Iron Deficiency Anemia – Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment

Iron deficiency anemia is a condition in the body that contains too few red blood cells due to iron deficiency. The body uses iron to produce red blood cells, which are useful for carrying oxygen throughout the body. If the body lacks iron, there may be too few healthy red blood cells to carry enough oxygen to meet the body’s needs. Iron deficiency anemia will make someone feel very tired and out of breath.

Causes of Iron Deficiency Anemia

Iron deficiency anemia is caused by low levels of iron in the body. Someone who has iron deficiency caused by the following things:

1. Bad diet

Diets that make iron deficiency are the main cause of iron deficiency. So fill it with foods that contain lots of iron, such as eggs and meat, which fulfill a lot of iron that the body needs to produce hemoglobin.

If you don’t consume enough to maintain iron levels in the body, iron deficiency can develop.

2. Blood loss

Iron can be found mainly in blood, because it is stored in red blood cells. If you lose a lot of blood due to an accident, injury, childbirth, or heavy menstruation, you may experience iron deficiency.

But in some cases, slow blood loss due to chronic diseases or some cancers can cause iron deficiency.

3. Ability to absorb iron is reduced

In rare cases, some people cannot absorb enough iron from the food they eat. The reason may be due to problems in the small intestine, such as disease celiac or disease Crohn, or if part of the small intestine has been removed.

4. Pregnancy

Low levels of iron are usually experienced by pregnant women, because the fetus in the mother’s stomach requires a lot of iron zaat, and this is what causes mothers to lack iron.

In addition, pregnant women also experience an increase in the amount of blood in their bodies. As mentioned before, this increase in blood needs more iron.

Risk Factors for Iron Deficiency Anemia

The following are some people who are at higher risk of developing iron deficiency anemia. Among them:

1. Vegetarian

A vegetarian who consumes plant foods, may experience iron deficiency. As a way to overcome this, a vegetarian should add foods that are high in iron, such as nuts or fortified cereals.

Vegetarians who also eat seafood should consider eating oysters or salmon.

2. Women

Monthly menstrual cycles in women and adolescent girls will have an increased risk of iron deficiency.

3. Blood donation

Those who regularly donate blood can increase the risk of experiencing iron deficiency. This condition is due to frequent blood loss.

4. Infants and children

Babies born prematurely and babies born with low weights are at risk of having iron deficiency. Similarly, babies who do not get enough iron from breast milk, are very at risk of developing iron deficiency anemia.

If the iron level in the baby is low, the doctor will suggest adding a high iron formula to the baby’s food.

Children who experience rapid ang growth are also at risk of iron deficiency anemia. So, parents must ensure that children eat a variety of foods that are rich in nutrients to help avoid iron deficiency.

Symptoms of Iron Deficiency Anemia

You may not be aware of the symptoms of anemia, because it develops slowly and the symptoms may be mild. In fact, you might not realize until anemia worsens with symptoms such as the following:

  • Feeling weak
  • Feel dizzy
  • Easy to get angry
  • Headache
  • Hard to breathe
  • Difficult to concentrate

Children who have anemia will experience symptoms of iron deficiency anemia as follows:

  • Fussy
  • Has a short attention span
  • Grow more slowly than usual

Diagnosis of Iron Deficiency Anemia

Anemia in children must be cured so that mental and behavioral problems do not last long. If you suspect you have anemia, it is advisable to contact a doctor to get a physical examination and ask questions about your medical history and symptoms.

The doctor will also take a portion of the blood for examination. These tests can include a complete blood count test to see red blood cells and an iron test that shows how much iron is in your blood, as well as checking the levels of hemoglobin that easily benchmark anemia.

Your doctor will do a test to find out what causes anemia and give an iron supplement tablet, and it is recommended that you consume iron-rich foods to treat anemia.

Treatment of Iron Deficiency Anemia

Most people start feeling better after a few days of taking iron pills. But don’t stop taking the pill even if you feel better. You will need to continue taking pills for several months to build iron in your body.

If the doctor finds the right cause of anemia, such as bleeding ulcers or intestinal worms, the doctor will treat the problem so that the doctor will also treat the main problem.

If you think you have anemia, don’t try to treat iron deficiency anemia yourself. Do not take iron pills without a doctor’s prescription or consult first. If you take an iron pill without discussing it first, the pill can cause you to have too much iron in your blood, or even iron poisoning.

Low iron levels may be caused by serious problems, such as bleeding ulcers or colon cancer. These problems also require different treatment from iron pills.

You can get many benefits from iron pills if you take it together with vitamin C or drink orange juice. It is recommended not to take iron pills with milk, caffeine, high fiber foods, or antacids.

Prevention of Iron Deficiency Anemia

The following are some ways to prevent your body from getting iron deficient or iron deficiency anemia. The following are:

1. Routinely eat foods that contain iron

You can prevent iron deficiency anemia by consuming foods containing iron every day. Iron-rich foods, including meat, vegetables, and whole grains such as iron-fortified cereals.

2. Pay attention to baby food

You can prevent anemia in infants and children by following recommendations for baby food and making sure babies and children get enough iron.

3 Consumption of vitamins in pregnant women

If you are pregnant, you can prevent iron deficiency anemia by taking prenatal vitamins. The doctor will give prenatal vitamins which include iron and folic acid. The doctor will also do a blood test to see if you have anemia. If you have anemia, you will take high-dose iron pills.

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