So here are some quick facts about anemia from WebMD:
Iron deficiency anemia occurs when your body doesn't have enough iron.
Iron is important because it helps you get enough oxygen throughout your body. Your body uses iron to make hemoglobin. Hemoglobin is a part of your red blood cells. Hemoglobin carries oxygen through your body. If you do not have enough iron, your body makes fewer and smaller red blood cells. Then your body has less hemoglobin, and you cannot get enough oxygen.
What causes iron deficiency anemia?
Iron deficiency anemia is caused by low levels of iron in the body. You might have low iron levels because you:
- Have heavy menstrual bleeding.
- Are not getting enough iron in food. This can happen in people who need a lot of iron, such as small children, teens, and pregnant women.
- Have bleeding inside your body. This bleeding may be caused by problems such as ulcers, hemorrhoids, or cancer. This bleeding can also happen with regular aspirin use. Bleeding inside the body is the most common cause of iron deficiency anemia in men and in women after menopause.
- Cannot absorb iron well in your body. This problem may occur if you have celiac disease or if you have had part of your stomach or small intestine removed.
What are the symptoms?
You may not notice the symptoms of anemia, because it develops slowly and the symptoms may be mild. In fact, you may not notice them until your anemia gets worse. As anemia gets worse, you may:
- Feel weak and tire out more easily.
- Feel dizzy.
- Be grumpy or cranky.
- Have headaches.
- Look very pale.
- Feel short of breath.
- Have trouble concentrating.
Babies and small children who have anemia may:
- Be fussy.
- Have a short attention span.
- Grow more slowly than normal.
- Develop skills, such as walking and talking, later than normal.
Anemia in children must be treated so that mental and behavior problems do not last long.