Among the most common health problems in children is iron-deficiency anemia. People with anemia do not have enough red blood cells, or hemoglobin, which carries oxygen to other parts of the body. Hemoglobin is made from iron, but our bodies only absorb a tiny amount of it. Even full-term newborns do not get sufficient amounts of iron from the diet.
While many people may not display any noticeable symptoms, severe cases of iron deficiency require immediate medical attention. A doctor can prescribe dietary changes or take iron supplements. The doctor will also advise on other steps to help your body build an iron store. While these treatments may seem inconvenient, they are often effective. They help restore the iron level in the body within a few months. Some people may even be cured of their iron deficiency by eating a variety of foods that are rich in iron.
People with iron deficiency may experience low white and platelet counts. A peripheral blood smear may show small oval-shaped cells with pale centers. A blood slide may also show a low white blood cell count. If these symptoms persist, the doctor may recommend iron supplementation to correct the problem. When a person’s serum ferritin level is low, he may have an iron-deficiency anemia.
In some cases, cancer treatment may impair the production of red blood cells. Cancer treatments can also suppress the production of red blood cells, but this does not cause an iron deficiency. Cancer treatments can reduce the amount of red blood cells, but they may prevent the body from doing its job properly. Symptoms of iron-deficiency may appear quickly in the case of a severe case, while milder cases may take longer.