Friday, December 1, 2023 | 23:08 WIB

Inexplicable hair loss? A possible sign of iron deficiency


Jakarta, IO – Iron deficiency is the most common type of malnutrition in the world. According to data from the National Health Baseline Study, the prevalence of anemia among the total population in Indonesia has risen from 21.7% (2013) to 23.7% (2018), when no fewer than 3 out of every 10 Indonesian teens are diagnosed with anemia. 62.6% of these cases are directly attributable to iron deficiency. 

Symptoms of anemia caused by iron deficiency include constant exhaustion, a lack of energy, frequent headaches, difficulty in concentrating, shallow breathing, a sense of coldness in the hands and feet and irregular heartbeat. A risk of iron deficiency anemia must be addressed, in order to maintain productivity and prevent complications in sufferers. 

“In Indonesia, the prevalence of anemia has been estimated at 48.9% among pregnant mothers and 38.5% among babies and toddlers below the age of 5, often traceable to iron deficiency. The Government recommends the mitigation of anemia, by providing free blood supplement tablets (“BST”) to Middle School and High School students, and as well to students of equal level schools, to bulk up their hemoglobin levels,” reported the Head of Ministry of Health’s Community Empowerment and Movement Task Force, Dwi Adi Maryandi, SKM, MPH, in a webinar organized t o commemorate World Iron Deficiency Day and launch the Anemiameter app, which is designed to alert early detection of anemia, last Wednesday (30/11/2022). 

Dwi went on to report that 8.3 million out of the 12.1 million teen girls who do not consume BST run a higher risk of anemia. “In the long term, when they marry and become pregnant, they have a higher risk of giving birth to stunted babies. Our data shows that 80.9% of our teen girls obtain BST at school, and 98.6% of them obediently and routinely consume one tablet a week for an entire 52 weeks. Others complain about the taste, feel bored with the idea, forget to take their tablets or stop because of side effects such as nausea and/or constipation. We need constant education to ensure that people become aware of the importance of detecting anemia symptoms early – and rework the formula to eliminate such side effects,” he declared. 


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