Iron deficiency is very common and widespread. A person is an iron-deficient if the body runs too low on the iron number. Iron is the main constituent of Erythrocytes (red blood cells); a body deficient in iron tends to produce fewer Erythrocytes, leading to Anemia. According to estimates in the US, more than 3 million cases are reported annually.
Iron deficiency may occur at some point in life; for instance, women during pregnancy are more prone to iron deficiency. It is treatable, and usually, a person having mild deficiency recovers within months with the help of treatment. Normally, a well-balanced diet and supplements are used to cure mild iron deficiency.
It is important to note that iron deficiency symptoms are not apparent in all people deficient in iron. However, some do show symptoms of iron deficiency. The symptoms could also depend on the severity of deficiency. The most common symptoms that appear due to iron deficiency include
- Pale skin color
- Feeling fatigued or less energetic
- Weakness and lethargy
- Running short of breath more frequently
- Headaches or light-headedness
- Brittle nails
- Hair loss
- Tongue soreness
There are quite a number of causes that result in iron deficiency; the most common causes include
1. Blood Loss
Mild iron deficiency anemia may also result from heavy blood loss. It could be due to a number of reasons, such as heavy menstruation bleeding, gastrointestinal bleeding, or slow chronic blood loss. This happens because of the direct loss of iron from the body in the form of blood.
A diet insufficient in iron may also lead to iron deficiency anemia. This is more common with people more induced to take vegetarian diets. A healthy portion of meat sources should also be incorporated into the diet to maintain well-balanced nutrition. Most meat sources are loaded with iron
The increased blood volume and blood requirements of the fetus may also result in iron deficiency anemia. It is more common in pregnant women who are reluctant in managing to take iron supplements. It is thus important to take iron supplements.
4. Alcohol abuse
Excessive alcohol consumption affects the ability of the body to absorb nutrients and possibly result in iron and folic acid deficiency. Iron is the main constituent of red blood cells, and thus it results in iron deficiency anemia. There are a number of treatment centers that aim to help those struggling with alcohol addiction. Sunrise House Treatment Center is one such center that can help addicts.
Risk Factors Of Iron Deficiency
There are a number of risk factors such as age, gender, lifestyle, diet, and health status. These factors could indicate the probability of iron deficiency in different people. Amongst these factors, age and gender certainly make up the highest risk factors for iron deficiency. Resultantly, makes women and children more likely to suffer from iron deficiency as compared to others.
1. Young Children
Young children with different age groups ranging from infants, toddlers, kids to teens require maintaining sufficient amounts of iron to meet developmental needs. However, poor diet choice of children tends to make them deficient in iron.
Poor diet is the most common reason for iron deficiency in children. Other reasons could include the inability to absorb iron from food (celiac disease) and loss of heavy blood through injury.
2. Pregnant Women
Women during childbearing age are more likely to get iron-deficiency anemia. It could happen because of a number of reasons. One such reason is heavy blood loss due to menstruation. Menstruation occurs following a regular cycle; this increases the risk of getting iron deficiency.
Likewise, during pregnancy, women are more likely to get iron deficiency due to increased demand of blood volume for both mother and growing baby.
It is very common to get temporary and mild iron deficiency anemia at some points in life. There are varied reasons behind it. The most common causes are blood loss, malnutrition, pregnancy, and alcohol abuse. It is more commonly observed in young children and pregnant women, thus shows higher risk factors based on factors such as age and gender. A well-balanced diet and iron supplements are useful options in overcoming mild iron deficiency anemia.