Iron Deficiency Anaemia

Iron Deficiency Anaemia is the most common form of anaemia seen in children. If the body doesn’t have enough iron it will make less or smaller red blood cells and without iron, the blood cannot carry oxygen around the body efficiently.

Iron deficiency can be caused by a number of things such as heavy bleeding, poor iron absorption in the intestines, or inadequate consumption of iron in the diet.  Infants who have a delayed introduction of solids may not receive enough iron.  Children who drink an excessive amount of cows milk may also become iron deficient. In general, children older than 1 year should not drink more than two cups of cows milk a day.

Symptoms of Iron Deficiency Anaemia include fatigue, headaches, pallor, irritability and lightheadedness.

Symptoms of the conditions that cause iron deficiency may include dark coloured stools, heavy menstrual bleeding, pain in the abdomen from ulcers or weight loss.

Treatment is usually based on increasing the intake of iron rich foods and taking iron supplements.