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    Iron Deficiency Anemia

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    Symptoms

    Mild iron deficiency anemia may not cause noticeable symptoms. If anemia is severe, symptoms may include:

    • Weakness, fatigue, or lack of stamina.
    • Shortness of breath during exercise.
    • Headache.
    • Trouble concentrating.
    • Irritability.
    • Dizziness.
    • Pale skin.
    • Craving substances that are not food (pica). In particular, a craving for ice can be a sign of iron deficiency anemia.

    Other signs may include:

    Recommended Related to

    Understanding Anemia -- Diagnosis and Treatment

    To diagnose anemia, your doctor will likely ask you about your medical history, perform a physical exam, and order blood tests. You can help by providing detailed answers about your symptoms, family medical history, diet, medications you take, alcohol intake, and ethnic background. Your doctor will look for symptoms of anemia and other physical clues that might point to a cause. There are basically three different causes of anemia: blood loss, decreased or faulty red blood cell production, or destruction...

    Read the Understanding Anemia -- Diagnosis and Treatment article > >

    Babies and small children with iron deficiency anemia may not grow as expected and may have delays in skills such as walking and talking. Children may be irritable and have a short attention span. These problems usually go away when the deficiency is treated. If it is not treated, mental and behavior problems may be permanent.

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    WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

    Last Updated: March 12, 2014
    This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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