Overview

Iron deficiency anemia is a common form of anemia — a problem in i m sorry blood lacks adequate healthy red blood cells. Red blood cells carry oxygen come the body"s tissues.

You are watching: How to know if you’re iron deficient

As the surname implies, iron deficiency anemia is due to insufficient iron. Without enough iron, her body can"t produce enough of a problem in red blood cells that permits them to bring oxygen (hemoglobin). As a result, iron deficiency anemia may leave friend tired and also short that breath.


You deserve to usually correct iron deficiency anemia v iron supplementation. Sometimes extr tests or treatments for iron deficiency anemia space necessary, particularly if your medical professional suspects that you"re bleeding internally.


Symptoms

Initially, steel deficiency anemia have the right to be for this reason mild that it go unnoticed. However as the human body becomes more deficient in iron and anemia worsens, the signs and symptoms intensify.

Iron deficiency anemia signs and symptoms may include:

too much fatigue weak Pale skin Chest pain, quick heartbeat or shortness of breath Headache, dizziness or lightheadedness Cold hands and also feet Inflammation or soreness of your tongue Brittle nails inexplicable cravings for non-nutritive substances, such as ice, dirt or starch negative appetite, especially in infants and also children through iron deficiency anemia

When to see a doctor

If you or her child establishes signs and also symptoms that indicate iron deficiency anemia, see your doctor. Stole deficiency anemia isn"t something come self-diagnose or treat. So check out your physician for a diagnosis fairly than taking iron supplements on your own. Overloading the body v iron can be dangerous because excess iron accumulation can damages your liver and cause various other complications.


More Information


Request an appointment at mei Clinic

Causes

Iron deficiency anemia occurs when your body doesn"t have enough iron to create hemoglobin. Hemoglobin is the component of red blood cells that gives blood that is red shade and enables the red blood cell to lug oxygenated blood throughout your body.

If girlfriend aren"t consuming enough iron, or if you"re losing too lot iron, her body can"t produce enough hemoglobin, and also iron deficiency anemia will ultimately develop.

Causes of iron deficiency anemia include:

Blood loss. Blood contains iron in ~ red blood cells. For this reason if you lose blood, you lose some iron. Ladies with hefty periods room at hazard of steel deficiency anemia because they shed blood during menstruation. Slow, chronic blood loss within the body — such together from a peptic ulcer, a hiatal hernia, a colon polyp or colorectal cancer — can cause iron deficiency anemia. Cradle bleeding can an outcome from regular use of some over-the-counter pain relievers, particularly aspirin. A absence of stole in your diet. your body routinely gets iron indigenous the foodstuffs you eat. If girlfriend consume too tiny iron, in time your body can end up being iron deficient. Examples of iron-rich foods include meat, eggs, leafy eco-friendly vegetables and also iron-fortified foods. For appropriate growth and development, infants and also children need iron from their diets, too. An inability to absorb iron. Iron native food is absorbed into your bloodstream in your little intestine. An intestinal disorder, such together celiac disease, i beg your pardon affects her intestine"s capability to absorb nutrient from spend food, can lead to iron deficiency anemia. If part of your tiny intestine has been bypassed or removed surgically, that may affect your ability to absorb iron and also other nutrients. Pregnancy. there is no iron supplementation, steel deficiency anemia occurs in countless pregnant women due to the fact that their steel stores need to serve their own enhanced blood volume and also be a source of hemoglobin because that the growing fetus.

Risk factors

These groups of world may have an increased risk of iron deficiency anemia:

Women. due to the fact that women lose blood throughout menstruation, ladies in basic are at greater risk of iron deficiency anemia. Infants and also children. Infants, especially those that were low birth weight or born prematurely, who don"t get enough iron from chest milk or formula might be at danger of iron deficiency. Youngsters need extra iron throughout growth spurts. If your boy isn"t eating a healthy, differed diet, the or she may be at hazard of anemia. Vegetarians. people who don"t eat meat may have actually a greater risk of iron deficiency anemia if lock don"t eat various other iron-rich foods. Frequent blood donors. world who routinely donate blood may have actually an increased risk of iron deficiency anemia since blood donation can deplete iron stores. Low hemoglobin regarded blood donation might be a temporary problem remedied through eating much more iron-rich foods. If you"re told the you can"t donate blood since of short hemoglobin, ask your physician whether you need to be concerned.

Complications

Mild iron deficiency anemia typically doesn"t reason complications. However, left untreated, steel deficiency anemia can end up being severe and lead to health problems, consisting of the following:

Heart problems. steel deficiency anemia may cause a quick or rarely often, rarely heartbeat. Your heart must pump an ext blood come compensate because that the lack of oxygen carried in her blood once you"re anemic. This can lead to an enlarged heart or love failure. Problems during pregnancy. In pregnant women, severe iron deficiency anemia has actually been linked to premature birth births and low birth weight babies. But the condition is avoidable in pregnant females who get iron additional as component of their prenatal care. Growth problems. In infants and children, serious iron deficiency deserve to lead to anemia and also delayed growth and development. Additionally, stole deficiency anemia is linked with an boosted susceptibility come infections.

Prevention

You can reduce your threat of iron deficiency anemia by picking iron-rich foods.

Choose iron-rich foods

Foods well-off in stole include:

Red meat, pork and also poultry Seafood beans Dark green leafy vegetables, such as spinach Dried fruit, such together raisins and also apricots Iron-fortified cereals, breads and pastas Peas

Your human body absorbs much more iron from meat 보다 it go from other sources. If you pick to no eat meat, you may need to boost your input of iron-rich, plant-based foods to absorb the exact same amount that iron as does someone that eats meat.

Choose foodstuffs containing vitamin C to improve iron absorption

You have the right to enhance her body"s absorption of iron by drinking citrus juice or eating other foods rich in vitamin C in ~ the exact same time that you eat high-iron foods. Vitamin C in citrus juices, favor orange juice, helps your body to better absorb diet iron.

See more: How To Lose Baby Belly In 2 Weeks, How To Lose Belly Fat In Seven Days

Vitamin C is additionally found in:

Broccoli Grapefruit Kiwi leafy greens Melons Oranges Peppers strawberry Tangerines tomato

Preventing iron deficiency anemia in infants

To protect against iron deficiency anemia in infants, feed your baby breast milk or iron-fortified formula because that the first year. Cow"s milk isn"t a an excellent source of iron because that babies and isn"t encourage for infants under 1 year. After period 6 months, begin feeding your baby iron-fortified cereals or pureed meats at the very least twice a work to boost iron intake. ~ one year, it is in sure kids don"t drink an ext than 20 ounces (591 milliliters) the milk a day. Too much milk often takes the location of various other foods, consisting of those that room rich in iron.