NURTURE INFORMATION HUB
Iron Deficiency and iron Homeostasis in Low Birth Weight Preterm Infants: A Systematic Review.
CLICK HERE to read article.
Jorge Moreno-Fernandez,1,2 Julio J. Ochoa,1,2,* Gladys O. Latunde-Dada,3 and Javier Diaz-Castro1,2
Iron is an essential micronutrient that is involved in many functions in humans, as it plays a critical role in the growth and development of the central nervous system, among others. Premature and low birth weight infants have higher iron requirements due to increased postnatal growth compared to that of term infants and are, therefore, susceptible to a higher risk of developing iron deficiency or iron deficiency anemia.
Iron is an essential nutrient that carries oxygen in the blood. It is also vital for energy production, growth development, brain function, immune activity and healthy cell function.
Prematurity and low birth weight are major risk factors of iron deficiency in teenagers.
Iron deficiency can affect a teenager’s energy and their ability to learn or focus. Severe iron deficiency can result in sustained developmental problems. Teenage girls are particularly at risk because of heavy blood loss through periods, growth spurts because of puberty and under nutrition due to fad dieting. If your child is following a vegan or vegetarian diet they are at higher risk of iron deficiency and extra care needs to be taken.
The signs and symptoms of iron deficiency anaemia in teenagers include:
To prevent iron deficiency in teenagers:
If you suspect your child may have iron deficiency talk to your doctor and he/she can arrange for screening to check iron levels. Diagnosis also involves the exclusion of other illnesses that have similar symptoms. Iron can be toxic, so it is important to avoid giving iron supplementation to your teenager unless advised to do so by your doctor.
Parents should educate themselves on symptoms of iron deficiency in teenagers and what foods contain iron that will help their teenager avoid becoming anaemic; this will all help ease any anxiety that they might possibly feel. If your child is following a vegan or vegetarian diet, it’s important to seek advice from an accredited practising detitian, doctor or child health nurse.