What is Iron-Deficiency Anemia?

Published on December 19, 2019

What is Iron-Deficiency Anemia?

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Did you know that anemia is the most common blood disorder? According to the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, anemia affects more than 3 million Americans. There are many different types of anemia. However, the most frequent type is iron-deficiency anemia. Read below to find out if you have iron-deficiency anemia.

Iron-deficiency anemia is when iron levels are low. Low levels mean your blood does not have enough healthy red blood cells to carry oxygen to the body’s tissues. This can leave you with symptoms that include:

  • Pale skin
  • Severe fatigue
  • Lightheadedness
  • Cold hands and feet
  • Weakness

Who is at Risk for Iron-deficiency Anemia?

  • Vegetarians: Many iron-rich foods are in meat. Vegetarians need to make sure they are properly supplementing iron in their diet.
  • Women: Women are at greater risk than men due to blood loss during menstruation.
  • Blood donors: Low hemoglobin can temporarily occur in frequent blood donors. Make sure to consume iron-rich foods before and after donating blood.

How to Prevent an Iron-deficiency

A diet rich in iron can minimize your risk.

Foods high in iron are:

  • Green vegetables
  • Legumes
  • Seafood
  • Red Meat
  • Iron-fortified cereals

What to Do if You Have Symptoms

Iron-deficiency anemia should not be self-diagnosed. Meet with your primary care doctor if you are experiencing the above symptoms. Treatments range from dietary changes to iron supplements to a procedure or surgery. Your doctor can discuss what treatment plan is best for you.

If you do not have a primary care provider, we can help you choose a health provider based on your insurance, location, medical needs and personal preferences—plus, schedule your first appointment. Get started online at bronsonhealth.com/findadoc or talk to a Bronson Care Advisor by phone at (269) 341-7788.