(Reduced Iron in Blood)
|Red Blood Cells|
|Iron makes a critical component of red blood cells.|
|Copyright © Nucleus Medical Media, Inc.|
- Iron that is poorly absorbed in the digestive tract (may occur due to intestinal diseases or surgery)
- Chronic bleeding (eg, heavy menstrual bleeding, bleeding in the gastrointestinal [GI] tract)
- Not enough iron in the diet (common cause in infants, children, and pregnant women)
- Rapid growth cycles (infancy, adolescence)
- Heavy menstrual bleeding or chronic blood loss from the GI tract
- Diets that contain insufficient iron (rare in the United States)
- Breastfed infants who have not started on solid food after six months of age
- Babies who are given cow’s milk prior to age 12 months
- Serum iron
- Transferrin iron binding capacity
- Serum ferritin level
- Microscope examination of a blood smear
- Fecal occult blood test—to look for hidden blood in the stool
- Eat a diet rich in iron (eg, oysters, meat, poultry, fish)
- Avoid foods that interfere with iron absorption, like black tea
Ask your doctor if your infant is getting enough iron—The general guidelines are:
- Starting at four months, breastfed infants need an iron supplement until they get enough iron from other sources, like infant cereal or iron-fortified formula.
- Bottle-fed infants should get a formula that is fortified with iron.
- Many premature infants need extra iron starting at one month of age.
American Academy of Pediatrics http://www.aap.org/
American College Obstetrics and Gynecology http://www.acog.org/
Dietitians of Canada http://www.dietitians.ca/
Health Canada http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/
American Academy of Pediatrics. Committee on Nutrition. Iron fortification of infant formulas. Pediatrics . 1999;104:119-123. Pediatrics website. Available at: http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/cgi/content/full/104/1/119 . Accessed July 15, 2007.
Beers MH, Berkow R. The Merck Manual of Diagnosis and Therapy . 17th ed. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons; 1999.
Beers MH, Berkow R. The Merck Manual of Diagnosis and Therapy . 18th ed. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons; 2006.
Iron. EBSCO Natural and Alternative Treatments website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/healthLibrary/ . Updated December 2007. Accessed July 15, 2008.
Schroeder K. Good food sources of iron. EBSCO Health Library website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/healthLibrary/ . Updated December 2006. Accessed July 15, 2008.
US Preventive Services Task Force. The Guide to Clinical Preventive Services: Report of the United States Preventive Services Task Force . 2nd ed. Philadelphia, PA: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins; 2002.
US Preventive Services Task Force. The Guide to Clinical Preventive Services: Report of the United States Preventive Services Task Force . AHRQ Publication No. 06-0588; Rockville, MD: 2006.
10/12/2010 DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillance DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillance : Baker R, Greer F, the Committee on Nutrition. Clinical report—diagnosis and prevention of iron deficiency and iron-deficiency anemia in infants and young children (0-3 years of age). American Academy of Pediatrics website. Available at: http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/cgi/reprint/peds.2010-2576v1 . Published October 5, 2010. Accessed October 12, 2010.
- Reviewer: Kari Kassir, MD
- Review Date: 09/2012 -
- Update Date: 03/28/2013 -