Iron deficiency or anemia - a pathological condition of the body, in which a decrease in the amount of hemoglobin and red blood cells. Hemoglobin is the protein in red blood cells (erythrocytes) and is responsible for carrying oxygen from the lungs to the organs and tissues of the body.
Iron deficiency in the body may occur at any age. It is often the companion of various diseases and some physiological states of the organism (pregnancy, enhanced growth, lactation, etc.).
Causes of iron deficiency
The most common causes of iron deficiency in the body are:
- Defective diet containing insufficient amounts of iron. Especially, this phenomenon is common among children and young women. Often, iron deficiency can be observed in children who love milk, but rarely eat foods rich in iron. Also, a lack of iron can often be found in young girls sitting on a strict diet.
- The period of intensive growth of the organism. Children under three years of age tend to grow so fast that their bodies simply do not have time to produce the necessary amount of iron.
- Pregnancy and lactation. Women at this time require twice the amount of iron. That's why pregnant women should be tested regularly for the presence of anemia and to enrich the diet with foods high in iron. Do not interfere, and take daily supplements of iron.
- Blood Loss - one of the most common causes of iron deficiency in adults. In women, iron deficiency can be triggered by too heavy menstruation. Blood loss may be caused by internal bleeding, such as in the gastrointestinal tract. Gastric bleeding can trigger a number of factors: ulcerative colitis, gastric ulcer, prolonged use of aspirin or cancer. Therefore, determining the cause of iron deficiency is an important consideration in the treatment of the patient.
Most iron deficiency develops in women, which is associated with regular blood loss. Also, iron deficiency in the body develops at:
- surgical and gynecological operations;
- prolonged and heavy menstruation;
- uterine cancer;
- dysfunctional uterine bleeding;
- the presence of intrauterine contraceptives;
- compliance with various diets, etc.
Symptoms of iron deficiency
Conventionally, iron deficiency can be divided into two stages: latent iron deficiency and iron deficiency anemia.
When latent iron deficiency observed the following symptoms:
- the level of hemoglobin in the blood is normal;
- tissue iron stores are reduced;
- clinical symptom of iron deficiency is not observed;
- gradually decreases the activity of iron-containing enzymes;
- Adult characteristic compensatory increase iron absorption in the intestine.
When iron deficiency anemia following symptoms:
- iron stores are depleted;
- saturation of hemoglobin in red blood cells is significantly reduced, which leads to their hypochromia;
- dystrophic changes occur in organs and tissues;
- erythrocyte protoporphyrin there is an increased amount;
- the level of hemoglobin in the blood and reduced production.
The characteristic symptoms of iron deficiency are headache, weakness, dizziness, palpitations and shortness of breath with little exertion, muscle weakness, impaired sense of smell and taste, loss of appetite, ringing in the ears and the flicker flies before his eyes.
It is also a symptom of iron deficiency is a pale skin. There is dryness and peeling skin, brittle and hair loss, brittle nails. In the corners of the mouth may appear perleches arise dyspeptic disorders. Largely all of these features depend on the severity of the illness and the duration of the existence of iron deficiency in the body.
Diagnosis of iron deficiency
When anemia is suspected, the doctor advises the patient to deliver a complete blood count. The presence of iron deficiency in the body can speak the following features: a decline in blood hemoglobin and red blood cells, decrease in blood serum iron and serum ferritin, transferrin saturation rate increase.
Principles of treatment of iron deficiency
Compensate for the lack of iron can not be only iron product. Compulsory doctors prescribe iron supplements. You should know that these drugs are prescribed for a long time, at least two months.
Dieting is also important. The menus need to include ascorbic acid and the protein that contribute to the formation of complex compounds in the body and better absorption of iron in the gut. Along with iron preparations should be reduced to a minimum or completely stop the use of dairy products and calcium, coffee, tea, and other foods high in phosphates and oxalates.
Modern iron preparations preferably have no side effects. In addition, they are covered with a special membrane, which prevents interaction with iron digestive juice that avoids irritation of the gastric mucosa.
After the restoration of the normal level of hemoglobin in the blood is necessary to continue the treatment of iron deficiency even for a few months to replenish supplies and avoid latent iron deficiency.
All iron deficiency are reversible in nature. It is important to as soon as possible to begin treatment of iron deficiency, to restore the body needs iron stores.
Prevention of iron deficiency
Some types of anemia, particularly those caused by malnutrition can be successfully prevented. To do this, the diet must include foods rich in iron. These include seafood, nuts, whole grains, green leafy vegetables (spinach, broccoli), dried fruits (prunes, dried apricots, raisins), beans, iron-fortified cereals and breads.