Munson Health
 
Iron-Deficiency Anemia

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by Kassir K

(Reduced Iron in Blood)

 

Symptoms

Most people with mild anemia have no symptoms. In those that have them, anemia may cause:
 

Treatment

Treatments may include:

Iron Supplements

Iron can be taken as a supplement or as part of a multivitamin. Iron comes in many "salt" forms. Ferrous salts are better absorbed than ferric salts. Ferrous sulfate is the cheapest and most commonly used iron salt. Slow-release or coated products may cause less stomach problems. However, they may not be absorbed as well. Some products contain vitamin C to improve absorption. Talk to your doctor, though, because your iron level could get too high.

Iron-Fortified Cereal

Your doctor may recommend that you feed your baby iron-fortified cereal.
 

Prevention

To help reduce your chance of having anemia:
  • Eat a diet rich in iron, such as oysters, meat, poultry, or fish
  • Avoid foods that interfere with iron absorption, such as black tea
Ask your doctor if your infant is getting enough iron. General guidelines include:
  • Starting at 4 months, breastfed infants need an iron supplement until they get enough iron from other sources, like infant cereal or iron-fortified formula.
  • Bottle-fed infants should get a formula that is fortified with iron.
  • Many premature infants need extra iron starting at 1 month of age.
 

RESOURCES

American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists
http://www.acog.org

Healthy Children—American Academy of Pediatrics
http://healthychildren.org

 

CANADIAN RESOURCES

Dietitians of Canada
http://www.dietitians.ca

Health Canada
http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca

 

References


Beers MH, Berkow R. The Merck Manual of Diagnosis and Therapy. 17th ed. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons; 1999.


Beers MH, Berkow R. The Merck Manual of Diagnosis and Therapy. 18th ed. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons; 2006.


Iron. EBSCO Natural and Alternative Treatments website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/biomedical-libraries/natural-alternative-treatments. Updated August 22, 2013. Accessed August 12, 2014.


Iron deficiency in adults. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed. Updated August 4, 2014. Accessed August 12, 2014.


Iron deficiency in children (infancy through adolescence). EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed. Updated August 7, 2014. Accessed August 12, 2014.


Iron fortification of infant formulas. Pediatrics. 1999;104:119-123.


US Preventive Services Task Force. The Guide to Clinical Preventive Services: Report of the United States Preventive Services Task Force. 2nd ed. Philadelphia, PA: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins; 2002.


US Preventive Services Task Force. The Guide to Clinical Preventive Services: Report of the United States Preventive Services Task Force. AHRQ Publication No. 06-0588; Rockville, MD: 2006.


10/12/2010 DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillance http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed: Baker R, Greer F, et al. Diagnosis and prevention of iron deficiency and iron-deficiency anemia in infants and young children (0-3 years of age). Pediatrics. 2010;126(5):1040-1050.

 

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