What Is Iron Deficiency Anemia (IDA)?

Oct 18, 2019

Introduction
 

Iron Deficiency Anemia or “IDA” is a common type of anemia that usually occurs when the body doesn’t have enough of iron to generate red blood cells.

IDA is one of the most common nutritional deficiencies in the world, it affects up to 4-5 billion of the world’s population. 1

IDA affects more women than men. This is because women lose blood every month during their menstrual cycles, which is one of the most common reasons women may be more likely to suffer from anemia.  2

Causes 
A lack of iron in your diet
An inability of body to absorb iron
Producing red blood cells too slowly
eg: viral infection, radiotherapy
Blood loss during the menstrual cycle
Blood loss during injury or surgery
Pregnancy
Internal bleeding

 

Symptoms
Extreme fatigue
Cold hands and feet
Brittle nails
Chest pain, fast heartbeat or shortness
of breath
Weakness & pale
Headache or dizziness

 

Health benefits of Iron
Prevent iron deficiency anemia
Boosts hemoglobin
Helps manage unexplained fatigue
Boosts immunity
Improved concentration
Restores sleep

 

Dietary and lifestyle changes

  1. Heme iron is found in meet, poultry, seafood and fish, which our body absorb the most
  2. Non-heme iron is found in plant-based foods like grains, beans, vegetables, fruits, nuts and seeds
  3. Try to eat iron rich food together with orange juice or Vitamin C as Vitamin C enhances iron absorption
  4. Don’t consume coffee or tea as it limits iron absorption

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References

1. C. Brugnara. IRON 2009_CAPTURE. 21. 512-529

2. G. Suraj et al. J.K Science. October-December 2001. 3(4):160-165

3. S.S. Patil et.al. Al Ameen J Med Sci 2013. 6(1):29-33