Iron deficiency or anemia means the body has insufficient iron. Iron produces hemoglobin that enables the red blood cells to carry oxygen to the body’s tissues. Anemia is relatively common among females and children.

Top Five Reasons for Iron Deficiency are:

Improper Diet:

Our body gets iron from what we eat. Children do not take a nutrition diet hence they do not get enough iron. Iron deficiency can be generally seen in toddlers, preschoolers, and teenagers because of increasing iron needs in the development phase. Premature babies are at increased risk of anemia because they do not get enough iron from breast milk.

Green vegetables, red meat, eggs, beans, peas, seafood, etc., are iron-rich foods. Our body absorbs iron more from red meat than from other sources. The vegetarian or vegan family has higher risks of iron deficiency. If we do not eat iron-rich foods then slowly overtime our body becomes iron deficient. Vitamin C also improves the absorption of the iron nutrient. Hence Vitamin C rich foods like oranges tomatoes, grapefruit, kiwi, broccoli, strawberries, etc. should be taken in conjunction with iron-rich foods.

 Blood Loss:

Blood contains iron. If we lose blood then we lose iron too. Women lose blood during menstruation cycle. Women with heavy bleeding are at higher risk of anemia. Some diseases such as peptic ulcer, hiatal hernia, and colorectal cancer can also cause iron deficiency.

The inability to absorb iron content from the food:

iron is absorbed in the small intestine. If the intestine is bypassed or removed surgically due to some reasons then this may affect your ability to absorb iron from food. This can lead to anemia. An intestine disorder like celiac disease also becomes a cause of the iron deficiency.


Iron deficiency occurs in pregnant women because they need iron for their bodies as well as the growing fetus. At that time, women should eat iron-rich food and iron supplements if the doctor recommends.

Frequent Blood Donors:

Frequent blood donors also have an increased risk of iron deficiency. Regular blood donation affects the iron store in the body.

Health Risks of Iron Deficiency:

Mild iron deficiency does not create serious complications. However, if iron deficiency left untreated then it may cause severe health problems. In some situations when the iron level gets too low, the person may require a blood transfusion. Anemia also affects brain development. It may cause heart problems, complications in pregnancy and growth problems. An iron-deficient person is more susceptible to infections.

Symptoms of Iron Deficiency:

The noticeable signs of anemia are given below:

Pale Skin

Brittle nails

Slow growth and development

Frequent infections

Behavioral problems

Increased sweating

Fatigue and weakness in the body

Craving of eating nonfood items such as dirt, paint, ice or starch

Shortness of breath or fast heartbeat

Cold hands and feet

Poor appetite especially in children

Prevent Anemia:

If these symptoms are seen then you should immediately consult a doctor. Iron deficiency is mainly diagnosed through the blood test that involves complete blood count including hemoglobin level. Depending on the test results, a doctor might recommend iron supplements or further testing. At Arth diagnostics, advance diagnostic equipment is available for testing iron deficiency anemia.

A person should not start an iron supplement without consulting a doctor because an overdose of iron can cause liver damage or even death. If a one is iron deficient then one should honesty follow the advice of a doctor and take the complete treatment.

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