Why do people have reduced hemoglobin?
Anemia - pathological condition, which reduces the level of hemoglobin per unit volume of blood. Iron-deficiency anemia – anemia, connected with the deficit of iron in the body and is an extreme manifestation of iron deficiency condition (IDC).
Iron – microelement, responsible for the production of oxygen carrier for the body: hemoglobin, moreover it is included in composition of very important cellular enzymes. There is 3-5 mg of iron in an adult’s body. Daily need of iron for children is about 0,5-2,1 mg, for adults – 1,0-1,1 mg. Human body is not capable of independent production of iron; therefore the main source of iron is food.
Iron-deficiency anemia (IDA) – the most spread anemia. «IDA» diagnosis is found in 90 % cases of all appeals regarding to anemia in children. This type of anemia is widely spread throughout the world. According to World Health Organization (WHO) 2008, approximately 2,1 bn people suffer from IDA around the world, i.e. every third-fourth person of the planet. IDA is especially prevalent among the early-aged children (0-3 age), independently from the region of residence and social level.
Prevalence of ICA among the early-aged children is 60-80%, schoolchildren – more than 17,5% in Kazakhstan.
The main causes of IDC and IDA development among children are:
- Insufficient intake of iron with the food, connected with the usage of infant formula (cow's, goat's milk, yogurt and others) for the nutrition of the early-aged children, late introduction of complementary food, absence of meat products in the diet, intake of huge amount of whole milk (more than 600 ml per day), tea, vegetarianism.
- Iron deficiency at birth (premature babies, multiple pregnancy, large newborn, maternal anemia during pregnancy)
- Increased needs of the growing child's body iron
- Increased iron loss (bleeding, worm infestations)
- Violation of iron absorption in the intestine diseases of the gastrointestinal tract.
The first clinical symptoms may appear long before the development of the IDA, and relate to a lack of iron in the tissues, the so-called sideropenic syndrome. The main manifestations of this syndrome are dry skin, peeling and brittle nails, hair loss, taste perversion (the desire to eat chalk, paper, earth), and constipation. Later symptoms of anemia emerge in terms of pale skin and mucous membranes, weakness, fatigue, dizziness, fainting, palpitations, shortness of breath.
The child begins to get sick more often colds due to weakened immunity against deficiency of iron. The presence of severe iron deficiency at an early age leads to delayed mental and motor development of children, in the subsequent problems with learning.
Since the problem of iron deficiency - is, above all, the problem of supply, primary prevention of IDA - is correct, balanced human nutrition at any age. For early-aged children it is important to the timely introduction of complementary foods in the form of vegetable purees, cereals, meat additives. The largest amount of iron available for absorption by the body, found in beef, lamb, liver, and to a lesser extent - in fish, chicken meat, cottage cheese. The iron contained in plant foods, is absorbed by the body much worse.
Secondary prevention of IDA is performed by dynamic medical supervision for children, early studies of hemoglobin level. Prevention of IDA with iron preparations should be carried out over the management of small, premature babies from 2 months of age up to 12 months, regardless of the level of hemoglobin. In adolescence, special attention should be teenage girls, requiring dynamic observation in connection with the introduction of monthly blood loss.
Prevention WDN children provides early detection and treatment of IDA in pregnant women.
Article writer: Olga Dudnic