Iron Deficiency Anemia

Iron Deficiency Anemia / IDA is a condition where a person has inadequate amount of iron to meet the body requirements. It is a decrease in the amount of red cells in the blood aused by having too little iron. Iron deficiency anemia is usually caused by a diet insufficient in iron or from blood loss. Blood loss can be acute as in hemorrhage or trauma or long term as in heavy menstruation.

Iron deficiency anemia is the most common form of anemia. About 20% of women, 50% of pregnant women, and 3% of men are iron deficient. Some people with iron deficiency anemia always feel cold. They feel cold because iron plays a role in regulating the body’s temperature Iron deficiency anemia and sickle cell anemia are different.

Iron is an essential component of hemoglobin, the oxygen carrying pigment in the blood. Iron is normally obtained through the food in the diet.Iron is part of hemoglobin, the oxygen-carrying component of the blood. Iron-deficient people tire easily because their bodies are starved for oxygen. Iron is also part of myoglobin. Myoglobin helps muscle cells store oxygen. Without enough iron, the body’s fuel cannot be properly synthesized.

The main causes of iron deficiency are, poor absorption of iron by the body , inadequate daily intake of iron, pregnancy, growth spurts or blood loss due to heavy period or nternal bleeding. Anemia develops slowly after the normal stores of iron have been depleted in the body and in the bone marrow. Women, in general, have smaller stores of iron than men. women also lose iron more frequently than men because of the blood loss during menstruation.

In men and postmenopausal women, anemia is usually due to gastrointestinal blood loss associated with ulcers, the use of aspirin or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications or colon cancer. High-risk groups include, women of child-bearing age who have blood loss through menstruation; pregnant or lactating women who have an increased requirement for iron, infants, children, and adolescents in rapid growth phases; and people with a poor dietary intake of iron through a diet of little or no meat or eggs for several years. Risk factors related to blood loss are peptic ulcer disease, long term aspirin use, or colon cancer.

Vegetarians are at risk of developing anemia. This usually occurs because they do not eat meat which is high in iron. However, vegetarians do not always develop anemia. There are many vegetables that contain iron, such as broccoli and spinach. We can prevent IDA,if our diet is high in iron. Iron can be found in red meat, liver, raisins, spinach, broccoli, and egg yolks.

There are many symptoms of anemia. Each individual will not experience all the symptoms and if the anemia is mild, the symptoms may not be noticeable. Some of the symptoms are, Pale skin color, fatigue, irritability, dizziness, weakness, shortness of breath, sore tongue, brittle nails, decreased appetite, especially in children, headache – frontal.

If we doubt that we may be anemic, we may get some tests done. Some of the tests are, red blood cell measures of hemocrit and hemoglobin; size of red blood cells, serum iron level, and iron binding capacity in the blood.

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One Response to "Iron Deficiency Anemia"

  1. First — and scariest — round of Venofer complete! I got stabbed twice with a needle (more about that later), the first attempt the nurse said she felt like she was hitting a brick wall. Then they got a line in and gave me some IV benadryl, and then my 300 ml of Venofer (iron), which took an hour and a half to go in. The nurses at chemo were really nice, I got the cool chair that had heat and a massaging feature by the window. I snuggled under a blankie, sipped on water, watched Doctor Who on my ipad while the nurses watched me, tried (without success) to think what the iron smelled/tasted like going in, and listened to the old man the next chair over snoring. Everything went smoothly, and as the last of my iron was going in, a saw a robin walking along under the window. I looked it up and robins symbolize a new beginning — a fresh start. How appropriate. 🙂

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