Anemia – iron deficiency – children
Definition of Iron deficiency anemia – children
Anemia is a condition in which the body does not have enough healthy red blood cells. Red blood cells bring oxygen to body tissues.
Causes, incidence, and risk factors
Iron deficiency anemia is the most common form of . You get iron through certain foods, and your body also reuses iron from old red blood cells.
Signs and tests
The health care provider will perform a physical exam. A blood sample is taken and sent to a laboratory for examination. Iron-deficient red blood cells appear small and pale when looked at under a microscope.
Treatment involves iron supplements (ferrous sulfate), which are taken by mouth. The iron is best absorbed on an empty stomach, but many people need to take the supplements with food to avoid stomach upset.
With treatment, the outcome is likely to be good. In most cases, the blood counts will return to normal in 2 months. It is essential to determine the cause of the iron deficiency. If it is being caused by blood loss other than monthly menstruation, further investigation will be needed.
Yi-Bin Chen, MD, Leukemia/Bone Marrow Transplant Program, Massachusetts General Hospital. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc. – 3/16/2010