Anemia caused by iron deficiency is a condition where the lack of iron in the body leads to the reduction in the number of red blood cells. Red blood cells are needed to help store and carry oxygen in the blood.
Anemia is the most common blood disorder, affecting about a third of the global population. People who are highly at risk of anemia are women and children.
The World Health Organization estimates that 42% of children less than 5 years of age and 40% of pregnant women worldwide are anemic.
In 2013, anemia due to iron deficiency resulted in about 183,000 deaths. This is proof that although it is not very common, severe anemia can result in death.
Symptoms of Anemia
Often, there are no symptoms of anemia, but once it worsens, you start feeling breathless and tired than usual. Your skin might also get pale, among other symptoms.
As your hemoglobin levels decrease further, you might also experience symptoms such as;
- Hair Loss
- Cold Hands and Feet
- Chest Pains
For something that is quite hard to tell, how do you know you are anemic? A good way to find out is by looking out for the symptoms or getting a full blood count. This will determine whether your red blood cell count is normal, or you need iron supplements.
To ensure your body has a good supply of iron, it is important to regularly include certain foods in your daily diet. Some of these foods include red meat, beans, nuts, seafoods, dried fruits, green leafy vegetables, eggs, etc.
Women of childbearing age who have a menstrual cycle every month, must prioritize their iron intake to make up for blood loss during these cycles.
It is also important to pay attention to children in their formative years to ensure they are getting iron in the right amounts.
Just like other common deficiencies that creep up on us when we least expect, it is important to ensure you are having a well-rounded diet to prevent getting them in the first place.