Iron Deficiency Anemia

What is Iron Deficiency Anemia?

Iron Deficiency Anemia happens when the body lacks the iron to produce hemoglobin. Hemoglobin is the section of the red blood cells that give blood its’ color while enabling the red blood cells to carry oxygenated blood through the body. Iron Deficiency Anemia is considered the most common form of anemia. Blood that is lacking in iron will not carry oxygen very well.

Iron deficiency can occurs when the body’s iron storage runs low.

Causes of iron deficiency

  • The body loses more blood cells and iron than can be replaced
  • The body requires more iron than normal (examples: if you are pregnant or breastfeeding).
  • The body can absorb iron, but the person is not eating enough foods that contain rich iron sources.
  • Difficulty with absorption of iron

What are the Symptoms of Iron Deficiency Anemia?

The most common symptom for Iron Deficiency Anemia is fatigue and lack of energy that might seem abnormal. A person could also have pale skin and noticeable changes in the health of their gums. Sometimes if Iron Deficiency Anemia is severe enough, a person may experience more rapid and even irregular heartbeats. If you are experiencing possible heart problems, you should see a doctor right away.

How is Iron Deficiency Anemia Treated?

Treatment for Iron Deficiency Anemia cannot be done through an adjusted diet by itself. With many people, it would not be possible for a person to consume enough food rich in iron to get the amount that is required. In order to bring the iron levels back to normal, supplements are often suggested. Most of which can be bought at local pharmacies, and natural health food stores.

Iron injections will only be necessary in very severe cases, or when a person cannot consume iron supplements. Healthcare practitioners will still insist that anyone taking supplements should be on an improved diet richer in iron. The patient needs to play an active role in their treatment so they can improve their lives and reduce the risk of further medical issues related to their iron levels.

Resources
Last Reviewed:
September 14, 2016
Last Updated:
September 01, 2017