How Does Iron Deficiency Cause Anaemia?

The amount of hemoglobin in your blood determines how much oxygen your body is getting. A crucial part of hemoglobin is iron. Therefore, lack of iron in the body will limit hemoglobin production in your blood. In severe cases, this lack of iron can even lead to a specific condition, known as iron deficiency anaemia.

Children are at a risk of not receiving adequate iron through their diets. Below is everything you need to know about anemia caused by iron deficiency in children and the role played by iron supplements in helping your children meet their daily iron needs.

Symptoms of anaemia caused by iron deficiency

Here are some common signs of anaemia caused due to low iron levels in the blood:

  1. Stunted growth or hindered growth rate in the child
  2. Limited or decreased appetite
  3. Excessive fatigue
  4. Frequent cases of infections and diseases
  5. Rapid breathing, even when the child is at rest
  6. Irritable nature

What causes anaemia from lack of iron in children?

Three main factors contribute to iron deficiency anaemia in children. Here is a look at what these factors are:

  • Loss of blood- If your child suffers from an underlying disease or condition resulting in slow or chronic blood loss, he/she may be losing a large portion of their body’s iron as well. This leads to reduced hemoglobin production in the body and the onset of anaemia.
  • Lack of dietary iron- What your child eats is vital in determining their overall health. If your child’s diet lacks enough dietary iron, he/she will likely suffer from iron deficiency anaemia. Additionally, lack of iron in the diet also stunts their growth. Make sure your kids consume eggs, leafy vegetables, and legumes regularly.
  • Coeliac disease- Iron present in the food you consume, is absorbed when the food passes through the small intestine. However, coeliac disease, a reaction to eating gluten, hinders this absorption. This can lead to the iron deficiency and then subsequently, iron deficiency anemia in your child.
  • Lack of vitamin C in diet- If your child, despite consuming enough iron rich food, is still suffering from iron deficiency anaemia, then this could be due to the lack of vitamin C in his/her body. Vitamin C helps in the efficient absorption of dietary iron by our body.

Risk factors for iron deficiency anaemia in children

Some children are more likely to develop iron deficiency anaemia than others. Children who are born underweight and/or premature, face a greater risk of suffering from this condition.

Role of iron supplements in treating anaemia in children

Iron deficiency anaemia in children can produce long-lasting results. Therefore, you should seek treatment as soon as you suspect iron deficiency anemia in your child. Delaying treatment may result in stunted growth and improper muscle formation.

Iron supplements along with a healthy diet ensure your child receives the recommended dietary iron every day. Additionally, vitamin C supplements can help aid in iron absorption. Seek help from a physician immediately if you believe an underlying condition is interfering with your child’s ability to absorb iron.

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