Symptoms Of Low Iron: Causes And Treatment For Low Iron Levels

Our body needs small amount of iron to make hemoglobin, it is a protein in the red blood cells which carries oxygen in the blood. Adults need about 10 to 15 mg of iron per day.

Low iron in the blood is known as iron deficiency anemia.

Symptoms Of Low Iron

Symptoms of low iron levels in the blood are:

  • Pallor, face and lips look pale.
  • Fatigue
  • Breathlessness after exercising or doing mild work.
  • Giddiness
  • Brittle nails.
  • Headache.

Causes Of Low Iron In Blood

  • Lack of iron in diet: such as people who are on diet, children consuming milk more than other food preparations containing iron.
  • Disease states causing iron depletion in the body due to blood loss: peptic ulcers, heavy menstrual flow, cancer, piles, etc. here there is loss of blood resulting in low iron level in blood.
  • Kidney failure, certain bone marrow cancer can also result into low iron level in blood.
  • Growing children and pregnant women require more iron, and usually need extra iron nutrition.
  • After major operation where there is excessive blood loss.
  • Intestinal worms.

Treatment For Low Iron Levels

  • Treat the cause for blood loss such as piles, ulcer, heavy menstruation etc.
  • Increase your iron intake in food, such as eating green leafy vegetables, meat, eggs, animal liver, dried beans and legumes, iron fortified bread and cereals, bran and rice bran etc.
  • Eat vitamin C containing fruits such as oranges, lemons etc, it increases iron absorption.
  • Low iron level in the blood can be increased by eating meat, poultry, and fish along with the vegetables. The iron in animal tissue improves the absorption of iron in vegetables.
  • If there is exceptional low iron in the blood, one may require blood transfusion or oral iron therapy after consulting a doctor.

What Is Low Iron Levels?

Consideration of low iron levels through blood investigation:

  • Peripheral smear- microcytic (normal value= normocytic, normochromic)
  • Total iron binding capacity microgram/dl- > 350 (normal value=300-350)
  • Serum iron microgram/dl- <60 (normal value= 70-120)