Iron deficiency anemia is a condition in which the body does not have enough red blood cells due to low levels of iron in the blood. Iron is a mineral that is important for the production of healthy red blood cells. Red blood cells contain hemoglobin, an iron-rich protein that transports oxygen from the lungs to tissues and lungs. Patients with iron deficiency may develop tongue problems.
Patients with iron deficiency may develop an inflamed, sore, and and swollen tongue. The tongue will appears pale and smooth due to low levels of hemoglobin in the blood and the loss of finger-like projections on the surface of the tongue. Sore and swollen tongue causes problems with chewing, swallowing and speaking.
Other Symptoms of Iron Deficiency
During the early stages of iron deficiency, symptoms of iron deficiency may not be noticeable. As the body becomes more deficient in iron, anemia symptoms begin to worsen. Symptoms of iron deficiency include fatigue, weakness, shortness of breath, headache, fainting, palpitations, abnormal heart rhythm, brittle nails, pale skin, coldness in hands and feet, craving for non-food items such as dirt, problems concentrating and irritability.
Treatment of Iron Deficiency
Iron deficiency is treated using iron supplements, which increases the amounts of iron in the blood so that the bone marrow can make more red blood cells. Iron supplements are available in oral, liquid and injection forms. Oral supplements may cause stomach irritation and thus should be taken together with food. Because liquid iron supplements may stain the teeth, patients are advised to use drinking straws to take liquid iron supplements. Intravenous iron supplements are suitable for patients with severe digestive problems that hinder the absorption of oral forms of iron.
Prevention of Iron Deficiency
Patients can prevent iron deficiency by consuming iron-rich foods, vitamin-C rich foods and protein. Animal foods such as beef liver, chicken liver, red meat, egg yolk, fish and poultry are rich sources of iron. Plant foods such as beans, raisins, dates, and fortified foods also contain significant amounts of iron. Patients can increase absorption of iron from iron-rich foods by consuming vitamin C foods with them. Vitamin C increases absorption of iron from foods. Protein is necessary for the formation of the oxygen-carrying protein known as hemoglobin.