Posted by News Express | 17 July 2015 | 2,794 times
An Abuja-based gynaecologist, Dr Adaora Ukoh, says severe iron deficiency anaemia leads to delayed growth and development in children.
Ukoh made this known in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja on Thursday.
She described iron deficiency anaemia as a condition where the body does not have enough iron to produce haemoglobin.
Ukoh also explained that lack of iron lead to decreased production of red blood cells which carry oxygenated blood throughout the body.
According to her, iron deficiency anaemia is common among women.
She said women were at high risk of developing the condition due to their monthly menstrual circles especially those with heavy flow.
Ukoh said, however, that lack of diet with iron could cause the development of anaemia in some people like vegetarians.
She stated that pregnancy could also pose a risk of developing iron deficiency anaemia.
The medic also added that gastrointestinal blood loss could cause the development of the condition in women who had reached menopause.
She identified kidney disease, inflammatory bowel disease as well as inflammation of the gullet as other factors that predispose patients to the condition.
Ukoh also attributed peptic ulcer, blood donation in large amount, colon polyp and cancer were contributory factors in the development of the condition.
She added that lack of vitamin B12, inability to absorb iron and inadequate iron intake could pose the risk of developing the condition in some patients.
However, the physician said that preventive and treatment measures should start from life style changes.
Ukoh advised patients to consume foods enriched in iron, such as beans, nuts, oatmeal, soya bean flour, eggs and leafy green vegetables to prevent the condition.
"Choose foods containing vitamin C to enhance iron consumption; avoid excessive consumption of caffeinated drinks. Consume meals enriched in vitamin B12 to prevent iron deficiency anaemia,’’ she counselled.
Besides, the physician encouraged the treatment of the underlying cause of the condition first in the treatment of iron deficiency anaemia.
She advised the use of medications such as oral contraceptive to lighten heavy flows and the use of antibiotics for peptic ulcer patients in treating the condition.
Ukoh also recommended the use of iron supplements for the treatment of the condition, stressing that it should not be administered with antacids.
She urged that patients with severe impairment be given intravenous iron medication or blood transfusion to help replace iron and haemoglobin. (NAN)
•Photo shows beans, a recommended food for the prevention of iron deficiency anaemia.
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