Iron Deficiency Anemia: What You Need To Know

Health & Medical Blog

One of the most common forms of anemia is iron deficiency anemia. Since your blood plays such a vital role in your overall health, it's important that you understand what this condition is and how to recognize it.

Iron Deficiency Anemia

A large part of your health and energy depends on oxygen being transferred throughout your body by your red blood cells. This transfer keeps you feeling better and allows you to perform your daily functions. When you have iron deficiency anemia, your body doesn't produce enough iron to allow your red blood cells to promote healthy oxygen flow.

With a healthy amount of iron, your body is able to produce hemoglobin. Hemoglobin is a part of the red blood cells that facilitates this transfer of oxygen. Without sufficient iron in your red blood cells you aren't able to receive enough oxygen throughout your body or produce enough hemoglobin.


Extreme fatigue – A common symptom of iron deficiency anemia is extreme fatigue. This level of fatigue is much more severe than feeling a little tired after a long day. This type of fatigue makes doing daily activities like walking extremely difficult.

Shortness of breath – Difficulty breathing when you're not exerting yourself is another symptom. The inability of your red blood cells to transfer a sufficient amount of oxygen throughout your body is often the blame.

Why You're Being Referred To A Gastroenterologist

After anemia has been discovered by their primary care physician, many people are both puzzled and alarmed when they are referred to a gastroenterologist. Most of these fears can be put to ease. Typically, the reason you're being referred to a specialist is to rule out internal bleeding or colon cancer as the cause of your iron deficiency anemia.

Each of these conditions are considered common issues that lead to iron deficiency anemia. In order to rule out either of these conditions, the gastroenterologist will likely perform a colonoscopy. A colonoscopy is a testing procedure that allows the physician to get a direct view of the lining within your colon, or large intestine. Based on the results of this internal exam, the physician can either rule out or diagnosis either of these conditions.

If you believe you might be suffering from iron deficiency anemia, it's important that you speak with your physician. This condition is treatable. Your physician can prescribe a treatment program that gets to the core of the problem or help you find a gastroenterologist.


17 December 2014