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Encyclopedia > Iron deficiency anemia

Iron deficiency anemia is the most common type of anemia, and the most common cause of microcytic anemia. Anemia (American English) or anaemia (Commonwealth English), which literally means without blood, is a lack of red blood cells and/or hemoglobin. ... Microcytic anemia is characterised by small red blood cells. ...


Iron deficiency anemia occurs when the dietary intake or absorption of iron is insufficient, and hemoglobin, which contains iron, cannot be formed. In the United States, 20% of all women of childbearing age have iron deficiency anemia, compared with only 2% of adult men. The principal cause of iron deficiency anemia in premenopausal women is blood lost during menses. General Name, Symbol, Number iron, Fe, 26 Chemical series transition metal Group, Period, Block 8 (VIIIB), 4, d Density, Hardness 7874 kg/m3, 4. ... The menstrual cycle is the periodic change in a womans body that occurs every month between puberty and menopause and that relates to reproduction. ...


Iron deficiency anemia is the final stage of iron deficiency. When the body has sufficient iron to meet its needs (functional iron), the remainder is stored for later use in the bone marrow, liver, and spleen. Iron deficiency ranges from iron depletion, which yields little physiological damage, to iron deficiency anemia, which can affect the function of numerous organ systems. Iron depletion causes the amount of stored iron to be reduced, but has no affect on the functional iron. However, a person with no stored iron has no reserves to use if the body requires more iron. In essence, the amount of iron absorbed by the body is not adequate for growth and development or to replace the amount lost. Iron deficiency is the most common known form of nutritional deficiency. ... Bone marrow is the tissue comprising the center of large bones. ... The liver is an organ in vertebrates, including humans. ... The spleen is a ductless, vertebrate gland that is not necessary for life but is closely associated with the circulatory system, where it functions in the destruction of old red blood cells and removal of other debris from the bloodstream, and also in holding a reservoir of blood. ... In biology, an organ is a group of tissues which perform some function. ...

Contents


History

A disease believed to be iron deficiency anemia is described in about 1500 B.C. in the Egyptian Papyrus Ebers. It was termed chlorosis or green sickness in Medieval Europe, and iron salts were used for treatment in France by the mid-17th century. Sydenham recommended iron salts as treatment for chlorosis, but treatment with iron was controversial until the 20th century, when its mechanism of action was more fully elucidated. The Middle Ages formed the middle period in a traditional schematic division of European history into three ages: the classical civilization of Antiquity, the Middle Ages, and modern times, beginning with the Renaissance. ... (16th century - 17th century - 18th century - more centuries) As a means of recording the passage of time, the 17th century was that century which lasted from 1601-1700. ... For other uses of the name Sydenham, see Sydenham (disambiguation). ... (19th century - 20th century - 21st century - more centuries) Decades: 1900s 1910s 1920s 1930s 1940s 1950s 1960s 1970s 1980s 1990s As a means of recording the passage of time, the 20th century was that century which lasted from 1901–2000 in the sense of the Gregorian calendar (1900–1999 in the...


Symptoms

Iron deficiency anemia is characterized by pallor, fatigue and weakness. Because it tends to develop slowly, adaptation occurs and the disease often goes unrecognized for some time. In severe cases, dyspnea can occur. Pallor is an abnormal loss of skin or mucous membrane color. ... Dyspnea (Latin dyspnoea, Greek dyspnoia from dyspnoos - short of breath) or shortness of breath (SOB) is perceived difficulty breathing or pain on breathing. ...


Diagnosis

Anemia will be diagnosed on the basis of suggestive symptoms, or found on the basis of routine testing, which includes a complete blood count (CBC). A sufficiently low hemoglobin or hematocrit value is diagnostic of anemia, and further studies will be undertaken to determine its cause. One of the first abnormal values to be noted on a CBC will be a high red blood cell distribution width (RDW), reflecting a varied population of red blood cells. A low MCV, MCH or MCHC, and the appearance of the RBCs on visual examination of a peripheral blood smear will narrow the diagnosis to a microcytic anemia. A full blood count (FBC) or complete blood count (CBC) is a test requested by a doctor or other medical professional that gives information about the cells in a patients blood. ... 3-dimensional structure of hemoglobin Hemoglobin or haemoglobin is the iron-containing oxygen-transport metalloprotein in the red cells of the blood in mammals and other animals. ... The hematocrit (Ht) or packed cell volume (PCV) is the proportion of blood volume that is occupied by red blood cells. ... The red blood cell distribution width, or RDW, is a measure of the variation of red blood cell volume that is reported as part of a standard complete blood count. ... Human red blood cells Red blood cells are the most common type of blood cell and are the vertebrate bodys principal means of delivering oxygen to body tissues via the blood. ... The mean corpuscular volume, or MCV, is a measure of the average red blood cell volume that is reported as part of a standard complete blood count. ... The mean corpuscular hemoglobin, or MCH, is a measure of the amount of hemoglobin contained by a red blood cell. ... The mean corpuscular hemoglobin concentration, or MCHC, is a measure of the concentration hemoglobin in a red blood cell. ... A microscopic view of an abnormal blood film. ...


