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All About Childhood Anemia

Iron-Deficiency Anemia And Your Child

3 mins
to read Apr 1, 2021

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends exclusive breastfeeding for the first 6 months and continued breastfeeding for as long as possible. Growing up milks are formulated to meet nutrition needs of healthy young children older than 1 year and should not be fed to infants.

Anemia is a common blood disorder caused by very low red cell count. Red cells are the ones responsible for transferring oxygen to the different body parts through their protein content of hemoglobin. Anemia is when there is lack in red cell count or hemoglobin amount.

This condition is very familiar among children. But, what are the causes and symptoms and how to diagnose it and treat it? Read on the details in the following article…

 

Causes

In some cases, childhood anemia is temporary, triggered by a bleeding or poor nutrition. In some other cases, anemia is caused by a genetic or chronic condition, such as auto-immune disorders, genetic disorders, cancer and other diseases.

Hence, your child may get anemia for one of the following reasons:

  • Your child’s body not producing enough red cells.
  • Your child’s body losing lots of red cells (through bleeding).
  • Lack of hemoglobin in your child’s red cells.
  • Lack of iron in your child’s nutrition (Iron is responsible of producing hemoglobin).
  • Decrease of testosterone and thyroid hormones in your child’s body.

 

And the likelihood may even get bigger if:

  • Your child was born prematurely or underweight.
  • He has dietary bad habits.
  • He’s obese.
  • He consumes too much cow milk.

 

Symptoms

Anemia may cause your child the following signs or symptoms:

  • Paleness
  • Irritability
  • Weakness
  • Getting tired very quickly

 

And if he’s condition is severe, he may have stronger symptoms like:

  • Shortness of breath
  • Fast heart rate
  • Hands and feet swelling

And a great urge to eat unusual things, like dirt, cornstarch and ice. This symptom may not be too serious unless your child tries to eat toxic or contaminated items.

 

Diagnosis

If one of these signs or symptoms appears on your child, then you will have to take him to the doctor. And he will inquire about his condition, behaviors and eating pattern, and make the necessary exams and blood tests to detect the hemoglobin level, the iron amount and the red cell count in his body, so he can know for sure his exact problem, its hidden causes and the right treatment for it.

 

Treatment

Anemia treatment varies depending on the severity of the condition and its causes. Here are some of the most common treatments for anemia:

  • Iron supplements and drugs.
  • Iron-enriched formula milk.
  • Adjustment to dietary system, such as decreasing milk consumption and increasing iron-rich food consumption like meat and green veggies (including spinach, artichoke, kale, etc.)
  • Acid Folic and Vitamin B12 supplements.

 

As for the more serious anemia conditions, they might require:

  • Blood transfusion for conditions resulting from anaplasia, thalassemia and hemoglobinopathy. It’s true that blood transfusion in these conditions accumulates the iron in the body and leaves negative effects, yet some kinds of medications given to the child at the same time, help him get rid of the mineral’s excess.
  • Antibiotic treatment.
  • Treatment stimulating the production of more blood cells.
  • Spleen ablation for conditions like spherocytosis and hereditary elliptocytosis.
  • Bone marrow transplant for conditions like thalassemia, sickle cell anemia and aplastic anemia.

 

So, if you doubt your child has anemia, bring your fears to his doctor, have him interfere at the right time and prevent your bundle of joy from any possible future complications, such as lack of concentration, lack of awareness and intellectual issues, especially if his condition is caused by iron-deficiency.

Read More: Importance Of Iron In Babies’ Dietary System

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