Iron deficiency and anaemia is a condition that commonly affects teens. The most common symptom of anaemia is fatigue. Teens can be tired for other reasons, such as staying up late to do homework, study for a test or because they’re trying to juggle extracurricular activities with school. Anaemia can exaggerate teen tiredness though the symptoms can be easily missed.
Iron deficiency can occur when there is an increased need for iron in the body. Blood loss from heavy menstrual periods is a major cause of iron deficiencies in female tweens and teens. Children may also be lacking in iron if they don’t eat enough iron-rich foods or if their body isn’t absorbing what they eat. Vegetarians have a greater risk of iron deficiency because iron from plant foods is not absorbed as easily as iron from animal based foods.
Iron deficiency anaemia, the most common cause of anaemia in teenagers causes a drop in red blood cells and haemoglobin, causing the following symptoms:
Fatigue: One of the most common symptoms in teenagers suffering from anaemia.
Pallor: Red blood cells provide the normal pink colour to the skin, so someone with anaemia may be pale in colour.
Rapid Heartbeat: The heart will beat more rapidly because as it tries to get the necessary amount of oxygen to the body by increasing the speed of circulation.
Difficulty concentrating, remembering things or learning something new
Feeling short of breath
Feeling cold all the time
Increased susceptibility to infections