Are you suffering from iron deficiency anemia? It’s not something to be worried about, but it is a condition that can cause serious health problems if left untreated. In this article, we will discuss the symptoms of iron deficiency anemia, how to treat it, and what prevention can Filipinos do.
What Is Iron Deficiency Anemia?
Iron deficiency anemia is a condition in which Filipino does not have enough iron in their blood. This can be caused by problems with the absorption or storage of iron or by a decreased production of red blood cells due to problems with the immune system. Iron deficiency anemia can cause fatigue, shortness of breath, and weakness. It can also lead to complications in pregnancy, including pre-eclampsia and low birth weight babies.
What Are The Common Symptoms of Iron Deficiency Anemia?
Iron is essential for many processes in the body, including cell growth and energy production. If you have iron deficiency anemia, you may experience symptoms such as fatigue, shortness of breath, and a decreased appetite. If left untreated, iron deficiency anemia can lead to permanent damage to your organs.
To check if you have iron deficiency anemia, your doctor in the Philippines may ask you to take a blood test or perform a physical exam to look for signs of the condition. If you are Filipino and concerned that you may have iron deficiency anemia, consult with your Filipino doctor immediately.
Here are the 12 Symptoms Of Iron-Deficiency Anemia
Symptoms of iron deficiency anemia can include the following:
Iron deficiency anemia is a condition where there is not enough iron in the body. This can lead to fatigue as one of the symptoms. Other symptoms may include shortness of breath, pale skin, and dizziness. Iron deficiency anemia is treatable with iron supplements and changes in diet.
2. Shortness of breath
There are many symptoms of iron deficiency anemia, but one of the most common is shortness of breath. This can be a result of the anemia itself or from other underlying conditions. If you’re experiencing shortness of breath, it’s important to see your doctor in the Philippines to rule out any other potential causes. Iron deficiency anemia is a treatable condition, so don’t hesitate to seek treatment if you think you may be affected.
3. Irregular heartbeats
One of the symptoms of iron deficiency anemia is irregular heartbeats. This symptom can be caused by a lack of iron in the diet or by a lack of iron absorption. Irregular heartbeats can also be caused by anemia itself.
4. Easy bruising
Iron deficiency anemia is a condition where the body does not have enough iron. One of the symptoms of this condition is easy bruising. This occurs because the body does not have enough iron to make hemoglobin, which is responsible for carrying oxygen in the blood. This can cause fatigue, shortness of breath, and pale skin. If you think you may have iron deficiency anemia, talk to your Filipino doctor.
5. Pale skin
Iron deficiency anemia is a condition where the body doesn’t have enough iron. One of the symptoms of iron deficiency anemia is pale skin. Pale skin happens because the body doesn’t have enough hemoglobin, which is a protein in red blood cells that carries oxygen. When there isn’t enough oxygen in the blood, the skin can look pale. Other symptoms of iron deficiency anemia can include fatigue, shortness of breath, and headache. If you think you might have iron deficiency anemia, talk to your Filipino doctor.
6. Easy bleeding
Anemia is a common blood disorder that occurs when there are not enough healthy red blood cells to carry oxygen throughout the body. A Filipino with iron-deficiency anemia may experience fatigue, pale skin, shortness of breath, and other symptoms. One of the symptoms of iron deficiency anemia is easy bleeding. The body needs more iron to make hemoglobin, which is a protein in red blood cells that carries oxygen. When there is not enough iron, the body cannot produce enough hemoglobin, and the result is anemia. Filipinos with iron deficiency anemia may notice that they bleed more easily than usual and that their cuts and bruises take longer to heal. If you think you may have iron deficiency anemia, talk to your doctor in the Philippines about getting a blood test to confirm the diagnosis.
7. Brittle nails
Iron deficiency anemia is a condition where the body does not have enough iron. Iron is important for making hemoglobin, which carries oxygen in the blood. Without enough iron, the body cannot make enough hemoglobin, and the body does not get enough oxygen. One of the symptoms of iron deficiency anemia is brittle nails.
8. Memory problems
One of the most common symptoms of iron deficiency anemia is memory problems. Studies have shown that iron deficiency anemia can lead to impaired cognitive function and memory problems.
If you are a Pinoy experiencing memory problems, it is important to see your Filipino doctor to rule out other causes. Iron deficiency anemia is treatable with iron supplements or by increasing your intake of iron-rich foods.
9. Poor concentration
One of the symptoms of iron deficiency anemia is poor concentration. The body needs iron to make hemoglobin, which carries oxygen in the blood. Without enough iron, the body can’t make enough hemoglobin, and the cells don’t get enough oxygen. This can lead to tiredness, weakness, and shortness of breath. It can also cause problems with cognitive function, including poor concentration. If you think you might have iron deficiency anemia, talk to your Filipino doctor.
10. Poor energy production
Iron deficiency anemia is a blood disorder that occurs when there is not enough iron in the body. Iron is needed to make hemoglobin, which carries oxygen and iron in the blood. Without enough iron, the body cannot produce enough hemoglobin, and the body does not get enough oxygen. This can cause fatigue and other symptoms.
