Did you know there are different types of Iron Deficiency? A person can become iron deficient or anemic for different reasons and this isn’t limited to adults, but can actually happen to people of all ages, with some types of anemia being more common than others. Let’s look at some of the types of anemia for a better understanding of who is at risk and why.
1. Increased Blood Volume
A sudden increase in blood volume in the body requires more iron and without supplementing iron, your body may not be able to keep up with its new needs. This is often the case during pregnancy because a woman’s blood volume increases significantly, requiring considerably more iron in order to keep up.
An increase in blood volume leading to iron deficiency and anemia is also common in babies and toddlers as well as during puberty due to growth spurts. Girls going through puberty have an even higher risk of iron deficiency during this time not only because this is a time of rapid growth, but also because of the blood lost every month once their period begins.
2. Blood Loss
Blood loss is the most common cause of iron deficiency anemia. When you lose blood you lose iron and this is why women who are menstruating have an increased risk of iron deficiency. This is especially the case for women who experience heavy periods. The heavier the period, the more iron their body needs to keep up with the blood lost each month.
Certain conditions can interfere with your body’s ability to absorb iron from the iron rich foods you eat and cause iron deficiency. Some of these conditions include Crohn’s disease, celiac disease, and chronic kidney disease. Those taking proton pump inhibitors or high amounts of antacids for acid reflux, causing the body to produce insufficient amounts of stomach acid can also have problems absorbing enough iron from their diet.
Absorption is also a problem for many of those who undergo gastric bypass surgery. This is because most of the iron you get from foods rich in iron is absorbed in the first part of the small intestine, which food bypasses after this procedure. The same risk applies to those who have had surgery to remove part of or all of the small intestine due to cancer or other medical conditions.
Content and advice provided on The Iron Maiden is for information purposes only and should not serve as a substitute for a licensed health care provider, who is knowledgeable about an individual’s unique health care needs