Iron deficiency anemia is a common type of anemia — a condition in which blood lacks adequate healthy red blood cells. Red blood cells carry oxygen to the body's tissues. As the name implies, iron deficiency anemia is due to insufficient iron. Without enough iron, your body can't produce enough of a substance in red blood cells that enables them to carry oxygen hemoglobin. As a result, iron deficiency anemia may leave you tired and short of breath.
Iron deficiency anemia - Symptoms and causes - Mayo Clinic
Anemia occurs when you have a decreased level of hemoglobin in your red blood cells RBCs. Hemoglobin is the protein in your RBCs that is responsible for carrying oxygen to your tissues. Your body needs iron to make hemoglobin. In women of childbearing age, the most common cause of iron deficiency anemia is a loss of iron in the blood due to heavy menstruation or pregnancy.
This leads to abnormally low levels of red blood cells. This leads to a condition called anemia. Although there are different types of anemia, iron-deficiency anemia is the most common worldwide 1. Common causes of iron deficiency include inadequate iron intake due to poor diet or restrictive diets, inflammatory bowel disease, increased requirements during pregnancy and blood loss through heavy periods or internal bleeding.
Have you ever been told that an older relative has anemia? And anemia becomes even more common as people get older. Misunderstanding anemia can also lead to unnecessary worrying, or perhaps even inappropriate treatment with iron supplements. For more information on the CBC test, see this Medline page.