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Iron Deficiency Anemia (Low Iron): Symptoms, Causes, Treatment

What Is Iron Deficiency Anemia?

Iron deficiency anemia is when your body doesn’t have enough red blood cells. 

Red blood cells carry oxygen from your lungs to the rest of your body. Every organ and tissue in your body needs oxygen to work. Without enough oxygen in your blood, and you may feel tired, weak, and short of breath.

You get iron deficiency anemia when your body is low in iron. You need iron to make hemoglobin, a protein that helps your red blood cells carry oxygen. 

Your doctor will find out why your iron is low. Usually, you can treat iron deficiency anemia with supplements. Once your iron levels go up, you should start to feel better.

Symptoms of Iron Deficiency Anemia

Mild iron deficiency anemia often isn’t noticeable. When it gets more severe, you may have these symptoms:

Because these can also be symptoms of other conditions, see your doctor to get a diagnosis.

Causes of Iron Deficiency Anemia

It can happen if you don’t eat enough foods containing iron, your body can’t properly absorb iron, you lose iron through your blood, or you’re pregnant.

Your diet is low in iron. How much iron you need depends on your age and gender. Men need at least 8 milligrams daily. Women ages 50 and younger need more — 18 milligrams.

Your body can’t absorb iron. Iron from the foods you eat is absorbed in your small intestine. Conditions like celiac disease, ulcerative colitis, or Crohn’s disease can make it harder for your intestines to absorb iron. Surgery such as gastric bypass that removes part of your intestines, and medicines used to lower stomach acid can also affect your body’s ability to absorb iron.

Blood loss. Some conditions can make you bleed inside your body, including:

Heavy periods. Women with heavy periods can become low in iron. 

Injuries. Any injury that causes you to lose blood can cause iron deficiency anemia.

Frequent blood donations.  You should wait at least 8 weeks between blood donations.

Pregnancy. When you’re expecting, you need extra iron to nourish your growing baby. If you don’t get enough iron from your diet or supplements, you can become deficient.

End-stage kidney failure. If you are getting dialysis for end-stage kidney failure, you can lose blood. Some people with end-stage kidney failure also take medications that can cause iron-deficiency anemia.

Medications. Aspirin and other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) can cause internal gastrointestinal bleeding. Proton pump inhibitors, used to control acid reflux, can prevent your body from absorbing enough iron.

Chronic health conditions that cause inflammation. This can include congestive heart failure as well as obesity.

Risk Factors of Iron Deficiency Anemia

Different factors can raise your risk of getting iron deficiency anemia. Some can be changed and some cannot. Risk factors include:

Age. Children aged 6 months to 2 years, teens, and adults over the age of 65 are most at risk.

Lifestyle. This can include exercising a lot (including endurance sports) and not eating enough foods rich in iron.  

Lead. Lead from water or from environmental sources can get in the way of making red blood cells.

Family history and genetics. Two inherited diseases, hemophilia and von Willebrand disease, can cause you to bleed more and lose iron.

Gender. Girls and women who have heavy periods or are pregnant or breastfeeding need more iron.

Diagnosis of Iron Deficiency Anemia

Your doctor will do one or more of these blood tests to find out if you have iron deficiency anemia.

  • Complete blood count (CBC). This test checks to see how many red blood cells you have.
  • Peripheral blood smear. This test looks at the size and shape of your red blood cells. In iron deficiency anemia, red blood cells are smaller than usual.
  • Hematocrit. This test shows how much of your blood is made up of red cells.
  • Hemoglobin. This test shows the amount of this protein in your blood. If you have anemia, your hemoglobin will be low.
  • Serum iron. This test shows how much iron is in your blood.
  • Ferritin. This test shows how much iron is stored in your body by measuring this protein.
  • Transferrin and total iron-binding capacity (TIBC). These tests show how much of a protein called transferrin is free to carry iron through your body.
  • Reticulocyte count. This test shows how many reticulocytes (immature red blood cells) you have in your blood. If you have iron deficiency anemia, your reticulocyte count is usually low because you’re not making many new red blood cells.

If blood tests show you have iron deficiency anemia, you might need other tests like these to see what’s causing it.

  • Endoscopy. Your doctor uses a tube with a camera on one end to look inside your esophagus or colon. Endoscopy can find bleeding in your GI tract from ulcers, polyps, or other growths.
  • Pelvic ultrasound or uterinebiopsy. If you bleed a lot during your monthly periods, this test can find the cause.
  • Fecal occult blood test. This test looks for tiny amounts of blood in your poop to check for cancer and other causes of bleeding in your intestines.

Treatment of Iron Deficiency Anemia

You can treat iron deficiency anemia by taking iron supplements. Most people take 150 to 200 milligrams each day, but your doctor will recommend a dose based on your iron levels. Taking vitamin C helps your body absorb the iron.

You might need to take iron supplements for a few months or more to get your levels to normal. If your intestines don’t absorb iron well, you can take iron straight into your bloodstream through an intravenous tube (IV).

But be warned: Iron supplements can cause constipation, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, heartburn, and dark-colored poop.

Your symptoms should start to go away after about a week. Your doctor will check your blood to see if your anemia has improved.

You can also get more iron in your diet by eating more of these foods:

  • Beef, pork, liver, chicken, turkey, duck, and shellfish
  • Leafy greens such as broccoli, kale, turnip greens, and collard greens
  • Peas, lima beans, black-eyed peas, and pinto beans
  • Iron-enriched cereals and other grains
  • Dried fruits, such as prunes and raisins

Eating foods high in iron may also prevent anemia.

If supplements don’t help with your symptoms or your anemia is severe, you might need a transfusion of red blood cells. Or, if you have an ulcer, tumor, or other growth, it may need to be treated with medicines or surgery.

Complications of Iron Deficiency Anemia

If you don’t know you have iron deficiency anemia or if you know you have it but aren’t getting the right treatment, you could end up with complications such as:

  • Depression.
  • A higher risk of infection. This is because your immune system may not be working properly.
  • Problems with pregnancy. This can include preterm delivery and low-birth-weight babies.
  • Heart problems. Without enough red blood cells, your heart has to pump harder to get enough nutrients to the rest of your body. This causes strain, which can lead to heart failure, irregular heartbeat, an enlarged heart, or a heart murmur.
  • Developmental delays in children. This can include cognitive problems and motor problems.

Symptoms, Types, Causes, Risks, Treatment & Management


What is anemia?

Anemia happens when you do not have enough red blood cells. The cells travel with iron and hemoglobin, which is a protein that helps carry oxygen through the bloodstream to your organs all through the body. When someone develops anemia, they are said to be “anemic.” Being anemic might mean that you feel more tired or cold than you usually do, or if your skin seems too pale. This is due to your organs not receiving the oxygen they need to do their jobs. Some people find out they are low in iron when they go to donate blood.

Are there different kinds of anemia?

There are several different types of anemia, but each of them causes the number of red blood cells in circulation to drop. Red blood cell levels are low due to one of the following reasons:

  • Your body cannot make enough hemoglobin (low hemoglobin).
  • Your body makes hemoglobin, but the hemoglobin doesn’t work correctly.
  • Your body does not make enough red blood cells.
  • Your body breaks down red blood cells too quickly.

Some types of anemia that you may have heard of include iron-deficiency anemia and sickle cell anemia.

How common is anemia?

Anemia affects more than two billion people globally, which is more than 30% of the total population. It is especially common in countries with few resources, but it also affects many people in the industrialized world. Within the U.S., anemia is the most common blood condition. An estimated three million Americans have the disorder.

