Iron Deficiency Anemia (IDA), according to the World Health Organization (WHO), remains to be one of the most common nutritional deficiencies across all ages worldwide.
IDA is a condition where your blood doesn’t have enough of the body mineral iron, resulting in a decrease in the hemoglobin or red blood cells. Iron is important in the production of the red blood cell which carries oxygen to the different parts of the body. IDA may go unnoticed initially but may lead to severe condition.
Know the signs and symptoms of Iron Deficiency Anemia.
Constant fatigue and weakness
Some patients may feel unusual tiredness which is one of the most common symptoms of IDA. This can be explained by the low oxygen delivery to the tissues due to insufficient production of blood elements.
Pale skin or pallor
Pallor or skin paleness is also one of the most common signs of IDA in all ages and is usually the first symptom that the doctor will look for. Hemoglobin gives the red color to the blood. The low level of hemoglobin makes the blood a little less red.
Shortness of breath
With the decrease in the delivery of oxygen to the different body tissues, your body will try to increase your rate of breathing trying to get more oxygen which could be perceived as shortness of breath.
Dizziness and headache
Headache and dizziness occur because of the low level of oxygen in the blood reaching the brain. When this happens, blood vessels in the brain reactively compensate and dilate to increase the delivery of blood to the tissues of the brain.
Soreness of the mouth and tongue
Commonly seen in the mouth of patients with IDA are dry mouth, ulcers, burning sensations, and red cracks at the corners that sometimes sore. The tongue may also become swollen, inflamed and pale.
Heart palpitations or irregular heartbeats
Like the lungs, the heart also compensates for the deficiency of oxygen that is not being delivered to its tissues. The heart will work extra hard to deliver more oxygen to the body by beating faster. This abnormally fast beat is called palpitations. In extreme cases, this could lead to irregular heartbeats.
Other symptoms of IDA include dry or damaged hair and skin, brittle and spoon-shaped fingernails, and poor appetite.
A single sign or symptom may serve as a clue in detecting IDA and knowing the most common signs and symptoms may save someone from the severe form of this disease. Always consult your doctor for proper and prompt medical management.
National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. National Institute of Health. Iron Deficiency Anemia <https://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health-topics/iron-deficiency-anemia>
Brown Mary Jane PhD. 10 signs and symptoms of Iron Deficiency. Healthline. <https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/iron-deficiency-signs-symptoms#TOC_TITLE_HDR_2>