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4 Common Causes of Iron Deficiency Anaemia That You Must Know!

By Dr. Nikita Toshi +2 more

Iron is an essential nutrient for growth and efficient bodily functions. The lack of iron in the body is called as anaemia or iron-deficiency anaemia. The body needs it to make a protein called haemoglobin. Low haemoglobin levels hamper the red blood cells from carrying oxygen to the body organs. If not checked in time the situation could deteriorate and stop the organs from functioning properly.

A healthy diet ensures that the body makes up for its iron needs. But if you have been feeling fatigued all the time, suffering from a poor appetite, and feeling a general sense of incapacity, you might need to get a blood test done. Women of child-bearing age, children and old people must be especially careful about their haemoglobin levels.

Iron Deficiency Anemia Causes

Causes of Iron Deficiency Anaemia

However, there are cases of Iron-Deficiency anaemia caused which are not linked to gender, lifestyle or even diet. They are as follows:

1. A Low- Iron Diet

If you have been substituting your full meals with a soda and a sandwich, you need to sit up and read this. Fast food, apart from harming your waistline is hugely deficient in iron. A diet that doesn’t incorporate leafy greens, meats, eggs, fruits, and vegetables could be sending you an anaemic downward spiral. A regular supply of the above items in your food habits will keep your iron levels above the average and ensure high haemoglobin in the blood.

2. Are You Absorbing the Iron in Your Diet?

You might be supplying your body with all the iron-rich food, but if it is not absorbing it efficiently, it is a lost cause. Ensure that you compliment your iron-rich diet with some dose of Vitamin C in the form of a dash of lemon juice, an orange or some other citrus. Celiac disease could also cause iron-deficiency because it affects the intestine which is the site of iron absorption. Many people lose parts of their small intestine after facing gastrointestinal issues like colon cancer. They are bound to suffer from iron-deficiency anaemia.

Another important thing in children is that they have developmental delay and deficits in intelligence due to iron deficiency. It can easily be treated by Iron supplements.

Dr. M.G. Kartheeka, MBBS, MD

3. Blood Loss

Heavy periods can lead to severe iron-deficiency anaemia in women because of high blood loss. Women must ensure that they eat and stay healthy to make up for the monthly blood loss. Menstruation affects all women, not just those who are in the fertility window. Young girls in their attempt to have size zero figures cause irreparable damage to their systems by eating only certain kinds of food and that too in low quantities. Parent must get their daughters checked regularly for their haemoglobin levels. If you suspect your periods are heavier than usual, consult your gynaecologist. Apart from, peptic ulcer and colon cancer can also lead to iron-deficiency anaemia.

Iron is a mineral which is commonly implicated in the growth and development in the body and most importantly to make hemoglobin which is important to carry oxygen to the lungs and back. Thus, if you encounter any symptoms of iron deficiency anemia, it is critical to visit a physician and get yourself treated.

Dr. Ashish Bajaj, M.B.B.S., M.D.

4. Pregnancy

Many times, iron-deficiency anaemia can be because of pregnancy. The growing baby puts excessive demands on the mother’s biological system. Also, the pregnant woman’s blood volume increases to supply nutrients to the baby. Expectant mothers must supplement their diets with an iron capsule apart from eating iron-rich foods and iron-fortified cereal.

Also Read: Blackstrap Molasses: Uncovering Its Health Benefits and Uses

How To Tell If You Have Anaemia?

Anaemia symptoms and signs are easy to spot when they become more severe, but initially, you may not notice any changes. For those who are at a higher risk (pregnant women, elderly, those who have suffered blood loss) it is vital to be proactive and get your blood tested regularly. For others, you can watch for these anaemia symptoms and get tested if you notice one or more of them:  

  • Weakness, feeling tired or fatigued
  • Changes to skin tone, turning pale or yellow 
  • Heart rate isn’t regular 
  • Difficulty breathing deeply
  • Feeling dizzy or lightheaded 
  • Headaches, pain in the chest 
  • Cold sweats or feeling your extremities (feet, hands) turning cold

Also Read: How to Increase Iron Levels Quickly: Effective Strategies Backed by Research

Disclaimer: The information provided here is for educational/awareness purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for medical treatment by a healthcare professional and should not be relied upon to diagnose or treat any medical condition. The reader should consult a registered medical practitioner to determine the appropriateness of the information and before consuming any medication. PharmEasy does not provide any guarantee or warranty (express or implied) regarding the accuracy, adequacy, completeness, legality, reliability or usefulness of the information; and disclaims any liability arising thereof.

Links and product recommendations in the information provided here are advertisements of third-party products available on the website. PharmEasy does not make any representation on the accuracy or suitability of such products/services. Advertisements do not influence the editorial decisions or content. The information in this blog is subject to change without notice. The authors and administrators reserve the right to modify, add, or remove content without notification. It is your responsibility to review this disclaimer regularly for any changes.

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