Who is most likely to develop anemia?

Anyone can develop anemia, although the following groups have a higher risk:

  • Women: Blood loss during monthly periods and childbirth can lead to anemia. This is especially true if you have heavy periods or a condition like fibroids.
  • Children, ages 1 to 2: The body needs more iron during growth spurts.
  • Infants: Infants may get less iron when they are weaned from breast milk or formula to solid food. Iron from solid food is not as easily taken up by the body.
  • People over 65: People over 65 are more likely to have iron-poor diets and certain chronic diseases.
  • People on blood thinners: These medications include drugs include aspirin, clopidogrel (Plavix®), warfarin (Coumadin®), heparin products, apixaban (Eliquis®), betrixaban (BevyxXa®), dabigatran (Pradaxa®), edoxaban (Savaysa®) and rivaroxaban (Xarelto®).

What are the signs and symptoms of anemia?

Several signs and symptoms occur in all types of anemia, such as fatigue, shortness of breath and feeling cold. Others include:

  • Dizziness or weakness.
  • Headache.
  • Sore tongue.
  • Pale skin, dry skin, or easily bruised skin.
  • Unintended movement in the lower leg (restless legs syndrome).
  • Fast heartbeat.

How does anemia affect the body?

Anemia can have other affects on your body in addition to feeling tired or cold. Other signs that you might be lacking in iron include having brittle or spoon-shaped nails and possible hair loss. You might find that your sense of taste has changed, or you might experience ringing in your ears.

Different types of anemia may lead to other serious problems. People with sickle cell anemia often have heart and lung complications.

If you have anemia that is not treated, it could lead to an arrhythmia (irregular heartbeat), an enlarged heart or heart failure. You are also at greater risk of getting infections and becoming depressed.

You might have heard that iron deficiency is linked to chewing ice, which does happen. Chewing ice is a sign of pica, a condition that includes eating things that are not really food, like chalk or dirt. So pica is also a sign of iron deficiency. It is often seen in children with anemia.

How else does anemia affect children?

It is important for children to have enough iron and other nutrients in their diets to prevent anemia and the related problems with lack of attention, delayed development of motor skills and problems with learning. In older children, you need to pay more attention to signs of anemia during growth spurts and menstrual cycles.

How does anemia affect older adults?

In older adults, anemia might have even more impact in causing confusion or depression. Weakness may make walking more difficult. Anemia may shorten your lifespan if you are older and it is not treated.

Can anemia affect my weight?

Having enough iron may also be a factor in weight issues. Studies have found overweight people might lose weight if they address low iron in the blood. You might experience unintentional weight loss along with anemia if you have other conditions, such as cancer. People who have had weight loss surgery might become anemic due to vitamin and mineral deficiencies.

How does anemia affect pregnancy?

Iron deficiency during pregnancy increases the chance of complications, such as premature birth. After the birth, studies have indicated that babies born to women with low iron levels have a higher risk of low birth weight and problems with their own iron levels.

If you are pregnant, you are more likely to develop iron-deficiency anemia. Your unborn baby relies on you for iron and other nutrients. Many women who are pregnant take iron pills to prevent anemia. To make sure that you have enough iron for you and your baby, eat well-balanced meals that include iron-rich foods and foods that provide B12 and B9 vitamins. Follow your healthcare provider’s instructions for taking vitamins and adding iron to your diet.

Finding out that you have anemia is just the beginning. Finding the cause of the anemia will lead you to the best treatment.

Symptoms and Causes

What causes anemia?

The most common cause of anemia is low levels of iron in the body. This type of anemia is called iron-deficiency anemia. Your body needs a certain amount of iron to make hemoglobin, the substance that moves oxygen throughout your body. However, iron-deficiency anemia is just one type. Other types are caused by:

  • Diets lacking in vitamin B12, or you can’t use or absorb Vitamin B12 (like pernicious anemia).
  • Diets lacking in folic acid, also called folate, or your body can’t use folic acid correctly (like folate-deficiency anemia).
  • Inherited blood disorders (like sickle cell anemia or thalassemia).
  • Conditions that cause red blood cells to break down too fast (like hemolytic anemia).
  • Chronic conditions causing your body to not have enough hormones to create red blood cells. These include hyperthyroidism, hypothyroidism, advanced kidney disease, lupus and other long-term diseases.
  • Blood loss related to other conditions such as ulcers, hemorrhoids or gastritis.

What causes iron-deficiency anemia?

You can get iron-deficiency anemia from:

  • Bleeding, either from losing a large amount of blood quickly (for instance, in a serious accident) or losing small amounts of blood over a long period of time. The body loses more iron with blood loss than it is able to replace with food. This can happen to women having heavy menstrual periods or in people who have inflammatory bowel disease.
  • Not getting enough iron in the diet.
  • Needing more iron than you did previously (for instance, during pregnancy or illness).

Some types of iron-deficiency anemia are called by other names related to the cause, such as anemia of chronic disease (also called anemia of inflammation) or acute blood loss anemia.

What causes types of anemia that aren’t iron-deficiency anemia?

Pernicious anemia

In a strict sense, pernicious anemia happens when a person lacks something called intrinsic factor, which lets them absorb vitamin B12. Without vitamin B12, the body cannot develop healthy red blood cells. Other types of anemia that involve lack of B vitamins, such as B9 (folic acid), are also often lumped in as pernicious anemia. This name may refer to other conditions, including folic acid deficiency anemia and Addison’s anemia, even though there is no intrinsic factor deficiency.

Hemolytic anemia

This type of anemia can be caused by inherited or acquired diseases that cause the body to make deformed red blood cells that die off too quickly. (An acquired disease is one that you didn’t have when you were born.) If it is not genetic, hemolytic anemia can be caused by harmful substances or reactions to certain drugs.

Sickle cell anemia

This genetic form of anemia happens because the shape of the red blood cells is faulty. They are sickle shaped, which means that they can clog the blood vessels and cause damage. The hemoglobin does not work correctly. This type of anemia is most often, but not always, found in African Americans.

Diamond-Blackfan anemia

This is a rare blood disorder that may be inherited or acquired. In this type of anemia, the bone marrow does not make enough red blood cells. Diamond-Blackfan anemia is diagnosed within the first year of life in nearly 90% of people who have it.

Aplastic anemia

This is a type of anemia in that is caused by damaged bone marrow which is unable to make enough red blood cells. It also may be congenital or acquired. Another name for aplastic anemia is bone marrow aplasia (failure). Some people might think of this condition as cancer, but it is not.

There is something referred to by some people as myelodysplastic anemia. However, myelodyplastic syndromes (MDS) refer to actual cancer and are a result of abnormal cells in the bone marrow.

Fanconi anemia

This type of anemia is also rare and it is genetic. It happens because the bone marrow does not make enough red blood cells. There are physical signs of this condition, such as abnormal bone structure and abnormal skin color. About 50% of people with this condition are diagnosed by the time that they turn 10 years old.

Mediterranean anemia

This condition is also known as Cooley’s anemia and actually refers to beta thalassemia major. Thalassemias are inherited conditions in which your body does not make the right amount of hemoglobin. In addition to not making enough of these cells, the red blood cells do not live as long as they would in someone without the condition.

Vegetarian or vegan anemia

This term refers to the idea that people who are vegetarians or vegans have a difficult time getting enough iron because they don’t eat meat, poultry or seafood. However, careful food planning makes this statement false. There are plenty of ways to get enough iron with a plant-based diet.

