Iron deficiency anemia in children
Posted by Master, Doctor Nguyen Thi Dinh - Pediatrician - Pediatric Center - Vinmec Times City International Hospital
Iron deficiency anemia is a common illness in young children. The cause of the condition is often due to improper nutrition, helminth infections or some diseases. Iron deficiency anemia in children reduces resistance, the body is susceptible to infection, affects the growth, development and learning of children. Therefore, the prevention of iron deficiency anemia in children needs special attention.
1. What is iron deficiency anemia?
Iron deficiency anemia is the most common cause of anemia in children. The disease is common in children under 5 years old and over 10 years old, mostly due to inappropriate diet according to age, hookworm infection, or chronic digestive disease.
2. What is the cause of the disease?
There are many causes of iron deficiency anemia with 4 main groups as follows:
Due to iron deficiency: lack of breast milk, lack of nutrition, lack of food of animal origin, prolonged eating of powdered food, mild premature birth. Weight loss, twins, provide little iron during pregnancy. Due to chronic blood loss such as gastrointestinal bleeding, parasitic infection such as hookworm, ... Due to the high iron requirement in the period of rapid body development such as children under 1 year of age, during puberty, women Pregnant, children with congenital heart disease have cyanosis. Due to poor iron absorption such as chronic diseases of the gastrointestinal tract, prolonged diarrhea, malabsorption syndrome, gastrectomy, ...
3. What consequences does the disease cause for children?
Iron deficiency anemia causes the following consequences:
Children with iron deficiency anemia will affect many systems in the body including: digestive system effects such as loss of appetite, growth retardation, retardation weight gain Central nervous system effects: irritability, fatigue, poor activity, mental retardation, cognitive decline, reduced learning capacity, papilledema Affects the cardiovascular system: heart rate rapid, enlarged heart, heart failure Effects on the musculoskeletal system: reduced exercise capacity, reduced endurance at work, changes in the skull cavity in X-ray films Affects the immune system: increased risk of diseases infections, especially respiratory infections, changes in cells: red blood cells such as reduced red blood cell life, increased hemolysis, ineffective erythropoiesis...
4. How is the disease treated?
Treatment of iron-deficiency anemia includes nutritional correction and fortification, correction of iron supplementation, and treatment of the underlying disease causing iron loss and iron absorption disorders.
5. Can the disease be prevented?
Iron-deficiency anemia can be prevented by the following measures:
Exclusive breastfeeding for the first 6 months, if the baby is on formula milk, iron-fortified milk should be given to the child until 1 year of age. foods rich in iron of plant and animal origin and foods that are easy to absorb iron such as eggs, fish, meat, soybeans Actively supplement iron for premature babies with low birth weight Increase foods that increase iron absorption, rich in iron vitamin C such as citrus, tomatoes, potatoes..., eliminating substances that reduce iron absorption. Actively perform periodic health checks to promptly detect and treat diseases and causes of iron deficiency. Parents need to know the causes as well as how to add iron to their children to adjust their nutrition, help children absorb and develop comprehensively.
Iron deficiency anemia can cause dangerous complications for children's health and mental health, so parents need to observe and timely supplement this important source of vitamin.
In addition to dietary supplements, parents can give their children supportive foods containing iron and essential micro-minerals such as zinc, lysine, chromium, selenium, vitamin B... to help meet their full needs. meet the nutritional needs of children. At the same time, these essential vitamins also support digestion, enhance nutrient absorption, help improve anorexia, and help children eat well.
>> Parents can learn more: What disease can iron deficiency cause? The article was professionally consulted by Dr. Phan Dinh Thuy Tien - General Internal Medicine - Department of Examination & Internal Medicine - Vinmec Nha Trang International General Hospital.
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