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 ?
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.