Iron Deficiency Anemia
Idleness is to the human mind like rust to iron - Ezra Cornell
image by: Anemia Awareness
If you have found your way to this site because you suspect that the symptoms you are experiencing may be due to anemia, then please know that you are not alone. I've been in your shoes several times before, searching the web, trying to piece together my problems -- extreme fatigue, racing heart, shortness of breath, feeling cold all of the time, repeated illnesses – and trying to make sense of it all. Was I sick? Was I out of shape? Was I just getting older? Was it possible that anemia…a diagnosis I had basically ignored my entire life…could be making me feel this way?
Like many of you, I was diagnosed with anemia when I was a teenager, but no one ever explained to…
The statistics about IDA are staggering – and I immediately felt a calling to help her spread awareness about the untold dangers of the disorder.
Iron deficiency is the most common nutritional deficiency in the United States, and women are among those at greatest risk. Iron is critical for producing hemoglobin, a protein that helps red blood cells deliver oxygen throughout your body. So without it, everything suffers -- and can lead to anemia. Check out these symptoms of iron deficiency and, if you have them, see your doc and request a ferritin test, which measures your body's iron stores.
I hope you will find this new educational website to be a valuable resource in your journey to take control of Iron Deficiency Anemia (IDA). Here you will find accurate and reliable information about IDA backed by a panel of world-renowned experts in the fields of medicine and science -- the Medical and Scientific Advisory Board of the Iron Disorders Institute.
We want people to get iron-informed! To understand why iron is so important to our bodies and what can happen if we're not getting enough, by by recognising the symptoms and taking action. By informing people about the importance of healthy iron levels, we will encourage more people to speak to their healthcare providers about iron deficiency and iron deficiency anemia.
Iron-deficiency anemia is diagnosed by blood tests that should include a complete blood count (CBC). Additional tests may be ordered to evaluate the levels of serum ferritin, iron, total iron-binding capacity, and/or transferrin.
Anemia of chronic disease (ACD) is also referred to as anemia of inflammatory response. Although ACD can accompany life-threatening illness, anemia of inflammatory response is in fact a protective and natural mechanism that the human body uses to limit the amount of iron available when potentially harmful things get into our body.
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.
Because the signs and symptoms of iron deficiency (also termed anemia, iron deficiency anemia, sideropenia, and hypoferremia) can be very subtle, only a blood test can tell you for sure if your iron levels are too low.
Treatment for iron-deficiency anemia will depend on its cause and severity. Treatments may include dietary changes and supplements, medicines, and surgery. Severe iron-deficiency anemia may require a blood transfusion, iron injections, or intravenous (IV) iron therapy. Treatment may need to be done in a hospital. The goals of treating iron-deficiency anemia are to treat its underlying cause and restore normal levels of red blood cells, hemoglobin, and iron.
There are many things that can lead to a lack of iron in the body. In men and post-menopausal women, the most common cause is bleeding in the stomach and intestines. This can be caused by taking non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), a stomach ulcer, stomach cancer or bowel cancer. In women of reproductive age, the most common causes of iron deficiency anaemia are heavy periods and pregnancy (as your body needs extra iron for your baby).
Complications may develop if the anaemia becomes severe and is not treated. For example, you can develop fragile and broken nails, hair loss and heart failure. A lack of iron can also affect the immune system so you may become more likely to develop infections.
Iron deficiency anemia is the most common cause of microcytic anemia (anemia characterized by small red blood cells). It occurs when the dietary intake or absorption of iron is insufficient, and hemoglobin, which contains iron, cannot be formed.
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