Treatment Options for People with Iron Deficiency Anemia
Many kinds of people are diagnosed with iron deficiency anemia, and the treatment for this condition depends upon the individual and the severity of the symptoms.
Ultimately, the goals of treating an iron deficiency are to bring back normal functioning levels of red blood cells, hemoglobin, and iron.
This article discusses how people with iron deficiency anemia are treated and common supplement recommendations for men, women, and children.
The first and often easiest step that doctors recommend to correct minor iron deficiencies is to make simple changes to the diet. Although the best source of iron is red meat, there are plenty of other options for people who don’t eat red meat or who are vegetarian or vegan. For example, peas, lentils, baked beans, soybeans, tofu, fried fruits, spinach, and fortified breads and cereals are excellent sources of iron in the human body.
However, in cases of moderate and severe iron deficiency, dietary changes are often not enough to improve the health of an individual. Iron supplements like Fergon are commonly recommended by doctors to treat anemia and also prevent the worsening of iron deficiencies among women and athletes. Fergon is a is a trusted source of iron preferred by consumers and is manufactured in a way to prevent unwanted side effects like upset stomach, bloating, and constipation.
When one begins to supplement the diet with iron, it is also crucial to get enough vitamin C on a regular basis. Vitamin C assists with iron absorption and can be found in oranges, grapefruits, kiwis, strawberries, and cantaloupes.
For very severe cases of iron deficiency, it may be necessary to receive a transfusion of red blood cells. This is a somewhat common procedure that involves giving a person blood via IV line through a blood vessel. This is typically a treatment used on patients who have a high risk of heart conditions or other medical issues that could be worsened by iron deficiency anemia.
Another treatment for severe cases of iron deficiency anemia is iron therapy. This involves injecting iron into an IV line in a blood vessel or into a muscle. This option is typically only considered when a patient is unable to take iron supplements by mouth due to another medical condition.
Dosage and Duration Recommendations
The Food and Nutrition Board at the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies recommends that men between the ages of 19 and 50 years old get eight milligrams of iron per day and that women in this age range get 18 milligrams of iron per day. After the age of 51, both genders are recommended to get eight milligrams of iron daily.
For children under six months, both genders should get 0.27 milligrams of iron, seven- to one-year-olds 11 milligrams, one- to three-year-olds seven milligrams, and four- to eight-year-olds 10 milligrams. Nine- to 13-year-olds should get eight milligrams of iron, while 14- to 18-year old males need 11 milligrams and 14- to 18-year-old females need 15 milligrams.
These recommendations vary based on the individual, so ask a trusted doctor about the appropriate dosage to take and duration of time to take iron supplements based upon dietary intake and lifestyle.
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