Anaemia/Iron Deficiency

Anemia is a condition where your blood does not have enough healthy red cells to transport oxygen. A common cause of anemia is iron deficiency.

What is anaemia/iron deficiency

Anaemia is a condition characterised by insufficient healthy red blood cells in the blood, leading to a lack of oxygen-carrying capacity in the body. Specifically, iron deficiency anaemia occurs when there is a scarcity of iron in the body, which hampers the production of haemoglobin. Haemoglobin is a protein found in red blood cells that transports oxygen.

In the absence of adequate iron for haemoglobin synthesis, oxygen cannot be effectively distributed throughout the body. If left untreated, anaemia and iron deficiency can give rise to significant health complications. If you suspect you may have this condition, it is advisable to promptly reach out to your local The Gut Clinic UK facility.

What are the causes of anaemia/iron deficiency

Iron deficiency anaemia occurs when there is an inadequate amount of iron in the bloodstream, which is essential for the production of haemoglobin. Several factors can contribute to this lack of iron:

– Insufficient iron intake through the diet
– Blood loss (such as heavy menstruation or chronic bleeding)
– Impaired iron absorption due to conditions like Celiac disease, which affects the small intestine
– Pregnancy
– Intravascular hemolysis

There are certain risk factors associated with iron deficiency anaemia, including:

– Females
– Infants and children
– Regular blood donation
– Following a vegetarian/vegan diet

If you or someone you know is at risk of iron deficiency, it is important to consult with a specialist at The Gut Clinic UK to prevent the development of anaemia.

What are the symptoms of anaemia/iron deficiency?

Insufficient oxygen supply due to iron deficiency can lead to various complications. The most common symptoms of iron deficiency anaemia include:

– Sore or smooth tongue
– Cravings for ice or clay (pagophagia)
– Unexplained fatigue or low energy levels
– Weakness
– Pale skin
– Brittle nails
– Hair loss
– Chest pain or shortness of breath
– Rapid heartbeat
– Cold hands and feet
– Loss of appetite
– Headache
– Dizziness or lightheadedness

It is important not to self-diagnose iron deficiency anaemia, as taking iron supplements without proper medical guidance can be risky. If you experience any combination of the above symptoms persistently, it is advisable to seek medical attention and consult with your doctor. If you or someone you know is experiencing these symptoms, please reach out to a local Gut Clinic UK facility to explore the possibility of iron deficiency and seek appropriate investigation.

How is anaemia/iron deficiency treated?

The treatment for iron deficiency anaemia focuses on replenishing iron levels in the body. However, certain conditions or medications can affect iron absorption. The common treatment options for iron deficiency anaemia include:

– Taking iron tablets on an empty stomach.
– Increasing consumption of iron-rich foods.
– Treating underlying conditions that hinder iron absorption, such as Celiac disease or Crohn’s disease.
– Taking iron tablets without antacids.
– Combining iron tablets with vitamin C to enhance absorption.
– Antibiotics may be prescribed to address peptic ulcers.
– Oral contraceptives can help reduce excessive menstrual bleeding.
– Surgery or specific interventions may be necessary to treat internal bleeding.

Foods rich in iron include:

– Seafood
– Red meat (beef)
– Pork
– Poultry
– Legumes
– Leafy greens
– Beans
– Dried fruit
– Consuming foods rich in vitamin C can aid iron absorption. These include:
– Broccoli
– Grapefruit
– Kiwi
– Leafy greens
– Melons
– Tomatoes
– Oranges

It is important to consult with a healthcare professional to determine the most appropriate treatment approach for your specific case of anaemia/iron deficiency.


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