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 DCI Home: Blood Diseases: Iron-Deficiency Anemia: Key Points

      Iron-Deficiency Anemia
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Key Points

Key Points

  • Iron-deficiency anemia is an illness that occurs when there is not enough iron in the body.
  • Iron helps the body make hemoglobin and healthy red blood cells. Hemoglobin is needed to carry oxygen throughout the body.
  • A person can have low iron levels for three reasons: blood loss, either from disease or injury; not getting enough iron in the diet; and not being able to absorb the iron in the diet. Iron-deficiency anemia also can develop when the body needs higher levels of iron, such as during pregnancy.
  • One in five women of childbearing age and half of all pregnant women have iron-deficiency anemia.
  • Infants and toddlers can be at risk for iron-deficiency anemia.
  • The most common symptoms of iron-deficiency anemia are fatigue (tiredness) and weakness.
  • Iron-deficiency anemia is treated by stopping the bleeding (if the cause of the anemia is bleeding), increasing iron in the diet, and giving iron supplements.
  • Eating a well-balanced diet rich in iron and vitamins can help prevent iron deficiency anemia.
  • Iron-deficiency anemia can be successfully treated.

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