Anemia/Iron Deficiency in San Antonio, TX
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What is anemia/iron deficiency?
Typically, anemia develops when your blood does not have enough healthy red blood cells, so it cannot deliver sufficient levels of oxygen to the body. Iron deficiency anemia is a common type of anemia caused when there is not enough iron in your body which prevents it from manufacturing hemoglobin. Hemoglobin is a protein found in red blood cells that distribute oxygen. Without iron to produce hemoglobin, oxygen cannot be adequately delivered to your body. Anemia and iron deficiency can cause severe health complications when left untreated. You can find care for anemia in San Antonio, TX. If you believe you or a loved one might have anemia or iron deficiency, please contact your nearest San Antonio Gastroenterology Associates location as soon as possible.
What are the causes of anemia/iron deficiency?
Iron deficiency anemia is caused by a lack of iron in your blood. Iron allows the blood to produce hemoglobin. This lack of iron could be the result of a few unique factors:
- Intravascular hemolysis
- A problem absorbing iron (the small intestine may become compromised from a disease such as Celiac disease)
- Being pregnant
- Chronic blood loss
- An insufficient amount of iron in your diet
People at risk for iron deficiency anemia can include:
- Participants in blood donation
- Children and infants
If you or someone you love suspects iron deficiency, connect with a gastrointestinal provider at a San Antonio Gastroenterology Associates location near you to ensure anemia does not become an issue.
What are some symptoms of anemia/iron deficiency?
The lack of sufficient oxygen causes many iron deficiency problems. The most common symptoms of iron deficiency anemia include:
- Cold hands and feet
- Lack of appetite
- Hair loss
- Pale skin
- Chest pain or shortness of breath
- Unexplained fatigue
- Craving for ice or clay (pagophagia)
- Dizziness or lightheadedness
- Rapid heart rate
- Painful or smooth tongue
- Brittle and easily broken nails
Iron deficiency anemia is a condition that must be diagnosed by a professional, and taking iron supplements without consulting a provider can be harmful. Help is available for iron deficiency in San Antonio, TX. If you or someone you love is suffering from these symptoms, please connect with San Antonio Gastroenterology Associates and let them know you suspect the possibility of iron deficiency.
How is anemia/iron deficiency treated?
Treatments for iron deficiency anemia are very straightforward and aim to get more iron into your body; however, a number of conditions and/or medications could interrupt the absorption of iron. The most common treatments for iron deficiency anemia include:
- Treatment for internal bleeding
- Oral contraceptives to reduce menstrual bleeding
- Iron supplements without antacids
- Increasing intake of foods rich in iron
- Swallowing iron tablets on an empty stomach
- Swallowing iron tablets in tandem with vitamin C
- Undergoing treatment for conditions that impede absorption, such as Celiac disease or Crohn’s disease
- Antibiotics to treat peptic ulcers
- Leafy greens
- Red meat - Beef
- Dried fruit
Vitamin C-rich foods to help with iron absorption:
- Leafy greens
Comprehensive treatment for anemia
Iron deficiency anemia may progress to severe health problems if ignored. When the tissues and cells in the major organs fail to receive the required supply of oxygen, they start to scar or become damaged. It is also important to note that in cases of iron deficiency anemia, your heart can be overworked because it is trying to supply more blood to oxygen-deprived portions of the body. Iron deficiency treatment might take two to three weeks to stop the symptoms. You may need to consume iron supplements for an extensive amount of time depending on the initial cause of your anemia to ensure it will not return. If you have received a diagnosis of anemia or suspect you might have it, please reach out to San Antonio Gastroenterology Associates in San Antonio, TX to be certain that you are given professional treatment for your condition.
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