Iron deficiency anaemia occurs due to insufficient stores of iron in the body. Iron helps to form haemoglobin, an important component of blood, which further provides oxygen to the blood. Low haemoglobin levels due to less iron can lead to severe anaemia.
Symptoms Of Iron Deficiency Anaemia
Low iron levels occur due to acute blood loss, a faulty diet and a mal-absorption of iron in the body. When iron levels are depleted, the body stops making red blood cells and this can lead to a wide variety of symptoms. Anaemia happens over a period and the symptoms are noticed only when they intensify. Here are some of the typical symptoms of anaemia.
Fatigue is the direct outcome of iron deficient anaemia. The body stops making red blood cells and the patient may start to feel unusually tired. Fatigue and exhaustion become more pronounced with time and the person may not be able to carry out routine tasks. Lethargy and listlessness are common.
Pronounced anaemia can lead to a pale complexion that looks yellow and sallow. This is one of the first symptoms of anaemia and can be easily ascertained by your doctor. Dark circles and baggy eyes may become more pronounced with severe anaemia.
A general feeling of weakness and ill health sets in. It may occur in combination with fatigue. The person may want to rest and sleep all the time.
Shortness of Breath
Getting breathless is a very common feature in anaemia. You may climb a few stairs and become extremely short on breath. You may also start to palpitate. This happens because the blood does not have enough oxygen to carry to the different parts of the body.
Most cases of anaemia occur due to malnourishment. Not getting enough food may lead to anaemia and in turn cause headaches. Severe headaches especially during the daytime are very common.
Brittle, rough, dry and pale nails are very common in patients suffering from iron deficiency anaemia. The nails look deathly white and may break easily.
Because of less oxygen transported by the blood, the heart has to pump blood faster and harder in order to do its job. A rapid heartbeat and elevated blood pressure may be seen in some patients
Giddiness and light-headedness is another symptom of iron deficiency anaemia. Fainting spells in acute anaemia are very common. A person may constantly feel lightheaded and giddy.
Iron deficient anaemia is not very serious and can be treated with medication. Often iron supplementation is prescribed by doctors and the condition becomes normal after 2-3 months. A diet that is rich in iron needs to be taken. Organ meats like liver, spinach, raisins and green leafy vegetables are rich sources of iron. Consuming these on a daily basis can help to improve your haemoglobin counts and reduce anaemia.Make sure you do not take iron supplements with calcium as calcium is said to hinder the absorption of iron in the body. Women in general need larger quantities of iron due to pregnancies and loss of blood during the menstrual cycle.