Anemia/Iron Deficiency in Tulsa, OK
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What is anemia/iron deficiency?
In most cases, anemia occurs anytime your blood does not have a sufficient amount of healthy red blood cells and therefore cannot carry sufficient amounts of oxygen to the body. Iron deficiency is a common type of anemia caused when there is not enough iron in the body which stops it from creating hemoglobin. Hemoglobin is a protein in the red blood cells that delivers oxygen. Iron deficiency and anemia can cause severe health complications if left untreated. You can find care for anemia in Tulsa, OK. If you suspect you have anemia or iron deficiency, please request a consultation at your nearest Adult Gastroenterology Associates location today.
What causes anemia/iron deficiency?
Iron deficiency anemia is caused by an insufficient amount of iron in the blood. Iron is the element that enables the blood to produce hemoglobin. Your lack of iron could be caused by a few different circumstances:
- A problem absorbing iron (your small intestine becomes compromised from a disease like Celiac disease)
- Intravascular hemolysis
- Blood loss (heavy menstruation, chronic blood loss, etc.)
- An insufficient amount of iron in your diet
Risk factors for iron deficiency anemia could include:
- Infants and children
- Participants in blood donation
- Biological women
- Those maintaining a vegetarian or vegan diet
If you or someone you love is at risk for iron deficiency, reach out to a provider at an Adult Gastroenterology Associates location near you to be sure that anemia does not become an issue.
What are the symptoms of anemia/iron deficiency?
Lack of sufficient oxygen can cause several iron deficiency problems. The most frequent symptoms of iron deficiency anemia can include:
- Shortness of breath or pain in your chest
- Lack of hunger
- Loss of hair
- The craving of ice or clay (pagophagia)
- Pale skin
- Fast heartbeat (tachycardia)
- Fatigue that cannot be explained
- Lightheadedness or dizziness
- Cold hands and feet
- Brittle nails
- Sore or smooth tongue
Iron deficiency anemia is a condition that should be diagnosed by a professional. Self-medicating with iron pills without a specialist's supervision could be dangerous. Help is available for iron deficiency anemia in Tulsa, OK. Consult with a provider if you consistently suffer from any combination of the above listed symptoms. Request a consultation at a local Adult Gastroenterology Associates team and being your journey to managing your iron deficiency anemia.
How is anemia/iron deficiency treated?
Treatments for iron deficiency anemia aim to increase the amount of iron in the body. It is important to note, however, some other conditions and medications could interfere with the absorption of iron. The most common treatments for iron deficiency anemia include:
- Taking antibiotics for treatment of peptic ulcers
- Swallowing iron tablets on an empty stomach
- Repair or treatment for internal bleeding
- Use of oral contraceptives for reduction of bleeding during menstruation
- Eating more iron-rich foods
- Swallowing iron supplements at the same time as vitamin C supplements
- Swallowing iron tablets without antacids
- Receiving treatment for conditions that impact absorption, such as Celiac disease or Crohn’s disease
Foods rich in iron:
- Red meat - Beef
- Dried fruit
- Leafy greens
Vitamin C-rich foods (to aid in iron absorption):
- Leafy greens
Specialized treatment for anemia
Iron deficiency anemia can result in severe medical problems if improperly treated. If the cells and tissues in your major organs are not provided with the amount of oxygen they need, they begin to scar or become damaged. Iron deficiency anemia can cause damage to your heart when your body it is trying to supply more blood to oxygen-deprived parts. It can take two to three weeks to alleviate symptoms of iron deficiency anemia. Our team is ready to help in Tulsa, OK. Depending on the cause of your anemia, you may need to take iron supplements for an extensive period of time to be sure that the anemia doesn't come back. If you have been diagnosed with or think you may have anemia, we urge you to contact an Adult Gastroenterology Associates location near you to receive professional care.
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