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Disease: Iron deficiency anemia

Brief Description: Iron deficiency anemia is a common type of anemia—a condition in which the blood lacks adequate healthy red blood cells (RBCs). These cells carry oxygen to the body’s tissues.

Cause:Normally, people get iron from the food they eat. In addition, iron can be recycled from old RBCs. Iron deficiency anemia occurs if people do not consume enough iron in the diet, do not produce enough of the iron-containing hemoglobin, or lose too much iron, which occurs most commonly through blood loss.

Diagnosis: Doctors use blood tests to diagnose iron deficiency anemia. Indications of iron deficiency anemia include the following:

Serum Ferritin Concentration:At times, it may be hard to distinguish between iron deficiency anemia and thalassemia. The serum ferritin concentration is one way that doctors can determine whether a person has alpha-thalassemia or iron deficiency anemia. Iron deficiency anemia is diagnosed when a person’s serum ferritin concentration is less than 12 ng/mL.

Also, in iron-deficiency anemia,

Symptoms:  In mild cases, a person who has iron deficiency anemia may not have any noticeable symptoms. As the deficiency becomes more serious, a person may notice symptoms including the following:

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