Iron Deficiency: Causes, Clinical Manifestations, Prevention And Siderosis
Kolionychia In Iron Deficiency Anemia
Glossitis In Iron Deficiency
Major Causes Of Iron Deficiency
Animal proteins and vitamin C enhances Iron absorption, while phytates and phosphates retard it. Iron is absorbed from the duodenum and upper jejunum. Iron is lost in desquamated epithelial cells of the gastrointestinal tract, urinary tract and skin and through the loss of nails and hair. Menstruation, pregnancy, parturition and lactation account for further losses in women who suffer from Iron deficiency more than men. Dietary requirement is higher for women. Daily requirement is 10 to 20 mg for men and 30 to 40 mg for women. Infants require 1 mg/Kg body weight.
Considerable periods elapse between the onset of Iron deficiency and the clinical manifestations. Since large stores are present normally, clinical symptoms do not occur till the stores have been depleted. Pure nutritional deficiency manifests clinically only a few years after institution of a diet poor in Iron. In actual practice, anemia manifests much sooner since in the vast majority of cases, there is also concomitant blood loss.
In India for instance, about 20 to 40% of pregnant women show Iron deficiency. Depletion of Iron in the mother during pregnancy results in diminution of Iron stores in the fetus. Premature infants have lower Iron stores and are vulnerable to develop Iron deficiency states.
Effects of Iron Deficiency: Microcytic hypochromic anemia occurs on account of diminished hemoglobin synthesis. Non- hematological manifestations include kolionychia, dysphagia, glossitis and rarely raised intracranial tension. Iron deficiency is one of the most widespread nutritional disorders present all over the world.
Prevention of Iron deficiency: Vulnerable groups of persons require prophylactic Iron supplementation. These include premature infants, persons after upper gastrointestinal tract surgery, pregnany and lactating women and those with chronic blood loss.
At the community level, Iron deficiency can be prevented by fortifying food with Iron. Several articles like bread and infant foods have been fortified in many countries.
Presentation Of Siderosis
Siderosis denotes excessive accumulation of Iron which is seen in persons who have excessive inputs of Iron over prolonged periods. The Iron is deposited in the liver, which may undergo fibrosis. Excessive dietary intake occurs in South African Bantus who ingest about 100 mg of Iron derived from Iron cooking and brewing pots. Iron overload can occur in perons having thalassemia, sickle cell disease or aplastic anemia, and are repeatedly transfused with blood (usually more than 100 transfusions).
© 2014 Funom Theophilus Makama