TREATING IRON DEFICIENCY ANAEMIA

Treating Iron Deficiency Anaemia

Anaemia is treatable, but certain types of anaemia may be lifelong. However, medical care for each type of anaemia is followed to provide relief to patients. Basically medical care consists of establishing the diagnosis and reasons behind the iron-deficiency so that treatment can be planned with high degree of effectiveness.


If the root cause is dietary iron-deficiency then eating more iron-rich food like lentils and beans is suggested. Doctors also suggest iron supplements, ordinarily with ferrous gluconate, iron(II) sulfate, or synthetic chelate NaFerredetate EDTA, or iron amino acid chelate ferrous bisglycinate to correct the anaemia. Alternatively, intravenous iron can be administered considering the medical conditions of the patient.*


IRON SUPPLEMENTS


Doctors prescribe iron supplement to restore missing iron from body but some patients may experience side-effects while taking iron orally. Most common side-effects are nausea, black stool, heartburn, abdominal pain, constipation and diarrhoea.


Taking the supplements shortly after eating may help minimize the side-effects. For more sensitive patients, initially lower doses are recommended and once the body adapts to oral iron supplementation then doses may be slowly increased.


Bioavailability is a major concern that goes parallel with oral iron supplementation. It is mainly the difference between iron intake and iron absorption. This problem may worsen if iron is taken in conjunction with tea, milk, coffee and other inhibiting substances.


DIETARY ADVICE:

  • iron-fortified cereals
  • dark-green leafy vegetables, such as watercress and curly kale
  • whole grains, such as brown rice
  • beans, nuts, apricots & raisins
  • meat
  • prunes

TREATING UNDERLYING CAUSES


Doctors also need to ensure that underlying causes of anaemia is treated so that it doesn't become a recurrent problem. For instance; if non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs are causing bleeding in your stomach then alternative medicine must be prescribed to minimize the effects.


Secondly, if heavy periods are creating problem then treatment for menorrhagia must be continued.

Later patient must be monitored regularly to test the improvement and count the haemoglobin levels. Even if the count of RBC and level of haemoglobin is normal, doctors may recommend to continue taking iron for a period of time to replenish the iron stores in the body.


CONTINUING TREATMENT


In some people, the iron stores that have been replenished start to fall after a period of time. This could happen due to:


1. Ignorance of iron rich diet

2. Pregnancy

3. Heavy periods (menorrhagia)


In this case, patients may be prescribed an ongoing iron supplement, usually one tablet a day to stop recurrence of anaemia.


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