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Managing Iron-Deficiency Anemia

Posted by Deb Spinelli on 8/20/2015
Anemia is a common problem, especially among the elderly. Indeed, it is sometimes assumed that anemia is an unavoidable component of aging. This need not be the case, however. In over 80% of cases anemia is highly treatable once its causes have been properly diagnosed. Approximately 15 to 30 percent of all anemia cases among the elderly are due to iron deficiency, while folate deficiency and vitamin B12 deficiency are behind 5 to 10 percent of cases. Chronic disease accounts for 30 to 45 percent of anemia cases in the elderly, and 5 to 10 percent of cases are the result of posthemorrhagic issues.

If you or your doctor suspects that you might be anemic, you may be prescribed a ferritin test to determine whether your anemia is due to iron deficiency or chronic disease. This is a simple blood test designed to measure the level of ferritin in the body. Ferritin is a blood cell protein that contains iron. This simple test can help your doctor determine how much iron is being stored in your body. Low levels of ferritin may indicate iron deficiency anemia.

If your ferritin test reveals that you are suffering from iron deficiency anemia, there are some steps you can take to treat this common type of anemia.

1. Maintain a diet that is rich in iron. A diet that features red meat, leafy vegetables, iron-fortified cereals, and dried fruits and nuts will help you to treat or prevent iron deficiency. To help your body absorb the iron from these foods, make sure you are also consuming foods that are rich in vitamin C, like citrus fruit, for example.

2. Since vitamin C helps your body absorb iron, you might benefit from taking vitamin C tablets. To give yourself an added vitamin C boost, consider taking these vitamin C tablets with a glass of orange juice or alongside a few orange or grapefruit slices.

3. Take iron supplements. Iron tablets can help to restore your body's iron's levels. To promote iron absorption it's best to take these pills on an empty stomach. It may be necessary to take iron supplements for several months to restore your body's iron to normal levels.

An alternative to iron tablets is iron in a liquid form. The Medical Maven offers a Ferosul Ferrous Sulfate Elixir to provide all the iron your body needs to produce red blood cells. If you are unable to swallow chalky tablets, or if you simply prefer your supplements in a liquid form, The Medical Maven's affordable Ferrous Sulfate Elixir is the ideal solution to help your body maintain healthy iron levels.

Statement: Iron-deficiency anemia can be easily managed with a combination of dietary additions and supplements.

Posted in: Elderly Care, Nutrition