Connection Between Iron Deficiency Anemia and Anxiety & Depression

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With regard to iron deficiency and anemia, most people associate these conditions with strictly physical health. However, they can also have a strong impact on mental health and how the brain functions and how emotions are felt. The amount of nutrients consumed and utilized by the body, such as iron, can make even the healthiest of people experience mental distress or simply feel a bit “off” in their day-to-day lives.

This article will discuss the relationship between iron deficiency and mental health, including the connections between anemia and certain depressions and the causes of low iron and anxiety. With a better understanding of these connections, individuals prone to mental health problems can adjust their diets for improved wellness.

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Why Iron Affects Mental Health

Iron does much more than just fuel hardworking muscles and keep the body strong. It is also highly utilized by the brain and nerves, and in fact, the earliest iron deficiency symptoms are usually neurological. These can include fatigue, confusion, and insomnia. But if an iron deficiency is allowed to continue without treatment, more serious and prolonged mental issues can arise.

Some people wonder, “Can anemia cause depression?” and the answer can be yes for some individuals. Scientists believe that an iron deficiency affects the brain by slowing down the processing of central neurons and can result in the onset of mental symptoms or make existing mental symptoms worse.

Mental Symptoms of Low Iron

In the human body, and iron deficiency can present itself in many ways, both physically and mentally. For example, there is a strong correlation between anemia and anxiety, as well as between iron deficiency and depression. In addition to anemia and anxiety related to it, low iron may also lead to feelings of hopelessness, irritability, restlessness, and poor mental focus. Therefore, iron supplementation is sometimes recommended for individuals who are diagnosed with ADHD and other psychiatric disorders because of the brain-iron connection.

How to Boost Iron to Support Mental Health

Mental health is very complex because there are so many factors that can affect the brain and mental functioning. But one way to promote better mental health is to increase iron levels in order to maintain proper brain functioning or to help battle a mental illness.

Upon testing for low iron and anxiety and determining that an iron deficiency may be to blame for certain symptoms, a health professional may recommend taking high-potency, over-the-counter iron supplements, such as Fergon. Eating iron-rich foods, such as liver, seafood, leafy greens, and nuts, can also help sustain iron levels in the body. In more severe cases of iron deficiency where food and supplementation are not sufficient to bring iron levels up to a normal level quickly, it may be necessary to explore the option of intravenous iron transfusions. However, iron deficiency and depression or anxiety caused by it can usually be treated to enable individuals to take back control of their lives and find the health and happiness they deserve.

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The Little-Known Relationship Between Jaundice and Anemia

The condition of jaundice is most commonly associated with infants, but there is a specific type of condition called hemolytic anemia jaundice that can affect people at any age. The most well-known symptoms of hemolytic jaundice and other types of jaundice too are yellow-colored skin, eyes, and mouth. But there are other symptoms associated with this anemia condition, and specific ways to diagnose and treat it.

This article will explore the connection between anemia and jaundice and discuss the symptoms, causes, and treatment strategies for hemolytic anemia jaundice. It will also address the topic of living with hemolytic anemia and how to reduce the risk of infections.

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What Is Hemolytic Anemia Jaundice?

Hemolytic anemia occurs when the body’s red blood cells are destroyed more quickly than they are made. This is significant because it is the red blood cells that carry oxygen to the body’s tissues and organs. This is a condition that involves having too few red blood cells because there is an excess of hemolysis in the body. There are also various types of hemolytic anemia, and certain conditions, such as sickle cell disease and bone marrow failure, can cause it to occur.

Causes of Hemolytic Jaundice

The causes of hemolytic jaundice can be either hereditary or acquired because of a medical condition a person develops later in life. Sickle cell anemia and thalassemia are hereditary conditions that can be passed from parents to children and result in this type of red blood cell disorder. Individuals can also develop hemolytic anemia later in life due to infections, blood cancers, autoimmune disorders, and even medications like penicillin that are taken. Other possible causes of hemolytic jaundice related to anemia are overactive spleen and tumors.

Symptoms of Hemolytic Anemia Jaundice

Jaundice is a symptom of hemolytic anemia that involves a yellowing of the skin, eyes, and possibly mouth too. Other symptoms of hemolytic anemia are dark urine, weakness, fever, and dizziness. Some individuals with this condition may experience heart murmurs, fast heart rates, or an enlarged liver or spleen as well. Symptoms tend to worsen if this type of anemia is not treated promptly and can even lead to heart failure.

