Iron deficiency anemia is a common type of anemia — a condition in which blood lacks adequate healthy red blood cells. Without enough iron, your body can't produce enough of a substance in red blood cells that enables them to carry oxygen (hemoglobin).
Toddlers can run into problems if they drink too much cow's milk (more than 24 ounces a day) and eat fewer iron-rich foods, like red meat and green leafy vegetables. Cow's milk is not a good source of iron. In fact, milk makes it harder for the body to absorb iron and can contribute to iron-deficiency anemia.
The symptoms of moderate to severe iron deficiency anemia include:
- general fatigue.
- pale skin.
- shortness of breath.
- strange cravings to eat items that aren't food, such as dirt, ice, or clay.
- a tingling or crawling feeling in the legs.
- tongue swelling or soreness.
If your body doesn't have enough iron, it cannot produce enough healthy oxygen-carrying red blood cells. Iron deficiency can cause anemia, which means you have too little hemoglobin. Women in their childbearing years are at higher risk for iron deficiency because of the loss of blood during menstruation.
Understanding Anemia And Anxiety. Anemia generally occurs when there is a lack of specific vitamins in the body. Iron is the most common, but you can be anemic if you don't have enough Vitamin B12, Magnesium, Folic Acid and more. Anemia itself can also cause anxiety as a symptom.
Try eating foods, such as citrus fruits or juice. Some foods can make it harder for your body to absorb iron. These include coffee, tea, milk, egg whites, fiber, and soy protein. Try to avoid these foods if you have iron deficiency anemia.
The tips below can help you maximize your dietary iron intake:
- Eat lean red meat: This is the best source of easily absorbed heme iron.
- Eat chicken and fish: These are also good sources of heme iron.
- Consume vitamin C-rich foods: Eat vitamin C-rich foods during meals to increase the absorption of non-heme iron.
Heme iron is derived from hemoglobin. It is found in animal foods that originally contained hemoglobin, such as red meats, fish, and poultry (meat, poultry, and seafood contain both heme and non-heme iron). Your body absorbs the most iron from heme sources. Most nonheme iron is from plant sources.
Iron deficiency, especially when it progresses into full-blown iron deficiency anemia, can cause hair loss. “It sends your body into survival mode, so your body channels oxygen to support vital functions as opposed to ones like keeping your hair intact,” explains Moritz. Most scalps lose about 100 hairs on a good day.
Some of the best plant sources of iron are:
- Beans and lentils.
- Baked potatoes.
- Dark green leafy vegetables such as spinach.
- Fortified breakfast cereals.
- Whole-grain and enriched breads.
Although there are many causes of headaches, frequent, recurrent headaches and dizziness could be a sign of iron deficiency. Summary: Headaches and dizziness could be a sign of iron deficiency. The lack of hemoglobin means not enough oxygen reaches the brain, causing its blood vessels to swell and create pressure.
Anemia due to iron deficiency or blood loss can also be corrected (cured) with a blood transfusion. Nutritional deficiencies such as B12 or folate are also curable causes of anemia. Eating a healthy diet, and possibly taking supplements, will allow the body to naturally build red blood cells back up.
Here are 11 healthy foods that are high in iron.
- Shellfish. Shellfish is tasty and nutritious.
- Spinach. Spinach provides many health benefits for very few calories.
- Liver and Other Organ Meats. Organ meats are extremely nutritious.
- Legumes. Legumes are loaded with nutrients.
- Red Meat.
- Pumpkin Seeds.
Lower than normal hemoglobin levels indicate anemia. The normal hemoglobin range is generally defined as 13.5 to 17.5 grams (g) of hemoglobin per deciliter (dL) of blood for men and 12.0 to 15.5 g/dL for women. The normal ranges for children vary depending on the child's age and sex. Ferritin.
The average daily iron intake from foods and supplements is 13.7–15.1 mg/day in children aged 2–11 years, 16.3 mg/day in children and teens aged 12–19 years, and 19.3–20.5 mg/day in men and 17.0–18.9 mg/day in women older than 19. The median dietary iron intake in pregnant women is 14.7 mg/day .
Here are 8 signs and symptoms of vitamin D deficiency.
- Getting Sick or Infected Often.
- Fatigue and Tiredness.
- Bone and Back Pain.
- Impaired Wound Healing.
- Bone Loss.
- Hair Loss.
- Muscle Pain.
However, unless you have an iron overload disorder, you generally do not need to worry about getting too much iron from your diet. It benefits those who suffer from iron deficiency, but may cause harm in those who are not iron-deficient. Never take iron supplements unless recommended by your doctor.
Often, the first test used to diagnose anemia is a complete blood count (CBC). The CBC measures many parts of your blood. The test checks your hemoglobin and hematocrit (hee-MAT-oh-crit) levels. Hemoglobin is the iron-rich protein in red blood cells that carries oxygen to the body.
These symptoms include nausea (feeling sick to your stomach) and vomiting, heartburn, abdominal bloating and gas, constipation or diarrhea, loss of appetite, and weight loss. An enlarged liver is another symptom. A smooth, thick, red tongue also is a sign of vitamin B12 deficiency and pernicious anemia.
Iron is also the fourth most common element in Earth's crust by weight and much of Earth's core is thought to be composed of iron. Besides being commonly found on Earth, it is abundant in the sun and stars, according to the Los Alamos National Laboratory.