Iron nutrition.

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Iron nutrition.

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PMC
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  • Biology
  • Medicine
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Abstract

Anemia of Inflammation and Chronic Disease Anemia of Inflammation and Chronic Disease National Hematologic Diseases Information Service What is anemia? Anemia is a condition in which a person has a lower than normal number of red blood cells or the amount of hemoglobin in the red blood cells drops below normal, which prevents the body’s cells from getting enough oxygen. Hemoglobin is an iron-rich protein that gives blood its red color and lets red blood cells transport oxygen from the lungs to the body’s tissues. Therefore, low numbers of red blood cells or low levels of hemoglobin also cause low blood iron levels. People with anemia may feel tired because their blood does not supply enough oxygen to the body’s organs and tissues. If anemia becomes severe and prolonged, the lack of oxygen in the blood can lead to shortness of breath or exercise intolerance—a condition in which a person becomes easily fatigued during or after physical activity—and eventually can cause the heart and other organs to fail. What is anemia of inflammation and chronic disease (AI/ACD)? Anemia of inflammation and chronic disease is a type of anemia that commonly occurs with chronic, or long term, illnesses or infections. Cancer and inflammatory disorders, in which abnormal activation of the immune system occurs, can also cause AI/ACD. AI/ACD is easily confused with iron- deficiency anemia because in both forms of anemia levels of iron circulating in the blood are low. Iron in the body is found both circulating in the blood and stored in body tissues. Circulating iron is necessary for red blood cell production. Low blood iron levels occur in iron-deficiency anemia because levels of the iron stored in the body’s tissues are depleted. In AI/ACD, however, iron stores are normal or high. Low blood iron levels occur in AI/ACD, despite normal iron stores, because inflammatory and chronic diseases interf

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