Some diseases and physiological conditions can cause iron deficiency, usually due to increase of needs or increased losses of this mineral essential for health.

In situations of prolonged iron deficiency the body may develop a condition known as “iron deficiency anemia”, which is a blood condition characterized by decreasing the amount of hemoglobin and number of red blood cells, which causes the appearance of symptoms that physically debilitate the individual.

Iron deficiency is the most prevalent nutritional deficiency worldwide, affecting developed countries and those in developing, being also the leading cause of anemia. According to the World Health Organization (WHO) it estimates that around 1 billion people worldwide suffer from anemia by iron deficiency and about the double suffer from iron deficiency, which affects their health and quality of life.

The lack of this mineral is related to a reduction in physical and cognitive ability, resulting in a poorer performance and also with lower resistance to infection. Iron deficiency is a multifactorial disorder that can be related to food intakes, physiological status or genetic makeup of the individual.

Among adults it is the females who are mostly affected by problems of iron deficiency. In particular, those who present a greater risk are women of childbearing age, woman with abundant and prolonged blood loss during menstruation and pregnant women as a result of increased iron requirements related to the fetal growth.

Early symptoms caused by iron deficiency are tiredness and fatigue. Women and adolescents who eat little meat and fish, or who follow a vegetarian diet, are more likely to have low iron stores and develop deficiency symptoms.

The presence of a deficiency state of iron deficiency during pregnancy, regardless of the cause that promote this situation, can increase maternal and child morbidity, increasing this way the risk of perinatal death, premature delivery or low birth weight.

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