How to Treat Anemia-Induced Jaundice at Any Age

To properly diagnose hemolytic anemia, a doctor will begin with a physical exam and blood tests. Urine tests, bone marrow tests, and genetic tests may also be conducted. Fortunately, this is a condition that can usually be treated, and some individuals with mild symptoms do not even require treatment at all.

If anemia-induced jaundice is the result of another medical condition or medication taken, a doctor may choose to change treatment strategies or prescriptions for the patient. If low iron levels are impacting a patient’s health, then a doctor may recommend high potency iron supplement like Fergon, for example. In more severe cases, it may be necessary for a patient to under a blood transfusion, take corticosteroid medications, or even have surgery to remove the spleen. Medications to suppress the immune system may also help hemolytic anemia patients overcome symptoms, including jaundice. Overall, patients with this condition can reduce their risk of infections by getting flu shots, maintaining good hygiene, and avoiding people who are ill as much as possible.

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Do Iron Supplements Cause Constipation?

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Men and women take iron supplements for a variety of reasons, such as iron deficiency anemia, pregnancy, dialysis, and increased exercise.

But as with all supplements and medications, it is possible to experience side effects that may counter the health benefits of taking them. Some people wonder do iron supplements cause constipation, and yes, this is a possible side effect of iron pills. This is because iron has an effect on the digestive tract, which is something that affects some people but not everyone.

Therefore, this article will address the topic of ferrous sulfate constipation and suggest solutions for how iron deficient individuals can get the iron their bodies need without experiencing uncomfortable constipation.

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Symptoms of Constipation

Individuals who are taking iron supplements may experience indigestion, gas, and bloating. These are all common symptoms of constipation. Some people who are constipated may also have difficulty passing stools and feel nauseous. Constipation is defined as having fewer than three stools per week.

Why Does Iron Cause Constipation?

While the side effects of iron supplements are very few and rare, constipation is one of the most common ones. Iron affects the digestive tract, so an increase in iron consumption may take a little getting used to for the body. This is because some forms of iron are difficult for the body to absorb, which means that the digestive system has to work especially hard to process a series of reactions before it can be utilized for various functions.

How to Avoid Ferrous Sulfate Constipation

One of the best ways to prevent ferrous sulfate constipation is to drink lots of water (at least six to eight glasses) throughout the day. It is also recommended to get as much iron from food as possible, as well as to eat high fiber foods that help promote good digestive health. Fiber-rich foods to include in the diet include raw fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and beans. To increase the body’s ability to digest iron, take iron supplements with a beverage rich in vitamin C, such as orange juice.

Also, make sure to exercise at least 30 minutes per day to keep the digestive system active and working well. Certain iron supplements and forms of iron are easier on the digestive system than others, so consider switching to Fergon if other supplements cause discomfort. It may also help to avoid taking any other medications or caffeine at the same time as iron supplements because these substances can reduce iron absorption and result in constipation. Some individuals may benefit from adjusting their iron supplement dosage after consultation with a physician if constipation problems persist.

Choose Fergon to Prevent Constipation

Fergon is an excellent iron supplement for people who have experienced constipation while taking other iron supplements in the past. This is because the iron in Fergon is in the form of ferrous gluconate, which is highly soluble and easily digested. Therefore, it is much less likely to cause the side effects that can accompany other iron supplements, such as constipation, bloating, and upset stomach. Always take Fergon with food, and just one tablet daily will provide the iron the body needs to function at its very best.

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How Iron Deficiency Anemia Causes Diarrhea

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There are many different conditions that can cause diarrhea, including irritable bowel syndrome, ulcerative colitis, bacterial and viral infections, and even food poisoning. However, anemia can also cause the types of loose stools, abdominal cramping, bloating, and other symptoms that are common when a person suffers from diarrhea. This uncomfortable and embarrassing condition happens to everyone occasionally, but serious cases of diarrhea that last longer than a couple days could be a warning sign of something more serious happening in the body.

Here is some information about the anemia diarrhea connection, as well as how to prevent and treat iron deficiency anemia diarrhea in the body.

