Iron Deficiency Anemia Causes in Humans
There are many factors that can iron deficiency anemia causes in humans. The following is the cause and explanation of the causes of iron deficiency anemia:
Sickle cell anemia is due to genetic factors. The condition in which there are many defective red blood cells, so it can not bring enough oxygen to the entire body. Defective hemoglobin will make red blood cells change shape when oxygen is released to body tissues. Normally the form of red blood cells is a form of coin with a middle layer thinner than the edges. In this anemia the red blood cells will change like a sickle, more easily break, and clot. This type of anemia has no drugs, treatments are performed to relieve symptoms and also prevent other disorders that accompany this condition.
The lack of iron intake in food is the number one cause of anemia in Indonesia. The rarity of dietary variations is a major factor causing anemia. Patients with anemia need to increase the amount of consumption of foods rich in iron and make a diet that meets the concept of ‘balanced nutrition guidelines’. Foods such as spinach, tofu, broccoli, fish, and red meat have a high iron content.
Thalassemia is a genetic disease that causes sufferers to produce hemoglobin that is defective and easily damaged. The rate of thalassemia sufferers in Indonesia is quite high compared with other countries. If not treated or controlled properly, people with thalassemia are at high risk for anemia.
Pregnancy Period and Increased Iron Needs
Pregnancy is the most risky time for women to develop iron deficiency anemia. There are some pregnant women need iron supplements. There are also women who just need to increase the amount of iron in the diet. At the time of pregnancy, the need for female iron increases because the growth of the fetus requires the iron absorbed from the mother’s blood. Excessive bleeding during childbirth can also lead to the emergence of iron deficiency anemia in women.
Excessive Bleeding during Menstruation
Menstruation or menstruation is a common cause of iron deficiency anemia in women who are in productive or fertile periods. Anemia will occur when excessive bleeding occurs in some menstrual cycles. This condition is better known as menorrhagia.
Foods and Medicines that Inhibit Iron Absorption
The habit of Indonesian people who like to consume tea and coffee can inhibit the absorption of iron into the body. Chocolate has the same effect in inhibiting the absorption of iron. These foods contain tannins, oxalates and phytates that block the absorption of iron in the body’s digestive system.
An ulcer drug known as antacids also has the same effect. Antacids can reduce the production of stomach acid, but in order to be absorbed by the intestine, iron content in the diet should be exposed to stomach acid first.
Side Effects of Non-steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDS)
In addition, long-term use of ibuprofen and aspirin can also cause bleeding in the digestive system. Both of these drugs are classified in non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS). NSAIDs have side effects that can cause ulcers or sores on the stomach wall. If left unchecked, injury to the lining of the stomach wall may be bleeding continuously and slowly, resulting in anemia.
Malabsorption is a condition when the body can not absorb nutrients including iron from foods that the body digests. Malabsorption conditions can also cause iron deficiency anemia. Malabsorption for example can occur under the following conditions:
- Patients with celiac disease or intolerance to gluten
- Intolerance of the intestines against certain foods such as lactose in milk
- Patients with Crohn’s disease
- Patients with ulcerative colitis
- Post-surgical removal of the stomach is known as gastrectomy
Hookworm is a parasite that lives in the human small intestine. Many people are infected with hookworm and do not realize it, because this condition has no significant symptoms. The hookworm absorbs and digests the red blood cells from the intestinal wall. Severe infections can cause loss of appetite, weight loss, fatigue, and iron deficiency anemia. If left unchecked, hookworm infection can ultimately interfere with the mental, intellectual and cognitive development of children.
Other Things as an Anemia Trigger
In addition to the above mentioned causes, there are several factors that make people with iron deficiency anemia:
- A motorcycle or car accident can make a person lose a lot of blood. It takes some time for red blood cell levels and the body’s supply of body fat to recover.
- Donating blood too often and in large amounts can cause anemia.
- Physical endurance exercises.
- People who do not eat meat or vegetarians are also at higher risk of iron deficiency anemia.
Anemia can also occur in people who nosebleed excessively or often. Especially in the elderly, anemia can occur due to chronic renal failure, stomach cancer, and colon cancer.