Campus Life

Is your tiredness a result of Iron Deficiency Anaemia?

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Anaemia occurs when a person has lower than the normal levels of Red blood cells in the blood. Iron deficiency is the most common type of anaemia, and it occurs when your body lacks mineral iron. Iron in your body is vital because it helps carry oxygen throughout your body. Iron is used to produce a protein called Hemoglobin. Hemoglobin is part of the red blood cells. Tissues and muscles in one’s body needs oxygen to function effectively.

Causes of Iron Deficiency:

  • Inadequate intake of Iron rich foods
  • Difficulty for one’s body to absorb iron (normally occurs when you have celiac disease.)
  • Internal bleeding caused by ulcers, cancer
  • Blood loss due to menstruation and childbirth.

Individuals at risk:

  • Women of child rearing age
  • Pregnant woman
  • People with poor diets
  • Frequent blood donors
  • Vegetarians that don’t include iron foods in their diet
  • Infants and Children



Symptoms of Iron Deficiency:

  • Headaches
  • Weakness and tiredness
  • Skin looks really pale because of lack of blood
  • Shortness of breath
  • Strange cravings for non food items such as dirt, clay
  • Swelling and soreness in the tongue
  • Difficulty in concentration levels
  • Brittle nails

Treatment for Iron Deficiency

  • Intake of Iron Supplements(normally recommended by doctors)
  • Treatment of Internal bleeding
  • Intake of Iron rich foods that may include

-Red meat including beef, pork, lamb

-Egg yolk

-Dark, leafy greens including spinach

-Dried Fruit including prunes, raisins

-Iron enriched cereals and grains (Check labels)

-Mollusks (oysters, clams, scallops) tuna, salmon, shrimp

-Turkey or chicken giblets

-Beans, lentils, chick peas and soy beans


-Artichokes, broccoli, asparagus, parsley, brussel sprouts


Doctors would normally recommend a patient to take iron supplements and the diet at the same time.


By Mothekgi Mphahlele