When it comes to iron deficiency anemia – as its name suggests, there is a low level of iron in the blood that leads to anemia. Without enough iron, the body cannot contain enough oxygen (haemoglobin) component in red blood cells. As a result, you may develop classic symptoms of anemia such as exhaustion, tiredness, shortness of breath, paleness of the skin and sclera, spooning of nails and iron deficiency anemia is one of the most common types of nutritional deficiency anemias that can develop in infants, children, teenagers, adults and old men and women. Anemia, in general, can be defined as a condition in which there is either insufficiency of healthy red blood cells (RBCs) in the blood or deficiency of hemoglobin – a red-color pigment in the blood that carries and transports oxygen.
Normally, with iron supplementation, you can fix iron deficiency anemia. Sometimes additional iron deficiency anemia tests or treatments are needed, especially if your doctor suspects you are bleeding internally. However, it is important to know why this happens in the first place.
The most common causes and risk factors for iron deficiency anemia include;
1Iron Deficiency Anemia Causes
Iron deficiency anemia happens when there is insufficient iron in your body to produce hemoglobin. Hemoglobin is a protein and a part of red blood cells that gives red color to the blood and enables the RBCs to carry and transfer oxygenated blood throughout the body. If you don’t consume enough iron, or if you lose too much iron, your body will not be able to produce enough hemoglobin, and iron deficiency anemia will eventually develop.
The common causes of iron deficiency anemia include:
Red.blood cells contain iron in the form of ferrous and ferric sulphate So if you are bleeding externally, you are losing iron. External bleeding can occur in many forms;
Trauma – Any trauma to the skin or body can cause bleeding from that place. If bleeding is more than 2 litres, you can lose enough iron that is sufficient to cause iron deficiency anemia.
Heavy periods – Women with heavy periods (i.e., heavy menstrual bleeding) can develop iron deficiency anemia after many months or years. Heavy menstrual bleeding is defined as loss of 80ml blood or more in each menstrual cycle – having periods that last longer than seven days.
Internal hemorrhoids – Piles, or medically known as hemorrhoids, is a body condition in which the veins near the anal opening become swollen. Often times, there is a leakage of blood from these veins. Long-term blood loss can cause anemia, particularly iron deficiency type.