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Iron is an important mineral that has many functions in the body. It is found in hemoglobin, which carries oxygen in the blood, and myoglobin, which helps muscle cells store oxygen.
Iron is also needed for proper immune function and cell growth. Unfortunately, iron deficiency is one of the most common nutrient deficiencies in the world. According to the World Health Organization, it affects over 30% of the world’s population. The most common form of iron deficiency is iron deficiency anemia, which can cause fatigue, weakness, and other symptoms. Fortunately, iron deficiency is easily treatable with supplements or by increasing iron-rich foods in the diet. If you think you may be iron deficient, talk to your doctor about getting a blood test.
What is Iron Deficiency Anemia?
Iron deficiency anemia is a condition in which there is a reduced number of red blood cells due to a lack of iron. This can lead to fatigue, pale skin, shortness of breath, and other symptoms. Iron deficiency anemia is the most common form of anemia.
Causes of Iron Deficiency Anemia
Iron is a mineral that is found in food and it is essential for the production of hemoglobin, which carries oxygen in the blood. Iron deficiency anemia can occur when there is not enough iron in the diet or when the body does not absorb iron properly. Causes of iron deficiency anemia include:
-Not eating enough foods that are high in iron, such as meat, poultry, fish, beans, dark green leafy vegetables, and fortified cereals.
-Blood loss due to heavy menstrual periods or other bleeding conditions.
-Pregnancy and breastfeeding, when the needs for iron are increased.
-Certain gastrointestinal disorders that prevent the body from absorbing iron properly, such as celiac disease or Crohn’s disease.
-Chronic kidney disease.
Symptoms of Iron Deficiency Anemia
Iron deficiency anemia is a condition in which the body does not have enough healthy red blood cells to carry oxygen to the tissues. The most common symptom of iron deficiency anemia is fatigue. Other symptoms may include pale skin, shortness of breath, headache, and dizziness.
Diagnosis of Iron Deficiency Anemia
There are a few different ways that doctors can diagnose iron deficiency anemia. A blood test is the most common way to diagnose this condition. Your doctor will likely order a complete blood count (CBC) and a ferritin test. The CBC will measure all of the cells in your blood, including red blood cells. The ferritin test measures the amount of iron stored in your body.
If your doctor suspects that you have iron deficiency anemia, they may also recommend a bone marrow biopsy. This is a more invasive procedure and is not always necessary. During a bone marrow biopsy, your doctor will take a small sample of bone marrow from your hipbone. They will then examine the sample under a microscope to look for signs of anemia.
Treatment for iron deficiency anemia typically includes taking iron supplements. Your doctor will likely recommend that you take an over-the-counter iron supplement or prescription iron supplement. You may also need to make changes to your diet, such as eating more foods that are rich in iron or taking vitamin C supplements, which can help your body absorb more iron.
Treatment of Iron Deficiency Anemia
Iron deficiency anemia is a common blood disorder caused by a lack of iron in the body. The most common cause of iron deficiency anemia is blood loss, but it can also be caused by poor diet or absorption. Treatment for iron deficiency anemia generally includes iron supplements and changes in diet.
Prevention of Iron Deficiency Anemia
Iron is a mineral that is found in food and is necessary for the body to make hemoglobin, which carries oxygen in the blood.
The best way to prevent iron deficiency anemia is to eat a diet that includes iron-rich foods. Good sources of iron include meat, poultry, fish, beans, lentils, spinach, broccoli, and fortified cereals. It is also important to take a supplement if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.
Iron is an important mineral that our bodies need to function properly. Unfortunately, iron deficiency is a common problem, especially among women of childbearing age. Iron deficiency can lead to a number of serious health problems, including iron deficiency anemia. If you think you might be at risk for iron deficiency, talk to your doctor about getting tested. Taking steps to improve your iron levels can help keep you healthy and prevent serious health problems down the road.