Anemia/Iron Deficiency in Ocean Springs, MS
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What is anemia/iron deficiency?
Typically, anemia occurs anytime your blood lacks a sufficient amount of healthy red blood cells and, as a result, cannot carry adequate levels of oxygen throughout the body. Iron deficiency anemia is a common type of anemia caused when there is not enough iron in one's body which stops it from creating hemoglobin. Hemoglobin (a protein found in red blood cells) carries oxygen. Without iron to aid in producing hemoglobin, oxygen is not adequately distributed to the body. Iron deficiency and anemia might cause serious health problems when ignored. You can find care for anemia in Ocean Springs, MS. If you suspect you need assistance with this condition, please reach out to Digestive Health Center as soon as possible.
What causes anemia/iron deficiency?
Iron deficiency anemia is the result of an insufficient amount of iron in the blood. Iron is what equips the blood to create hemoglobin. A few different circumstances can precipitate one's iron deficiency:
- Intravascular hemolysis
- An inability to absorb iron (your small intestine becomes compromised from a disease like Celiac disease)
- An insufficient amount of iron in your diet
- Blood loss (heavy menstruation, chronic blood loss, etc.)
Risk factors for iron deficiency anemia can include:
- Those maintaining a vegetarian or vegan diet
- Infants and children
- Those who donate blood
If you or someone you love suspects iron deficiency, reach out to a specialist at Digestive Health Center to be sure that you do not suffer from anemia.
What are some symptoms of anemia/iron deficiency?
Low levels of oxygen can cause a multitude of iron deficiency problems. The most typical symptoms of iron deficiency anemia may include the following:
- Fatigue that cannot be explained
- Paleness of the skin
- The feeling of being weak
- Pain in one's head
- Brittle nails
- Dizziness or lightheadedness
- Rapid heartbeat
- Loss of hair
- Painful or smooth tongue
- Loss of appetite
- Chest pain or shortness of breath
- Craving for ice or clay (pagophagia)
- Cold hands and feet
Iron deficiency anemia is not something you should self-diagnose, and taking iron supplements without a provider's supervision may be detrimental. Help is available for iron deficiency in Ocean Springs, MS. Visit your provider if you persistently suffer from any combination of the above-listed symptoms. If you or someone you love is suffering from these symptoms, please reach out to a local Digestive Health Center office and let them know you suspect the possibility of iron deficiency.
In what ways is anemia/iron deficiency treated?
Treatments for iron deficiency anemia are pretty simple, and their purpose is to get more iron in one's body. It is important to note, however, several conditions and medications may interrupt iron absorption. The most common ways to treat iron deficiency anemia include:
- Treatment for conditions that impact absorption, such as Celiac disease or Crohn’s disease
- Antibiotics to treat peptic ulcers
- Swallowing iron tablets without antacids
- Treatment for internal bleeding
- Eating more iron-rich foods
- Taking iron supplements on an empty stomach
- Use of oral contraceptives for reduction of menstrual bleeding
- Swallowing iron tablets in tandem with vitamin C
Foods rich in iron:
- Beef or other red meat
- Leafy greens
- Dried fruit
Foods rich in vitamin C (to help with iron absorption):
- Leafy greens
Comprehensive treatment for anemia
Iron deficiency anemia may result in dangerous health problems if improperly handled. When the tissues and cells in the major organs are not provided with the supply of oxygen they need, they start to suffer damage or scarring. Also, with iron deficiency anemia, the heart can be damaged because it is trying to supply more blood to oxygen-deprived areas of the body. But there is help for iron deficiency anemia in Ocean Springs, MS. Iron deficiency treatment can take two to three weeks to reverse symptoms. Depending on the initial cause of your anemia, you might need to consume iron supplements for an extended time to ensure that the anemia does not resurface. If you have received a diagnosis of, or have suspicions of, anemia, we urge you to contact Digestive Health Center to ensure you get expert treatment for your condition.
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