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Things to Know About Anemia and Your Period (Edition 2)

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Many women suffer from Anemia without even knowing it. We have read in Edition 1 of the blog on how a heavy period can cause iron deficiency Anemia. In this Edition 2 of the blog, you can read on the diagnosis of Anemia, treatments, and preventative measures.

How is Iron Deficiency Anemia diagnosed?

Your doctor will take a medical history followed by a physical examination of symptoms. Some of the tests that can confirm an iron deficiency anemia are:

  • Complete blood count
  • Ferritin test

These two tests usually reveal whether you have enough Hemoglobin and produce red blood cells.

Treatment for Anemia due to heavy period:

Heavy bleeding during your menstrual flow can cause iron-deficiency Anemia. Your doctor can prescribe hormonal birth control or iron supplements to treat this condition. He/ she will recommend including more iron-rich foods in your diet. In some cases, surgery may be required like:

  • uterine artery embolization
  • ultrasound surgery to shrink fibroids
  • endometrial ablation

How to prevent Anemia from heavy periods?

Treating Anemia will require you to make some diet and lifestyle changes. You can take these preventative measures against Anemia:

  • Increase your intake of iron-rich foods like red meat, organ meat, spinach, legumes, chicken, eggs, turkey, and millets.
  • You can eat more foods that will increase iron absorption. Eat iron-rich foods combined with Vitamin C-rich foods like eggs, broccoli, & oranges, eggs & bell pepper scramble, chicken, and kale soup.
  • Do not drink tea or coffee with meals as it can cause a lack of iron absorption. Instead, take tea or coffee at a different time.
  • Do not take calcium supplements along with an iron-rich meal. Calcium can hinder your body’s ability to absorb iron. If you take calcium supplements, talk to your healthcare provider regarding it.
  • Always talk to your doctor before taking any iron supplements because it can have side effects.

What are some other causes of Anemia?

Consider the other causes that can cause Anemia like:

  • If you are not getting enough iron from your diet or your body isn’t absorbing iron properly (Crohn’s disease), it can lead to iron-deficiency anemia.
  • If you have stomach ulcers, colon polyps, gastritis, etc., it can cause internal bleeding leading to Anemia.
  • You are pregnant, and you are not getting enough folic acid and iron from your diet.
  • If you have low levels of vitamin B12, your body’s ability to make red blood cells is impaired. If you are a vegan or vegetarian, you are at a greater risk of developing Vitamin B12 deficiency leading to Anemia.
  • If you are suffering from any bone marrow disease like leukemia, it can impact the production of red blood cells.
  • Some genetic disorders like sickle cell disease and thalassemia can cause Anemia.
  • Certain chronic conditions like kidney disease, autoimmune conditions, and HIV can lead to Anemia.

In most cases, Anemia can be treated with diet, supplements, and lifestyle changes. You should always consult a doctor for correct diagnosis and treatment plan for Anemia due to heavy periods.

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