What is Iron deficiency Anaemia?
Iron deficiency is a health condition in which there are very low healthy red blood cells. Our body needs iron to make haemoglobin. This deficiency is very common in women across the globe.
- Inadequate Diet: The most common cause of iron deficiency in our body is the lack of iron-rich food items in the body either due to unavailability of financial constraints.
- Heavy Bleeding During Menstruation: During the menstruation period some women experience heavy bleeding which reduces the overall blood in our system and causes RBC deficiency.
- Pregnancy: During pregnancy, the foetus requires essential micronutrients for growth and development which leads to micronutrient deficiency in pregnant mothers.
- Lactation: It is often observed the deficiency in lactating mothers due to excessive utilisation of micronutrients.
- Internal Bleeding: If an individual of ulcers, cancers, or any sort of intestinal disorders, these may cause loss of blood for a prolonged period and develops the case of anaemia.
- Gastrointestinal Surgery: With our current lifestyle and food habits, bariatric surgery is very common. However, any GI surgeries will affect the absorption of iron in your body.
Symptoms of Iron Deficiency Anaemia (3)
Anaemia causes various changes in our body which can help in identifying its possible causes.
- Pale skins
- Irregular Heartbeat
- Heavy Bleeding during Menstruation
- Internal Bleeding
These symptoms indicate the underlying condition of Anaemia however, a medical consultation and if required some diagnostic tests will be needed for the confirmation.
Diagnostic Tests for Iron Deficiency Anaemia
- Complete Blood Count (CBC): The CBC test gives the overall blood count and other attributes in our system like red blood cell (RBC), white blood cell (WBC), haemoglobin, hematocrits. We don’t need any preparations for the CBC test.
Based on the results of CBC your medical expert may suggest a further test to assess the severity of anaemia in your body. Some of the tests include:
- Shape, Size, and Colour of RBC
- Total Iron Binding Capacity (TBIC)
- Ferritin Level
Health Risks due to Iron Deficiency Anaemia (2)
- Heart Disease: Anaemia causes a decrease in oxygen level in blood which makes the heart pump faster to supply enough oxygen to the cells. It may lead to heart failure and enlargement of the heart over a longer duration.
- Complications in Childbearing: It’s often observed that anaemia diagnosed women have difficulty in childbearing due to heavy blood loss during menstruation and even after conception and causes miscarriages.
- Complications During Pregnancy: Anaemia affects the prenatal growth and development of the foetus and it may cause even premature birth.
- Child with Low Birth Weight: The infants born with mother with anaemic condition born with low birth weight. It might be because of inadequate development during the foetus stage.
- Delayed Growth and Development: It causes stunting and results in delayed physical delayed sexual development in adolescents.
- Immunity Deficiency: Reduced immunity is a common cause of anaemia and causes frequent infections in the body.
Remedies of Iron Deficiency Anaemia
- Iron Supplements: Iron tablets should be used as supplements to curbed severe anaemic conditions. The government of several developing many countries provides iron tablets for adolescent and pregnant women through various schemes.
- Iron-Rich Diet: Iron-rich food items will help in minimising the iron-rich deficiency. Some of the iron-rich food items are oyster, white beans, spinach, lentils, tofu, cashews, whole grain.
- Fortified Food Items: Several agricultural lands across the globe are poor in micronutrients which will serve nutrient-deficient food produces. Fortified seeds will help in providing nutrient-rich agricultural produce.
- Vitamin C Intake: Vitamin C affects the absorption of iron in the body. Taking vitamin-rich diets will boost the absorption of iron and help in curbing anaemia.
- Internal Bleeding: The case of internal bleeding should be addressed immediately through experienced medical experts. As it may be caused by several underlying health conditions.
Prevention of Iron Deficiency Anaemia
It is often said that “Prevention is better than Cure” and indeed this is very much true about micronutrient deficiencies. Iron deficiency can be prevented through the consumption of an iron-rich and vitamin C-rich healthy diet.
Iron-rich food item is enlisted below:
- Meat, Pork, Chicken
- White beans
- Whole grain
- Fortified Grains
Vitamin C rich food item is enlisted below:
- Citrus fruits
- Bell peppers
- Brussels sprouts
- Tomato juice
Adequate Intake (>19 yrs.):
We should main the recommended daily intake (RDA) of iron. The RDA for an adult is 8-18 mg.
Iron deficiency anaemia should not be ignored, it’s the indication of several underlying health conditions as well as chronic anaemia may cause several health issues. It should be addressed on priority with some experienced medical experts.
An individual should avoid self-treatment in case of anaemia. Although there are many known means of is remedies, but excessive iron dosages may harm the body.