Your healthcare provider might also use terms for anemia that refer to the size of the red blood cells. These words include terms like macrocytic anemia (larger than normal cells) or microcytic anemia (smaller than normal cells).

Diagnosis and Tests

How is anemia diagnosed?

Your healthcare provider can perform blood tests to tell if you have anemia. The main test is a complete blood count test, also called the CBC. The CBC can tell you how many red blood cells you have, how big they are and what shape they are. Blood tests can also tell you if you are low in vitamins B12 and B9 and how much iron your body has stored.

The type and number of blood and other tests will depend on what type of anemia your provider thinks that you have.

  • Blood and urine tests can indicate if you have hemolytic anemia.
  • A colonoscopy or fecal occult blood tests of your stool may be suggested to find gastrointestinal bleeding.
  • Your provider might order a bone marrow biopsy (removal of bone marrow tissue) in certain rare cases.

The type of anemia and its cause will allow your healthcare provider to determine the right kind of treatment.

Management and Treatment

How is anemia treated?

First, your healthcare provider will find out if the anemia is being caused by a poor diet or a more serious health problem. Then, you can be treated for both the anemia and its cause. Iron-deficiency anemia is treated with:

  • Iron supplements taken by mouth.
  • Foods high in iron and foods that help your body absorb iron (like foods with Vitamin C).
  • Iron given through an intravenous (IV) infusion. (This is often a choice if you have chronic kidney disease, or CKD.)
  • Transfusions of red blood cells.

If your anemia is caused by internal bleeding, your provider may need to do surgery to stop it. Surgical repair has been used to cure anemia in people with the paraesophageal type of hiatal hernias, with or without ulcers (called Cameron’s ulcers).

Other types of anemia may require other types of treatment. For instance, genetic disorders (like beta thalassemia and sickle cell anemia) may require bone marrow transplant.

If CKD is causing your anemia, in addition to iron supplementation (through oral or IV means), treatment could also include injections of erythropoietin (EPO). EPO is a hormone that tells the bone marrow to make red blood cells.

Anemia is also linked to cancer in some cases — both in terms of anemia being a symptom and in terms of cancer treatment. Both radiation and chemotherapy can cause anemia. It might be necessary to stall further cancer treatment until the anemia is improved by iron, blood transfusions, getting necessary B vitamins and/or getting shots of drugs to stimulate your body to produce EPO.

Is anemia fatal?

Although most types of anemia can be treated, anemia can still be fatal. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there were 1.7 deaths per 100,000 due to anemia in the U.S. in 2017.


How can I prevent anemia?

Some kinds of anemia, such as those that are inherited, cannot be prevented. However, you can prevent anemia caused by iron deficiency, vitamin B12 deficiency and vitamin B9 deficiency by eating well. This includes eating a diet with enough foods that provide iron and these vitamins, along with vitamin C food sources to help with the absorption. Make sure that you drink enough water. Some studies have indicated that this will help keep hemoglobin levels up.

How do I manage anemia?

While some types of anemia are short-term and mild, others can last throughout a lifetime. There are several ways to help manage anemia, including:

  • Following a healthy diet.
  • Drinking enough water to stay hydrated.
  • Exercising regularly. However, if you have been weak, you should begin exercising cautiously. Check with your healthcare provider about ways to exercise safely.
  • Avoiding exposure to chemicals that set off anemia.
  • Washing your hands often to avoid infection.
  • Taking good care of your teeth and going to the dentist regularly.
  • Talking to your doctor about any changing symptoms.
  • Keeping track of your symptoms by writing them down.

Which foods should I eat, and which foods should I avoid, if I have anemia?

With anemia, making good food choices is important. Eating junk food means you are getting calories without nutrients. You also have to consider other medical conditions that you have when you make your food choices.

Some things have been shown to impair iron absorption. You should not take calcium and iron supplements at the same time. In addition, you may want to avoid or limit these items:

  • Tannin-containing items like coffee, tea and some spices.
  • Milk.
  • Egg whites.
  • Fiber. (You will not want to eliminate all fiber, though, because taking iron supplements could cause constipation.)
  • Soy protein.

In general, you should eat iron-rich foods and foods that provide vitamins B12, B9 and C. This means that you can enjoy plenty of good food that is for you, whether you eat meat or not. You can get iron from plant sources like lentils, spinach and pistachios. You can get iron from protein sources like lean beef and turkey. Whole grains and dark leafy vegetables are good sources of B vitamins. Some foods are even fortified with iron.

Citrus fruits, berries and other vitamin C-containing foods like peppers and tomatoes improve iron consumption. It is a good idea to get advice from your healthcare provider or perhaps from a registered dietitian about the best ways to eat when you have anemia. Also, make sure that grapefruit does not interfere with any of your medications.

It’s important to be educated on what you can do to take the best care of yourself that you can. It is also important that you and your healthcare provider make decisions together about what works best for you. Take the opportunity to ask for a referral to a registered dietitian if you want help setting a diet to help with iron intake. Make sure you ask all the questions that you have so you can be confident in moving forward.


Are there resources for people with anemia?

Depending on what kind of anemia you have or are interested in learning more about, you might find the following resources to be helpful.

Anemia – Diagnosis, Evaluation and Treatment

Anemia is a condition where you have low levels of red blood cells or hemoglobin. Hemoglobin carries oxygen inside red blood cells, which distribute oxygen throughout the body. Because it is rich in iron, hemoglobin also gives blood its red color. Many different things can cause anemia. Because an underlying condition is frequently the cause, it’s important to get prompt diagnosis and treatment.

Your doctor will use blood tests to diagnose your anemia and to identify its cause. Occasionally, your doctor may also use imaging tests. There are many different causes of anemia, and treatments vary widely. These treatments may include observation, iron supplementation, medications, surgery, or even cancer treatment.

What is anemia?

Anemia is a condition where your blood does not have enough red blood cells or hemoglobin. There are many forms of anemia, including:

  • Iron deficiency anemia from low levels of iron in your blood. Often, the cause is blood loss (most commonly via heavy menstruation or bleeding in the gastrointestinal tract).
  • Vitamin deficiency anemia due to low levels of vitamins C, B-12, or folate.
  • Aplastic anemia, which occurs when the bone marrow fails to produce enough red blood cells.
  • Hemolytic anemia, a condition where the body destroys red blood cells prematurely.
  • Sickle cell anemia, an inherited disorder characterized by abnormal, crescent-shaped red blood cells.
  • Thalassemia, an inherited disorder where an abnormal form of hemoglobin destroys red blood cells prematurely.

Anemia varies in severity and duration. Because anemia has an underlying cause, prompt diagnosis and treatment are very important.

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How is anemia diagnosed and evaluated?

Common symptoms of anemia include fatigue, irritability, headaches and difficulty concentrating. Your doctor may detect a heart murmur or a sudden drop in blood pressure when you stand.

A blood test will provide counts of your white blood cells, red blood cells and platelets. If you have anemia, more tests may determine its type and whether it has a serious cause. These tests may include:

  • A reticulocyte count to see if your bone marrow is making red blood cells at an accelerated rate (this is a sign of prior blood loss)
  • Serum iron and ferritin tests to check the amount of iron in your blood and body
  • A peripheral blood smear to see if your red blood cells are an abnormal shape
  • Hemoglobin electrophoresis to evaluate for abnormal hemoglobin, which is present in thalassemia and sickle cell disease
  • An osmotic fragility test to see if your red blood cells are more fragile than usual

Your doctor may use more tests to search for the cause of your anemia. If blood loss is a concern, your doctor may use
endoscopy to examine your upper digestive system for signs of bleeding. You also may undergo colonoscopy to look for bleeding tumors, and other problems in the large intestine. Cell and bone marrow samples can supply clues to abnormal or lower red blood cell production.

