Lonestar Gastroenterology

Warning Signs of Anemia

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Warning Signs of Anemia

Anemia is a condition where you lack enough red blood cells for your blood to carry oxygen, and it can happen for a number of reasons. Many gastrointestinal problems can lead to anemia, and knowing the signs can save your life.

 Your blood is one of the most important specialized fluids in your body, and is responsible for many functions, such as carrying oxygen and nutrients throughout your body, sending cells and antibodies to fight infection, and regulating body temperature. Its main components are plasma, red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets. In a healthy body, a balanced amount of each helps to keep the body running smoothly. 

A blood condition that throws your body out of balance is anemia, which is the result of a lack of red blood cells to carry oxygen throughout your bloodstream to tissues that need it. There are different types of anemia and it has several causes, but the most common form is iron deficiency anemia. Many causes of this type of anemia are tied to gastrointestinal (GI) illnesses, which can lead to other complications. Let’s look at the symptoms of anemia, the GI issues that can cause it, and how it can be treated.

Residents of Austin, Texas, looking for someone to help with GI conditions that can cause anemia can find help with Dr. Rajesh Mehta and his skilled medical team at LoneStar Gastroenterology. We take a comprehensive, integrative approach to treating each patient in a welcoming, warm environment to offer you the best care.

Symptoms of anemia

Symptoms of the illness vary with the cause and severity, but people experiencing it can deal with symptoms like fatigue, weakness, pale or yellowish skin, irregular heartbeat, shortness of breath, dizziness, lightheadedness, chest pains, headaches, and cold hands and feet. A mild case of anemia may not have any symptoms, but as the condition worsens, expect some of these signs.

Gastrointestinal conditions that cause it

GI conditions pose a greater risk for iron deficiency anemia, as these illnesses create two different type of conditions:

Malabsorption conditions

When you eat, your body takes in nutrients from food to help to operate properly. When you have problems absorbing nutrients, it can also affect your blood’s ability to move those nutrients throughout the body, including iron. Conditions like Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, celiac disease, autoimmune gastritis, and helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) infection all increase the risk of anemia.

Bleeding conditions

Some bleeding problems can cause you to lose dangerous amounts of iron in your blood, like gastric/ duodenal ulcers, variceal bleeding, esophagitis, erosive gastritis, diverticulitis, rectal ulcers, and infectious colitis.

Methods of treatment

Treatment for iron deficiency anemia often involves dietary changes and iron supplements, which can include iron infusions to recover large amounts of iron in the blood. Further treatment will vary depending on the root cause of your anemia, but if blood loss is still a problem, surgery or some medical procedure to stop the bleeding may be necessary.

If you’re dealing with the signs of anemia, it could be a temporary loss of iron in your blood, or due to some underlying condition. Make an appointment with Dr. Mehta and LoneStar Gastroenterology to relieve symptoms and get to the cause of your anemia.