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Iron deficiency anemia: causes, symptoms and treatment

by Alivia Nyhan
Published: Last Updated on

Curs when a person does not have enough healthy red blood cells in the blood. There are many types of anemia, but iron deficiency anemia is the most common and occurs when the body is deficient in iron in the blood and therefore cannot make enough red blood cells.

Iron is essential to produce red blood cells since the blood cannot carry oxygen correctly. Although iron is mainly obtained through food, it is not enough for people with iron deficiency anemia. They need treatment to control this condition. In this FastlyHealarticle, you will be able to know in-depth everything about iron deficiency anemia: causes, symptoms, and treatment.

Causes of iron deficiency anemia

Iron deficiency anemia occurs when iron stores in the body drop to such an extent that the production of red blood cells does not take place. This process can occur for many reasons, such as:

  • The body has a deficiency in properly absorbing iron.
  • Poor diet with an absence of foods rich in iron.
  • The body needs more iron than the average amount. This occurs specifically in pregnant or lactating women.
  • The body loses more iron and red blood cells than it can replace.

In addition, iron deficiency anemia can also occur when the body has suffered considerable blood loss:

  • Disorders in the menstrual cycle that cause prolonged or constant menstruation.
  • Some types of cancer include cancer of the esophagus, stomach, or intestine.
  • Hepatic cirrhosis.
  • Peptic ulcer.
  • Long-term use of some medications such as ibuprofen or acetylsalicylic acid.

In some cases, the body stops absorbing iron due to celiac disease and Crohn’s disease. People who consume a lot of antacids or are vegetarians are often iron deficient.

Symptoms of iron deficiency anemia

In general, iron deficiency anemia in its initial phase does not present symptoms, however, when the condition is more advanced, the person may experience:

  • Weakness, tiredness, or fatigue
  • Headache.
  • Bad mood.
  • Difficult to focus.
  • Brittle nails
  • Pain in the tongue
  • Pale skin
  • Anxiety about eating.
  • Dizziness

When iron deficiency anemia results from another condition, symptoms such as black or bloody stools, weight loss, abdominal pain, or heavy menstruation may appear.

Treatment of iron deficiency anemia

The main goal in treating iron deficiency anemia is to combat iron deficiency so that the body can produce red blood cells and balance the blood composition. For this reason, the treatment of iron deficiency anemia consists merely of the consumption of iron supplements, the dose of which will depend exclusively on the importance of its deficiency.

Confident people do not tolerate oral intake of iron supplements. In these cases, iron must be administered intravenously or by intramuscular injection. Treatment usually lasts about a year, and iron levels return to normal after taking the supplement for two months.

To help the body regulate iron levels, it is also necessary to eat a special diet. It must be rich in foods with iron, so it is common for the specialist to recommend incorporating chicken, lentils, beans, fish, and peas into their diet: whole-wheat bread, oatmeal, raisins, cabbage, spinach, and vegetables.

A health specialist can only diagnose and treat iron deficiency anemia, so if you experience the symptoms of this condition, it is recommended that you visit your doctor for a thorough checkup.

This article is merely informative. At FastlyHeal .com, we do not have the power to prescribe medical treatments or make any diagnosis. We invite you to see a doctor if you present any condition or discomfort.

If you want to read more articles similar to Iron deficiency anemia: causes, symptoms, and treatment, we recommend that you enter our category of Blood, heart, and circulation.

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