11. Craving for unusual foods termed as “pica”
One of the symptoms of iron deficiency anemia is a craving for unusual foods termed “pica.” Pica can involve the ingestion of non-food items such as clay, dirt, or sand. It may also involve the eating of ice, paper, hair, or other strange substances. The craved food must be eaten in excess of what is considered normal for that particular food item. For example, if someone with pica craves ice, they may eat an entire tray of ice cubes. Pica is often seen in children and pregnant women who have iron deficiency anemia.
12. Poor Appetite, especially for children
One of the most common symptoms of iron deficiency anemia is poor appetite. This can be especially problematic for children, who need iron to grow and develop properly. If your child has a poor appetite, it’s important to talk to your doctor in the Philippines to rule out any underlying medical conditions. Iron deficiency anemia can be treated with supplements and changes to diet, so don’t hesitate to seek help if you’re concerned about your child’s health.
What Causes Iron-Deficiency Anemia?
When your body doesn’t have enough iron to make hemoglobin, you develop iron deficiency anemia. The component of red blood cells called hemoglobin is what gives blood its red color and allows a number of red blood cells to transport oxygenated blood throughout your body.
Your body can’t make enough hemoglobin if you don’t consume enough iron or if you lose too much iron, which will eventually lead to iron deficiency anemia.
There are several causes of iron deficiency anemia:
- Lack of Dietary Iron – Your diet provides your body with iron on a regular basis. Your body may eventually become iron deficient if you ingest too little iron. Meat, eggs, leafy green vegetables, and foods with added iron are a few examples of foods high in iron. Infants and children also require iron in their meals for healthy growth and development.
- Increased Blood Loss – Red blood cells in the blood contain iron. Thus, iron is lost along with blood. Due to blood loss during menstruation, women who have frequent periods are more likely to develop iron deficiency anemia. Iron deficiency anemia can be brought on by slow, chronic blood loss within the body, such as that experienced by people with peptic ulcers, Hiatal hernias, colon polyps, or colorectal cancer. Regular use of various over-the-counter painkillers, notable aspirin, can cause gastrointestinal bleeding.
- Pregnancy – Because their iron stores need to serve both their own increased blood volume and as a source of hemoglobin for the developing fetus, many pregnant women in the Philippines develop iron deficiency anemia without iron supplements.
- Inability in Absorbing Iron – The small intestine is where food-derived iron is absorbed into the bloodstream. An intestinal condition like celiac disease, which impairs your intestine’s capacity to absorb nutrients from digested food, can cause iron deficiency anemia. You may have trouble absorbing iron and other nutrients if a surgical procedure bypasses or deletes a portion of your small intestine.
Who Are At Risk of Developing Iron Deficiency Anemia?
Iron deficiency anemia may be more common in the following populations:
- Frequent Blood Donors – Regular blood donors may be more susceptible to iron deficiency anemia because blood giving can deplete iron reserves. Consuming more foods high in iron can temporarily fix the temporary issue of low hemoglobin caused by blood donation.
- Women – Women are more likely than men to develop iron deficiency anemia because of blood loss during menstruation.
- Infants and Children – Infants who don’t get enough iron through breast milk or formula, especially those who are low birth weight or were born preterm, may be at risk of iron insufficiency. During growth spurts, children require additional iron. Your child may be at risk for anemia if they aren’t eating a balanced, healthy diet.
- Vegetarians – If they don’t consume meat, vegetarians may be at higher risk of developing iron deficiency anemia.
How Is Iron Deficiency Anemia Diagnosed?
The doctor in the Philippines might ask for a Complete Blood Count (CBC) to rule out anemia. The Hemoglobin, Red Blood Cell Count and Hematocrit findings are included in the Complete Blood Count; when these results are lower than normal, anemia is present. Additionally, ferritin, which aids in iron storage, may be required.
Risk For Iron-Deficiency Anemia: What Are The Complications?
Typically, mild iron deficiency anemia doesn’t result in consequences. Iron deficiency anemia, however, can worsen if left untreated and result in a number of health issues, such as the following:
- Heart disease – A rapid or erratic heartbeat could be a symptom of iron deficient anemia. When you’re anemic, your blood doesn’t carry as much oxygen, so your heart has to pump more blood to make up for it. Heart failure or an enlarged heart may result from this.
- Kidney failure – In Iron deficient anemia, the body doesn’t produce enough erythropoietin, which is a hormone that helps the kidneys to filter blood. As a result, excess fluid builds up in the kidneys and can lead to renal failure.
- Immune system problems – Iron deficiency anemia can cause an increase in infections, particularly colds and flu. This is because the body’s immune system isn’t as strong as it should be due to low levels of iron.
- Difficult childbirth – Women who are Iron deficient often have a harder time during labor and delivery because their bodies don’t produce as much oxytocin, which is crucial for childbirth.
- Cognitive issues – Low levels of iron can lead to problems with memory and concentration.
