Iron deficiency is a decrease in the red cells of blood as a result of lack of iron in the blood. The causes can be too little iron in the diet, poor absorption of iron by the body or loss of blood. It is also caused by lead poisoning in children. Iron deficiency is one of the most common nutritional deficiencies in USA.
It results when the body loses more iron than it ingests. Iron is the main ingredient in hemoglobin which is found in red blood cells and is responsible for carrying oxygen throughout the body.
Without enough iron, body is unable to produce enough hemoglobin and as a result of this muscles get less oxygen which reduces the body energy. Iron deficiency anemia is the most common form of anemia. It occurs slowly when the normal stores of iron are quite low in the body.
To produce red blood cells, the body needs, iron, folic acid and vitamin B12. If there is a lack of one or more of these things, anemia will evolve. It must be remembered that anemia is the last result of chronic iron deficiency.
- Lack of energy, feeling tired and weakness.
- Skin on the lining of the eyes, the inner mouth, gums and the nails.
- Low blood pressure with position change, from sitting to standing up.
- Finger nails become thin, brittle and white. They may grow abnormally and get a spoon-shaped appearance.
- Head ache.
- Shortness of breath.