What Are The
Causes Of Iron Deficiency

Some people might simply not be eating enough iron. Others can have perfectly healthy diets but still suffer from iron deficiency due to other reasons. Here are some of the top causes of iron deficiency anemia:

Pregnant belly woman


Anemia is highly common during pregnancy. When you are pregnant, your baby will be absorbing a lot of what you ingest, including iron. Babies need iron to develop and you need iron to function properly. This causes an iron deficiency in pregnant women, which can leave them physically tired and exhausted.

What’s more, iron deficiency may cause impaired physical and cognitive development as well as risk of morbidity in babies. So, pregnant women are encouraged to take iron supplements and modify their diets accordingly.

Heavy Menstrual Bleeding 

Some women struggle with particularly heavy periods where an excessive amount of blood is lost. This is why anemia is particularly prevalent in women (about 10 percent of all women will develop a form of anemia due to their periods). Because so much blood and iron is lost during a heavy period, you simply may not be eating enough iron to replenish your stocks.

Poor Absorption Of Iron 

Certain conditions result in the body being unable to absorb iron effectively, for example coeliac disease.

Bleeding From The Gut

Internal bleeding in the intestines can also lead to anemia. Sometimes this is easy to spot, for example with vomiting or passing blood. However, it can also go unnoticed, as only small amounts of blood may be present in feces.

When this blood is lost, your iron levels need to be replenished again. Here are some examples of conditions that can cause intestinal bleeding:

  • Stomach ulcers
  • Inflammation of the large intestine or esophagus
  • Piles (hemorrhoids)
  • Cancers of the bowel
  • Other bowel disorders

Some of the symptoms of these problems include stomach pain, constipation or diarrhea. If you notice any of these issues, consult your doctor for diagnosis. Iron deficiency anemia may not necessarily be caused by these problems, but your chances of developing anemia will rise if you are losing blood regularly.