Iron Deficiency Anemia Treatment

Iron Deficiency Anemia TreatmentIron Deficiency Anemia Treatment

 

The most common form of anemia is caused by iron deficiency. Iron deficiency anemia treatment is fairly easy.

 

According to NYTimes, you get iron deficiency anemia when your body’s iron stores run low. This can occur because:

 

  • You lose more blood cells and iron than your body can replace
  • Your body does not do a good job of absorbing iron
  • Your body is able to absorb iron, but you are not eating enough foods that contain iron.
  • Your body needs more iron than normal (such as if you are pregnant or breastfeeding)

 

Bleeding can cause iron loss. Common causes of bleeding are:

 

  • Heavy, long, or frequent menstrual periods
  • Cancer in the esophagus, stomach, or colon
  • Esophageal varices usually from cirrhosis
  • The use of aspirin, ibuprofen, or arthritis medicines for a long time, which can cause gastrointestinal bleeding
  • Peptic ulcer disease

 

The body may not absorb enough iron in your diet due to:

 

  • Celiac disease
  • Crohn’s disease
  • Gastric bypass surgery
  • Taking too many antacids that contain calcium

 

You may not get enough iron in your diet if:

 

  • You are a strict vegetarian
  • You are an older adult and do not eat a full diet

 

Source: NYTimes

 

So how do you treat iron deficiency anemia? According to Canada.com, treatment of iron deficiency anemia has two goals:

 

  • to remove the cause of blood loss if possible (if this is the cause of the anemia)
  • to cure the anemia by correcting iron deficiency

 

Both of these goals should be addressed at the same time, and treatment can start before the exact cause of the iron deficiency anemia is known.

 

Iron deficiency anemia often can’t be treated by diet alone. In many cases, it wouldn’t be possible for a person to eat enough iron-rich food in order to get the amount of iron needed. To help with bringing the iron levels back to normal, oral iron supplements are often prescribed. Injections are only necessary in severe cases, or when oral supplementation is not suitable for the underlying problem (such as malabsorption that often occurs after bariatric or gastric bypass procedures). It’s still important, of course, for those on iron supplements to eat a proper, well-balanced diet.

 

Although expensive forms of iron supplements are available, iron replacement therapy generally doesn’t cost more than a few dollars a month. Even though enteric-coated or prolonged-release iron supplements are available, iron pills shouldn’t be enteric-coated or taken with meals or antacids, as this can reduce the amount of iron absorbed. Take iron pills between meals, and do not take them with milk, calcium, tea, or coffee, as this may also decrease absorption. Taking them with vitamin C can help absorption, but check with your doctor before trying this.

 

It’s extremely important that breast-fed babies start receiving iron supplement drops or iron-fortified cereal after they are 6 months old.

 

Iron supplements can be helpful during growth spurts in children and in pregnancy. Too much iron, however, can cause liver damage and cirrhosis.

 

Source: Canada.com

 

Remember that while iron deficiency anemia may not necessarily be a “severe” type of anemia, you have to make sure that you treat it at the earliest. See your doctor if you feel the symptoms of this type of anemia like being constantly tired and sleepy and having pale skin.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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