Anemia and Iron Deficiency: Are They the Same?

People often tend to confuse the terms “anemia” and “iron deficiency”, the fact is that they aren’t the exact same. Yes, it’s real that there’s an association between a certain kind of anemia and iron deficiency anemia, but they can’t be utilized as synonyms.

In reality, anemia is a heterogeneous disease that might have various reasons. Although iron deficiency is one of them, there are other kinds that are caused by malfunctions in the production of red blood cells or hemoglobin.

It’s crucial to know that iron becomes part of the hemoglobin in the red cells. It assists make it possible to carry oxygen to all the cells in your body, which need it to do their crucial functions.

Both scenarios are related in some cases, yet not all kinds of anemia have an iron deficiency In this short article. We discuss why anemia and iron deficiency aren’t the very same and how to tell them apart.

Just how to distinguish between anemia and iron deficiency

In order to compare anemia and iron deficiency, it’s essential to understand what they are and why they take place. We currently discussed that iron is a necessary element in red blood cells to deliver oxygen.

You obtain iron from your diet and, undoubtedly, some foods include more iron than others. That means that, first of all, particular consuming behaviors, such as being vegetarian, can create iron deficiency.

This is since red meat and fish are iron-rich foods. One more factor is that you might have an issue with the absorption of iron. Particular pathologies that impact the digestive system, such as celiac illness, alter the procedure of nutrient unification.

Hereon, we need to discuss anemia Anemia is defined as a decrease in the number of red blood cells. Decreased hemoglobin concentration, or low hematocrit value.

It’s vital to mention that anemia can have lots of causes. Iron deficiency is just one of them, which influences hemoglobin focus. You can’t use them interchangeably.

Kinds of anemia

As we’ve seen, anemia and iron deficiency related to a certain type of anemia: iron deficiency anemia. This is one of the most usual types of anemia and mostly affects women of childbearing age.

This is a condition characterized by low iron degrees, which influences the bone marrow’s proper hemoglobin production. In turn, this lack can have several causes, such as:

  • Blood loss. This is much more typical in women because of the menstrual cycle. It can stem from hemorrhage due to any injury.
  • Digestion issues such as ulcers or diseases that influence intestinal absorption.
  • Colon cancer. Although it’s a rare cause, it’s vital to be aware of it. Colon cancer creates a loss of blood that hides in stools. Typically, the first signs and symptom is anemia and iron deficiency.

On the other hand, it’s essential to understand that there are numerous various other kinds of anemia. Aplastic anemia, as an example, is when the body is incapable of producing enough red cells. It might be caused by a bone marrow change, an infection, or certain drugs.

Other anemias

The absence of certain vitamins, such as vitamin B12, can alter the manufacturing of red blood cells. This is a common problem in people with persistent alcoholism. One more common reason is experiencing a chronic inflammatory condition, such as rheumatoid arthritis.

On top of that, anemia can likewise be a result of a carcinogenic process. That influences the blood, such as leukemia. It may even be hemolytic anemia, in which the problem hinges on the fact that the body ruins red blood cells much faster than it produces them.

In conclusion, anemia and iron deficiency aren’t the very same

The idea is to understand that, although these problems tend to be made use of synonymously, they aren’t the same conditions. Only one type of anemia, iron deficiency anemia, the most common, is associated with iron deficiency.

Also, several various other sorts of anemia are the result of other procedures. The vital thing is to get to medical diagnosis to start appropriate treatment. Not all anemic conditions improve by taking iron as a supplement. Consequently, a medical professional must determine what steps each person needs to take.

Read next: Signs Of Iron Deficiency You Should Never Ignore

Share this:

Photo credit: Shutterstock