In the recent times, people have become highly deficient to iron and this trend has been rising among adolescents as well, especially teenage girls. Extracurricular activities, athletics and other engagements have greatly contributed to iron deficiency in girls. While lifestyle problems are one of the major concern, it is important to know the causes of iron deficiency in teenage girls. Here we are also looking at the symptoms and treatment of iron deficiency.
Iron Deficiency in Teenage Girls
Iron deficiency is basically anemia which occurs when there is not much iron available in the body to make red blood cells. Iron is important for formation of hemoglobin, which is responsible for providing oxygen to all parts of the body with blood circulation. When a person becomes deficient in iron (or becomes anemic), the person may experience many complaints. While this can affect anyone, iron deficiency in teenage girls is fairly common. Knowing the causes, symptoms and treatment of it can help to manage the condition better.
Iron deficiency is basically lack of nutrients and is a common case among some of the most advanced nations in spite of abundance of good food and lack of malnutrition. That is why, iron deficiency among teenage girls has suddenly garnered much attention even by the international health organizations. This guide talks about everything related with iron deficiency in teenage girls and the causes behind it and the ways to treat it, both through medication and home remedies.
What are the Causes of Iron Deficiency in Teenage Girls?
Iron deficiency in teenage girls is much more prominent due to various changes that occur in girls during this period.
The common causes of iron deficiency in teenage girls include the following factors. Adolescent girls are more prone to becoming deficient in iron owing to the following reasons:
- Teenage girls some experience heavy menstruation, which can cause severe loss of blood causing iron deficiency. Iron deficiency anemia is a common condition amongst teenage girls.
- Hormonal imbalance is another common condition during this period
- Inadequate nutrition in diet is another common problem in young girls. Some may be weight conscious, while some may be over engaged in other activities. Malnutrition is yet another problem in many developing nations. Skipping foods rich in iron, increase the chances of anemia and iron deficiency in teenage girls is quite high.
- Improper digestion
- Hookworm infection or other parasitic infections too can affect nutrition, as these infections may hamper the absorption of iron. Hence, these too are common causes of iron deficiency in teenage girls.
- Lack of adequate vitamin C also affects absorption of iron from the food and is yet another common cause.
- Too much intake of bread also lead to iron deficiency in teenage girls or anemia as the level of phytates is much high which prominently stunts the absorption iron from the food.
- Over intake of tea can lead to high levels of tannin, which too can affect the absorption of iron, causing iron deficiency in teenage girls.
Inflammation of stomach is also a major cause that why you lose blood over a period of time. There are many gastrointestinal conditions which include ulcers and gastritis that prevent the nutrients to get absorbed in the body which makes way for massive blood loss. Such gastric problems or other causes that cause loss of blood can cause iron deficiency in teenage girls.
In many cases, when teenage girls are heavily into exercise and or are consuming a diet which is not healthy and lack nutrition then chances of catching up iron deficiency are much higher.
What are the Symptoms of Iron Deficiency in Teenage Girls?
When your body lacks oxygen, you feel tired, which is the commonest symptom of iron deficiency in teenage girls. In case of school going teenage girls, the problem can be very severe and can even cause dizziness and weakness.
Some of the common symptoms of iron deficiency include the following:
- Increase in heartbeat
- Skin turns pale
- Craving for chalk, mud
- Feeling weak after exercise
- Shortness of breath
- Decreased urge to have food
What are the Treatments for Iron Deficiency in Teenage Girls?
Iron deficiency can be known with simple blood test to know the hemoglobin in blood. Additional tests may be performed, if required.
As iron deficiency in teenage girls is common, there are many treatment options available. If iron deficiency is due to an underlying medical condition that needs to be treated first. For example excessive menstrual bleeding due to gynecological problems or gastric ulcers causing blood loss, may have to be treated appropriately.
Treatment of iron deficiency in teenage girls includes medications to increase hemoglobin and iron in blood. Most medications are given orally, while some severe cases may require injectable medication.
Include iron rich foods in your diet like green, leafy vegetables, nuts, seeds, etc. and ensure sufficient intake of vitamin C. Adequate protein intake and proper intake of all essential nutrients is a must to ensure good health. Eating local food and fruit helps a lot therefore one should seek for becoming healthier by adopting natural ways of treatment.
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