Iron deficiency is the most common cause of anemia. It helps form hemoglobin, and hemoglobin also stores about 70 percent of iron found in the body. The remaining 30 percent of iron is stored as ferritin and hemosiderin in the spleen, bone marrow and liver. Iron-deficiency anemia causes a variety of symptoms including fatigue, tachycardia, pica, enlarged tongue and spleen. A physician will prescribe iron supplements depending on the severity of symptoms prescribes.
Book an appointment with a physician for an accurate diagnosis. This will help discover if the symptoms are a result of iron-deficiency anemia or a similar condition. An assessment of your medical history and a description of symptoms will help the physician come to a diagnosis. A blood test will help determine the hemoglobin levels in the red blood cells and the amount of iron in the blood.
Take iron supplements as prescribed. There is a risk of a supplement overdose, therefore, only take supplements as directed by your doctor. The average supplement dose of iron for iron-deficient anemic patients ranges from 45mg to 60mg daily. Combine the iron supplementation with vitamin C to help improve the absorption of iron in the blood. Vitamin C is high in orange juice, broccoli, kiwi and fresh herbs.
Incorporate iron-rich food to your diet for long-term treatment and prevention. Regularly eating food high in iron will help treat a deficiency and prevent it in the future. Oysters, prune juice, walnuts, ground beef, bran, chickpeas, clams and beef liver are food sources high in iron. Check food labels to calculate the amount of iron consumed in comparison to your iron dietary intake recommended by a physician; this will vary depending on the severity of the iron deficiency.
Determine your risk of getting iron-deficiency anemia in the future. Some people do not absorb iron properly or tend to lose it quicker than others do. Women, particularly pregnant women are at a greater risk of developing iron deficiency than men. People with gastrointestinal disorders, toddlers, vegetarians and vegan are at a high risk of developing iron deficiency due to malabsorption, age or dietary preferences.