A Hematologist Answers Anemia FAQs

Hematologist Marlton, NJ

Wondering whether you may have anemia? Read on to learn more about this condition from a hematologist. Anemia is a condition where the blood's level of red blood cells is inadequate. Therefore, a hematologist may refer to someone suffering from anemia as having a low blood count.

Answers to common questions about anemia from a hematologist

Some of the most frequently asked questions concerning anemia and how it is treated are listed below:

What are the most common types of anemia?

The different types of anemia include:

  • Iron deficiency anemia: This is the most typical and prevalent kind of anemia. It is a result of an iron shortage in the patient's body. Iron is necessary to produce hemoglobin. Patients with this type of anemia are said to have "iron-poor blood"
  • Vitamin B12 deficiency anemia: The human body needs vitamin B12 to produce red blood cells. It is also important for a healthy nervous system. Certain symptoms such as movement difficulty and dementia may result from vitamin B12 anemia
  • Sickle cell anemia: This is a life-threatening genetic blood condition. A person's red blood cells, which transport oxygen all over the body, become anomalous when impacted by sickle cell anemia

Can a vegan diet make people anemic?

The risk of iron deficiency anemia reduces by eating a healthy diet. However, removing meat, dairy, and eggs increases the risk. Heme iron is the most readily absorbed form of iron and is present in meat products. Non-heme iron, on the other hand, is present in plants.

Individuals can make up for iron and vitamin B12 deficiencies via balanced diets. The body absorbs iron better by mixing vitamin C-rich foods with iron sources.

Patients who are experiencing lethargy and headaches and are concerned about their iron consumption can meet with a hematologist, who may do blood tests to determine their iron levels.

Is it not possible to pick up some iron supplements at the drugstore?

One can easily treat iron deficiency anemia with a store-bought iron supplement. However, using only the required dose is important since an iron overdose can cause major health complications.

Typically, the recommended daily dose of iron for adult men and women is 8mg and 18mg, respectively. Pregnant women should consult their doctor to be sure of the appropriate dose.

Next, patients can decide between taking the supplement in liquid or tablet form. The label might show confusing iron quantity; therefore, it is better to find out how much elemental iron the supplement contains. The body absorbs all iron types easily, but the amount of elemental iron is different.

Does anemia run in the family?

Anemia may be the result of a hereditary condition. Mild or severe hereditary anemia may result from a genetic disease. Anemia may occur if hereditary diseases hinder hemoglobin production. Disorders such as thalassemia, for example, are known to limit hemoglobin synthesis. Certain genetic diseases may lower the lifespan of red blood cells, resulting in anemia.

What are some of the effects of untreated anemia?

Lack of hemoglobin means oxygen levels in the body's tissues are lower than they should be. This may lead to a condition known as hypoxia, in which the body does not get enough oxygen for proper function.

Iron deficiency anemia, if left untreated, may lead to major health complications. Without enough red blood cells, your important organs cannot function correctly because of insufficient hemoglobin levels in the blood. The heart must work harder to compensate for the shortage of oxygen in the blood. This strain may contribute to heart failure or an enlarged heart.

Anemia during pregnancy may cause preterm labor, low birth weight, and even death of the fetus.

Do heavy periods contribute to the risk of anemia?

Heavy menstrual flow can make women prone to iron deficiency. However, many additional variables may also contribute to iron deficiency, such as an imbalanced diet and an intense exercise regimen.

Can I stop taking supplements once iron levels in the body are normal?

Patients need to continue using their supplements for an extra six months at least to create a healthy iron level in the bone marrow. It sometimes takes only two weeks to restore iron level. For the time being, the doctor will continue doing blood tests regularly to keep track of hemoglobin levels. Talk to the doctor first before discontinuing any supplement.

The bottom line

If you have additional questions about anemia, contact our clinic today to schedule a consultation with a hematologist.

Get more information here: https://lindenbergcancer.com or call Lindenberg Cancer & Hematology Center at (856) 475-0876

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