Iron Deficiency Anemia Part I: Symptoms, Causes, Treatment

Learn about Iron Deficiency Anemia, a condition affecting up to 10% of women and 4% of men in Europe. Discover its symptoms, causes, and effective treatments.

What is Iron Deficiency Anemia?

Iron is a critical component of haemoglobin, the protein that carries oxygen in the blood. Iron Deficiency Anemia occurs when your body doesn't have enough iron to produce enough haemoglobin, leading to symptoms such as fatigue, breathlessness, and paleness.


  • Poor general well-being 😕
  • Weakness 🥴
  • Fatigue 😴
  • Difficulty focusing 🤯
  • Shortness of breath during physical activity 😮‍💨
  • Dry, pale skin 👻
  • Brittle hair and nails 💇‍♀️💅


The leading risk groups for Iron Deficiency Anemia include infants, children, teenagers, pregnant women, and lactating women. The causes may range from:

  • Heavy menstrual bleeding 🩸
  • Gastrointestinal bleeding due to medication 💊
  • Stomach ulcers 🤢
  • Parasitic infections 🐛


Iron supplementation is the cornerstone of anemia treatment, available both orally and intravenously. These iron supplements often come combined with other compounds like ascorbic acid or folic acid to improve bioavailability. 💊

Anemia—Diagnostic Tests

It's advisable to undergo the following tests for a conclusive diagnosis:

  • Peripheral blood morphology 🔬
  • Serum iron levels 🧪
  • Ferritin levels in serum 🧪
  • Total Iron-Binding Capacity (TIBC) 🧪


  • Ostrowska L, Orywal K, Stefańska E, “Laboratory diagnostics in dietetics”, PZWL Medical Publishing, Warsaw 2018.
  • Lipiński, Paweł, et al. "Iron deficiency anemia in the diet.” Kosmos 63.3 (2014): 373-379.

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