You may undergo imaging exams to further evaluate certain causes of anemia. These may include:

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How is anemia treated?

Anemia is a broad medical topic. Treatment depends on your specific diagnosis and the severity of your condition. Your doctor will tailor these treatments to your diagnosis. Different diagnoses and their treatments may include:

  • Iron deficiency anemia – iron supplements, medications, blood transfusions, surgery, or even cancer treatment
  • Vitamin deficiency anemia – vitamin B-12 injections and folic acid supplements
  • Anemia related to chronic disease – treatment of the underlying disease, blood transfusions, or synthetic hormone injections to boost red blood cell production
  • Aplastic anemia – medications and blood transfusions to boost red blood cell levels
  • Anemia related to autoimmune disorders – drugs to suppress the immune system
  • Anemia related to bone marrow disease – medication, chemotherapy or bone marrow transplant
  • Hemolytic anemia – spleen removal, drugs to suppress the immune system, blood transfusions, or blood filtering
  • Sickle cell anemia – medications, oxygen, blood transfusions, folic acid supplements, antibiotics, bone marrow transplant
  • Thalassemia – blood transfusions, folic acid supplements, spleen removal, or bone marrow transplant

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This page was reviewed on October, 07, 2019

Could I Be Anemic? Learn the causes & symptoms

Feeling tired and exhausted even after a good night’s rest? Anemia could be the reason.

Anemia is one of the most common blood conditions in the United States that develops when you have a low red blood cell count or your hemoglobin (iron-rich protein) is less than normal.

Hemoglobin carries oxygen and delivers it throughout your body. If you have anemia, your lungs, tissues and organs won’t get enough oxygen, which can cause you to feel tired and weak.

In fact, half of the three million Americans living with anemia report feeling overtired—so you aren’t alone.


“There are many different causes of anemia, “said Jennifer Nelson, DO, an internal medicine physician at Banner – University Medicine Internal Medicine Clinic. “Women and those with chronic diseases are at the greatest risk for anemia, but it can affect anyone.”

According to the National Institutes of Health’s National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, there are more than 400 types of anemia. Different types of anemia have different causes. Some of these include:

  • Iron-Deficiency Anemia: One of the most common causes, especially in women, is when your body has a shortage of iron. Without adequate iron, your body won’t produce enough hemoglobin for red blood cells. This can occur in pregnant women or through blood loss—such as from heavy menstrual bleeding, ulcers and GI issues and other vascular abnormalities.
  • Vitamin-Deficiency Anemia: Your body also needs folate and B12, so if you have a diet lacking in these three key nutrients, you also won’t produce enough healthy red blood cells. This is often seen in patients who have dietary restrictions, such as veganism.
  • Chronic Inflammatory Anemia: Certain diseases such as kidney disease, rheumatoid arthritis, Crohn’s disease and other anti-inflammatory diseases can interfere with red blood cell production.
  • Hemolytic Anemia: This occurs when the red blood cells are destroyed prematurely. You might have this condition at birth or later in life.
  • Aplastic Anemia: A rare bone marrow failure disorder aplastic anemia can occur as a result of the destruction or deficiency of blood-forming stems cells in your bone marrow.
  • Genetic Abnormalities: Inherited conditions like sickle cell anemia, alpha and beta thalassemia and hereditary spherocytosis can prompt the body to destroy red blood cells.


“For patients with healthy cardiovascular systems, they will not have symptoms of mild anemia,” Dr. Nelson said. “It’s often not until the anemia becomes more severe that we see more visible signs, such as fatigue and pale skin.”

Depending on the cause of your anemia, you might not have symptoms. If they do occur, they might include the following:

  • Fatigue and exhaustion
  • Weakness
  • Shortness of breath
  • Cold hands and feet
  • Unhealthy, pale complexion
  • Lightheadedness or dizziness
  • Brittle nails
  • Chest pains


Similar to the symptoms, treatment of anemia also depends on its cause. Your doctor will run a blood test to look at components of your blood: red blood cells, white blood cells and platelets. This will give your doctor additional information about the size and shape of your red blood cells and help the doctor determine the type of anemia to be concerned about and what further testing may be necessary.

What happens if my anemia is left untreated?

“Depending on the severity of the anemia, how rapidly it developed and the cause, if left untreated, it can have serious, life-threatening complications,” Dr. Nelson said. “When you don’t have enough red blood cells, your heart has to work harder to get enough oxygen to your organs. It can lead to pregnancy complications and hypovolemia, which can cause cardiac stress, heart failure, myocardial infarction, shock and even death.”

Can anemia be prevented?

Many types of anemia cannot be prevented, although eating healthy foods rich in iron, B12 and folic acid can help prevent iron- and vitamin-deficient anemias.

Dr. Nelson added, “If you follow any specific dietary restrictions, discuss with your doctor so they can monitor you for signs of deficiency and help you supplement your diet to prevent them.

When should I see a doctor?

If you suspect you have any of the causes or symptoms of anemia, schedule an appointment to speak with your primary care physician.

To find a Banner Health specialist, visit bannerhealth.com.

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Iron-Deficiency Anemia | Johns Hopkins Medicine

What is iron-deficiency anemia?

The most common cause of anemia worldwide is iron deficiency. Iron is needed to form hemoglobin, part of red blood cells that carry oxygen and remove carbon dioxide (a waste product) from the body. Iron is mostly stored in the body in the hemoglobin. About one-third of iron is also stored as ferritin and hemosiderin in the bone marrow, spleen, and liver.

What causes iron-deficiency anemia?

Iron-deficiency anemia may be caused by the following:

  • Diets low in iron. Iron is obtained from foods in our diet; however, only 1 mg of iron is absorbed for every 10 to 20 mg of iron ingested. A person unable to have a balanced iron-rich diet may suffer from some degree of iron-deficiency anemia.

  • Body changes. An increased iron requirement and increased red blood cell production is required when the body is going through changes, such as growth spurts in children and adolescents, or during pregnancy and lactation.

  • Gastrointestinal tract abnormalities. Malabsorption of iron is common after some forms of gastrointestinal surgeries. Most of the iron taken in by foods is absorbed in the upper small intestine. Any abnormalities in the gastrointestinal (GI) tract could alter iron absorption and result in iron-deficiency anemia. Surgery or medications that stop stomach acid production will also decrease iron absorption. 

  • Blood loss. Loss of blood can cause a decrease of iron and result in iron-deficiency anemia. Sources of blood loss may include GI bleeding, menstrual bleeding, or injury.

What are the symptoms of iron-deficiency anemia?

The following are the most common symptoms of iron-deficiency anemia. However, each individual may experience symptoms differently. Symptoms may include:

  • Abnormal paleness or lack of color of the skin

  • Irritability

  • Lack of energy or tiring easily (fatigue)

  • Increased heart rate (tachycardia)

  • Sore or swollen tongue

  • Enlarged spleen

  • A desire to eat peculiar substances such as dirt or ice (a condition called pica)

The symptoms of iron-deficiency anemia may resemble other blood conditions or medical problems. Always consult your doctor for a diagnosis.

How is iron-deficiency anemia diagnosed?

