This is due to deficient or poor nutrition, chronic illness, or excess loss of iron. The red cells are usually small (microcytic) and are filled with very small amounts of hemoglobin, indicating that they are hypochromic (without much color).
The symptoms of this anemia are varied, and may include poor appetite, decrease in normal activity, irritability, behavior disorders, pale skin. The poor appetite leads to a further poor intake of iron and exaggerates the degree of anemia. The condition is slowly progressive and may lead to serious disorders of the heart and respiration. It should, therefore, be corrected as soon as possible. The patient must be supplied with food rich in iron, or with medications, sometimes called “tonics,” containing iron salts. Periodic blood counts should be taken to indicate the progress of the anemia or its correction.