Iron Deficiency Anemia Symptoms and Prevention


Anemia occurs when the level of hemoglobin decreases in our blood cells (RCBs). Hemoglobin is the protein in our blood cells and helps to carry oxygen to the tissues. If the level decreases then our body will not get enough supply of oxygen. Iron deficiency is a common type of anemia. Our body needs mineral iron to make hemoglobin. One can even have iron deficiency and not know about the same for years. In India, iron deficiency is found the most in women and children as compared to men. In women, iron deficiency can be found due to loss of iron in the blood, during pregnancy or menstruation. Intestinal disease or poor diet can also cause a reduction of iron in blood cells.

Symptoms of Iron Deficiency Anemia

In the first stage, the symptoms of iron deficiency cannot be noticed easily. It is advised to have the check-up from time to time.

Some Common Symptoms Of Iron Deficiency Anemia Is –

  • Weakness
  • Pale skin
  • Dizziness
  • Shortness of breath
  • Fatigue
  • Tongue swelling
  • Headaches
  • Cravings of eating things that are not food like mud, ice, etc.
  • Irregular heartbeat

Causes of Iron Deficiency Anemia

There are many reasons by which a person is deficient in iron in the body. Some causes of iron deficiency anemia are as follows-

1. Inadequate Iron Intake

Less consumption of iron in eating can cause a decrease in iron in the body. Food like leafy vegetables, meat, eggs are rich in iron and should be eaten periodically. Pregnant women and children should include iron-rich food in their diet.

2. Internal Bleeding

Some medical conditions lead to internal bleeding which causes a decline in iron in the body. Regular use of painkillers can also cause bleeding in the stomach.

3. Pregnancy or Menstruation

Women during pregnancy or menstruation can face iron deficiency anemia due to loss of blood in the body.

4. Inability To Absorb Iron

Disorders or surgeries that affect the intestine can cause the loss of iron deficiency. Even if your diet is iron-rich, intestinal surgery can limit the amount of iron abortion in the body.

Risk Factor

Men and women both can be affected with iron deficiency anemia if you have anemia ask your doctor what changes can be done in the dirt. Some may be at higher risk of iron deficiency, including, people with poor diet, pregnant women, infants or children that are born prematurely, women of childbearing age, or vegetarians who do not have sufficient iron-rich food.

Iron Deficiency Anemia in Women

Menstrual bleeding, uterine fibroid, and pregnancy are the major reasons that lead to iron deficiency. A greater amount of blood is required by pregnant women for the growth of their baby which results in the decrease of iron in the body.
Menstrual bleeding lasts for 3 to 4 days. But if it goes to 6 to 7 days it means there is an excess loss of amount in the body which leads to iron deficiency anemia.


Complete Blood Cell Test

The very first test that the doctor will use is the complete blood test. It measures all the components of the blood that include- red blood cells (RBCs), white blood cells (WBCs), platelets, hemoglobin, and hematocrit.
The complete blood cell test gives all the information about the blood in our system. It includes the hematocrit level, which is the percent of blood volume made up of RCB. It also tells us about the hemoglobin level and the size of RCBs.
A normal hemoglobin range is 12 to 15.5 grams per deciliter for women and 13.5 to 17.5 grams per deciliter for men. In iron deficiency, both the hemoglobin and hematocrit ranges are also and the size of the RCBs are also smaller than usual.
This test can also be done as a part of a routine examination.

Other Tests

To determine how severe the anemia is, doctors might suggest some additional tests. Here, they examine the blood with a microscope. It shows the color of RCBs ( pale if deficient in iron), total iron-binding capacity, ferritin levels, and the iron level in blood. Ferritin is a protein that helps with the storage of iron in the body.

Treatment Options


A diet that contains the following food helps in the treatment of iron deficiency.

  • Leafy vegetables
  • Red meat
  • Dried fruits
  • Nuts
  • Iron-fortified cereals

Vitamin C also helps in the abortion of iron. You can take tablets along with a source, such as orange juice or citrus fruit.

Iron Supplements

Iron tablets can restore the level of iron in the body. You can take the tablets empty stomach which helps to absorb them better. If not, you can also take it with your meal. Iron Supplements can cause constipation.


As said before, consumption of iron-rich food should be done. Food containing vitamin C can also help to maintain the iron level in the body. Mothers should feed breast milk to their children or the iron-fortified infant formula.

Foods high in vitamin C are

As said before, consumption of iron-rich food should be done. Food containing vitamin C can also help to maintain the iron level in the body. Mothers should feed breast milk to their children or the iron-fortified infant formula.

  • Fruits such as oranges, kiwi, guava, strawberries, papaya, grapefruit, mangoes, melon, and pineapple.
  • Red and green bell peppers
  • Cauliflower
  • Tomatoes
  • Broccoli