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Iron Deficiency Anaemia

Iron Deficiency Anaemia – Causes, Symptoms and Foods to Eat

Iron deficiency anaemia and iron is crucial elements for nearly all living organisms, recognizing their role in health and disease. It is an essential metal that helps keep blood healthy and is involved in various metabolic processes. Iron is also part of myoglobin, which supplies oxygen to the muscles.

Furthermore, it is essential for the normal synthesis and function of various cells and hormones. Lack of enough iron can lead to iron-deficiency anemia. According to the who, iron deficiency is the most common anemia and the most common eating disorder in the world. I, therefore, providing your body with the right amount of iron is extremely important.

What Is Iron Deficiency Anemia:

As the name suggests, iron deficiency anemia is a condition caused by a lack of iron in the body. Without enough iron, the blood cannot carry oxygen efficiently, eventually leading to fatigue and dizziness. It occurs when your body does not have enough iron needed to make hemoglobin in red blood cells. Insufficient hemoglobin affects the circulation of oxygen throughout the body.

Symptoms of Deficiency Anemia:

Iron deficiency anemia occurs gradually. Initially, it may be mild and go unnoticed as it begins with a decrease in stored iron and a slight drop in red blood cells. However, as the body is more deficient in iron, it leads to a significant loss of total red blood cells. As a result, the signs and symptoms intensify.

Common symptoms of iron deficiency anemia include:

  • Dizziness or lightheadedness
  • Extreme fatigue and weakness
  • Pale skin
  • Breathing difficulty
  • Tachycardia increased heart rate
  • Cold hands and feet
  • Headache
  • Confusion and loss of concentration
  • Fragile nails
  • Inflammation of the tongue
  • Pica unusual craving for substances without nutritional value, such as ice, earth, or clay

Causes of Iron Deficiency Anemia:

Insufficient Iron in Your Diet:

Your body does not produce iron. Therefore, it is necessary to get it from the diet. If you consume too little iron for a long time, your body may be iron deficient. People with an iron-rich unbalanced diet may suffer from some level of iron deficiency anemia. Since iron is essential for growth and development, you should include iron-rich foods in your diet.

Loss of Blood:

Blood contains iron in red blood cells. If you lose blood, you also lose iron, which is why your body cannot make enough hemoglobin. Eventually, it causes iron deficiency anemia. Some common causes of blood loss are heavy periods, gastrointestinal bleeding from regular pain relievers like aspirin, stomach ulcers, and colon cancer.
Inability to absorb iron:

Your body absorbs iron and other nutrients from the foods you eat into your bloodstream via the small intestine. So even if you get enough iron in your diet, you may still be iron deficiency anaemia. Also, it can cause injury or an intestinal disorder, such as celiac disease, which can affect the gut’s ability to absorb iron from digesting food. Additionally, bowel surgery such as gastric bypass can reduce the amount of iron your body can absorb. As a result, it can lead to iron-deficiency anemia.


Endometriosis is a disease in which tissue similar to the lining of the uterus grows outside the uterine cavity. Women with endometriosis can have iron deficiency anemia due to heavy blood loss during menstruation.


Pregnancy requires an increased need for iron and an increased production of red blood cells. Iron stores are a source of hemoglobin that the body uses to make more blood to provide oxygen to the developing fetus.

Risk Factors for Iron Deficiency Anemia:

The optimal concentration of iron required to meet your normal needs varies depending on age, environment, gender, genetics, lifestyle, and pregnancy. These factors increase the risk of iron deficiency anemia.


Iron deficiency anemia is more common in women as they lose blood during menstruation. In addition, women are at increased risk for iron deficiency anemia due to other factors such as pregnancy, endometriosis, and uterine fibroids.


Babies between 6 and 12 months, especially those with low birth weight or born prematurely, are at greater risk for iron deficiency. Also, formula-fed babies who were not iron-fortified or who did not get enough iron from their breast milk may be at risk for iron-deficiency anaemia.

Preschoolers have more iron requirements for growth and development. However, many children receive less than their optimal daily rate. Therefore, they have a high prevalence of iron deficiency anemia. According to a research study, iron deficiency is a major cause of anemia in the elderly, especially those over 65 years of age. It is due to nutritional deficiencies, medications, various treatments, and poor absorption.


Vegetarians or vegans are more likely to suffer from iron-deficiency anemia. If you do not eat enough iron-rich foods, such as meat and fish, you have a higher risk of iron deficiency anemia. Therefore, you should eat other foods rich in iron to get the recommended daily amount of iron. People who donate blood often may also be at risk for iron deficiency anemia, as donating blood can deplete iron stores. However, it can be a temporary problem and can be solved by consuming foods with higher iron content.

Environmental Factors:

Children who have a mineral, lead, in their blood from the environment or water are at greater risk of developing iron-deficiency anemia. This is because lead interferes with the body’s ability to produce hemoglobin.


One study suggests that blood-related genetic abnormalities may be inherited. In some cases, they can cause iron-deficiency anemia. For example, people with a hemophilia gene may be at risk. This is especially true in the case of symptomatic carriers who have heavy menstrual periods.

