What is Iron Deficiency Anemia?

Iron deficiency is the most common type of anemia, which is defined as a lack of adequate red blood cells in the blood. As the name implies, iron deficiency anemia is cause by an insufficiency of iron in blood. Iron is needed for hemoglobin production, which carries oxygen in the blood. Basically, low iron intake  low hemoglobin  less oxygen transported in the blood  anemia symptoms such as tiredness and shortness of breath. Iron deficiency anemia is highest in women, those who consume a vegetarian diet, and in frequent blood donors.

Symptoms of Iron Deficiency Anemia:

  • Extreme fatigue.
  • Weakness.
  • Pale Skin.
  • Headache, dizziness or lightheadedness.
  • Chest pain, fast heartbeat or shortness of breath.
  • Cold hands and feet

Causes Iron Deficiency Anemia:

Blood Loss

A loss of blood leads to a loss of iron. Women who experience heavy periods are especially at risk for iron deficiency anemia. Chronic, slow blood loss from a peptic ulcer, a hiatal hernia, some cancers, and excess use of OTC pain relievers can also cause an iron deficiency.


Many pregnant women may be iron deficient if they are not taking an iron supplement. Increased iron intake is needed because pregnant women have a higher blood volume to support their growing fetus.

Inadequate Dietary Intake

If you consume foods low in iron, you may be at risk for iron deficiency. Iron-rich foods include: meat, eggs, green-leafy vegetables, and iron-fortified foods.

Impaired Iron Absorption

A disorder, such as celiac disease, may interfere with the absorption of iron in the small intestines. Also, bypass or removal of the small intestine may affect your ability to absorb iron and other nutrients.

Information provided by:http://www.mayoclinic.org