Iron-Deficiency Anemia in a Young Woman

Case Presentation

In the case under consideration, a young and apparently healthy woman aged 26 is delivered to the emergency clinic after she felt bad while playing golf. She complains of increased shortness of breath, low energy and the lack of enthusiasm. Moreover, the symptoms are more severe during menstruation. The examination showed a temperature of 98 degrees Fahrenheit, which is a normal temperature. Also, a physician admitted an elevated heart and respiratory rates and low blood pressure. The patient claims she takes aspirin on a regular basis during menstruation to make her feel better.

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Anemia Type in the Patient

There are six major types of anemia, such as anemia of chronic disorders, functional iron deficiency, iron deficiency, iron-deficiency anemia, iron-restricted erythropoiesis, and iron-refractory iron-deficiency anemia (Camaschella, 2015). They differ by their nature and clinical manifestations. Judging from the current symptoms and laboratory tests, the patient suffers from Iron Deficiency Anemia (IDA).

At present, IDA is one of the global health problems diagnosed in nearly every clinical practice (Camaschella, 2015). IDA usually develops when iron deposits of the body cannot produce enough red blood cells. Thus, 8 g/dl hemoglobin and 32% hematocrit are the indicators that proved to be lower than the reference range, which is the first sign of iron-deficiency anemia. The usual symptoms of anemia are weakness, fatigue, irregular heartbeat, and shortness of breath. All of them are observed in the patient, which is another fact to support the supposition of IDA.

The case after which the young woman was hospitalized implied sporting activity and resulted in sudden acute dizziness. It is another manifestation of IDA, although not typical of the disease. The fact that the patient claims her symptoms get worse during menstruations can be explained by blood loss and thus increasing iron deficiency. In fact, in all the cases of IDA, blood loss is a determining factor (Miller, 2013).

Hemorrhage of any nature causes acute iron loss and, as a result, anemia. Hemorrhage results in a decrease of red cell mass, which reduces the delivery of iron to erythropoiesis, thus increasing the iron demand for erythropoiesis (Miller, 2013).

For Ms. A., menorrhagia and dysmenorrhea can be the possible reasons for IDA development. Moreover, regular aspirin intake could have caused gastrointestinal bleeding that the patient was not aware of. There is no information about the patient’s diet, but the lack of iron in food or malnutrition, on the whole, could become another factor contributing to the development of IDA. Thus, some additional tests can be necessary to reveal the possible gastrointestinal bleeding and check the ability of the patient’s body to absorb iron from food.

Conclusion

On the whole, women are at higher risk of developing IDA compared to men because of regular blood loss during menstruation. Moreover, women are more concerned about healthy diet and frequently limit consumption of useful products that contain iron. IDA should be diagnosed and treated timely because it can cause some complications. For example, iron deficiency can lead to heart problems related to irregular heartbeat or cause problems during pregnancy such as premature births or low birth weight babies. Consequently, it is necessary to use preventive strategies and avoid iron-deficiency anemia through consumption of iron-rich products, such as red meat, seafood, beans, etc., and regular blood tests to check the rates of hemoglobin and hematocrit.

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References

Miller, J. L. (2013). Iron deficiency anemia: A common and curable disease. Web.

Camaschella, C. (2015). Iron-deficiency anemia. Web.

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