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Iron Deficiency Anemia - Essay Example

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The article encompasses information about causes, symptoms and treating iron deficiency anemia.
The body needs iron to make hemoglobin, the most important component of the red blood cells. Insufficient supply of iron limits the production of hemoglobin, which in turn affects the production of red blood cells (RBCs). This decreased amount of hemoglobin and RBCs in the bloodstream is known as anemia. Since, RBCs are needed to carry oxygen throughout the body, anemia results in less oxygen reaching the cells and tissues, affecting their function (AMAG Pharmaceuticals).
Iron-deficiency anemia (IDA), often caused by inadequate iron ingestion. It is the major cause of anemia in childhood. Iron-fortified infant formulas and cereals have substituted the iron requirement in infants of United States (American Reagent).
IDA or Iron-deficiency anemia doesn't develop instantly, but, a person develops through stages of iron deficiency, beginning with iron diminution, in which the amount of iron in the body is reduced while the iron in RBCs remains constant, persistence of this leads to progression of iron deficiency, ultimately leading to IDA. This is because the red blood cells will have less hemoglobin than normal (AMAG Pharmaceuticals,).
Iron-deficiency anemia is a resultant of several factors, encompassing- insufficient iron in the diet, poor absorption of iron by the body, ongoing blood loss, most commonly from menstruation or from gradual blood loss in the intestinal tract, episodes of rapid growth. In certain cases poverty becomes a contributing factor to IDA because families living at or below the poverty level may not be getting enough iron-rich foods (Gasch,, 1997).
It is manifested that Iron deficiency alters the physiological functions and IDA enables the body to absorb more lead, which enhances the risk of lead poisoning in kids, particularly those living in older homes. This leads to ill health and also children face difficulties in learning and show behavioral problems. Moreover, rapid growth demands more iron and therefore any kind of iron deficiency in nutrition leads to IDA. It is observed that, infants, discontinuing iron-fortified formula and substituted with cow's milk before 12 months can lead to IDA. Since, cow's milk is low in iron essential for infant growth and development; it often replaces the consumption of iron-rich foods. Milk reduces the absorption of iron causing irritation in the intestinal mucosa resulting in small amounts of bleeding. This slow, gradual loss of blood in the stool - combined with low iron intake - may eventually result in IDA (US FDA).
Other causes of IDA encompass prematurity and low birth weight, poor iron intake in the diet for children between the ages of 1 and 3 years make them prone to IDA, high consumption of cow's milk, during the onset of puberty, when growth is at its peak, boys are at risk of IDA. Adolescent girls are at higher risk because of menstrual blood loss and smaller iron stores than boys. Many girls also tend to consume a diet low in iron. On the contrary, multivitamins with iron aren't adequate and taking too much iron is a major cause of serious poisoning in children (American Academy of Pediatrics, AAP).
Deficiency of Vitamin C also leads to poor iron absorption leading to IDA as vitamin C enhances iron absorption in the body. Inadequate daily intake of iron in pregnancy, growth ...Show more


The most common cause of anemia reported in United States is caused by iron deficiency, indicating that body does not have enough iron. This deficiency can be overcome by good iron intake either by eating a healthy diet, taking iron pills and possibly receiving iron injections encompassing iron shots, IV iron, parenteral iron or IM iron…
Author : jeramy97
Iron Deficiency Anemia
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