iron deficiency anemia focuses on increasing your iron
stores so they reach normal levels and identifying and controlling any
conditions that caused the
anemia. If your anemia is caused by:
A disease or condition, such as bleeding in your stomach, your doctor will take steps to correct the
Not having enough iron in your diet or
not able to absorb iron, your doctor will work
with you to develop a plan to increase your iron levels.
Taking iron supplement pills and getting enough iron in your food will correct most cases of iron deficiency anemia. You
usually take iron pills 1 to 3 times a day. To get the most benefit from the
pills, take them with vitamin C (ascorbic acid) pills or orange juice. Vitamin
C helps your body absorb more iron.
The symptoms of hemophilia include:
In some cases, lengthy bleeding after circumcision
Swollen, painful joints
Swollen, tender muscles
Excessive bleeding from the gums, tongue, or mouth following injury (seen particularly in infants and toddlers)
Severe bleeding after tooth extractions or other invasive dental procedures
Severe bleeding after injuries or operations
Most people start to feel
better within a few days of beginning treatment. Even though you feel better,
you will need to keep taking the pills for several months to build up your iron
stores. Sometimes it takes up to 6 months of treatment with iron supplements
before iron levels return to normal.
You may need to have iron
replacement shots if you have an iron absorption problem and are not able to
increase your iron levels by taking pills or increasing the amount of iron in
your diet. You may need these shots throughout your life.
anemia is severe, your doctor may give you a
blood transfusion to correct your anemia quickly and
then have you start on iron supplement pills and a diet high in iron.
To watch your condition, your doctor will use blood tests, such as:
Iron tests, which measure the amount of iron in your
reticulocyte count, to see how well treatment is
working. Reticulocytes are immature red blood cells produced by the bone marrow
and released into the bloodstream. When reticulocyte counts increase, it
usually means that iron replacement treatment is effective.
Usually, people can eliminate iron deficiency anemia by
taking iron as pills or shots and adding iron in their diet. If your anemia is
not corrected with these treatments, your doctor will do more testing to look
for other causes of your anemia, such as new bleeding or difficulty absorbing
iron from pills. These tests may be the same as those initially used to
diagnose your anemia.
What To Think About
If you suspect you have iron
deficiency anemia, do not take iron pills without consulting your doctor.
Taking iron pills could delay the diagnosis of a serious problem such as
colorectal cancer or a bleeding ulcer.