Women's health: Anemia in women
Post by on Thursday, August 26, 2021
Iron-deficiency Anemia is the deficiency of iron in the blood. You might wonder why we require iron. Well, there is a pigment in our blood called hemoglobin which carries oxygen to all organs of the body and gives blood its bright red colour. This hemoglobin contains iron and when there is either a deficiency of iron in the diet or a loss of blood from the body or both, anemia results. Anemia is very common. However, it is most common in children, adolescent girls, pregnant and breastfeeding mothers. Anemia is common in adolescence because of the increased requirements of rapid physical growth, onset of periods and low dietary intake. Similarly, in pregnancy and breastfeeding the intake is low and the requirement of the body is high. People with anemia have fatigue, low work capacity, reduced physical and mental development. In pregnant women, anemia leads to weak, small babies, still births and maternal deaths. In such cases, iron-rich diet is important for all persons. This includes green leafy vegetables like spinach, meat and fish. Regular intake of an iron-rich, protein-rich diet will ensure the body has enough reserves. In pregnancy women should take iron and folic acid supplements. The family needs to ensure that the expecting mother takes supplements and if there are any side effects speak to the treating doctor. In children and adolescents, deworming is important along with weekly iron supplements. This will give you a solid mind and body!
Dr Rehana Kousar
Consultant Maternal and Child Health