 

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The Relationship Between Anemia and Diarrhea

There are quite a few different types of anemia, and some types are more likely to cause symptoms of diarrhea. For example, folic acid deficiency anemia involves having an inadequate supply of folic acid in the body and often causes diarrhea. Having low iron levels in the body can also lead to symptoms of diarrhea and abdominal pain in patients. Many people develop anemia because of blood loss from the gastrointestinal tract, and this blood loss is often due to diarrhea caused by an intestinal infection or inflammatory bowel disease.

Does Anemia Cause Diarrhea?

Many people wonder does anemia cause diarrhea, and while anemia caused by diarrhea is rare, it is possible if a patient is experiencing gastrointestinal bleeding that results in loose stools. Individuals who experience this condition often notice foul-smelling stools that are blackish in color as well. This condition typically constitutes a medical emergency that requires immediate attention in an emergency room.

Meanwhile, certain medical conditions, including celiac disease and Crohn’s disease, can cause both anemia and diarrhea at the same time. These anemia diarrhea conditions may also result in weight loss, blood loss in stools, and low bodily absorption of iron.

Iron Deficiency Anemia Diarrhea Warning Signs

Diarrhea that occurs very rarely and that only lasts for a day or two is often no need for serious concern. However, chronic diarrhea can last for several weeks and indicate an untreated infection, irritable bowel syndrome, or inflammatory bowel disease.

If anemia and diarrhea coexist in the body, individuals may also notice symptoms of fatigue, weakness, shortness of breath, dizziness, cold extremities, and pale skin. All of these symptoms can be early warning signs of serious medical conditions, which is why it is recommended to seek treatment for such abnormalities occurring in the body.

Solutions for Preventing Diarrhea and Treating Anemia

Fortunately, iron deficiency anemia diarrhea can be treated and prevented in most instances. If low iron levels are to blame for a person’s anemia, thereby causing loose stools, then iron supplements like Fergon can help restore those levels back to normal. Making dietary adjustments can also help to prevent and control chronic diarrhea symptoms. For example, people suffering from diarrhea should avoid fatty, spicy, and dairy foods and rather stick to clear liquids and low-fiber foods instead.

Other diarrhea treatments include taking antibiotic medications, drinking water and juice to replace fluids, probiotics, and over-the-counter diarrheal medications. If symptoms do not clear up on their own within a couple days with at-home remedies, it is time to consult a physician, who may conduct a blood test or stool test to determine the cause of the iron deficiency anemia diarrhea.

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The Connection Between Anemia and the Heart

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Iron is a nutrient that affects many different parts of the body, including the heart. The condition of anemia can occur when the body doesn’t have an adequate supply of red blood cells to transport hemoglobin to these various parts.

Meanwhile, heart disease is one of the most common serious medical conditions in the U.S. and a potentially fatal one for individuals of all ages and backgrounds.

This article will describe the connection between anemia and the heart and answer questions about anemia irregular heartbeat and heart failure caused by anemia. It will also provide heart-healthy tips for daily living.

Can Anemia Cause Heart Problems?

The answer to this question is yes, because low hemoglobin levels make it more difficult for the heart to pump blood and oxygen throughout the body. When the heart has to pump faster and harder to make up for low iron levels, it can put excess strain on a heart that is already weakened or compromised. A significant number of people who have heart problems are also anemic. While heart disease directly caused by anemia is very rare, anemia is a factor that makes heart disease significantly worse.

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Can Anemia Cause Irregular Heartbeats?

Yes, anemia can cause a person’s heartbeat to become irregular because of the extra strain the heart must endure to pump blood to the body’s tissues. Tachycardia is a condition characterized by this need to pump blood faster, and it can alter the natural rhythm of a person’s heartbeat. In addition to anemia irregular heartbeat, symptoms of chest pain, dizziness, fatigue, and shortness of breath may occur simultaneously.

Can Anemia Cause Heart Failure?

It has been estimated that nearly half of individuals who have experienced heart failure are anemic, and many people who are hospitalized for heart attacks have dangerously low iron levels too. Meanwhile, other studies have concluded that iron deficiency plays a key role in the progression of heart disease and that the rates of heart disease-related hospitalizations increase as anemia symptoms worsen. Individuals who already have some form of heart disease put themselves at risk when they don’t consume enough iron, because anemia can make an existing heart condition even worse.

Tips for Maintaining a Healthy Heart

Fortunately, there are many things that men and women can do now to promote heart health for the future. Anyone who has a personal or family history of heart disease should be screened for anemia to determine if low iron levels are making the heart work harder than it needs to. If so, iron supplements, like Fergon, may be used to help restore healthy iron levels in the body and support a fully-functional heart. Intravenous iron infusions may be administered for severe iron deficiencies and then followed up by iron supplements taken orally.