The diagnosis of iron deficiency anemia wil be suggested by appropriate history (e.g., anemia in a menstruating woman), and by such diagnostic tests as a low serum ferritin, a low serum iron level, an elevated serum transferrin and a high total iron binding capacity (TIBC). A definitive diagnosis requires a demonstration of depleted body iron stores by performing a bone marrow aspiration, with the marrow stained for iron. Because this is invasive and painful, while a clinical trial of iron supplementation is inexpensive and non-traumatic, patients are often treated without a definitive diagnosis. Ferritin is a globular protein found mainly in the liver, which can store about 4500 iron ions in a hollow shell made of 24 identical subunits. ... General Name, Symbol, Number iron, Fe, 26 Chemical series transition metal Group, Period, Block 8 (VIIIB), 4, d Density, Hardness 7874 kg/m3, 4. ... Transferrin is a protein for iron ion delivery. ... Bone marrow is the tissue comprising the center of large bones. ... See: Aspiration (phonetics) Aspiration (medicine) Aspiration (long-term hope) - see for example, Robert Goddards response to the ridicule by the New York Times, 1920: Every vision is a joke until the first man accomplishes it; once realized, it becomes commonplace. ... In medicine, a clinical trial (synonyms: clinical studies, research protocols, medical research) is a research study. ...


The diagnosis of iron deficiency anemia requires further investigation as to its cause. It can be a sign of other disease, such as colon cancer, which will cause the loss of blood in the stool. In addition to dietary insufficiency, malabsorption, chronic blood loss, diversion of iron to fetal erythropoeisis during pregnancy, intravascular hemolysis and hemoglobinuria or other forms of chronic blood loss should all be considered. Diagram of the stomach, colon, and rectum Colorectal cancer includes cancerous growths in the colon, rectum and appendix. ... A stool can refer to: A type of chair feces This is a disambiguation page — a navigational aid which lists other pages that might otherwise share the same title. ... Hemolysis (alternative spelling haemolysis) is the excessive breakdown of red blood cells. ... In medicine, haemoglobinuria is a condition in which the oxygen transport protein haemoglobin is found in abnormally high concentrations in the urine. ...


Treatment

If the cause is dietary iron deficiency, supplementation, usually with Iron (II) sulfate, can correct the anemia. Iron supplements must be kept out of the reach of children, as iron-containing supplements are a frequent cause of poisoning in the pediatric age group. If malabsorption is present, it may be necessary to administer iron parenterally (e.g., as iron dextran): parenteral iron, however, is generally poorly tolerated. Iron(II) sulfate (FeSO4) is an example of an ionic compound. ...


Followup evalution with CBC is essential to demonstrate whether the treatment has been effective.


  Results from FactBites:
 
Anemia and Iron deficiency Sports Doctor section - A Time-to-Run - for your medical assistance (1279 words)
Iron deficiency is the most common form of true anemia among athletes.
Iron deficiency anemia is most prevalent among menstruating women and males between the age of 11 and 14.
Inadequate dietary intake of iron is the primary cause of iron deficiency.
Iron Deficiency Anemia: Signs And Symptoms (687 words)
Anemia occurs when the amount of red blood cells or hemoglobin in the blood becomes low, causing the tissues of the body to be deprived of oxygen-rich blood.
The RDA of iron for postmenopausal women is 10 milligrams; women of childbearing age as well as nursing mothers 15 milligrams, and pregnant women require 30 milligrams, and as many as 90 percent of women do not consume enough iron.
Anemia is diagnosed by a blood test, either by a finger stick in a clinic, or by a blood test done in a laboratory.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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