Iron Deficiency Anemia
Iron deficiency anemia is the most common type of anemia, it has a highest incidence in children and pregnant women. The body’s iron needs comes from food, where iron is found in its ferric form. In the first part of the stomach and the small intestine, ferric iron is converted to ferrous iron, which is mainly absorbed in the duodenum, then the absorption decreases towards the terminal portion of the small intestine. Absorbance depends on the amount of iron the body needs.
Adult body contains 3-5g of iron, of which approximately 55% is found in hemoglobin, 25% iron reserves stored in the liver, spleen and bone marrow as ferritin and hemosiderin and 15% are found in myoglobin and the remaining tissue enzymes. Our body manages very well the amount of iron it has and ordinary losses are relatively small (0.5 -1 mg / day) and occur and occur due to skin and intestinal mucosa desquamation, sweat, urine and bile.
Causes of iron deficiency anemia
Women before menopause, teenagers and children have a precarious balance of iron and will present iron deficiency anemia frequently. The main factors leading to iron deficiency are:
- Loss of blood, the most important factor and most common.
- Improper diet with low iron content
- Poor absorption of iron. Increased body-needs
Blood loss most frequently encountered are the excessive menstrual bleeding and chronic gastrointestinal bleeding. Besides bleeding during the menstrual cycle, we can mention the uterine fibroids as a cause of bleeding. Digestive disorders accompanied by bleeding are the peptic ulcer, esophageal varices, intestinal parasitoses, hiatal hernia, bleeding hemorrhoids, digestive cancers, and digestive polyps.
Improper diet with low iron content, is rarely the only cause of anemia and it is usually a helpful factor (which is associated to a increased need or a discrete loss). Diets low in iron are those which contain no or few animal protein and vegetable protein, and grain-based diets.
Increased need are seen in children, women before menopause, and pregnant women. In the presence of one or more of the other factors, even very discreet, the increased body needs may contribute to the onset of iron deficiency anemia.
Symptoms sf iron deficiency anemia
The most common symptoms are : fatigue, asthenia, vertigo prone to fainting, blurred vision, effort dyspnea, palpitations. Very often patients have headaches, irritability, instability, and sometimes whimsical neuralgias with paresthesia in the extremities, which can vary from one day to another. Some patients show anorexia or capricious appetite, heartburn, burning mouth and tongue. They also present pale skin and mucous membranes, dry skin with lack of elasticity, dry and thinning hair, thin and soft nails. On examination the heart we notice tachycardia, low blood pressure very often.