Health Complications of Iron Deficiency Anemia:

Iron deficiency anemia is mostly mild and causes no health complications. However, if left untreated and untreated, it can lead to other health problems such as:

Heart Problems:

Tissue cells need a constant supply of oxygen to function well. Normally, the hemoglobin in red blood cells carries oxygen from the lungs to all tissues in the body. However, the heart of a patient with anemia needs to pump more blood to compensate for the low amount of oxygen. As a result, it can lead to tachycardia, which is an unusually fast heartbeat. In severe cases, it can even lead to an enlarged heart or even heart failure.

Shaking Legs Syndrome:

Restless legs syndrome (RLS) is a common condition that affects the nervous system and causes an uncontrollable and uncontrollable desire for foot movement. Iron deficiency has consistently been found to be a risk factor for RLS. However, according to one study, treatment for iron deficiency improves symptoms of rls. Therefore, you can easily treat RLS with iron supplements.

Complications of Pregnancy:

Severe iron deficiency anemia in pregnant women has been linked to postpartum depression, preterm labor, and low birth weight. There is also an increased risk of infant death soon after birth. However, you can prevent this by taking iron supplements as part of your prenatal care. According to the research, iron deficiency anemia adversely affects the well-being of the mother and fetus during pregnancy and is associated with increased fetal morbidity and death.

Increased Risk of Infections:

According to a 2010 study, iron deficiency is linked to a weakened immune system. It also increases susceptibility to pathogen infections by suppressing the immune response. Consequently, it can increase the risk of infections in individuals.


One study found that iron deficiency is one of the nutritional deficiencies that often contribute to depression. Additionally, people with iron deficiency anemia have a significantly higher prevalence and risk of anxiety and sleep disturbances. Our body needs iron to make dopamine in the brain, a common-sense hormone needed for pleasure and motivation.

Foods That Fight Anemia:

You can reduce the risk of iron deficiency anemia by choosing foods rich in iron. Some of the iron-rich foods that can fight anemia are:

Non-vegetarian Sources:

Our bodies absorb three times as much iron from animal sources as from plants. Some of the richest foods in iron are:


In addition to being an excellent source of protein, meat is one of the most important and readily available sources of heme iron. This is because the body absorbs blood iron more easily than non-heme iron. Meat also contains other nutrients such as iodine, zinc, vitamins, and essential fatty acids. Therefore, regular consumption of meat as part of a balanced diet is recommended.

Crustaceans such as mussels, oysters, and mussels are extremely rich sources of iron and a 100 gram serving of mussels can contain up to 26 mg of iron. Tuna, cod, mackerel, and sardines are some of the other iron-rich fish you can also include in your diet. Fish is also low in saturated fat and high in protein, vitamins A, B, and omega-3 fatty acids, making it a complete nutritional package.


Egg yolks contain both heme and non-heme iron. One hundred grams of eggs contain 2.73 mg of iron. They also have high-quality proteins, essential vitamins, and minerals. In addition, eggs increase the levels of high-density lipoprotein (HDL) or “Good” cholesterol in the body.

Animal Liver:

Animal liver is one of the best sources of heme iron. One hundred grams of beef liver contains 6.5 mg of iron. The liver is an excellent source of vitamin a and is also rich in folic acid, iron, and zinc, making it the most nutritious organ meat.

Plant Sources of Iron:

Even if you absorb less iron in plants, adding a source of vitamin c to vegetarian iron sources will improve absorption. Therefore, you can prevent iron deficiency anemia by eating foods rich in iron and vitamin c.


As a result, they are an excellent source of iron for vegans and vegetarians. In addition, spinach helps reduce the risk of iron deficiency anemia. One hundred grams of spinach give 1.6 mg of non-heme iron. Although it provides non-heme iron, spinach is also high in vitamin C, which is essential for the absorption of iron. In addition, spinach contains various vitamins and minerals that support the iron deficiency anaemia and reduce inflammation.


Some varieties of mushrooms are rich in iron. For example, champignon mushrooms contain 0.5 mg of iron per 100 g. At the same time, oyster mushrooms contain up to twice as much iron as champignon mushrooms and iron deficiency anaemia. As a result, mushrooms provide iron, which can help treat anemia. In addition, mushrooms are a good source of protein, fiber, vitamins, and antioxidants, contributing to your overall health.


Combined with other iron-rich foods rich in vitamin c can improve the body’s absorption of iron. Since quinoa is gluten-free, it is a good choice for people with celiac disease.


One hundred grams of broccoli contains 1 mg of iron, which makes it another vegetable rich in iron. It also contains vitamin c, which helps the body better absorb non-heme iron. In addition, broccoli is rich in fiber and is a rich source of many vitamins such as vitamins K, A, and C and minerals such as calcium, zinc, and phosphorus.


Legumes are another excellent plant source of iron and iron deficiency anaemia. One cup of cooked lentils provides about 6.6 mg of iron, while chickpeas and beans contain up to 2 mg of iron per 100 g. Legumes do not contain cholesterol and provide fiber, protein, copper, magnesium, manganese, zinc, and phosphorus. Having more legumes in your diet will help prevent anemia and reduce the risk of heart disease.





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