- Gastrointestinal problems – Iron deficiency can cause a variety of gastrointestinal problems, including constipation and diarrhea.
- Pale skin – Iron deficiency can cause a decrease in the production of melanin, which is responsible for the color of your skin.
- Night blindness – Iron deficiency can cause a condition called “night blindness,” which is when you can’t see well at night due to a decrease in the production of light receptors in your eyes.
- Depression – Low iron levels of iron can lead to depression, especially in women who are pregnant or breastfeeding.
- Reproductive problems – Iron deficiency anemia can also lead to problems with fertility, including impaired ovulation and infertility due to low levels of sperm count.
- Brain damage – Severe iron deficiency anemia can cause a number of problems in the brain, including an increase in the rate of stroke and Alzheimer’s Disease.
How To Avoid Getting Iron Deficiency Anemia
1: Eat a balanced diet with plenty of fruits and vegetables to get iron from food.
2: Avoid excessive alcohol consumption.
3: Include plenty of Iron-rich foods in your diet.
4: Avoid taking supplements containing iron without consulting your Filipino doctor first.
5: Be sure to get regular exercise.
Get Enough Iron: What Foods Contain High Levels Of Iron?
Foods rich in iron may include:
- Red meat
- Black beans
- Fortified milk
- Iron supplements
Ways To Increase Your Iron Intake
The most common sources of iron are meat, poultry, and fish. Other ways to increase your iron intake include: eating fortified foods (such as breakfast cereals), taking supplements, drinking lots of water, and eating foods high in vitamin C, such as:
- Orange juice or citrus juices
If you are having trouble getting your daily recommended amount of iron, talk to your doctor in the Philippines about whether you should take a supplement. There are many different types of iron supplements available, so find one that is best for you. Always read the label and follow the instructions carefully.
How Much Iron Does A Filipino Need To Avoid Iron Deficiency Anemia
A Filipino needs 18 mg of iron a day to avoid iron deficiency anemia, according to Karger International. However, pregnant women need 27 mg a day, and men over 50 need 8 mg a day. The body stores most of its iron in hemoglobin, which is found in red blood cells.
The best way to get the recommended daily amount of iron is to eat a variety of iron-rich foods such as lean beef, chicken, fish, beans, lentils, spinach, and fortified cereals. Some Filipinos may also need to take iron supplements.
How To Avoid Iron Deficiency Anemia in Children and Infants:
Feed your baby breast milk or formula that has been enriched with iron for the first year to prevent infant iron deficiency anemia. Infants under the age of one should not consume cow’s milk because it is not a suitable source of iron for babies. Start feeding your infant iron-fortified cereals or pureed meats at least twice a day once they turn 6 months old to increase iron intake. After a year, make sure kids don’t consume more milk than 20 ounces (591 milliliters) each day. Too much milk frequently substitutes for other foods, especially ones high in iron.
It’s important to get your daily recommended amount of iron, whether for an infant or an adult. Talk to your Filipino doctor about whether you should take a supplement. There are many different types of iron sources available, so find one that is best for you.
By following these tips on how to prevent and treat iron deficiency anemia, you can stay healthy and strong!
Resources: Symptoms and Causes of Iron Deficiency
- Food Fortification for Addressing Iron Deficiency in Filipino Children: Benefits and Cost-Effectiveness – Karger International
- Zinc and Iron Nutrition Status in the Philippines Population and Local Soils – Frontiers in Nutrition via NCBI
- Anemia – Symptoms and causes – Mayo Clinic
- Types of Anemia – Hematology Oncology Associates
- Iron supplementation: Micronutrient Supplementation Program – DOH CAR Philippines
- Oral Iron Supplementation – StatPearls – NCBI Bookshelf
- Iron Tablets (Oral Route, Parenteral Route) – Mayo Clinic
- Patients with Iron Deficiency Anemia – Hematology.org
- Treatment of iron deficiency anemia in pregnancy – NCBI
- Common cause of anemia in elderly – AAFP
- How body absorb iron from food – Harvard School of Public Health
- Deficient in iron symptoms – Office on Women’s Health
- Iron in your diet – NHS
- Iron from meat vs plants – NutritionFacts.org
- Absorption of iron is enhanced by vitamin C – NCBI Bookshelf
- How to treat iron deficiency anemia in infants – Children’s National Hospital
- The common type of anemia – Penn Medicine
- Common cause of anemia worldwide – World Health Organization (WHO)
- Anemia is the most common in what age group – EKF Diagnostics
- Treat iron-deficiency anemia – NHLBI, NIH
- Malabsorption of iron diseases – NHS inform
- The risk of iron-deficiency anemia – Hematology-Oncology Associates of CNY
- Iron in breast milk for baby – CDC
- Common form of anemia – In Brief: Your Guide to Anemia – NHLBI
- Iron deficiency anemia is associated with pregnancy – Stanford Children’s Health
- The management of iron deficiency anemia – American Society of Hematology Education Program
- Which of the following can lead to iron-deficiency anemia? Symptoms of Iron-deficiency anemia – Johns Hopkins Medicine
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