Iron Deficiency Anemia
Iron deficiency anemia is one of the micronutrient nutritional problems faced by teenagers, where around 12% of boys and 23% of girls experience anemia, most of which is caused by iron deficiency. As reported by the official website of the Ministry of Health anemia in adolescent girls is higher than boys. Anemia in adolescents is a bad impact on decreased immunity, concentration, learning achievement, fitness, and productivity.
What Is Iron Deficiency Anemia?
Iron deficiency anemia is a type of anemia caused by iron deficiency which ultimately results in a lack of blood. Iron is a substance that forms hemoglobin, a protein that helps red blood cells carry oxygen throughout the body. If a person does not have enough iron, the body does not produce enough red blood cells so the body becomes deficient in hemoglobin, which carries oxygen. If you don’t have enough oxygen in your blood, you may feel tired, weak, and short of breath.
Symptoms of Iron Deficiency Anemia
You may not be aware of the symptoms of anemia, because it develops slowly and the symptoms may be mild. You may not realize it until anemia worsens with the following symptoms:
- Feeling weak
- Extreme fatigue
- Chest pain
- Fast or irregular heartbeat
- Hard to breathe
- Headache or dizziness
- Pale skin
- Cold hands and feet
- Tingling in the legs
- Swelling of the tongue or pain
- Brittle and cracked nails
- Restless legs syndrome – uncontrolled desire to move your legs during sleep
- Easy to get angry
- Difficult to concentrate
While children who experience blood deficiency will experience symptoms of iron deficiency anemia as follows:
- Poor appetite
- Grow more slowly than usual
- Causes of Iron Deficiency Anemia
- Someone who has iron-deficiency caused by the following things:
Poor diet is a major cause of iron deficiency anemia because the body regularly gets iron from the food you eat. For that, consume foods that contain lots of iron, such as eggs, meat, green vegetables, and iron-fortified foods. This food is needed by the body to produce hemoglobin.
Iron can be found mainly in blood because it is stored in red blood cells. If you lose a lot of blood due to an accident, injury, childbirth, or heavy menstruation, you may experience iron deficiency.
However, in some cases, blood loss due to chronic disease or some cancer can cause iron deficiency.
Ability to absorb reduced iron
Although rare, some people cannot absorb enough iron from the food they eat. The reason may be due to problems in the small intestine, such as celiac disease or Crohn’s disease, or if a portion of the small intestine has been removed.
Low levels of iron are commonly experienced by pregnant women because iron reserves in the body to meet the increase in blood volume, which is a source of hemoglobin for fetal development in the womb.
Endometriosis If a woman suffers from endometriosis, she may experience a loss of blood that cannot be realized because it is hidden in the abdomen or pelvis and caused iron deficiency anemia.