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Iron Deficiency Anemia

Iron Deficiency Anemia (also called IDA) is a condition where a person has inadequate amounts of iron to meet body demands. Iron deficiency is defined as a decreased total iron body content. Iron deficiency anemia occurs when iron deficiency is sufficiently severe to diminish erythropoiesis and cause the development of anemia.

Iron deficiency is the most prevalent single deficiency state on a worldwide basis. It is important economically because it diminishes the capability of individuals who are affected to perform physical labor, and it diminishes both growth and learning in children. It has become much less common in the United States over the past 30 years, primarily due to iron-fortified infant formulas and cereals. Iron deficiency anemia is the most common form of anemia.

Approximately 20% of women, 50% of pregnant women, and 3% of men are iron deficient. Iron is an essential component of hemoglobin , the oxygen-carrying pigment in the blood. Hemoglobin and serum ferritin are the most common ways to test for anemia. A new test called serum transferrin receptor is a good way to determine iron deficiency anemia because this test is not affected by inflammation.

Some people with iron deficiency anemia always feel cold. They feel cold because iron plays a role in regulating the body's temperature. Iron is normally obtained through the food in your diet and by recycling iron from old red blood cells. Without it, the blood cannot carry oxygen effectively and oxygen is needed for the normal functioning of every cell in the body.

The causes of iron deficiency are too little iron in the diet, poor absorption of iron by the body, and loss of blood (including from heavy menstrual bleeding ). It can also be related to lead poisoning in children. Fatigue is the most common complaint, along with malaise (vague feeling of physical discomfort or uneasiness) sensitivity to cold, shortness of breath, dizziness and restless legs syndrome (uncomfortable feeling in legs, sensations of pulling, tingling, crawling, accompanied by a need to move the legs).

Causes of Iron Deficiency Anemia

Common causes of Iron Deficiency Anemia

  • Infection( White blood cells, Red blood cells(erythrocytes), Platelets).
  • Malabsorption of iron.
  • Hemosiderinuria.
  • Hemorrhage.
  • Blood loss.
  • Gastrointestinal tract abnormalities.

Symptoms of Iron Deficiency Anemia

Common Symptoms of Iron Deficiency Anemia

  • Fatigue.
  • Irritability.
  • Weakness.
  • Shortness of breath.
  • Sore tongue.
  • Brittle nails.
  • Appetite.
  • Headache.
  • Swollen tongue.
  • Pale skin color.
  • Dizziness.

Treatment of Iron Deficiency Anemia

Common Treatment of Iron Deficiency Anemia

  • Eating a diet with iron-rich foods can help treat iron-deficiency anemia.
  • Surgery to remove a bleeding polyp, a tumor or a fibroid.
  • Antibiotics and other medications( Ferrous sulfate, Carbonyl iron, Dextran-iron) to treat peptic ulcers.
  • Plant-based foods also are good sources of iron, although they're less easily absorbed. Among the best are iron-fortified cereals, breads and pastas. Beans and peas, dark green leafy vegetables such as spinach and raisins, nuts, and seeds also contain iron.
  • Chelation therapy is used to manage secondary iron overload.




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