CAUSES: Inadequate iron intake
Eating too little iron over an extended amount of time can cause a shortage in your body. Foods such as meat, eggs, and some green leafy vegetables are high in iron. Because iron is essential during times of rapid growth and development, pregnant women and young children may need even more iron-rich foods in their diet
Pregnancy or blood loss due to menstruation
In women of childbearing age, the most common causes of iron deficiency anemia are heavy menstrual bleeding and blood loss during childbirth.
Certain medical conditions can cause internal bleeding, which can lead to iron deficiency anemia. Examples include an ulcer in your stomach, polyps (tissue growths) in the colon or intestines, or colon cancer. Regular use of pain relievers, such as aspirin, can also cause bleeding in the stomach.
Inability to absorb iron
Certain disorders or surgeries that affect the intestines can also interfere with how your body absorbs iron. Even if you get enough iron in your diet, celiac disease or intestinal surgery, such as gastric bypass, may limit the amount of iron your body can absorb.
Rapid or irregular heartbeat
When you’re anemic, your heart has to pump more blood to make up for the low amount of oxygen. This can lead to irregular heartbeat. In severe cases, it can lead to heart failure or an enlarged heart.
In severe cases of iron deficiency, a child may be born prematurely or with a low birth weight. Most pregnant women take iron supplements as part of their prenatal care to prevent this from happening.
Delayed growth in infants and children
Infants and children who are severely deficient in iron may experience a delay in their growth and development. They may also be more likely to experience infections.
TREATMENT: Foods high in iron include:meat, such as lamb, pork, chicken, and beefbeanspumpkin and squash seedsleafy greens, such as spinachraisins and other dried fruiteggsseafood, such as clams, sardines, shrimp, and oystersiron-fortified dry and instant cereals
Foods high in vitamin C include:citrus fruits, such as oranges, grapefruits, strawberries, kiwis, guavas, papayas, pineapples, melons, and mangoesbroccolired and green bell peppersBrussels sproutscauliflowertomatoesleafy greens