Iron deficiency anemia is a condition that denotes that there is not enough iron content in the body. Iron is highly important for the proper functioning of the human body, mainly because it carries the oxygen all through the body. Iron is used for making hemoglobin, which is the part of red blood cells. Hemoglobin is responsible for taking oxygen to different parts and if you do not have enough iron content in the body, your body will be in a position to make only fewer or smaller red blood cells. Reports state that iron deficiency is one of the most common causes of anemia.
The low iron content in the body can be caused due to the following reasons:
• Heavy menstrual periods
• When the iron content taken from the food is not enough. This can happen in people, who need lot or iron like carrying women, teens and kids.
• When bleeding happens within the body due to conditions like cancer, hemorrhoids and ulcers.
• The blood inside the body can happen because of regular use of pain killers.
• When iron cannot be absorbed by the body, iron deficiency anemia is caused. This can happen due to celiac disease or when a small part of your small intestine or stomach is removed.
Symptoms of anemia:
Generally, people with this condition may not experience the symptoms as the condition develops slowly and the signs may be mild. The symptoms may not be noticeable until they get worse. As the anemia gets worse, the following symptoms may be experienced:
• Trouble in concentrating
• Short of breath
• Pale look
• Frequent headaches
• Cranky or grumpy
• Feeling of tiredness more frequently
When children have iron deficiency anemia, they may experience the following symptoms:
• Slow growth than normal
• Short attention span
• Delay in developing skills like talking and walking
It is highly important that anemia in children should be treated immediately so that their development both physically and mentally will not get affected.
How is it diagnosed?
If you think you might be having anemia, it is better to consult your doctor. A physical examination will be conducted and the health care provider will ask for questions about medical history and signs you are experiencing. Some blood tests will be recommended for counting the blood level and for looking for red blood cells and iron test to know the iron content in the blood. Tests may be conducted to find the actual cause of anemia.
Treatment for iron deficiency anemia:
Generally, treatment for this condition involves increasing the iron stores and appropriate treatment will be given after identifying the cause behind. For instance, if it is caused due to bleeding in stomach, steps will be taken to correct. If it is caused due to lesser level of iron content in your diet, your doctor will recommend you the foods to be included in your diet. Iron supplements will be recommended and your doctor might suggest you to include foods rich in Vitamin C or Vitamin C supplements as they can absorb more iron content from the iron supplements you take.