Common Name/Other Name: Sideropenia, Hypoferremia, Iron deficiency anemia
Iron is one of the vital minerals needed by the body because of its various functions. The body needs iron to make hemoglobin, which carries oxygen throughout the body. Iron deficiency may lead to fewer production of red blood cell which may cause fatigue, weakness and decreased immunity. The heart has to work harder to pump blood to make up for low amount of oxygen and this might lead to irregular heartbeat or worse, heart failure. For pregnant women, iron deficiency can cause premature birth or low-birth weight for newborns. It will also delay growth and development of infants and children.
We often mistake fatigue and weakness as just a sign of exhaustion which is why iron deficiency is often undetected. It is the most common cause of anemia that can be detected through blood tests. Iron deficiency is curable simply by the right diet and iron supplements.
Commonly Prescribed Drugs
Iron supplements (ferrous salts) help increase RBC or hemoglobin in the blood.
Side effects: Black stool, constipation, stomach irritation, temporary staining on teeth.
Drug interactions: Certain antibiotics, tetracycline, thyroid replacement drugs, levodopa, methyldopa, bisphosphonates.
Vitamins such as vitamin A, B12, C and folic acid helps the body absorb iron better.