What causes iron deficiency in the body?



Iron deficiency is a common type of anemia, a condition in which the blood lacks healthy red blood cells, which are the red blood cells that carry oxygen to body tissues. Without enough iron, red blood cells cannot carry oxygen, which all cells need. causing certain symptoms to appear.

What causes iron deficiency in the body?

Mild iron deficiency usually does not cause serious complications and is more likely to cause minor symptoms, but if left undiagnosed or untreated, it can become serious, leading to health problems and complications, notably:

  • Fatigue and lethargy: Iron deficiency anemia can make you feel tired, weak, and lethargic, which can lead to decreased productivity, difficulty staying awake, and difficulty exercising normally.
  • Heart and lung problems: such as a fast or irregular heartbeat, where anemia forces the heart to pump more blood to compensate for the lack of oxygen and can lead to an enlarged heart or heart failure, if the heart becomes unable to pump blood as efficiently as possible.[1] ]
  • Problems during pregnancy: Can lead to premature birth, low birth weight, and increased risk of postpartum depression.
  • Growth problems: In infants and children, severe iron deficiency can lead to anemia; In addition to growth and developmental delay, which can include cognitive and motor problems.
  • Increased susceptibility to infections: Iron deficiency affects the immune system, making the individual more susceptible to colds, flu and other illnesses, as well as infections.
  • Restless Leg Syndrome: This is a common condition that affects the nervous system, resulting in the inability to move the legs and an uncomfortable sensation in the feet, legs, and thighs.
  • Exacerbation of other chronic diseases or rendering their treatments ineffective.
  • depression.
  • Low ability to perform aerobic sports.

Iron deficiency and its complications can be prevented by following a diet containing iron and following medical treatment and advice in case of infection.

Reasons to see a doctor

If you think you have low iron levels, see your doctor to find out the cause and treat the cause. See your doctor if you have any of the following symptoms of anemia: 

  • Feeling very tired and weak.
  • Difficulty breathing.
  • rapid and irregular heartbeat;
  • Feeling dizzy or dizzy.
  • Headache.
  • Cold hands and feet.
  • Pain and inflammation of the tongue.
  • brittle nails
  • small appetite;
  • irritability
  • Craving for unusual things like ice cream, dirt or starch.
  • Pale and dry skin.
  • Ease of bruising.
  • Involuntary movement of the leg.

How can I treat an iron deficiency?

Treatments for iron deficiency vary depending on its severity and cause, and should primarily address the cause, but may include:

  • Healthy lifestyle changes include eating more foods rich in iron and vitamin C, which help the body absorb iron, and avoiding tea with food because it reduces iron absorption.
  • Oral iron supplements or iron injections given under the supervision of a doctor.
  • Blood transfusions in very severe cases, to help quickly replenish iron and hemoglobin.
  • Treat underlying conditions, for example:
  • Medicines, such as oral contraceptives, to reduce heavy menstrual flow.
  • Antibiotics and other medicines to treat peptic ulcers.


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