Anemia/Iron Deficiency in Utah

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Anemia is the name of a condition in which an individual's blood doesn't have enough healthy red cells to carry an adequate supply of oxygen throughout the body. Iron deficiency anemia is a common type of anemia resulting from a shortage of iron in one's body, which inhibits it from making hemoglobin. Hemoglobin (which is a protein found in red blood cells) delivers oxygen. Without iron to produce hemoglobin, oxygen cannot be sufficiently distributed to one's body. Anemia and iron deficiency could cause serious health problems if ignored. You can find help for anemia in Utah. Should you believe you or a loved one might have this condition, then we encourage you to connect with Utah Gastroenterology at your earliest convenience.

Iron deficiency anemia results from abnormally low levels of iron in the blood. Iron is the element that allows the blood to manufacture hemoglobin. Iron deficiency might be the result of a variety of unique circumstances:

  • A problem absorbing iron (your small intestine becomes compromised from a disease like Celiac disease)
  • An insufficient amount of iron in your diet
  • Intravascular hemolysis
  • Pregnancy
  • Loss of blood (heavy menstruation, chronic blood loss, etc.)

The following populations may be at an increased risk of iron deficiency anemia:

  • Those who donate blood
  • Females
  • Infants and children
  • Those maintaining a vegetarian or vegan diet

If you are at risk of being iron deficient, contact a specialist at Utah Gastroenterology to ensure anemia does not become an issue.

Without a healthy supply of oxygen in the blood, many of your body's functions can become impaired. Some of the more typical symptoms of iron deficiency anemia include:

  • Dizziness or lightheadedness
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • A lack of strength
  • Brittle nails
  • Pain in one's head
  • Unexplained fatigue or lack of energy
  • Chest pain or shortness of breath
  • Lack of hunger
  • Painful or smooth tongue
  • Craving for ice or clay (pagophagia)
  • Loss of hair
  • Pale skin
  • Cold hands and feet

Iron deficiency anemia should never be self-diagnosed, and taking iron supplements without a doctor's supervision may do more harm than good. Help is available for iron deficiency in Utah. See a doctor if you are experiencing any combination of the listed symptoms with any frequency. If you are suffering from these symptoms, please call your nearest Utah Gastroenterology location and let them know you suspect the possibility of iron deficiency.

In general, treatments for iron deficiency anemia focus on boosting the amount of iron in the body. If your body is having trouble absorbing iron due to a health condition or a medication you're taking, that may also be addressed. Iron deficiency anemia is most commonly treated using any combination of the following strategies:

  • Increasing intake of foods rich in iron
  • Taking oral contraceptives for reduction of menstrual bleeding
  • Swallowing iron supplements on an empty stomach
  • Surgery or treatment for internal bleeding
  • Treatment for conditions that impact absorption, such as Crohn's disease or celiac disease
  • Taking vitamin C alongside iron supplements (to boost absorption)
  • Taking iron tablets without antacids
  • Taking antibiotics for treatment of peptic ulcers


Some iron-rich foods you may need to incorporate into your diet include:

  • Leafy greens
  • Legumes
  • Pork
  • Beef or other red meat
  • Dried fruit
  • Seafood
  • Poultry
  • Beans


Vitamin C-rich foods (to help with iron absorption):

  • Leafy greens
  • Broccoli
  • Melons
  • Grapefruit
  • Oranges
  • Tomatoes
  • Kiwi
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Iron deficiency anemia can spiral into more dangerous health problems if parts of the body are left without sufficient oxygen for too long. In the event that the cells and tissues in the major organs are not given the amount of oxygen they must have, they begin to scar or become damaged. It is also important to note that in cases of iron deficiency anemia, the heart can be damaged due to its attempts to supply additional blood to oxygen-deprived sections of the body. But there is help for iron deficiency anemia in Utah. Iron deficiency treatment can need two to three weeks to stop symptoms. Depending on why you were anemic in the first place, you could need to take iron supplements for a long amount of time to ensure that the anemia does not resurface. If you or a family member has been diagnosed with, or suspect you might have, anemia, we implore you to connect with Utah Gastroenterology to ensure you get the best treatment for your condition.

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