Iron-deficiency anemia may be suspected from general findings on a complete medical history and physical examination, such as complaints of tiring easily, abnormal paleness or lack of color of the skin, or a fast heartbeat (tachycardia). Iron-deficiency anemia is usually discovered during a medical examination through a blood test that measures the amount of hemoglobin (number of red blood cells) present, and the amount of iron in the blood. In addition to a complete medical history and physical examination, diagnostic procedures for iron-deficiency anemia may include the following:

  • Additional blood tests for iron

  • Bone marrow aspiration and/or biopsy. A procedure that involves taking a small amount of bone marrow fluid (aspiration) and/or solid bone marrow tissue (called a core biopsy), usually from the hip bones, to be examined for the number, size, and maturity of blood cells and/or abnormal cells. This test is usually not necessary. 

  • Upper and/or lower endoscopy. These tests may help rule out a source of blood loss.  

Treatment for iron-deficiency anemia

Specific treatment for iron-deficiency anemia will be determined by your doctor based on:

  • Your age, overall health, and medical history

  • Extent of the anemia

  • Cause of the anemia

  • Your tolerance for specific medications, procedures, or therapies

  • Expectations for the course of the anemia

  • Your opinion or preference

Treatment may include:

  • Iron-rich diet. Eating a diet with iron-rich foods can help treat iron-deficiency anemia. Good sources of iron include the following:

    • Meats, such as beef, pork, lamb, liver, and other organ meats

    • Poultry, such as chicken, duck, turkey, (especially dark meat), liver

    • Fish, such as shellfish, including clams, mussels, and oysters, sardines, anchovies

    • Leafy greens of the cabbage family, such as broccoli, kale, turnip greens, and collards

    • Legumes, such as lima beans and green peas; dry beans and peas, such as pinto beans, black-eyed peas, and canned baked beans

    • Yeast-leavened whole-wheat bread and rolls

    • Iron-enriched white bread, pasta, rice, and cereals

  • Iron supplements. Iron supplements can be taken over several months to increase iron levels in the blood. Iron supplements can cause irritation of the stomach and discoloration of bowel movements. They should be taken on an empty stomach, or with orange juice, to increase absorption. They are much more effective than dietary interventions alone. In cases of malabsorption or intolerance, IV iron may be needed.

  • Evaluation for a source of blood loss. This may include upper endoscopy or colonoscopy. 

How does the body process iron?

Iron is present in many foods and absorbed into the body through the stomach. During this process of absorption, oxygen combines with iron and is transported into the plasma portion of blood by binding to transferrin. From there, iron and transferrin are used in the production of hemoglobin, stored in the liver, spleen, and bone marrow, and utilized as needed by all body cells.

The following is a list of foods that are good sources of iron. Always consult your doctor regarding the recommended daily iron requirements for your particular situation.

Iron-Rich Foods Quantity Approximate Iron
Oysters 3 ounces 13.2
Beef liver 3 ounces 7.5
Prune juice 1/2 cup 5.2
Clams 2 ounces 4. 2
Walnuts 1/2 cup 3.75
Ground beef 3 ounces 3.0
Chickpeas 1/2 cup 3.0
Bran flakes 1/2 cup 2.8
Pork roast 3 ounces 2.7
Cashew nuts 1/2 cup 2. 65
Shrimp 3 ounces 2.6
Raisins 1/2 cup 2.55
Sardines 3 ounces 2.5
Spinach 1/2 cup 2.4
Lima beans 1/2 cup 2.3
Kidney beans 1/2 cup 2. 2
Turkey, dark meat 3 ounces 2.0
Prunes 1/2 cup 1.9

Roast beef

3 ounces 1.8
Green peas 1/2 cup 1.5
Peanuts 1/2 cup 1.5
Potato 1 1. 1
Sweet potato 1/2 cup 1.0
Green beans 1/2 cup 1.0
Egg 1 1.0

Anemia (for Teens) – Nemours Kidshealth

What Is Anemia?

Anemia is when the number of red blood cells in the body gets too low. Red blood cells carry hemoglobin (pronounced: HEE-muh-glow-bin), a protein that carries oxygen throughout the body. Without enough of them, oxygen doesn’t get to the body’s organs. Without enough oxygen, the organs can’t work normally.

There are many different kinds of anemia, so treatments vary.

What Are the Different Kinds of Anemia?

The types of anemia are based on what causes them. They include:

  • Anemias from when red blood cells get broken down too fast, called hemolytic anemias. They include:
    • autoimmune hemolytic anemia: when the body’s immune system destroys its own red blood cells
    • inherited hemolytic anemias: these include sickle cell disease, thalassemia, G6PD deficiency, and hereditary spherocytosis
  • Anemia from bleeding. This can happen due to bleeding from an injury, heavy menstrual periods, the gastrointestinal tract, or another medical problem.
  • Anemia from red blood cells being made too slowly, such as:
    • aplastic anemia: when the body stops making red blood cells from an infection, illness, or other cause
    • iron-deficiency anemia: when someone doesn’t have enough iron in their diet
    • anemia B12 deficiency: when someone doesn’t get enough B12 in the diet or the body can’t absorb the B12

What Are the Signs & Symptoms of Anemia?

Some people with anemia don’t have any symptoms. Someone who does have symptoms might:

  • look pale
  • seem moody
  • be very tired
  • feel dizzy or lightheaded
  • have a fast heartbeat
  • have jaundice (yellow skin and eyes), an enlarged spleen, and dark tea-colored pee (in hemolytic anemias)

How Is Anemia Diagnosed?

Doctors usually can diagnose anemia by:

  • asking questions about symptoms
  • asking about diet
  • asking if any family members have anemia
  • doing a physical exam
  • doing blood tests to:
    • look at the red blood cells with a microscope to check their size and shape
    • check the amount of hemoglobin and iron in the blood
    • check how fast new RBCs are being made
    • check for any inherited anemias
    • check other cells made in the bone marrow (such as white blood cells)

Sometimes doctors do tests on the bone marrow. The bone marrow is the spongy part inside the bone where blood cells are made. For this test, the doctor puts a needle into the bone to take a small bone marrow sample. The sample is sent to the lab for special tests.

How Is Anemia Treated?

Treatment for anemia depends on the cause. Teens with anemia might need:

  • medicines
  • changes in their diet
  • blood transfusions
  • treatment of another underlying disease
  • to see doctors (hematologists) who specialize in anemia and other blood problems

If you have iron-deficiency anemia, your doctor will probably prescribe an iron supplement to take several times a day. Your doctor may do a follow-up blood test after you’ve been taking the supplement for a while. Even if the tests show that the anemia has improved, you might have to keep taking iron for several months to build up your body’s iron stores.

To make sure you get enough iron, eat a balanced diet every day, starting with a breakfast that includes an iron source, such as an iron-fortified cereal or bread. Lean meat, raisins, chard, eggs, nuts, dried beans, tomato sauce, and molasses also are good sources of iron.

If someone’s anemia is caused by another medical condition, doctors will work to treat the cause. People with some types of anemia will need to see a hematologist, who can provide the right medical care for their needs.

The good news is that for most people, anemia is easily treated. And in a few weeks they’ll have their energy back!

4 Things Everyone Should Know About Anemia—Commentary

Anemia is the most common blood condition in the United States. Yet despite the fact that more than 3 million Americans suffer from some form of the condition, many people are a little fuzzy on exactly what anemia is.

  • Anemia is when your red blood cell count is low or the amount of hemoglobin (the protein that carries oxygen) inside those red blood cells is low. 

While anemia itself is usually not dangerous until it gets quite severe, being anemic can be a big red flag for serious health issues. Whether you or a loved one has anemia or you just want to prepare for a conversation with your doctor, here are four crucial facts to know about anemia.

