Last updated:09-05-2008
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Definition and causes

Jernmangel occurs when the body does not contain enough iron and is a condition that can result in anaemia , As the iron contained in red blodcellers building. Jernmangel are frequent in Denmark. Anaemia is the most common blood disease in children.

The causes of iron deficiency may be:

  • Increased iron: Large growth, premature birth (small jerndepoter) and pregnancy.

  • Reduced jernoptag: Jernfattig diet and reduced jernoptag in the gastrointestinal tract.

  • Blodtab.

In children under ½ years breast milk is the main source of iron. Brystmælk contains less iron than cow's milk, but the iron absorbed better from breast milk. Cow's milk should not be given to children under 6 years, because it can cause bleeding in the gastrointestinal tract and lead to iron deficiency. After a half years is inadequate breast milk as the only jernkilde and should be replaced or supplemented with other ferrous diet. Subsequent is the main source of iron meat and fish in the diet. Iron is also found in cereals and vegetables,

The inclusion of iron from food in the gastrointestinal tract occurs primarily in tolvfingertarmen (the first piece of small intestine). If there is illness in tolvfingertarmen, for example. gluten intolerance (coeliac disease) may be admitted by the iron be affected.

Bleeding may be the cause of iron deficiency, but blodtabet must have been on for a long time before jerndepoterne in the body is exhausted. Such bleeding can, for example. due heavy menstrual periods , komælksallergi (called mælkeinduceret enteropati) ulcers , inflammatory bowel disease (Crohn's disease and colitis ulcerosa ) Meckels divertikel and the U-countries are often infected with hookworms in the gut.

Symptoms of iron deficiency

Jernmangel the first symptoms when it is developed anaemia . The blood carries oxygen around the body and supplies the body's cells. When there is less blood, can be transported less oxygen, which can lead to symptoms in the form of:

  • Bleghed of the mucous membranes, for example. in the mouth.

  • Fatigue and weakness.

  • Reduced physical capacity and heart palpitations.

  • Headache.

If jernmangelen has been going on for longer seen also:

  • Hæmmet growth (height and weight).

  • Reduced intellectual development.

  • Bizarre tastes, called Pica, with the urge to eat soil, paint, newsprint or the like.

  • Ulcers in mundvigen (ragader) and a swollen cracked tongue (glossitis).

  • Soft skeformede nails.

Precautions and diagnosis

All children must have jerntilskud in 6 to 12 months of age to prevent iron deficiency.

The signs of iron deficiency, as described above, the child should be examined by the doctor. The doctor will examine the child for signs of iron deficiency and ask specifically for diet and symptoms of iron deficiency. The diagnosis made by analysis of blood samples. One can measure the body's jerndepoter (ferritin), jernmængden in the blood (iron and transferrin), and whether there is anaemia (haemoglobin). Jernmangel gives a special type of anaemia with small and pale blood cells when they examined a microscope (mikrocytær hypokrom anaemia).

If it is concluded that jernmangelen due to inadequate intake or increased need, is jerntilskud and nutritional enough. If there is suspicion of bad record of iron in the gut or bleeding, there is often a need for further studies, if any. at the hospital.

Treatment of iron deficiency

Jernmangel dealt with grants of iron, mostly in the form of droplets. The treatment is given, for there is no longer anaemia (2-3 weeks) and continued several months to fill the body's depots. If the cause is bleeding or reduced intake of iron, addressed the treatment against the operative reason.

Select and complications

The forecast is good. Most come without injury. In its extreme, iron deficiency can lead to death, but this should not occur in Denmark.



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