Iron deficiency anemia appears when the body doesn’t have enough iron because iron aids make red blood cells.
Anemia is a common disorder in which the body doesn’t make enough red blood cells that provide oxygen to the body tissues. There are many types of anemia.
Causes of Iron Deficiency Anemia
Iron deficiency anemia occurs when the body’s iron stores run really low. This can happen because:
- A person loses more iron and more blood cells than the body can replace;
- The body doesn’t absorb iron well;
- The body is able to absorb iron, but the individual is not consuming enough foods with iron;
- The body needs more iron than it used to (such as if you are breastfeeding or pregnant);
- Bleeding can also cause iron loss, and
- You may not get enough iron if you are a strict vegetarian, an adult older than 64 years, or if you don’t eat a full diet.
Symptoms of Iron Deficiency Anemia
It is possible that you don’t experience any symptoms if your anemia is mild. The most common symptoms of this type of anemia include:
- Frequent headaches
- Feeling grumpy, tired, or weak more often than usual
- Problems thinking or concentrating
Symptoms can worsen as the iron deficiency anemia gets worse. These symptoms include:
- Brittle nails
- Whites of the eyes get blue color
- Desire to eat strange and unusual things, as ice, dirt, paper or other non-food things (a condition called pica)
- Feeling lightheaded
- Sore tongue
- Yellowish or pale skin color
- Shortness of breath
Quick Treatment with Iron-Rich Foods
Treatment may include taking eating iron-rich foods and iron supplements. Iron supplements (usually ferrous sulfate) are necessary to build up the iron stores in the body. In general, your doctor will measure your iron level before you start taking supplements.
If you can’t take iron by mouth, you will need to take it by an injection into your muscle or through a vein.
Pregnant and breastfeeding women should take extra iron because they usually can’t get enough iron from a normal diet.
With regular iron-intake, your hematocrit will return to normal, often after two months of treatment. You should keep taking iron for additional 6 – 12 months to substitute the body’s iron stores in your bone marrow.
Iron-rich foods include will provide you a quick and natural treatment. These are the best iron-rich foods that you should consume:
- Turkey and chicken
- Red meats (especially liver)
- Egg yolks
- Dried peas, beans, and lentils
- Peanut butter
- Whole-grain bread
- Kale, spinach, and other greens
- Apricots, prunes, and raisins
When to Contact Your Doctor
Contact your doctor if:
- You experience more of these iron deficiency symptoms, and
- You have blood in the stool.
With consumption of rich iron foods, the result is likely to be great, however, it does depend on the cause. A balanced diet must include enough iron. Liver, red meat, spinach, egg yolks and other food that are high sources of iron will help you improve your condition really fast. If advised by your medical professional, take iron supplements if you aren’t getting enough iron in your diet.