What is Anemia and What Causes It?


By Lisa Gangemi M.S in Nutrition, Registered Dietitian Nutritionist

Anemia is a condition that occurs when your body doesn’t have enough healthy red blood cells or hemoglobin. Hemoglobin is a protein that is part of red blood cells. Hemoglobin binds oxygen to red blood cells and transports it to all cells, tissues, muscles and organs in the body. Oxygen provides important nutrients to your entire body, without enough oxygen your body is not able to function properly.

Anemia is a common health problem among children 6 months and older. The most common type of anemia is iron deficiency anemia, which occurs when your body does not have enough of the mineral iron. Iron is important because it helps your body make hemoglobin. Children with Iron-deficiency anemia are at a higher risk for infection and disease. 

What are the Symptoms?

Anemia causes several distinct symptoms in the body. Below is a list of the most common symptoms: 

  • Fatigue
  • Weakness
  • Pale Skin
  • Cold Hands and Feet
  • Poor Circulation
  • Headaches
  • Dizziness
  • Brittle Nails
  • Increase Heart Beat
  • Shortness of Breath

How to Check For Anemia

At Island Kids Pediatrics we understand the health implications anemia can cause, for this reason we start screening for anemia once your child turns 9 months old, and we continue to screen annually into their early adulthood.

What is the treatment for Anemia?

Iron supplement and iron-rich foods are used to treat iron-deficiency anemia. To find what foods and supplements are best for your child make an appointment to speak with the Island Kids Pediatrics Registered Dietitian, together you can create a personalized nutrition plan to resolve anemia and get your child back to feeling his or her best!