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What is iron deficiency anemia?
Iron deficiency anemia is the most common type of anemia, a condition caused by low numbers of healthy red blood cells. In iron deficiency anemia, the anemia is the result of low levels of iron in the body.
What are the symptoms of iron deficiency anemia?
Sometimes, people with iron deficiency anemia have no symptoms. When they do, common symptoms include weakness, headache, fatigue, irritability, shortness of breath, and a fast heart rate.
What causes iron deficiency anemia?
Blood loss is the most common cause of iron deficiency anemia. It might not always be obvious, such as when it occurs due to trauma, surgery, or in women with heavy menstrual bleeding. For example, slow bleeding of the gastrointestinal tract in some …
How is iron deficiency anemia diagnosed?
Because there are many potential causes of iron deficiency anemia, your doctor will need to take your full medical history and perform a physical examination to identify the most likely cause of iron deficiency or blood loss. Other tests that may be …
How is iron deficiency anemia treated?
To treat iron deficiency anemia, you may be given oral or intravenous iron supplements. In some cases of iron deficiency anemia, treatment will focus on treating the root cause, and let the body restore its iron levels naturally.
What is the outcome for iron deficiency anemia?
Treatment continues until your hemoglobin levels return to normal. You may still need to take iron supplements for some time after this to restore your iron stores.
What happens if iron deficiency anemia occurs during pregnancy?
If you are pregnant and have severe anemia, it can increase the chances of your baby being born prematurely, having a low birth weight, having problems with their iron levels and poor performance in mental aptitude tests later …
What are the side effects of taking medications for iron deficiency anemia?
Side effects of oral iron include nausea, vomiting and constipation. When delivered intravenously, side effects include dizziness, heart palpitations, itching and an allergic reaction to dextran-based iron …
About this article
Author: Jonathan Meddings BMedLabSc (Hons)
First answered: 06 Oct 2014
Last reviewed: 19 May 2018
Rating: 4.5 out of 5
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Category: Iron deficiency anemia