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Signs and Symptoms of Iron Deficiency and Anemia - What You Need To Know

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Your body needs iron to make healthy red blood cells. Conditions that increase your risk of iron-deficiency anemia include the following: Blood loss When you lose blood, you lose iron. Blood loss can happen in many ways: Bleeding in your gastrointestinal tract(GI tract) from an inflammatory bowel disease, ulcer, colon cancer, or a or other GI disorders such as celiac disease. Traumatic injuries or surgery Heavy menstrual periods or bleeding during childbirth Regular use of medicines such as aspirin or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS), such as ibuprofen and naproxen that can lead to GI tract bleeding Urinary tract bleeding Problems absorbing iron Certain conditions or medicines can decrease your body’s ability to absorb iron and lead to iron-deficiency anemia. These conditions include: Certain rare genetic conditions that block your intestines from absorbing iron or make it harder to stop bleeding Endurance sports, which can make athletes lose iron through their GI tracts and through the breakdown of red blood cells Intestinal and digestive conditions, such as celiac disease, ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s disease, and Helicobacter pylori infection Surgery on your stomach and intestines, including weight loss surgery Other medical conditions Other conditions that may cause iron-deficiency anemia include: Kidney disease: People who have kidney disease do not make enough of a substance called erythropoietin. Your body needs erythropoietin to make red blood cells. Your doctor may prescribe erythropoietin if you have kidney disease. Long-lasting conditions that lead to inflammation: These include congestive heart failure or obesity. They can make it hard for your body to regulate and use your body’s iron. Sometimes young children can develop iron-deficiency anemia if they do not get enough iron in their diet. This usually occurs between the ages of 9 months and 1 year, as a child transitions to eating whole foods. How do you prevent iron-deficiency anemia? Prevention Iron-deficiency anemia may be preventable if you are able to treat the causes of blood loss or problems with iron absorption that can lead to the condition. It is also always a good idea to help the body keep iron levels where they need to be by maintaining a healthy diet that includes good sources of iron and vitamin C. Good sources of iron include beans, dried fruits, eggs, lean red meat, salmon, iron-fortified breads and cereals, peas, tofu, and dark green leafy vegetables. Vitamin C-rich foods such as oranges, strawberries, and tomatoes help your body absorb iron. Ensure that toddlers eat enough solid foods that are rich in iron.
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