Other tips for a healthy heart are avoiding cigarette smoke, being physically active every day, maintaining a healthy weight, and managing blood pressure and diabetes. Replacing unhealthy fats with healthy fats in the diet, limiting alcohol, and eating less salt are also great ways to prevent heart disease and the various symptoms it can cause.

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Anemia in Elderly Adults: Causes, Symptoms and Treatment

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For men and women over the age of 65, low bodily iron levels are a serious concern and a common occurrence due to the natural process of aging. According to the journal, American Family Physician, around 80 percent of elderly adults have anemia, a condition most commonly caused by low iron intake and chronic disease.

Although the prevalence of anemia tends to increase with age, it should not be accepted as an inevitable condition that must simply be lived with.

To help treat and prevent anemia in elderly men and women, here is some information about the most common causes and symptoms that occur in aging bodies.

What Causes Anemia in Elderly People?

While the condition of anemia is caused by a low red blood cell count, it’s important to determine why this red blood cell count is getting low. Either an elderly adult’s body isn’t producing enough red blood cells, or it is abnormally losing red blood cells on a regular basis.

If low production is to blame, this could be caused by an elderly adult not eating enough iron-rich foods, due to chemotherapy treatments for cancer, lack of vitamin B12 in the diet, or chronic inflammation. But if the issue is with red blood cells being lost, the causes of anemia in the elderly may include chronic bleeding in the intestines, an injury to the body, or frequent blood draws during hospitalizations.

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Risk Factors for Anemia in Elderly Adults

Risk factors that make elderly individuals more prone to developing anemia include not eating a healthy and well-balanced diet on a regular basis. It may be more difficult for older adults to prepare healthy meals due to arthritis in the hands or being unable to drive oneself to the grocery store for ingredients. A diet lacking in iron, vitamin B12, and folate puts elderly adults at a great risk of anemia. Intestinal disorders, kidney failure, cancer, and family history are also risk factors that may apply to seniors with anemia.

Symptoms of Anemia in Seniors

The symptoms of anemia in seniors are similar to the symptoms experienced in other age groups as well, but they may be masked by other chronic conditions or by medications that a senior is taking. Unexplained symptoms to look out for are fatigue, weakness, high heartrate, shortness of breath, pale skin, and headaches.

Treatment for Anemia in Elderly Adults

It is very important for seniors to discuss their current medications with a doctor before self-treating a condition of suspected anemia. If adverse medication interactions are unlikely, a doctor may recommend that a senior take oral iron supplements, such as Fergon. Elderly adults often benefit by taking iron supplements with food to lessen the risk of stomach irritation, nausea, and diarrhea. If anemia is caused by a chronic disease, then the best way to treat the anemia is to manage the chronic disease as effectively as possible.

Elderly Anemia Prevention Tips

Elderly adults can prevent many instances of anemia by eating a healthy diet full of iron-rich foods, such as broccoli, Brussel sprouts, fresh fruits, and whole grains. Older adults should also have their iron levels checked at least once per year at an annual physical with their doctors. Since anemia is linked to overall declines in elderly health, it is very important to be mindful about unexplained symptoms that could be caused by low iron and treated accordingly and early in their progression.

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The Effects of Anemia & The Dangers of Untreated Anemia

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Many of the articles shared here for educational purposes focus on treatment options for various types of anemia. But what would happen if anemia is not treated and the symptoms are ignored for an extended period of time? Many people aren’t aware that they have anemia or choose to ignore the symptoms they feel due to fear, lack of access to health care, or not making personal health a top priority.

It should go without saying that diagnosing and treating a condition of anemia is very important. But the more specific purpose of this article is to explain the dangers of untreated anemia and to describe the short-term and long-term effects of nontreatment.

Common Effects of Anemia

The best way to address minor health issues before they become major ones is to learn about what various symptoms could mean and consult a doctor for professional advice. The common effects of anemia include fatigue, pale skin, cold hands and feet, headaches, irregular heartbeat, and shortness of breath. These symptoms often start out as very mild and go unnoticed until they worsen and get in the way of daily activities.

