What is it?
Anemia is a term that is commonly referred to as “low blood counts”, typically anemia occurs secondary to an underlying primary condition.
1. Malabsorption – typically occurs secondary to gastric surgeries causing an inability to break down iron in the GI tract.
2. Blood loss – secondary to loss of iron and can be related to losing blood from ulcers in the GI tract, enlarged or burst blood vessels in the GI tract and cancer.
3. Chronic Kidney Disease – When you have kidney disease, you lack a significant hormone causing you to have inability to produce red blood cells.
4. Malignancy – anemia can be secondary to cancer, leukemias and chronic conditions.
What are the symptoms?
Symptoms include dizziness, dark and tarry stools, lightheadedness, abdominal pain, brittle nails, craving ice or cold water, fatigue, pale skin.
How is it diagnosed?
Anemia is diagnosed via various blood tests including iron, cbc, b12, folic acid, it may be useful to complete an endoscopy or colonoscopy to look for GI bleeding.
How is it treated?
Anemia is treated by treating the underlying cause. Whether that be with iron supplementation or increasing the amount of iron in your diet. For example fish, poultry, raisins, and whole grain breads all have a good nutritional source of iron. Vitamin C can also help increase absorption of iron when taking the two together.