Anemia/Iron Deficiency in New Orleans, LA
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What is anemia/iron deficiency?
Typically, anemia develops when an individual's blood lacks a sufficient amount of healthy red blood cells and thus cannot carry sufficient amounts of oxygen throughout the body. Iron deficiency anemia is a common type of anemia that occurs when there is not enough iron in your body which inhibits it from creating hemoglobin. Hemoglobin is a protein in the red blood cells that distributes oxygen. Without iron to aid in the production of hemoglobin, oxygen cannot be correctly delivered to your body. Iron deficiency and anemia can cause severe health problems when ignored. You can find care for anemia in New Orleans, LA. If you suspect this condition, then we urge you to connect with a Metropolitan Gastroenterology Associates location near you today.
What causes anemia/iron deficiency?
Iron deficiency anemia is caused by an insufficient amount of iron in your blood. Iron is what equips the blood to manufacture hemoglobin. A body's lack of iron could be caused by several unique factors:
- A deficiency of iron in your diet
- Loss of blood (heavy menstruation, chronic blood loss, etc.)
- Intravascular hemolysis
- A problem absorbing iron (your small intestine becomes compromised from a disease like Celiac disease)
Risk factors for iron deficiency anemia may include:
- Infants and children
- Participants in blood donation
- Biological women
What are the symptoms of anemia/iron deficiency?
Insufficient levels of oxygen can cause a multitude of iron deficiency complications. The most typical symptoms of iron deficiency anemia can include:
- Painful or smooth tongue
- A lack of color in the skin
- A lack of strength
- Loss of hair
- Brittle nails
- Shortness of breath or pain in one's chest
- Cold hands and feet
- Loss of appetite
- Fatigue that has no apparent reason
- Rapid heart rate
- Dizziness or lightheadedness
- The craving for ice or clay (pagophagia)
Iron deficiency anemia is a condition that must be diagnosed by a professional, and supplementing with iron in pill form without a provider's supervision may be detrimental. Help is available for iron deficiency in New Orleans, LA. Consult with a digestive health specialist if you suffer from any combination of the above symptoms consistently and ask about investigating the possibility of iron deficiency.
In what ways is anemia/iron deficiency treated?
The treatments for iron deficiency anemia are extremely straightforward and their primary goal is to get more iron in your body. However, several conditions and/or medications can interfere with the absorption of iron. The most typical treatments for iron deficiency anemia are:
- Taking iron tablets in tandem with vitamin C
- Taking antibiotics for treatment of peptic ulcers
- Eating more iron-rich foods
- Use of oral contraceptives to reduce bleeding during menstruation
- Surgery for internal bleeding
- Treatment for diseases that impact absorption, like Crohn's disease or Celiac disease
- Swallowing iron tablets without antacids
- Taking iron supplements on an empty stomach
Foods rich in iron:
- Dried fruit
- Leafy greens
- Beef or other red meat
Vitamin C-rich foods (to help with iron absorption):
- Leafy greens
Complete treatment for anemia
Iron deficiency anemia could progress to dangerous health issues if left untreated. If the cells and tissues in your major organs are not provided with the amount of oxygen they need, they start to suffer damage or scarring. It is also important to note that in cases of iron deficiency anemia, your heart can be overworked due to its attempts to supply additional blood to oxygen-deprived areas of the body. Our team offers care for iron deficiency anemia in New Orleans, LA. Iron deficiency treatment might require 2 – 3 weeks to stop symptoms. Depending on why you were anemic in the first place, you may need to take iron supplements for an extensive amount of time to ensure that the anemia does not resurface. If you or a family member has been diagnosed with or suspects anemia, we implore you to consult with a local Metropolitan Gastroenterology Associates GI specialist to ensure you are given expert care for your situation.
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