Anemia/Iron Deficiency in Hattiesburg, MS
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What is anemia/iron deficiency?
Typically, anemia occurs anytime a person's blood does not have a sufficient amount of healthy red blood cells and thus is unable to carry sufficient levels of oxygen to the body. Iron deficiency anemia is a commonly seen type of anemia resulting from a shortage of iron in the body, which inhibits it from making hemoglobin. Hemoglobin is a protein in the red blood cells that delivers oxygen. Without iron to produce hemoglobin, oxygen cannot be delivered to the body in sufficient amounts. Iron deficiency and anemia may cause serious health complications if they are not treated. Help is available for anemia in Hattiesburg, MS. Should you believe you or a loved one might have this condition, then we encourage you to reach out to Hattiesburg GI Associates, PLLC as soon as possible.
What causes anemia/iron deficiency?
Iron deficiency anemia is the result of an insufficient amount of iron in one's blood. Iron is the thing that enables the blood to make hemoglobin. A lack of iron can be caused by a number of different circumstances:
- Intravascular hemolysis
- A problem absorbing iron (the small intestine may become compromised from a disease such as Celiac disease)
- A deficiency of iron in your diet
- Loss of blood (heavy menstruation, chronic blood loss, etc.)
Those at an increased risk for iron deficiency anemia can include:
- Biological women
- Infants and children
- Those who donate blood
If you suspect you have an iron deficiency, contact a physician at Hattiesburg GI Associates, PLLC to ensure anemia does not become a serious issue.
What are the symptoms of anemia/iron deficiency?
The absence of sufficient oxygen in the blood can cause a number of iron deficiency problems. The most typical symptoms of iron deficiency anemia may include:
- Brittle nails
- Lack of hunger
- Fast heartbeat (tachycardia)
- Craving for ice or clay (pagophagia)
- Dizziness or lightheadedness
- Fatigue that cannot be explained
- Loss of hair
- Paleness of the skin
- Chest pain or shortness of breath
- Pain in one's head
- Cold hands and feet
- Sore or smooth tongue
Iron deficiency anemia is a condition that must be diagnosed by a professional, and taking iron supplements on your own might be detrimental. Help is available for iron deficiency in Hattiesburg, MS. Visit with a doctor if you experience any combination of the listed symptoms persistently. If you or someone you love are suffering from these symptoms, we encourage you to connect with your nearest Hattiesburg GI Associates, PLLC practice and let them know you suspect the possibility of iron deficiency.
In what ways is anemia/iron deficiency treated?
The treatments for iron deficiency anemia are quite straightforward, and they mostly have the same goal: to get more iron in the patient's body. However, some other conditions and medications could interfere with the absorption of iron. The most traditional ways to treat iron deficiency anemia are:
- Oral contraceptives to reduce bleeding during menstruation
- Antibiotics to treat peptic ulcers
- Undergoing treatment for diseases that impact absorption, such as Crohn's disease or celiac disease
- Treatment for internal bleeding
- Eating more iron-rich foods
- Taking iron tablets in tandem with vitamin C
- Taking iron tablets without antacids
- Swallowing iron supplements on an empty stomach
- Red meat — Beef
- Dried fruit
- Leafy greens
Vitamin C-rich foods (to help with iron absorption):
- Leafy greens
Comprehensive treatment for anemia
Iron deficiency anemia may lead to dangerous medical situations if improperly handled. If the cells and tissues in your major organs fail to receive the supply of oxygen they require, they begin to suffer damage or scarring. It is also important to note that in cases of iron deficiency anemia, the heart can be overworked from trying to supply more blood to oxygen-deprived portions of the body. Iron deficiency treatment can take 2 – 3 weeks to stop symptoms. Depending on the initial cause of your anemia, you might need to take iron supplements for an extensive period of time to be sure that the anemia will not resurface. Our team offers care for iron deficiency anemia in Hattiesburg, MS. If you or a family member has received a diagnosis of, or suspect, anemia, please connect with Hattiesburg GI Associates, PLLC to have peace of mind that you are given the best treatment for your situation.
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