Iron Deficiency (Anemia) In Women- Reasons and Prevention

Iron Deficiency (Anemia) In Women- Reasons and Prevention

Anemia is the condition in which you feel extremely high fatigue. If you go to the doctor, he will tell you that you are having iron deficiency. Iron deficiency is the condition which causes anemia, which is a disease.

Anemia usually occurs when the red blood cells decrease inside the body. The red blood cells have hemoglobin on them, and that’s what causes anemia when it is not available. Hemoglobin is a protein which transports oxygen to all parts of the body.

Is anemia common?

Anemia is prevalent especially in the form of iron deficiency. When you don’t take sufficient iron rich foods, it causes a lack of iron. Eventually, there is a reduction in hemoglobin level, and the body lacks oxygen levels.

Sometimes it is hard to guess if you are having anemia or what. The extreme feeling of fatigue, restlessness, lack of motivation and low energy level are a few examples of anemia. It makes last for years to diagnose the reason for all these issues.

Common symptoms of Iron deficiency anemia

Most of the women don’t even know if they are anemic unless they get their blood test done. The symptoms of anemia linked with iron deficiency are not obvious to start. They take place from mild to moderate.

When these symptoms are moderate, only then they are visible. Women are more subjected to iron deficiency than men. Some of the clear signs of anemia are as follows.

  • A feeling of fatigue
  • Feeling weakness
  • Turning the skin pale
  • Losing breath after a little physical activity
  • Unreasonable dizziness
  • Unusual cravings such as clay, sand, etc
  • Tingling sensations in legs
  • Coldness of hands and feet
  • Headaches which last longer
  • Irregular heart rate
  • Freckles on face
  • Having off and on fever
  • A gloomy feeling
  • Heavy head feeling
  • Lack of motivation
  • Feeling it hard to focus and concentrate
  • Bad memory

If you doubt that you have multiple symptoms from this list, you need to get your Hb test done as soon as possible. It is not necessary for every patient to experience these same symptoms. Sometimes they vary from person to person.

What causes an iron deficiency anemia?

As per latest research, iron deficiency is the prime cause of anemia. Now, why is this iron level dropping has various things linked with it? For example, the following could be a few reasons.

1. Bad food choices

One of the vital reasons is to have a poor diet choice. You may not be eating food items that are rich in iron. There are certain foods such as eggs, green vegetables, and meat that are rich in iron.

If you don’t eat them, there is the highest risk to develop iron deficiency.

2. Excessive blood loss during menstruation

The bad period is a real thing because menstrual bleeding can be sometimes so thick that it can cause anemia. Blood loss during child birth is a second reason on why women get anemic after childbirth.

3. Internal body bleeding

Internal bleeding is a result of some specific medical conditions that can initiate anemia. For example diseases such as stomach ulcers, colon cancer, polyps in the colon or anywhere in digestive systems can cause it.

4. Inability to absorb iron

There is a possibility to lose the ability of iron absorption. There are some disorders or surgeries which can affect the intestines or whole digestive system and influence your iron absorption.

You might be eating iron rich food, but it never gets available for the body as it is never absorbed accurately.

Who is at risk?

Some people are at more risk when it comes to the possibility to suffer from anemia. That includes all of the following.

  • Pregnant women
  • Girls who are medically adult
  • Irregular diet
  • Poor food choices
  • The regular blood donors
  • Children
  • Premature babies
  • Vegetarians who don’t eat any iron rich alternative

How to know if you have anemia?

If you are going through the common symptoms, it is a higher possibility that you can have anemia. The accurate diagnosis is made by the doctor after blood tests.

Some of these tests are;

How dangerous is anemia for women?

Women are more subjected to anemia for various reason. Certain factors such as pregnancy, menstrual bleeding, and uterine fibroids make it more likely for the women to experience iron deficiency.

Heavy menstrual bleeding is one of the most common cause of anemia. The worst part is that it is never considered serious. Similarly uterine fibroids are also asymptomatic. The iron deficiency needs diagnosis which is based on blood test.

Prevention and treatments


  • Iron supplements
  • Iron supplements are loaded with the extra amount of iron. It is designed for people who cannot fulfill their iron levels from diet only. Taking iron supplements on an empty stomach is a better option as it absorbs better this way.
  • If you aren’t comfortable with it, eat them with a meal like all regular supplements.
  • Improve your diet
  • There is no other way to improve your iron levels than changing your diet. Eat red meat, green leafy vegetables, dry fruits, cereals, and nuts more to balance your iron.
  • More than that, you need vitamin C which makes the iron absorption possible. Usually doctors suggest to use iron supplements along with vitamin C supplements. You can also use the fresh food such as orange or any citrus juice which is rich in vitamin C.
  • Treat internal bleeding
  • Internal bleeding never occurs by itself. There is always a cause of it which initiates this as a damaging effect. Try to diagnose and cure the cause of the disease to get rid of the iron deficiency.


Prevent the iron deficiency by increasing your iron intake daily. You can use an iron rich diet which is majorly composed of red meat, green leafy vegetables, and nuts.

You can find high amounts of iron in following foods.

  • Meat- Lamb, pork. Beef, chicken.
  • Beans- Red and white beans
  • Pumpkins
  • Squash seeds
  • Big leafy green vegetables- Spinach
  • Raisins
  • Eggs and egg products
  • Sea food- Fish, shrimps, oysters, clams
  • Cereals

Also, add vitamin C to your diet. Instead of supplements, insert the natural food sources more. You can get plenty of vitamin C from following options.

  • Oranges
  • Grapefruits
  • Strawberries
  • Kiwis
  • Papaya
  • Melons
  • Guavas
  • Mangoes
  • Broccoli
  • Bell peppers
  • Tomatoes
  • Brussels
  • Cauliflower
  • Lemons

The Final Word

Anemia is a serious health concern which is affecting millions of people in the world. A huge number of these affected people is of women. There are more chances for the women to face iron deficiency than men.

The risk of iron deficiency starts even from the childhood. It is usually without a symptom. As it gets worse, it shows up as a problem. The general symptoms are based on shared experiences but they may not be same for all

An accurate diagnosis needs an expert doctor and blood test. Diagnosing it by yourself is not a viable option. If it sustains for long, it may cause serious complications like liver damage, digestive problems such as constipation and much more.

Take care of yourself. If you feel that you are also having similar symptoms, consult your doctor immediately. Get it confirmed and improve the condition with dietary changes and medicines.




The author is a Medical Microbiologist and healthcare writer. She is a post-graduate of Medical Microbiology and Immunology. She covers all content on health and wellness including weight loss, nutrition, and general health. Twitter @Areeba94789300

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