How common is iron deficiency anemia?
Iron deficiency anemia is a common condition, and the most common type of anemia.
Author: Jonathan Meddings
First answered: 06 Oct 2014
Last reviewed: 19 May 2018
Rating: 4.4/5 Votes: 397
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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.
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.
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 …
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 …
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.
Eating a balanced diet usually provides you with enough iron to meet your body's needs. If you have had iron deficiency once, you are at increased risk of getting it again, so your doctor may prescribe you daily iron supplementation to prevent iron …
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.
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 …