Anemia/Iron Deficiency in Indianapolis, IN

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Anemia is a condition that develops anytime a person's blood doesn't have a sufficient number of healthy red blood cells to carry adequate oxygen throughout the body. Iron deficiency anemia is a commonly seen type of anemia caused when there is not enough iron in your body, which stops it from manufacturing hemoglobin. Hemoglobin (which is a protein found in red blood cells) delivers oxygen. In the absence of iron to produce hemoglobin, oxygen is not correctly spread throughout your body. Anemia and iron deficiency can cause serious health concerns when they are not treated. You can find care for anemia in Indianapolis, IN. Should you believe you or a loved one might have this condition, then please contact Indianapolis Gastroenterology and Hepatology today.

Iron deficiency anemia stems from an insufficient amount of iron in your blood. Iron is the substance that enables the blood to manufacture hemoglobin. This lack of iron can be caused by a number of different circumstances:

  • Blood loss (heavy menstruation, etc.)
  • Intravascular hemolysis
  • An inability to absorb iron (for example, if the small intestine has become compromised from a condition such as Celiac disease)
  • A lack of iron in one's diet
  • Pregnancy

Risk factors for iron deficiency anemia might include:

  • Infants and children
  • Those who donate blood
  • Gender (females are more likely to be iron deficient)
  • Vegetarians/vegans

If you are at risk for iron deficiency, speak with a doctor at Indianapolis Gastroenterology and Hepatology to ensure anemia does not become an issue.

There are many symptoms that may signal an insufficient amount of oxygen in the blood. The most frequent symptoms of iron deficiency anemia might include:

  • Rapid heart rate
  • Sore or smooth tongue
  • Unexplained fatigue or lack of energy
  • Pain in one's head
  • Loss of appetite
  • The feeling of being weak
  • Cold hands and feet
  • Lightheadedness or dizziness
  • Nails that break easily
  • Shortness of breath or pain in one's chest
  • A lack of color in the skin
  • Craving for ice or clay (pagophagia)
  • Hair loss

Iron deficiency anemia is not something you should self-diagnose, and supplementing with iron in pill form without a doctor's guidance may even be harmful. Help is available for iron deficiency in Indianapolis, IN. See a doctor if you experience any combination of the listed symptoms consistently. If you are suffering from these symptoms, please get in touch with a local Indianapolis Gastroenterology and Hepatology team and ask about investigating the possibility of iron deficiency.

Treatments for iron deficiency anemia are very simple, with most focusing on increasing the levels of iron in your body. It is important to note, however, that a number of conditions or medications might interrupt the absorption of iron. The most typical ways to treat iron deficiency anemia are:

  • Repair or treatment for internal bleeding
  • Swallowing iron supplements without antacids
  • Increasing intake of foods rich in iron
  • Swallowing iron tablets on an empty stomach
  • Undergoing treatment for conditions that impact absorption, like Celiac disease or Crohn’s disease
  • Antibiotics to treat peptic ulcers
  • Swallowing iron tablets at the same time as vitamin C
  • Taking oral contraceptives for reduction of bleeding during menstruation

Iron-rich foods:

  • Dried fruit
  • Legumes
  • Beans
  • Red meat (beef)
  • Poultry
  • Seafood
  • Leafy greens
  • Pork

Vitamin C-rich foods (to aid in iron absorption):

  • Leafy greens
  • Kiwi
  • Melons
  • Tomatoes
  • Broccoli
  • Grapefruit
  • Oranges
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Iron deficiency anemia could lead to dangerous outcomes for your health if improperly handled. When the tissues and cells in your major organs are not given the amount of oxygen they must have, they begin to scar or become damaged. Iron deficiency anemia can also cause your heart to become overworked as it tries to supply more blood to oxygen-deprived areas of the body. Care is available for individuals suffering from iron deficiency anemia in Indianapolis, IN. Iron deficiency treatment could need two to three weeks to halt symptoms. Depending on the initial cause of your anemia, you could need to consume iron supplements for a long period of time to make certain that the anemia does not resurface. If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with, or have suspicions of, anemia, we invite you to reach out to Indianapolis Gastroenterology and Hepatology to be certain that you receive expert care for your situation.

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