1. Anemia is a sign of another condition

Here’s the most important thing to understand about anemia—it is the result of some underlying disease or condition. That condition could be relatively harmless or quite serious.

Think of anemia like a fever. A fever is a tell-tale sign of another condition, perhaps a viral or bacterial infection. When doctors see a patient with a fever, they consider it a sign that something else is wrong in the body, and they immediately start trying to figure out what is causing the fever. The same is true of anemia.

There are dozens of causes of anemia, ranging from relatively minor things such as an unbalanced diet to serious problems such as cancer. Iron deficiency anemia, one of the most common types of anemia, can have a number of causes including heavy menstruation, celiac disease, pregnancy, colon cancer or simply not getting enough iron in your diet.

For a more complete rundown of the most common causes of anemia, visit the Merck Manuals page.

2. The symptoms of anemia are quite common (except for one)

There is a range of normal red blood cell and hemoglobin counts, and different people start to experience symptoms at different levels. By and large, fatigue is the most common sign of anemia. But fatigue can be caused by a lot of things. Keep an eye out for more concerning symptoms such as shortness of breath with a level of exertion that you could do in the past. Another symptom to watch for is looking more pale than normal.

One more unusual symptom is common in people with iron deficiency anemia. It’s known as pica. It’s characterized by chewing and eating things that are not food. The biology behind it is not well understood, but people with pica chew on things like ice, cardboard or dirt. It appears to be more common in people with nutritional deficiencies.

Perhaps the most important symptoms to be aware of are the symptoms of whatever is causing the anemia. For example, having blood in your stool and weight loss may be symptoms of a colon cancer or yellow eyes (jaundice) may result from breakdown of your red blood cells.

3. Doctors don’t screen for anemia

Unlike cholesterol and blood pressure, anemia isn’t part of routine screening. Instead, doctors will often order blood tests (called a complete blood count) if people complain of symptoms like fatigue.

If results of that blood workup reveal a low hemoglobin level, your doctor will probably conduct a thorough examination and have a more in-depth conversation about your symptoms and recent changes in health. Based on the findings, he or she may do more blood tests to watch for additional changes in your hemoglobin level or red blood cell count.

4. “Mild” anemia can still be serious

Anemia usually comes on slowly, often over weeks or months. That means that even anemias caused by a serious problem, like cancer, may show up at an early stage, when the anemia is quite mild. But even if your physician says your anemia is mild, it is still an indicator of a larger health issue at play. The severity of the anemia doesn’t always match the significance of its cause.

Figuring out the cause is the key to treating anemia and fixing it. It’s important be specific with your doctor about any changes in medication, symptoms or overall health that could help determine what’s causing the anemia. 

Diagnostics of anemia (anemia)

A condition in which the mass of blood in the body decreases, or the content of hemoglobin and erythrocytes in the blood decreases, is called anemia or anemia. But it is the erythrocytes and the hemoglobin contained in them that transport oxygen to the internal organs and tissues, ensuring their full-fledged work. Anemia develops for various reasons and is associated with many diseases. The appearance of this disease is possible after surgery.

Iron deficiency anemia

The most common iron deficiency anemia, which occurs in half of pregnant women and in every fifth woman of childbearing age. With iron deficiency, the hemoglobin content in erythrocytes decreases. The reason for this is the use of foods with a low iron content, impaired absorption of iron by the digestive system. May manifest in infants if the mother was iron deficient.

Aplastic anemia

Aplastic anemia develops with a decrease in the formation of erythrocytes in the bone marrow.This type of disease affects people who have undergone anticancer therapy, have been exposed to toxins, and have suffered viral infections.

Hemolytic anemia

In cases where red blood cells in the body are destroyed too quickly, we are talking about hemolytic anemia. This disease can be hereditary or develop when all kinds of infections enter the human body or be the result of antibiotic abuse.

Anemia can accompany oncological and other long-term chronic diseases (diseases of the endocrine system, kidneys, HIV, tuberculosis, diabetes mellitus), when the formation of red blood cells in the blood decreases.The disease can be caused by other reasons: it is a lack of folic acid and vitamin B12 in the body; excessive blood loss with heavy menstruation, stomach ulcers, bleeding hemorrhoids, stomach or colon cancer.

With completely different reasons for the development of the disease, its symptoms are exactly the same: increased fatigue and weakness, headache, tendency to faint, shortness of breath, palpitations, dizziness, pallor of the skin, cramps in the legs. Seeing a doctor is mandatory at the first suspicion of anemia, because it can be the first signal of more serious diseases.

Methods for the diagnosis of anemia

Complete blood count is the main method for diagnosing anemia. But to establish the exact clinical picture of the disease, tests for ferritin, vitamin B12, transferrin, serum iron and other tests can be prescribed. It is important to know that conducting complete studies for anemia will help to determine the causes of this disease as accurately as possible. This will allow the treating physician to draw up an optimal treatment plan.

Where to get tested for the diagnosis of anemia?

In the medical laboratory “Sinevo” you can undergo a complete diagnosis of anemia and evaluate the effectiveness of its treatment.See package 11 “Diagnosis of anemias” and package 11.1 “Control of anemias” on page “Comprehensive studies” .

90,000 Iron deficiency problem

Iron deficiency anemia is a common female problem. Every third woman of reproductive age and every second pregnant woman has a pronounced iron deficiency. In addition, anemia is a common cause of temporary disability in women aged 15–44. Therefore, it is so important to monitor the level of iron in the body and compensate for the deficiency in time.

Symptoms of iron deficiency anemia

The main signs of iron deficiency are dry, pale skin, weak split ends, brittle nails, fatigue, weakness, taste disturbance and lip sticking. If you find yourself with several of the above symptoms, you should contact the laboratory for a blood test and start treatment.

Many women ignore these symptoms – despite the additional inconvenience, they seem harmless. But if iron deficiency is not prevented at the initial stage, it can develop into anemia, which poses a serious threat to our health.

Anemia disrupts the process of oxygen transport, which leads to a deterioration in the functions of all body systems. The severe stage of the disease can lead to hypoxia and heart failure. Even a slight decrease in iron levels can cause many problems for those for whom the need to provide the body with oxygen is especially high, for example, people with diseases of the kidneys, lungs and cardiovascular system.

Causes of the syndrome

The most common causes of iron deficiency are:

  • wrong power
  • vitamin deficiency
  • large blood loss
  • gastrointestinal diseases
  • increased need for iron

It is because of the latter reason that pregnant women and children are more likely to get sick, since the growing body needs more than usual.In addition to them, newborn babies, nursing mothers, as well as all women of reproductive age are at risk.

Treatment of iron deficiency anemia

At the initial stage, before the decrease in hemoglobin, the treatment is quite simple: you will need to adjust the diet, add such foods as pomegranate juice, meat, liver, eggs to the diet. A faster and more complete recovery is facilitated by the intake of vitamin complexes and dietary supplements enriched with iron.

At a later stage, treatment with specialized drugs will be required.They allow you to quickly restore iron stores by activating the formation of hemoglobin and red blood cells.

How to identify

In order to determine if you have an iron deficiency, it is enough to carry out an analysis of the hemoglobin content in the blood. Together with the level of hemoglobin, the number of erythrocytes, ferritin, transferrin and several other indicators are determined. In the presence of iron deficiency anemia, all these parameters will be lowered.

