Iron Deficiency Anemia

Would you like to know what lab results mean? DDxHub - Differential Diagnosis Hub helps to understand and explains your blood test.

Iron deficiency anemia is the most common cause of anemia. Symptoms are related to the overall decrease in number of red blood cells and-or level of hemoglobin. The most common signs and symptoms include: feeling of tiredness, fatigue; lack of energy. Symptoms that are more unique to iron deficiency and that may appear as iron stores in the body are increasingly depleted may include brittle or spoon-shaped nails, swollen or sore tongue, cracks or ulcers at the corners of the mouth, or a craving to eat unusual non-food substances such as ice or dirt (aka 'pica'). Iron is an essential trace element and is necessary for the production of healthy red blood cells (RBCs). It is one component of heme, a part of hemoglobin, the protein in RBCs that binds to oxygen and enables RBCs to transport oxygen throughout the body. If not enough iron is taken in compared to what is needed by the body, then iron that is stored in the body begins to be used up. If iron stores are depleted, fewer red blood cells are made and they have decreased amounts of hemoglobin in them resulting in anemia. The causes of iron deficiency include: Bleeding-if bleeding is excessive or occurs over a period of the time (chronic), the body may not take in enough iron or have enough stored to produce enough hemoglobin and-or red blood cells to replace what is lost. In women, iron deficiency may be due to heavy menstrual periods, but in older women and in men, the bleeding is usually from disease of the intestines such as ulcers and cancer. Dietary deficiency-iron deficiency may be due simply to not eating enough iron in the diet. In children and pregnant women especially, the body needs more iron. Pregnant and nursing women frequently develop this deficiency since the baby requires large amounts of iron for growth. Lack of iron can lead to low birth weight babies and premature delivery. Pre-pregnant and pregnant women are routinely given iron supplements to prevent these complications. Newborns who are nursing from deficient mothers tend to have iron deficiency anemia as well. Absorption problem-certain conditions affect the absorption of iron from food in the gastrointestinal (GI) tract and over time can result in anemia. These include, for example, Celiac disease and Crohn's disease.


Laboratory Test Procedures:

shortness of breath
chest pain
pale skin
fast heartbeat
irregular heartbeat
cognitive problems
cold extremities
brittle nails
spoon-shaped nails
swollen tongue
sore tongue
cracks or ulcers at the corners of the mouth
craving to eat unusual non-food substances such as ice or dirt

RBC Morphology
Hypersegmented neutrophils
Iron, Serum
DDxHub Differential Diagnosis online system provides with more lab test procedures...

You have symptoms and blood work results. How do they correlate? What is the health condition? Some disorders have similar signs and laboratory values. DDxHub helps to define a right diagnosis. Run DDxHub now and enter symptoms and test results.

All information on this page is intended for your general knowledge only and does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. See Additional Information