Iron Deficiency Anemia

By: Carolyn Mullins, Kennedy Westfall, Michael Wirick

What is iron deficiency anemia?

Iron Deficiency Anemia occurs when body does not get enough iron. Iron helps body get enough oxygen. Body uses iron to make hemoglobin. Hemoglobin is very important because it transports oxygen throughout the body. So, without enough iron, your body makes fewer and smaller red blood cells.

People at risk for Iron deficiency anemia:

  • Heavy menstrual bleeding
  • Not getting enough iron in diet (children, teens, pregnant woman)
  • Heavy bleeding inside body (ulcers, hemorrhoids)
  • If you cannot absorb iron well in your body (celiac disease, part of stomach/SI removed)

Symptoms of Iron Deficiency Anemia:

The following are severe symptoms that will develop over time without treatment:

  • Weakness
  • Dizziness
  • Irritability
  • Headaches
  • Paleness
  • Feeling short of breath
  • Having trouble concentrating
These same symptoms will be very mild as iron deficiency anemia starts. Many times, the symptoms will be fewer to none and be the mildest form (i.e. occasional headaches, feeling weak, shortness of breath only after extensive activity)

Case Study: Baker, Rose

Rose Baker had always been an active teen. She ran track in the spring and tried to stay active on the off season. Her doctors had noticed, however that her diet was full of carbohydrates but not enough meats and green leafy vegetables. After a year of continuing the same diet and as the cold football season approached, she noticed she felt colder than normal. As the track season started, she also noticed she didn't have as much energy to run. She often felt so weak that walking up stairs took a lot of energy out of her. Her grades in school slightly dropped because of the lack of concentration. Her mother took her to the doctor. Dr. Donna checked medical history and ran blood tests to check the blood cell count and the iron levels in her blood. When she noticed less blood cells and a low iron level, she diagnosed Rose as having Iron Deficiency Anemia.

Treatment:

Dr. Donna prescribed Iron supplement tablets and after a week, Rose felt better. Rose was able to run better and she had a lot more energy. She kept taking the iron tablets for three months and then Dr. Donna said she could stop taking them. Rose changed her diet and ate more meats and green leafy vegetables. Her mother also bought iron-fortified cereals for her to eat in the morning. This helped with the iron levels in Rose's blood.

Works Cited

WebMD. "Iron Deficiency Anemia-Topic Overview." WebMD. WebMD, 12 Mar. 2014. Web. 14 Mar. 2015.

"Iron Deficiency Anemia." Symptoms. N.p., n.d. Web. 15 Mar. 2015. <http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/iron-deficiency-anemia/basics/symptoms/con-20019327>.