After passing all the tests, the doctor will be able to choose the right treatment for you.If you notice signs of iron deficiency in yourself, do not run the problem, seek help in a timely manner.

which doctor to contact. Symptoms and treatment of anemia

Anemia is a condition characterized by a low level of hemoglobin in the blood. Usually, the number of red blood cells (erythrocytes) also decreases at the same time. A manifestation of this condition may be developing unhealthy pallor (sometimes they speak of an “anemic” appearance, meaning pallor and weakness, often unrelated to the disease itself).Hence another, popular name for this disease – anemia . In fact, the volume of blood, as a rule, does not decrease, its composition changes.

Hemoglobin is responsible for the transport of oxygen by the blood – from the lungs to various tissues and organs throughout the body. Normally, the concentration of hemoglobin in the blood should be at least 130 grams per liter for men, and 120 grams per liter for women.

Anemia during pregnancy

Development of anemia in pregnant women
poses an increased threat.If the mother is iron deficient during pregnancy, the baby can develop iron deficiency anemia.

Causes of anemia

In the vast majority of cases (up to 90%), anemia is caused by iron deficiency. Iron is part of hemoglobin and is involved in the process of hematopoiesis. Iron deficiency anemia occurs when there is insufficient intake of iron-containing foods (primarily meat and vegetables). Anemia can also occur with the right diet, for example, if iron is not absorbed by the body due to existing problems with the gastrointestinal tract.Blood loss can also contribute to the development of anemia. In this case, blood loss does not have to be large. Frequent nosebleeds, bleeding gums, hemorrhoids, heavy periods can cause anemia.

Possible causes of anemia include a lack of vitamin B 12 or folic acid, but these types of the disease are much less common. Hemolytic anemia is also distinguished, characterized by increased (faster) destruction of erythrocytes.

Anemia can be genetically determined, that is, it can be hereditary.

Symptoms of anemia

Lack of hemoglobin leads to oxygen starvation, which is manifested by such symptoms typical for anemia as:

General weakness

In case of anemia, muscle tissue does not receive sufficient nutrition. The patient feels constantly tired, he does not have enough strength for normal life activities.


The body lacks strength, which means it needs additional rest. Drowsiness develops. A person suffering from anemia is almost never awake; usually he wants to sleep.


Pale skin with anemia is caused by a decrease in the number of red blood cells (red blood cells) in the blood.


In case of anemia, the brain is also undernourished. This can cause dizziness.


Flashing “flies” before the eyes is caused by insufficient nutrition of the structures of the visual apparatus.


If the decrease in hemoglobin is significant, fainting is possible – episodes of loss of consciousness.


Rapid heartbeat

Palpitations may occur with little exercise or at rest.

More about symptom

Shortness of breath

Shortness of breath with anemia is caused by the fact that the body is trying to make up for the lack of oxygen, increasing its supply.Breathing becomes more frequent.

More about symptom

Methods for the diagnosis of anemia

Diagnosis of anemia is carried out on the basis of laboratory tests.

General blood test

A general clinical blood test is the basic study for determining anemia.For a more detailed diagnosis of certain types of anemias, additional studies may be prescribed.

More about the diagnostic method

To accurately diagnose the disease, make an appointment with the specialists of the Family Doctor network.

Methods for the treatment of anemia

Treatment of anemia is aimed primarily at identifying and eliminating the cause of the disease.In the case of an identified deficiency of iron (vitamin B12, folic acid), replacement therapy is performed with drugs that compensate for this type of deficiency. Also, a special diet with a high content of the necessary substances is prescribed.

Doctor’s appointment

If you are worried about weakness, dizziness, drowsiness and other symptoms that allow you to suspect anemia, we recommend that you contact a general practitioner or family doctor at any of the polyclinics of JSC “Family Doctor”.The high professionalism of our specialists and modern equipment allow for effective treatment of anemia, including during pregnancy, breastfeeding and in other periods that require a special approach.

Do not self-medicate. Contact our specialists who will correctly diagnose and prescribe treatment.

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90,000 🧬 Anemia.Five Frequently Asked Questions

We answer frequently asked questions about anemia together with the family doctor, therapist of the GMS Clinic, Fedor Mikhnevich.

Doctor, I am constantly tired, I feel dizzy and have a headache, my hair is falling out, I do not have enough strength for work and family, what could it be?

Your symptoms may be signs of both hypothyroidism and anemia. If at the same time you do not have enough air during exercise, if you have memory problems, then most likely we are talking about anemia.

What tests do I need to take direct now?

Anemia can be diagnosed with a complete blood count. If the analysis shows a decrease in hemoglobin, a decrease in the number of red blood cells and a decrease in their average size, then anemia is confirmed. Such blood tolerates oxygen worse, all tissues and organs suffer, from which such symptoms appear.

If a decrease in hemoglobin and the average size of red blood cells is found, then iron deficiency anemia comes first, which accounts for about half of all anemias and is the most common eating disorder of all.To confirm, tests are done for ferritin, TIBC, serum iron, transferrin saturation, as well as an analysis for vitamin B12 and folic acid along the way.

Why did I get anemia? Is she being treated?

In a young woman, the most common causes of iron deficiency are heavy menstruation, pregnancy, lactation, vegetarianism. In children, anemia is associated with an excess of the need for iron over its intake into the body with food.In the elderly, iron absorption is impaired. Much more serious, if such anemia is detected in a man or woman over 50, in this case, first of all, it is necessary to exclude the oncological process in the gastrointestinal tract, where blood loss is invisible. And for an iron deficiency state, it is enough to lose a tablespoon of blood a day.

There are other causes of anemia, which are less common: genetic, toxic, infectious. Anemia is, of course, treatable. There are iron supplements that are taken in pills or given intravenously.With proper treatment, hemoglobin begins to rise in 3-4 weeks, and complaints disappear after one and a half to two months. And only after 3 months, iron stores are restored in sufficient quantities.

Is it possible to prevent anemia?

As a prevention of anemia, each person is able to monitor their diet so that it is balanced and includes foods rich in iron: spinach, broccoli, apples, currants, turkey meat, liver, red fish, buckwheat, millet, protein and always a source of vitamin C, which is necessary for the absorption of iron.

What other recommendations can you give to avoid it?

A timely visit to a doctor will help to avoid anemia, for example, in connection with frequent nosebleeds, and for women – to a gynecologist. Also, the elimination of foci of chronic infections will help to avoid anemia.

Which doctor should I go to in case of anemia

Hematologists of Moscow – latest reviews

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July 20, 2021

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08 August 2021

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02 August 2021

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July 26, 2021

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23 July 2021

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July 26, 2021

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06 August 2021

Show 10 reviews of 1,433 90,000 Low hemoglobin: causes and symptoms, effects

Diagnostic and therapeutic procedures are carried out by doctors of the “Therapy” direction

There are standard indicators for the content of hemoglobin in human blood:

90,054 90,055 men – 135-160 g / l;

90,055 non-pregnant women – 120–140 g / l;

90,055 pregnant women – 110 g / l.

If the level of hemoglobin in the blood is below these norms, it means that there is a lack of iron in the human body. Accordingly, diseases and conditions such as anemia, myocardial dystrophy, low blood pressure may begin to develop.

Symptoms of low hemoglobin

It is not difficult to notice a low level of hemoglobin in a person’s blood. This usually manifests itself with the following symptoms:

  • pale skin color;
  • the skin is dry and flaky;
  • lilac lips;
  • nails are brittle and flakey;
  • Hair is dry and brittle, falls out;
  • general tiredness and weakness, fatigue, drowsiness;
  • fainting, headaches are frequent;
  • low blood pressure, heart palpitations;
  • body temperature rises to 37.5 ° C without the presence of signs of any disease;
  • low appetite;
  • occurrence of constipation or diarrhea.

