Iron Deficiency Anaemia


When you have iron deficiency anaemia, this is a medical condition where a lack of iron in the body leads to a reduction in the number of red blood cells.

The symptoms of Iron deficiency anaemia include:

  • Tiredness and a lack of energy (also referred to as lethargy)
  • Shortness of breath
  • Noticeable heartbeats (known as palpitations)
  • A pale complexion.

Many people who have iron deficiency anaemia only have a few symptoms and the severity of the symptoms will depend on how quickly the anaemia develops.

Iron is used to produce your red blood cells and these assist in carrying and storing oxygen in the blood. If you have less red blood cells than is normal, the organs and tissues in your body will not receive the levels of oxygen that they normally would.

Although there are many different types of anaemia, they all have a different cause however, iron deficiency anaemia is the most common type.

Other types of anaemia include:

  • Vitamin deficiency anaemia
  • Anaemia of chronic diseases
  • Aplastic anaemia
  • Anaemias associated with bone marrow disease
  • Haemolytic anaemia
  • Sickle Cell anaemia

What causes iron deficiency anaemia?

There are many things known to lead to a lack of iron in the body and the most common cause in men and post-menopausal women is bleeding in the stomach and intestines. The bleeding could be caused by a number of conditions including stomach ulcers, stomach or bowel cancer or from taking non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs.

For women who are still in reproductive age, having heavy periods and pregnancy are the most common cause of iron deficiency anaemia.

What food types carry good levels of iron?

  • dark-green leafy vegetables, such as watercress and curly kale
  • iron-fortified cereals or bread
  • brown rice
  • pulses and beans
  • nuts and seeds
  • meat, fish and┬átofu
  • eggs
  • dried fruit, such as dried apricots, prunes and raisins

The above information has been sourced from


SMP Healthcare