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What causes iron-deficiency anemia?

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Iron-deficiency anemia occurs because of a lack of iron in the body. Bone marrow in the center of the bone needs iron to make hemoglobin, the part of the red blood cell that transports oxygen to the body's organs. Without adequate iron, the body cannot produce enough hemoglobin for red blood cells. The result is iron-deficiency anemia. This type of anemia can be caused by:

  • An iron-poor diet, especially in infants, children, teens, vegans, and vegetarians
  • The metabolic demands of pregnancy and breastfeeding that deplete a woman's iron stores
  • Menstruation
  • Frequent blood donation
  • Endurance training
  • Digestive conditions such as Crohn's disease or surgical removal of part of the stomach or small intestine
  • Certain drugs, foods, and caffeinated drinks

From: Anemia WebMD Medical Reference

SOURCES: American Academy of Family Physicians. The American Medical Athletic Association. Albemarle Pulmonary Medical Associates, PA. Gary W. Tamkin, MD, Attending Physician, Highland General Hospital -- Alameda County Medical Center, Oakland. Cornell University Department of Animal Science.




CDC.

Reviewed by Minesh Khatri on October 12, 2019

SOURCES: American Academy of Family Physicians. The American Medical Athletic Association. Albemarle Pulmonary Medical Associates, PA. Gary W. Tamkin, MD, Attending Physician, Highland General Hospital -- Alameda County Medical Center, Oakland. Cornell University Department of Animal Science.




CDC.

Reviewed by Minesh Khatri on October 12, 2019

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What causes vitamin-deficiency anemia?

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