If the hemoglobin level is slightly reduced, then most often there are no pronounced symptoms in the body. To detect this disease, it is recommended to regularly take blood tests and visit a hematologist.

If the symptoms of a low hemoglobin content appear and do not go away with an improvement in nutrition, then it is urgently necessary to make an appointment with a narrow specialist and undergo an examination.

Causes of low hemoglobin

The level of hemoglobin in the body can be reduced due to the development of certain diseases or pathological conditions:

  • external or internal bleeding;
  • 90,055 kidney disease;

  • disruption of the endocrine system of the body;
  • exhausting and prolonged diets, lack of nutrition;
  • infectious diseases;
  • avitaminosis, deficiency of trace elements and minerals;
  • 90,055 tumors;

  • diseases of the gastrointestinal tract;
  • 90,055 disorders of the circulatory system;

  • multiple pregnancies;
  • prolonged depression or severe stress;
  • blood transfusion.

Consequences of a decrease in hemoglobin levels

If a reduced level of hemoglobin is observed in the body for a long time, this can affect not only the general well-being of a person. This condition will provoke a general failure in the work of all organs, as well as the manifestation of various diseases. If the body lacks oxygen, pathological changes occur:

  1. Iron deficiency anemia and its varieties.
  2. Respiratory dysfunctions, shortness of breath.
  3. Disorder of the heart muscle, the occurrence of cardiomyopathy, myocardial dystrophy.
  4. Atherosclerosis.
  5. Disruption of the nervous system, the onset of depression, apathy.
  6. Enlargement of the liver in size, impairment of its functioning.
  7. Deterioration of general health, performance, constant sleepiness and fatigue.
  8. Development of chronic forms of existing diseases.
  9. For pregnant women – a complication of the course of pregnancy, the risk of premature birth, impaired development of the baby, the occurrence of fetal hypoxia.

Treatment for low hemoglobin

After the diagnosis and determination of a low level of hemoglobin in a person’s blood, treatment of this disease begins, aimed primarily at eliminating the causes of its occurrence. And since there are quite a few of them, the treatment will be different in each case:

  1. Correction of diet and composition of consumed products. With a low hemoglobin level, the diet should contain foods rich in iron and improve blood circulation in the body, helping to increase the total red blood cell mass: red meat, vegetables and fruits.
  2. Appointment to daily use of dietary supplements and vitamin and mineral complexes. This therapy boils down to making up for the lack of iron and other substances necessary for a person. In severe cases, drugs that are administered intravenously may be prescribed.
  3. Prescription of drugs that promote hematopoiesis. These medicines help to eliminate the symptoms of anemia, as well as stimulate the formation of hemoglobin in the blood, and increase the number of red blood cells.Hemostimulin and its analogues can be used.
  4. Transfusion of blood or blood components. Such therapy can be prescribed to replenish the required blood volume. Most often it is used for large blood loss.

Any therapy or complex treatment is carried out exclusively under the supervision of highly qualified hematologists. Blood tests are regularly taken, according to which the dynamics of improvements is assessed.

Prevention of low hemoglobin

To prevent a decrease in the level of hemoglobin in the blood, some rules must be followed:

  • food should be regular and balanced, and foods should be rich in iron and vitamins;
  • timely treat diseases that can become chronic;
  • regularly visit doctors, be examined and tested.

Compliance with these measures will always keep the hemoglobin level at a normal level and will not allow the occurrence of anemia or other diseases.

Hematologists will professionally and effectively help get rid of this disease or prescribe measures to reduce the likelihood of its occurrence in each individual case.

90,000 Iron Diet. How to deal with fatigue and anemia

  • Dr. Michael Moseley
  • BBC

Photo author, Getty Images

Photo caption,

Red meat, greens and green vegetables, nuts and seeds are the main sources of iron

Do you often feel tired, have shortness of breath and your heart pounds like it’s about to jump out of your chest? Do your friends tell you that you are very pale?

If so, it is possible that you have iron deficiency anemia, one of the most common nutritional and metabolic disorders.

In Britain, this syndrome is especially common among young women. In 2011, 21% of British women between the ages of 19 and 34 suffered from iron deficiency anemia, according to the State Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition.

Recently, I advised my friend, who had symptoms of iron deficiency anemia, to see a doctor and get the necessary tests. A blood test showed that the iron content was so low that the doctors did not understand how she had the strength to climb the stairs.Several iron tablets solved the problem.

Before taking these medications, you should consult with your doctor, because the symptoms listed above can be characteristic of other diseases.

Which foods contain iron?

Our body cannot produce iron on its own, it gets it from what we eat – be it foods that are naturally rich in iron, or food fortified with iron.

But the problem is that not all the iron that enters your stomach with food is absorbed equally well.

Photo by Glenn Dearing

How to get as much iron as possible from food:

  • Eat green leafy vegetables (cabbage, broccoli, sorrel, lettuce) fresh or steamed
  • Spinach rich in iron is better a little boil
  • Eat or drink vitamin C-rich foods and drinks
  • Better to opt for fermented (sour) bread

BBC Television Program Trust Me I’m a Doctor decided to ask Professor Paul Sharp of King’s College London, what you need to eat to naturally replenish iron deficiency.

Red meat is especially rich in iron, which is easily absorbed by the body. If you don’t eat meat, there are other good sources of iron. These are primarily green leafy vegetables such as spinach and kale, and legumes such as peas and lentils.

But legumes and green vegetables give you less iron than red meat.

Fermented bread and cereals are also rich in iron, although the iron contained in these products is not always well absorbed by the body.

Replace coffee with orange juice

How these foods are prepared, and what you drink with meals, affects your iron absorption rate. To demonstrate this, Professor Sharp performed a series of experiments that mimic the digestion process.

Sharpe’s research shows that if you drink orange juice with a fermented cereal breakfast, your body can absorb more iron than if you ate the same breakfast without orange juice.

This is due to vitamin C, which aids in the absorption of iron from food.

If instead of juice you choose coffee for breakfast, then your body will absorb much less iron than in the case of breakfast with orange juice or just without coffee.

Photo author, Getty Images

Photo caption,

Who needs raw cabbage?

Why is this happening? According to Sharpe, coffee is rich in polyphenols, chemical compounds that bind iron in foods and make it less available for the body to absorb.

Therefore, if you choose fermented cereals or any other iron-rich product for breakfast, then it is better to add orange juice or fresh orange to it – this will help increase the absorption of iron. You should also consider drinking your morning coffee at least half an hour after breakfast – then the polyphenols in coffee will not interfere with the absorption of iron.

What if you want to get more iron from vegetables? Fresh cabbage is a very good source of iron, but if you fry or boil it, the effect will be less noticeable.

The fact is that cabbage itself is rich in vitamin C, but when heated, especially if you cook cabbage, most of this vitamin is digested.

The same processes occur during cooking and other thermal processing of a number of other green vegetables containing iron and vitamin C: broccoli, cauliflower, and watercress.

However, there is one exception to this rule – spinach. As it turned out, boiled spinach has 55% more easily digestible iron than raw spinach.

The fact is that spinach contains a large amount of oxalates – oxalic acid salts that bind iron.

“When we boil spinach, the oxalates are released into the water and the iron in it becomes available for the body to absorb,” explains Professor Sharp.

What about bread?

We have found that sourdough bread is the best choice. The fact is that wheat contains phytic acid, which slows down the absorption of iron.

When making sourdough bread, fermentation processes neutralize the effect of phytic acid, due to which iron is better absorbed by the body.