Iron is essential for a child’s development, and iron deficiency can affect a child’s health and growth and even lead to Anemia. Anemia is a common health problem in children. A child with Anemia does not have enough red blood cells or enough hemoglobin. Hemoglobin is a protein that allows red blood cells to carry oxygen to other cells in the body. Iron is needed to form hemoglobin. It is a treatable condition and can also easily be managed at home. For that, you can talk to the best online doctor. Make a tele appointment with a doctor and get expert medical advice at home.
According to WHO data, 40% of the world’s population suffers from Anemia. The World Health Organization defines iron deficiency as the most common Anemia (Centers for Disease Control) because it affects around 2 billion people worldwide. The groups with the highest prevalence at pediatric age are: infants and children aged 02 years, 48%; school children, 40%; adolescents, 30-55%; and preschoolers, 25%. Anemia occurs at an advanced stage of iron deficiency after the depletion of reserves.
Causes of iron deficiency:
Iron deficiency usually occurs because of three main reasons:
- Poor nutrition: Children are at greater risk of iron deficiency due to their increased iron needs. Simply put, a diet low in sources of iron can lead to iron deficiency. And don’t overdo the milk! Conversely, a diet with excessive dairy, a mediocre source of iron, can place a child at risk of iron deficiency.
- Blood loss: Causes of blood loss can range from a stomach ulcer (which is not common in children) to chronic inflammation of the intestine to a parasite infestation such as ‘hookworm.
- Inability to absorb enough iron from food: This can occur in conditions such as celiac disease or Crohn’s disease.
Signs and symptoms of iron deficiency
There are various signs and symptoms that your child is suffering from iron deficiency:
- Lack of energy and fatigue.
- Appearance pales when hemoglobin level decreases.
- Nails that appear brittle, the tongue that looks redder than normal, and/or cracks on the side of the mouth.
- Lack of appetite or desire to eat non-food items such as ice, dirt, paint or starch.
- Children with iron deficiency may also be at increased risk of lead poisoning and infections.
If your child is experiencing such symptoms, talk to the best doctor online and get treated from home.
Diagnosis and treatment of iron deficiency
The diagnosis of iron deficiency requires an evaluation of the child by the pediatrician. The assessment involves the examination of a detailed medical history, nutritional intake, a physical examination and finally, a laboratory test which involves a complete blood count, including hemoglobin level, evaluation of iron status and body reserves that involve special tests. Although the most common cause of iron deficiency is insufficient food intake, these tests are necessary to identify the cause of the deficiency accurately. But you can get a quick initial diagnosis on a video call. So, book a tele appointment with doctor today.
Treatment for iron deficiency usually involves iron supplements, which may include prescribed medications. It will take up to three months of treatment. At the same time, your doctor will assess and probably treat any underlying conditions that may cause iron malabsorption or blood loss. Although rarer, if the baby’s hemoglobin level becomes too low, it may require blood transfusions or therapy with iron injections or intravenous iron therapy. These are treatments that take place in the hospital.
Overall, families suffering from iron deficiency can benefit from the help of the Best online doctor to improve their dietary intake of foods containing iron. Vitamin C can also help improve iron absorption so that this supplement could be useful in combination with foods rich in iron. Book a tele appointment with a doctor to get quick and better healthcare from the best doctor online.
Our healthcare experts are available 24/7 on the MY LIVE DOCTORS app if you need medical help!
MY LIVE DOCTORS is an integrated telemedicine program that offers online counselling from home. MLD features include patient profile, EMR, remote monitoring and electronic prescribing. These features can be ideal for better and easier detection of iron deficiencies and diagnosing and treating Anemia.
Book a tele appointment with doctor.
Download the My Live Doctors application on your smartphone and immediately benefit from your free first consultation