Health Tip: Anemia Caused by Iron Deficiency

Factors that may be responsible

Please note: This article was published more than one year ago. The facts and conclusions presented may have since changed and may no longer be accurate. And "More information" links may no longer work. Questions about personal health should always be referred to a physician or other health care professional.

(HealthDay News) -- Anemia occurs when a person's red blood cells lack enough hemoglobin, a protein that helps carry oxygen from the lungs to the rest of the body.

One form of anemia is triggered when a person doesn't get enough iron. The American Academy of Family Physicians offers this list of common causes for iron deficiency:

  • Consuming an insufficient amount of iron in foods. This is most common in young children, or among people on "fad" diets who don't get enough nutrients.
  • Growth spurts among children, usually aged 3 or younger, whose bodies can't keep up with the amount of iron that's needed.
  • Pregnancy or breast-feeding, which causes women to need two-and-a-half times as much iron during this time than most men.
  • Sustained blood loss, from conditions that may include a bleeding ulcer, cancer, medication side effect, or ulcerative colitis.

--

Last Updated: