What is Iron deficiency anemia?
Normal red cells contain haemoglobin that gives them their red colour and helps them carry oxygen around the body. In iron deficiency anemia (IDA) fewer smaller pale red blood cells are present due to a lack of the iron needed to make haemoglobin.
What are the signs and symptoms of IDA?
IDA is extremely common, often affecting children and women. It is commonly diagnosed due to extreme pallor (paleness), tiredness, and fatigue due to lack of red blood cells. Consumption of unusual substances (such as soil) may be seen, this is also called pica.
What are the causes of IDA?
Nutitional anemia (poor diet) can affect toddlers who may be consuming too much milk, and have a lack of iron in their diet, and also in women who lose iron with menstrual blood loss and pregnancy. Blood loss may occur due to Inflammatory Bowel Disease, hookworm, bleeding ulcers or haemorrhoids. In older adults, cancer of the colon or stomach should be considered.