Anemia Or Iron Deficiency In Teens - Causes, Symptoms And Remedies

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Is your teen constantly complaining of fatigue and exhaustion? Is he unable to perform any physical activity due to lethargy? Adolescence is the period when your teen experiences rapid growth and heightened muscle mass.

As your teen turns into a young adult, he undergoes an intense physical and psychological transformation. Due to this sudden spurt of growth and transformation, he is susceptible to anemia. Read on to know more about this condition – what are its causes and symptoms and how to diagnose and treat this condition.

What Is Anemia?

Anemia is caused due to iron deficiency in a human body. Like most diseases, anemia also does not develop overnight. It should be noted that your teen progresses through a number of iron deficiency stages.

[ Read: Diet Chart For Teenage Girl ]

What Causes Anemia Or Iron Deficiency In Teenagers?

Adequate iron intake plays a vital role in physical growth and development of your teen. Insufficient level of iron in the body may lead to poor growth, hence causing anemia.

The common causes of anemia are:

  1. Consuming unhealthy diet.
  2. The body fails to absorb adequate amount of iron.
  3. Blood loss which results from menstruation in girls.
  4. Rapid physical growth.

[ Read: Importance Of Nutrition In Adolescence ]

What Are The Symptoms Of Anemia In Teenagers?

Surprisingly, your teen may not even show signs of iron deficiency. This is because his or her iron resource in the body may be depleting slowly rather than drastically. Thus, not making the lack of iron too visible. Having said that there are few symptoms of iron deficiency in teenage girls:

  1. Weakness and fatigue, after performing physical activities.
  2. Dizziness or a feeling of lightheadedness.
  3. Skin turns pale in colour.
  4. He or she might get irritated on trivial matters.
  5. Increased heartbeat or a heart murmur. This could be detected when your child goes for a checkup to the doctor.
  6. A decrease in his or her appetite.

There is also a possibility of your teen experiencing pica. It is a disorder where people crave to consume non-food items, like chalk, dirt or even paint chips. Serious lack of iron in the body is the main cause of this condition.

[ Read: Diet Chart For Teenagers Boys ]

How To Diagnose Anemia?

Most cases of anemia are detected during a routine medical test. Here are some blood tests which your teen will have to undergo:

  • A complete blood count (CBC) test to reveal low hemoglobin levels, as well as low hematocrit (volume percentage of RBC in blood). This test will also provide information about the size of the red blood cells. The cells with low hemoglobin are smaller.
  • The reticulocyte count test to measure the rate at which red blood cells are produced. In case of anemia they are produced slowly.
  • Serum iron test to help measure the iron content present in the blood. It may or may not give an accurate depiction of the amount of iron is present in the body’s cells.
  • Serum ferritin test to give your doctor an idea of how much iron is stored in the body.
  • A stool test to find out if iron depletion is caused by blood loss through the gastrointestinal tract.

[ Read: Eating Disorders In Teenagers ]

What Is The Treatment?

An iron-rich diet should be a good start to combat anemia for your teen. Here are some other treatment options for iron deficiency in teenagers:

  1. Potent iron supplements in moderation after consulting your doctor.
  2. Foods rich in Vitamin C should be consumed as they are a good source of iron.

We hope the above article gave you some useful tips to cure anemia in teens. If you have experienced a situation like this earlier, share your thoughts and suggestions with other parents.

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