Iron deficiency anemia is a common type of anemia caused by insufficient iron. If left untreated, iron deficiency anemia can lead to serious health complications, especially in pregnant women and children. At Illinois Gastroenterology Group in Gurnee, Evanston, Skokie, Libertyville, Lindenhurst, Highland Park, & Lincoln Park, Chicago, Illinois, the team of board-certified gastroenterology specialists can help you restore your iron levels. To speak with a doctor about your condition, book your appointment by phone or online today.
Anemia refers to a lack of healthy red blood cells. Red blood cells are responsible for carrying oxygen to the different tissues in the body.
Iron deficiency anemia refers to an inadequate amount of red blood cells caused by iron deficiency. Iron is essential to the production of hemoglobin which allows red blood cells to transport oxygen.
Although iron deficiency anemia typically doesn't cause complications, if left untreated, it can lead to an irregular heartbeat and increase your risk for heart failure.
Iron deficiency anemia is particularly hazardous during pregnancy as it's been linked to premature birth and low birth weight. Low iron deficiency also affects development in infants and children.
The symptoms of iron deficiency anemia can appear mild at first. As the condition progresses, and the deficiency increases, symptoms become more severe. The symptoms of iron deficiency anemia include:
When you’re iron deficient, your body lacks the ability to provide your tissues with the oxygen it needs. This is why symptoms like extreme fatigue and shortness of breath are so common.
It's difficult to self diagnose iron deficiency anemia. If you notice symptoms, the specialists at Illinois Gastroenterology Group can help diagnose your condition and safely restore your body’s nutrients.
Possible causes of iron deficiency include:
Certain digestive conditions like celiac disease can prevent your body from properly absorbing nutrients from your diet, as can Crohn’s, an inflammatory bowel disease. Pregnancy also frequently causes iron deficiency as stored iron is used to support the growth of the fetus.
Treating your iron deficiency anemia begins with an accurate diagnosis from Illinois Gastroenterology Group. Your doctor first performs a physical exam, and you discuss your signs, symptoms, and medical history. A blood test is typically used to confirm iron deficiency anemia.
Your doctor may perform a number of additional tests, including endoscopy, colonoscopy, or ultrasound to help determine the cause of your deficiency.
To treat your condition, your doctor may begin with an iron supplement to help restore iron levels in your blood.
Illinois Gastroenterology Group offers comfortable and convenient iron infusions, delivering iron intravenously, for quick and effective results. Dietary changes are also effective at increasing and maintaining levels of iron.
In addition to restoring your nutrients, if necessary, your doctor also treats the underlying cause of your condition. Treatment may include minimally invasive surgery to remove a blockage from your digestive system or medication to address conditions like Crohn’s disease.
For iron deficiency anemia diagnosis and treatment, book an appointment by phone or online today at Illinois Gastroenterology Group.