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Types Of Anemia And Its Iron Deficiency Causes

The most common type of anemia is an iron deficiency that results when there is too little hemoglobin in the system or there are too few blood cells.Here are some other types of anemia that are less common.


Hookworm infection is found in women who go barefoot in tropical areas. The hookworm enters their body through their bare feet and finds its way to the intestines. Wearing shoes would prevent this problem. Treatment includes an anti-parasitic as well as an oral iron source taken for 5 months.


Approximately 26% of pregnancies are complicated by a lack of folic acid. Folic acid is needed in order for the body to make normal red blood cells in bone marrow. Adequate amounts of folic acid can be obtained by eating a diet that contains liver and other organ meats, as well as green vegetables or supplementation, may be from 0.5 mg to 5 mg daily.

Recent research has concluded that a deficiency in folic acid can cause neural tube defects in babies. The Centers for Disease Control recommend that all women who have previously given birth to a baby with spina bifida take 4 mg of folate daily before and during pregnancy. That is an extremely high dose, available only with a prescription. The U.S. Public Health Service recommends that all women of childbearing age increase their folate level to 0.4 mg per day.


This is a severe form of folic acid deficiency which may occur when the hemoglobin falls below 7 g/dl. Usually, these women will fail to respond to iron supplementation prior to being diagnosed with this problem. A positive response is usually seen shortly after treatment with 5 mg of folic acid 5 times per day until 6 weeks postpartum. Midwives Daphne Singingtree and Althea Seaver suggest 4 mg folic acid and 0.5 mg B12.


A severe form of anemia caused by a deficiency of vitamin B12. The number of red blood cells decreases with this disease due to a failure of the bone marrow to produce them. It is thought that it is inherited and comes about due to an inability of the stomach to secrete a substance that is necessary for the absorption of vitamin B12.

It is most often found in people over the age of 30. Symptoms might include weakness and gastrointestinal problems, a yellow hue to the skin, sore tongue and tingling in the extremities, nerve deterioration, diarrhea and loss of appetite may occur. It can be fatal.


Sickle cell disease is most commonly found among people from tropical Africa or the West Indies. It is an inherited trait. The red blood cells take on a sickle shape and clump together to prevent adequate circulation. During the last trimester of pregnancy, the woman may experience severe iron deficiency and have jaundice, hematuria, bone pain and possibly a pulmonary thromboembolism.Wounds may not heal well and the fetus is at risk of hypoxia during labor.Some of the iron-rich foods should be taken to decrease iron deficiency.


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