Iron deficiency anemia

2023-07-22 13:57
Iron deficiency anemia occurs when there is a reduction in the number of red blood cells in the blood, which is determined by the level of hemoglobin. Insufficient iron, a crucial component of hemoglobin, hinders the production of hemoglobin and the delivery of oxygen to tissues, leading to anemia.

The main symptoms of anemia include fatigue and dizziness, while additional symptoms may encompass pale skin, weakness, shortness of breath, chest pain, rapid or irregular heartbeat, tingling in the hands and feet, coldness, and poor memory.

In children and adolescents, anemia can hinder growth and development. According to medical statistics, 1 out of 9 individuals with anemia are children under the age of 9, and infants under the age of 1 have the highest prevalence. Additionally, children and adolescents with anemia have a 1.2 times higher prevalence of certain diseases compared to those without anemia, including asthma (1.2 times higher), atopic dermatitis (1.6 times higher), and allergic rhinitis (1.2 times higher).

Early detection and treatment are crucial as anemia in children can lead to reduced activity levels and impact overall immunity and intelligence development in infants and young children, as well as growth and learning in adolescents. For proper growth and development, children require an ample supply of iron.

In women aged between 20 and 40, anemia can result from iron loss due to monthly menstruation, increased iron requirements during pregnancy and childbirth, iron-deficient diets, sudden weight changes, and stress. Women are four times more likely to experience anemia than men.

Studies indicate that anemia in the elderly increases the risk of dementia. Compared to non-anemic seniors, those with anemia have a 51% higher prevalence of cognitive impairment, 59% higher prevalence of dementia, and 91% higher prevalence of Alzheimer’s disease (Source: Research team of Professor Hongbae Kim, Department of Family Medicine, Myungji Hospital, and Professor Jae-Yong Shim, Department of Family Medicine, Yonsei University Severance Hospital). This can be attributed to aging, reduced food intake, impaired blood production, or a combination of underlying medical conditions and various diseases.

When treating anemia, it is essential to identify the root cause and tailor treatment according to the individual’s condition, rather than merely relying on medication. Improving one’s diet is also important. Along with iron, folic acid and vitamins are necessary for red blood cell production. Folic acid and vitamins aid the body in absorbing iron and utilizing it more efficiently.

In traditional Chinese medicine, treatments aim to restore compromised immunity and enhance digestion, which facilitates the efficient absorption of nutrients from food and their delivery to tissues.
For those seeking foods rich in iron, consider egg yolks, beef, green vegetables, seaweed, mugwort, beans, red beans, pumpkin, mushrooms, sesame leaves, spinach, bananas, oranges, and more in your diet.

For precise information about your iron levels, it is recommended to visit your doctor and undergo a blood test.



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