1. What is Iron deficiency anemia? 

-Iron deficiency anemia is decrease in hemoglobin level due to diet low in iron.  

2. How big is the problem?

- It is the most common nutritional anemia worldwide. 

3. Who are more likely to suffer from this illness?

- Who are deficient in diet with good iron source (most commonly children < 5 yrs of age).

- Primarily Milk based diet (as milk is a poor source of iron).

3. Where does the absorption of iron takes place in Gastrointestinal tract ? 

- Duodenum. 

4. What food items contains iron in good proportion? 

Non veg: Eggs  , Chicken , meat & Fish.

Veg: Apple , Dates , Ragi , Strawberry , Spinach.

( Note : Cow's Milk / Buffalo's milk  is a very poor source of iron)

5. Which food items increase or decrease iron absorption?  

- Foods which increase the absorption of iron  - Vitamin C like orange juice , Amla etc .

- Foods which decrease the absorption of iron - Calcium ( syrups ), tannic acid ( tea ), Milk etc .

6. What are the clinical signs of Iron deficiency anemia?

-  Skin of palms , nail beds , tongue , palpebral  conjunctiva appear pale (less red).

- Pica - increase desire to eat uneatable. 

- Poor concentration ability. 

- Nails are brittle and may have spoon shape. 

- Poor Growth and appetite.

- May lead to Circulatory Failure in severe anemia.

7. What does the Laboratory findings look like in iron deficiency anemia?

 Microcytic (small red blood cells) Hypochromic (red blood cell has low hemoglobin) Anemia (low hemoglobin level)

- Low serum iron level. 

- Low serum Ferritin level (Storage form of iron).

- High Total iron binding capacity  (increase affinity of Red blood cells towards iron). 

- High Red cell distribution width (increase variability in red cell size).

8. How to treat Iron deficiency anemia?

- Iron supplement in the form of syrup, tablets, injection. 

- Diet Modification (iron rich diet).

- Severe Iron deficiency may require Blood / Red blood cell transfusion

9. How long does it takes to treat iron deficiency anemia ?

- It takes 1 to 3 months of iron therapy depending on the severity of anemia and patient compliance.