Anemia - where food is the medicine!
Updated: Jan 4
Anemia in children is a very common problem in India. Anemia means low levels of hemoglobin in your blood, meaning low oxygen-carrying capacity.
It can have various symptoms in children depending upon age and severity.
In infants less than 1 year of age, anemia can cause fussiness, difficulty to feed, decreased milk intake, swelling in body, increased heart rate and, difficulty, breathing.
In toddlers with their picky eating habits, and frequent viral infections, anemia can develop very slowly over a period of 3 - 6 months and cause non-specific symptoms.
Decrease in appetite, low energy, not wanting to run/ climb stairs, increase in heart rate, pica - eating in edible things like mud, paper, paint, or chalk and growth retardation. Worm infestation can also lead to slow loss of blood and cause anemia. Prolonged low hemoglobin levels, can cause low IQ and permanent physical and mental changes in the growing body.
In older children and teenagers, moodiness, sulliness, lethargy, excessive sleepiness, and in extreme cases even anorexia. In anemic teenage girls , puberty can be delayed, periods can be scanty or irregular and even painful or prolonged.
Iron deficiency is the most common cause of anemia in developing countries like ours followed by Vitamin B12 deficiency.
Other causes like genetic disorders like Thalassemia and blood loss are uncommon and require special tests for diagnosis.
An iron-rich diet with plenty of vitamins and minerals is the way to prevent and also treat anemia.
In cases where a rapid rise in hemoglobin levels is desired, a course of pediatrician-approved iron and vitamin supplementation for 3 months may be recommended. We at www.amvisioneyeandchild.com keep you abreast the latest developments and help you fight anemia.
Improving the overall dietary factors in mothers and children forms the long-term country's goal to eradicate anemia.
Taking cognizance of the adverse health and economic outcomes, the Government of India announced the Anemia Mukt Bharat (AMB) program in March 2018. A flagship scheme of the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare run under the POSHAN Abhiyaan, it aims at lowering the nation’s maternal anemia burden.