Anemia.IRON, decision factor?
Anemia is usually defined as a decrease in the amount of red blood cells or hemoglobin in the blood. It can also be defined as a lowered ability of the blood to carry oxygen. When anemia comes on slowly, the symptoms are often vague and may include: feeling tired, weakness, shortness of breath or a poor ability to exercise. Anemia that comes on quickly often has greater symptoms, which may include: confusion, loss of consciousness, or increased thirst.
Iron deficiency anemia is the most common type of anemia overall and it has many causes. RBCs often appear hypochromic (paler than usual) and microcytic (smaller than usual) when viewed with a microscope.
- Iron deficiency anemia is due to insufficient dietary intake or absorption of iron to meet the body’s needs. Infants, toddlers, and pregnant women have higher than average needs. Increased iron intake is also needed to offset blood losses due to digestive tract issues, frequent blood donations, or heavy menstrual periods. Iron is an essential part of hemoglobin, and low iron levels result in decreased incorporation of hemoglobin into red blood cells.
|WHO’s Hemoglobin thresholds used to define anemia(1 g/dL = 0.6206 mmol/L)|
|Age or gender group||Hb threshold (g/dl)||Hb threshold (mmol/l)|
|Children (0.5–5.0 yrs)||11.0||6.8|
|Children (5–12 yrs)||11.5||7.1|
|Teens (12–15 yrs)||12.0||7.4|
|Women, non-pregnant (>15yrs)||12.0||7.4|