nav
contact

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Updates

Wearing a cloth face covering may prevent you from spreading respiratory droplets. If everyone wears a cloth face covering when out in public, the risk of exposure to COVID-19 can be reduced in our community. More About Face Coverings

Our Care Options | More COVID-19 Updates 

  • KidsHealth
  • New Patient Appointments

    Locally

    336-716-WAKE

    Toll-free

    888-716-WAKE

  • Returning Patient Appointments

    Contact Clinic Directly


  • Request an Appointment Online

A to Z: Iron-Deficiency Anemia

A to Z: Iron-Deficiency Anemia

What's in this Article?

Iron-deficiency anemia is the most common type of anemia. It occurs when there aren't enough healthy red blood cells in the bloodstream to carry oxygen to the body's tissues.

More to Know

For blood to transport oxygen, the body must produce hemoglobin, a protein in red blood cells. Hemoglobin production requires adequate supplies of iron. Iron-deficiency anemia occurs when there isn't enough iron in the body.

Depending on iron levels, symptoms can range from mild, or even unnoticeable, to more severe. They may include tiredness, weakness, shortness of breath, brittle nails, and poor appetite. Causes of iron-deficiency anemia include an iron-poor diet, blood loss, inability to absorb iron, and pregnancy.

Keep in Mind

Eating a diet with iron-rich foods will prevent iron-deficiency anemia in most people. Good sources include eggs, red meat, leafy green vegetables, and iron-fortified foods.

If you suspect symptoms of iron-deficiency anemia, call your doctor. The condition is easily treated with iron supplements but it's important to get a professional diagnosis and recommended dosage. Too much iron in the body can damage the liver or cause other complications.

All A to Z dictionary entries are regularly reviewed by KidsHealth medical experts.