Iron deficiency anemia: Symptoms and treatment
A close friend of mine just suffered severe symptoms from iron deficiency anemia, such as dizziness. She's been in and out of the hospital over the past few weeks, it's been a bit of a scary time. Thus, I did a bit of research and came across this informative article that I wanted to share with you;
"Iron is an essential component of our diet and requirements vary throughout life and are higher for women who are menstruating as well as during pregnancy and in some disease states. Iron deficiency anemia (IDA) is one of the most common forms of anemia affecting millions of people worldwide. Susceptible groups include pregnant women, infants born to iron deficient mothers, vegans, children from poor socioeconomic areas and blood donors.
Iron deficiency anemia roughly develops in three stages. In stage 1 iron depletion occurs, this is shown by a decrease in iron stores without affecting essential body iron and no symptoms may be apparent. However when the amount of iron available to the bone marrow is reduced as in stage 2, there may be noticeable changes to concentration levels and decreased work performance due to fatigue. Stage 3 represents IDA and the full force of symptoms will be apparent.
You can suspect you may be suffering from IDA if you are experiencing some of the following symptoms including breathlessness, tiredness and dizziness. These symptoms occur due to reduced transport of oxygen around the body as a result of decreased iron and hemoglobin. Other noticeable symptoms may include changes in pulse and perhaps a pounding heart rate, headaches, a ringing sound in the ears and a craving for non-food substances known as pica. Sufferers are also thought to be more susceptible to infections. A physical examination by a clinician may also show pale skin, brittle spoon shaped nails with vertical stripes, cracked lips, an inflamed tongue, sores at the corners of the mouth, brittle hair, occult blood loss, as well as increased irritability.
Treatment revolves around identifying the underlying cause of the iron deficiency and treating this cause as well as giving dietary advice and a course of iron supplements. Regarding dietary modifications a diet high in iron should be consumed. Foods such as red meats, dried fruits, liver and cereals fortified with iron and also foods which help increase the absorption of iron including fermented vegetables and ascorbic acid should be introduced into the diet. Foods containing tannin and phytates should be removed from the diet as they interfere with iron absorption by binding to iron. A course of iron supplements such as 200mg ferrous sulphate, which contain 67mg of iron per tablet, should be taken on an empty stomach every 6 hours. The iron supplements should be given for long enough to correct the deficiency and replenish iron stores. If side effects such as nausea and constipation arise, the supplements may be taken with food, however it must be noted that this reduces the amount of iron absorbed from the medication. In extreme circumstances where patient has an absorption problem iron can be given via intravenous and intramuscular routes, however both these methods of delivery are less favourable than oral supplementation."
Source: Helium, by Marie Bywater
Hi K7, I don't think that you are being nit picky whatsoever. Have you talked to your doctor about your dizziness and back pain? I would definitely do so if you haven't, because they can give you guidance on additional supplements and diet.
Thanks Pup, this will help so many to break it down a bit & more thought through.
Thanks so much April, I hope so.