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Cause, Effect, and Solutions of Iron Deficiency

Updated on February 7, 2012

Iron deficiency anemia is determined by low red blood cell count caused by too little iron in the body. It occurs when iron intake is lower than the iron loss by the body.

Iron is needed for the hemoglobin synthesis and body defense. Iron carries oxygen from lungs throughout the body. Iron also helps in storing muscles and using oxygen. It helps in enzymes and many cell functions. Enzyme helps our body to digest foods. Iron deficiency effect many parts of our body function.

Iron deficiency anemia is caused for different factors which include vitamin A deficiency results in low iron transport, internal bleeding in the body, excessive menstrual bleeding, malaria infections, low stomach acids etc.

Iron deficiency results in extreme fatigue, weakness, increased child mortality, maternal mortality, impaired neuro-cognitive function in children, fast heart beat, poor appetite, hair loss etc.

Risk of iron deficiency can be reduced taking iron rich foods. Iron rich foods should be shoot for women 15mg/day and men 10mg/day. Along with iron rich foods vitamin C enrich foods such as alma, oranges, guava helps in iron absorption. On the other hand calcium supplement lowers iron absorption. cooking foods in iron pots significantly increases the amount of iron in the foods.

Iron rich foods are of two types, Hemeiron (animal sources) and non-hemeiron ( plant sources). Absorption in hemeiron is more higher than non-hemeiron. Absorption of hemeiron is 20-30% compared to 1-10% in non-hemeiron. Foods rich in iron include dried fruits such as raisins, apricots, dates, dark green leafy vegetables like spinach, dried beans and peas, sea foods, eggs, poultry, organ meats such as liver, iron fortified cereals, breads and pastas etc.

Iron deficiency anemia is a prevalent nutritional deficiency in the world. It can be solved by taking iron enriched foods in our regular diet and foods required for its absorption is to be considered.


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