About Iron Deficiency
Signs and Symptoms of Iron Deficiency Anemia
When you hear the word anemia, you probably think of iron deficiency anemia. However, there are many types of anemia as this term simply refers to the body’s lack of healthy red blood cells.
Our red blood cells carry oxygen throughout our body and when their function is compromised we can become anemic. The most common types of anemia in adults are iron deficiency anemia, megaloblastic (pernicious) anemia – due to folic acid deficiency or macrocytic anemia – deficiency of B12.
The signs and symptoms of iron deficiency anemia in adults include:
feeling tired and weak
work performance suffers
feeling cold often
inflamed tongue (glossitis)
shortness of breath during routine activities
pica – desire to eat non-food substances such as laundry starch, dirt, clay, ice
- Stoltzfus RJ. Defining iron-deficiency anemia in public health terms: reexamining the nature and magnitude of the public health problem. J Nutr 2001;131:565S-7S.
- Micronutrient deficiencies. Iron deficiency anaemia. World Health Organization. http://www.who.int/nutrition/topics/ida/en/index.html
- Iron Deficiency Anemia. National Anemia Action Council. http://www.anemia.org/patients/faq/#ida
- Iron Deficiency. MMWR Weekly. CDC. 2002;51(40):897-899. http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm5140a1.htm#tab1
- Institute of Medicine. Food and Nutrition Board. Dietary Reference Intakes for Vitamin A, Vitamin K, Arsenic, Boron, Chromium, Copper, Iodine, Iron, Manganese, Molybdenum, Nickel, Silicon, Vanadium and Zinc. Washington, DC: National Academy Press, 2001.
- Monson ER. Iron and absorption: dietary factors which impact iron bioavailability. J Am Dietet Assoc. 1988;88:786-90.
- Tapiero H, Gate L, Tew KD. Iron: deficiencies and requirements. Biomed Pharmacother. 2001;55:324-32.
- Pronsky ZM. Food Medication Interactions, 10th edition 1997.
- Hemoglobin. Medline Plus. http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/003645.htm
- Hematocrit. Medline Plus. http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/003646.htm