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Iron Deficiency FAQ


What is iron deficiency anemia?


Bifera-iron-deficiencyIron deficiency anemia is a common type of anemia — a condition in which blood lacks adequate healthy red blood cells. Red blood cells carry oxygen to the body's tissues, giving your body energy.


As the name implies, iron deficiency anemia is due to insufficient iron. Without enough iron, your body can't produce enough hemoglobin, a substance in red blood cells that enables them to carry oxygen. As a result, iron deficiency anemia may leave you tired, weak and pale.


In the United States, the largest nationwide survey, the National Nutrition and Health Examination Surveys (NHANES) found that approximately 16% of teenage girls aged 16-19 and 12% of women aged 20-49 are deficient in iron. These numbers are staggering in a country with an abundant food supply and an array of multivitamin and iron supplements.


If the cause of your iron deficiency anemia is lack of iron in your diet (for example, a strict vegetarian diet), you can usually correct it by increasing your irons stores through diet and iron supplementation.