Iron-deficiency Anemia (IDA) is a kind of anemia caused by low levels of iron. Anemia is when there’s decreased erythrocyte or red blood cells or hemoglobin in one’s system. These components have a significant role in our body. When this is lacking technically, our body would not be able to get the sufficient oxygen that it needs resulting in the malfunction of our body systems.
- A common kind of anemia
- Iron is the one our body uses to produce hemoglobin
- A low level of iron can cause insufficient oxygen
- Signs are not clear at first; the same goes with its symptoms, but eventually, they will become clear
- CBC helps detect if there is an abnormality in our blood
- These are the people who most likely will have IDA
- Childbearing-age women due to heavy menstrual flow or pregnancy
- People with digestive problems
- Treatments are as follows:
- A diet that contains sufficient iron
- Iron supplements
Pathophysiology of IDA or Iron Deficiency Anemia
Erythrocytes (RBC or Red Blood Cells) carry out the oxygen in our body and eliminate carbon dioxide through our hemoglobin.
Hemoglobin, a component in our blood, is a protein that carries iron. Through iron, our body can have enough production of hemoglobin; 70% of our body’s iron can be found in hemoglobin. Facilitating the transfer of oxygen and carbon dioxide throughout our body is one of its functions.
Low levels of iron can result in less production of hemoglobin. It means that there is insufficient oxygen in our bodies.
There are many things to consider why a person has Iron Deficiency Anemia; one of these is insufficient iron intake through diet. This is most common for pregnant women as their body requires an increased demand for the fetus. Next is, absorption problem. People who had intestinal surgery, gastric bypass, celiac disease, and small intestine removal absorb most of the hemoglobin. They are most likely to suffer from IDA; lastly, people who experienced blood loss, menstruation, GI Bleeding, ulcers, and hemorrhoids.
Indicator of Iron-Deficiency Anemia
We will be using the code: Low-Iron
- Overexerted easily
- Weird food cravings or White-faced (pale)
- Inflammation of the tongue (lack of oxygen) or Increased heart rate
- Reduced hemoglobin level
- Observe changes in Red Blood Cells
- Nail changes or Neuro change
Nurses must be monitoring and educating patients, and regulating medications. They should also monitor the patients for bleeding and hemoglobin level, assessing the diet and the menstrual cycles. They must also educate people on how to take Iron supplements. These are as follows:
- Take iron with an empty stomach, as it increases absorption
- Take with vitamin C
- Wait two hours before taking dairy products, calcium, and antacids
- The stool turns black
- For liquid preparations: Mix in a fluid, drink with a straw
As you take this supplement, you may experience constipation.
Eating natural foods will help you maintain a good level of iron, and this is the list of foods that we must take. Remember the mnemonics: EAT LOTS OF IRON
- Egg yolk
- Legumes and Leafy vegetables
- Sardines, Seeds
- Iron-fortified bread and cereals
- Raisins, Red meat