high risk of iron deficiency if they don’t intake iron in their diet.
Poor absorption of iron from the small intestine
Poor absorption of iron from the small intestine may cause iron deficiency despite iron intake in your diet. Surgery of the small intestine or Celiac disease may cause iron deficiency because it interferes with the absorption of iron from the small intestine. Vitamin C is also required for the absorption of vitamin c from the small intestine. So deficiency of vitamin c can also result in iron deficiency anemia.
High blood losses during childbirth and menstruation may be a reason for iron deficiency in new mothers and women.
Prevention and treatment
It can be prevented by eating a diet rich in vitamin c and iron. Women should breastfeed their infants and use iron-fortified formula. Iron supplements can be used for advice from your health care professional.