Skip to main content

Anemia or Iron Deficiency Anemia A Common Problem

After 22 years as an RN, I now write about medical issues and new medical advances. Diet, exercise, treatment, and lifestyle are important.

Red Blood Cells

Red Blood Cells

Iron Deficiency Anemia

There are several types of anemia, however iron deficiency anemia is the reason for 50% of the cases. Typical symptoms are fatigue and shortness of breath with exertion. The National Library of Medicine reports that 50% of the world’s population has this type of anemia.

Other Anemia Types

There are other types of anemia including:

  • Aplastic anemia, which is serious but rare
  • Sickle cell anemia is an inherited condition
  • Thalassemia is an inherited condition
  • Vitamin deficiency anemia, which is caused by inadequate vitamin B12 or folate

Anemias can be temporary or long term, depending on which type. It can be mild or severe. Treatments also vary depending on the type.

Spoon Shaped Nails

Spoon Shaped Nails

14 Types of Symptoms of Anemia

The blood lacks an adequate amount of healthy red blood cells due to a lack of iron.Red blood cells carry oxygen (hemoglobin) to the cells. This anemia can be mild, without symptoms but if you have symptoms they may include:

  1. Extreme fatigue
  2. Breathlessness
  3. Weakness
  4. Pale skin
  5. Cold extremities
  6. Headaches
  7. Heart palpitations
  8. Dry and damaged hair and skim
  9. Brittle or spoon shaped nails
  10. Inflammation or soreness of your tongue
  11. Restless legs (restless leg syndrome linked to anemia)
  12. Unusual cravings for non-nutritive substances, such as ice, dirt or starch
  13. Feelings of depression
  14. Poor appetite, especially in infants and children with iron deficiency anemia

What is #Anemia? The Symptoms of Iron Deficiency

Most Common Causes of Anemia

There are several causes of this anemia, such as:

  • Iron intake is inadequate
  • Inflammatory bowel disease
  • Increased iron needs during pregnancy
  • Blood loss due to heavy menstrual cycle or internal bleeding
  • Taking too many NSAIDs (ibuprofen, aspirin)
  • Stomach ulcers
  • Hemorrhoids
  • Bowel or stomach cancer (less common)
Scroll to Continue


Ideally, your diet should include an adequate amount of:

Iron - iron rich food such as beef, meat, beans, lentils, dark green vegetables, iron fortified cereals, dried fruit

Folate - Fruits and fruit juices, dark green ;leafy vegetables, green peas, kidney beans

Vitamin B12 - meats, dairy products, fortified cereal, soy products

Vitamin C - citrus fruits and juices, tomatoes, broccoli, peppers, melons, strawberries

Treatment of Iron Deficiency Anemia

Your doctor may tell you to take over-the-counter iron pills, which ideally are taken on an empty stomach. However, iron pills can upset the stomach, so some people may need to take them with a meal.

Vitamin C helps your body absorb iron, so it is good to take iron with a glass of orange juice or some other food with vitamin C. Do not take iron with antacids as they can affect absorption.

Underlying causes also need to be treated for the best result. Oral contraceptives can lighten heavy menstrual flow. Antibiotics can be given for peptic ulcers. If you have a bleeding polyp, a tumor or a fibroid may require surgery.

Current Techniques for Treating Iron-deficiency Anemia

In Conclusion

It is certainly important to eat a healthy diet to prevent anemia. See a doctor if you have some of the symptoms listed above. It is important to pay attention to the symptoms of your body.

You do need to understand that it takes time to cure anemia.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.

© 2022 Pamela Oglesby

Related Articles