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Dangers of Untreated Anemia

Iron deficiency anemia can produce very severe symptoms and result in major medical complications if it is not diagnosed and treated promptly. For example, one of the dangers of untreated anemia is organ damage because anemia lessens the amount of oxygen that reaches various body parts. Heart damage can be caused by untreated anemia because the heart has to work harder to compensate for fewer red blood cells and less hemoglobin. In pregnant women, untreated anemia can lead to premature birth, low birth weight, and even infant death.

Possible Complications of Anemia

Having anemia involves much more than just feeling a little tired throughout the day. Possible complications of anemia are heart and lung problems because of the additional strain put on these organs when there isn’t enough iron in the body. More specifically, an abnormal heartbeat known as tachycardia may occur, as well as heart failure following a failure to treat severe iron deficiency anemia. Other complications of anemia that isn’t treated are heart attack, arrhythmia, and angina.

Can Anemia Cause Death?

Because of anemia’s strong connections to the heart, it is certainly possible for anemia to be a contributing factor of death. Heart attack is a leading cause of death among adults, and untreated anemia can make a weak heart even weaker and more strained. While most cases of anemia are very treatable, the risk of a cardiovascular event is much higher the longer that treatment is delayed.

Fortunately, anemia is usually very easily diagnosed by visiting a doctor and having a complete blood count (CBC) test performed. This is a measurement of the blood cells contained in a patient’s blood, and normal hematocrit levels are usually between 40 and 52 percent for men and between 35 and 47 percent for women. Based upon the symptoms and test results, a doctor may also recommend a test to identify the size and shape of red blood cells or take a look at a person’s bone marrow.

Don’t delay seeking treatment for a suspected case of untreated anemia. The solution to restoring optimal health and preventing future disease may be as simple as taking iron supplements like Fergon and eating more foods rich in iron and other nutrients.

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Sickle Cell Anemia: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment Options

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There are many different forms of anemia that can occur in the human body and some are more curable than others.

One form of this condition is called sickle cell anemia, which occurs when the body makes red blood cells that are abnormally shaped. The shape of a person’s red blood cells is important to support proper blood flow through the blood vessels.

This article will answer the question, “What is sickle cell anemia?” and describe the disease’s causes, symptoms, and treatment options. It will also compare sickle cell anemia to other forms of anemia by pointing out the distinguishing characteristics of this inherited disorder.

What Causes Sickle Cell Anemia?

Sickle cell anemia is caused by a genetic mutation that interferes with the normal production of hemoglobin. A person with this condition has hemoglobin that leads to red, misshaped, and sticky red blood cells. This is an inherited condition in which both the mother and father must pass the genetic mutation on for their child to develop sickle cell anemia. The disease is passed between generations by autosomal recessive inheritance and can lead to many different health complications.

How Sickle Cell Anemia Differs from Other Forms of Anemia

One of the biggest differences between sickle cell anemia and other types of anemia is that it is passed down from one generation to the next. It is also most common among individuals who are Black or of African descent. Sickle cell anemia symptoms also differ from those of other types of anemia, and there is no cure for the disease. It can be managed with treatment, but serious complications can occur without regular health maintenance checkups.

Sickle Cell Anemia Symptoms

People with sickle cell anemia have red blood cells that are in the shape of crescents, which prohibits smooth movement through the blood vessels compared to normal and healthy red blood cells. Common sickle cell anemia symptoms include episodes of pain that occur when there is a blockage of blood flow and swelling of the hands and feet. The pain associated with sickle cell anemia can be very intense and last for hours, days, or weeks. People with this type of anemia often experience frequent infections, vision difficulties, abdominal swelling, fever, and a yellowish tint of the skin or the whites of the eyes. Sickle cell anemia can also lead to an increased risk of organ damage, pulmonary hypertension, stroke, leg ulcers, and blindness.  

Sickle Cell Anemia Treatment Options

Although there is no cure yet for sickle cell anemia, there are sickle cell anemia treatment options that can make the symptoms more manageable and improve quality of life. Since pain is a big part of having sickle cell anemia, it’s important to establish an effective pain management plan with an experienced doctor. It may also be necessary to take iron supplements like Fergon or receive blood transfusions to reduce the symptoms of anemia. People with sickle cell anemia should also understand what triggers their worst pain and symptoms so that those factors can be avoided as much as possible. Common triggers include excessive exercise, dehydration, high altitude, smoking cigarettes, and cold temperatures.

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