Iron Deficiency Anaemia: Symptoms and Treatment

Iron Deficiency Anaemia

When the iron level in the blood is low it leads to disorder of the blood termed as iron deficiency anaemia. It is very common in developing countries. Femalea of childbearing age due to heavy menstruation or repeated pregnancy suffers from iron deficiency anaemia. Certain intestinal diseases or poor diet affect the absorption of iron in the body and also leads to iron deficiency anaemia. One of the common cause of iron deficiency anaemia globally is loss of blood from the gastrointestinal tract as a result of worm infestation.

Iron Deficiency Anaemia

Iron Deficiency Anaemia

What is Iron deficiency anaemia?

 Iron deficiency anaemia is commonest type of anaemia that occurs when the body does not have enough iron needed to make hemoglobin. In absence of enough iron in the blood the body does not get the amount of required oxygen.

Iron deficiency anaemia is a very common health issues in children and females of childbearing age. It is possible that the patient may be suffering from iron deficiency anaemia symptoms from years but are not aware of the cause. Let’s take a closer look at the symptoms and causes of iron deficiency anaemia and learn the treatment options.

Symptoms of iron deficiency anaemia

In the beginning the symptoms of iron deficiency anaemia are mild and go unnoticed unless you get a routine  blood test. The symptoms of moderate to severe iron deficiency anaemia are weakness, pale skin, fatigue, dizziness,  shortness of breath, tingling feeling in the legs, tongue soreness or swelling, fast or irregular heartbeat, brittle nails,  headache and cold feet and hands.

Causes of iron deficiency anaemia

Causes of iron deficiency anaemia includes:

Inadequate intake of iron – 

Consuming little iron over long time leads to iron deficiency in the body. Foods rich in iron include egg, meat and green leafy vegetables. Make sure to eat foods rich in iron especially if you are a pregnant female and growing child.

Blood loss due to menstruation or pregnancy

Another common cause of iron deficiency anaemia  in women of childbearing age is heavy menstrual bleeding.  Also,  pregnancy may lead to iron deficiency anaemia because during pregnancy more iron is needed to  create enough oxygen for the developing baby.

Inability of the body to absorb  iron – 

There are certain disorders such as celiac disease that affects the intestine ability to absorb iron. Certain surgeries also interfere with iron absorption even if you are taking  enough amount of iron in your diet.

Internal bleeding

Certain medical conditions  such as stomach ulcer, colon polyp, colon cancer causes internal bleeding and results into iron deficiency anaemia. Regular intake of Aspirin may also cause bleeding in the stomach.


Females having endometriosis may suffer from heavy bleeding during menstrual period. Endometriosis is hidden in the pelvic area outside the uterus or in the abdomen area thus a female may not even be aware that she is suffering from it.

Genetics – 

Disease conditions such a celiac disease makes the absorption of iron difficult. This condition may pass through family.



Treatment of iron deficiency anaemia

Treatment of iron deficiency anaemia depends upon severity and cause. In most of the cases iron deficiency anaemia is due to the lack of iron in your diet or your body’s inability to absorb iron.

Your doctor may prescribe you iron supplements. Include foods rich in iron in your everyday diet such as dark green leafy vegetables, dry fruits, red meat and iron 

In addition, vitamin C food sources such as citrus fruits, green leafy vegetables, broccoli, sprouts and gooseberries should be consumed as vitamin C increases  the absorption of iron.

Treatment of iron deficiency anaemia

Treatment of iron deficiency anaemia

Decrease the intake of foods such as black tea that decreases iron absorption.

If any internal bleeding is diagnosed then cause of bleeding is treated. In case of heavy menstrual bleeding birth control pills are given to reduce the amount of bleeding each month. In severe cases red blood transfusion is done to replace blood loss or iron deficiency.

If iron deficiency is not managed it may lead to health complications such as irregular or rapid heartbeat. Pregnant females in severe cases may give birth to premature or low birth weight baby. Children suffering from iron deficiency experience delayed growth and development. This is why if you experience symptoms of iron deficiency anemia see your health care provider for proper diagnosis and treatment.

Dr. Ritu Kumari Gupta
Dr. Ritu Kumari Gupta:  Professionally a homeopathic doctor and a dietician Dr. Ritu Kumari Gupta is passionate about writing health and parenting blogs. She believes in holistic approach towards health and well being.