4 Ways to Treat Iron Deficiency Anemia

1. Add More Iron to Your Diet

Iron deficiency anemia is caused by a lack of iron in the body, resulting in deformed red blood cells incapable of providing your body with all the oxygen it needs. This makes you very tired all the time. One of the ways to reduce or solve iron deficiency anemia is to increase your intake of iron. You can get iron by eating things like lean red meat, beans, vegetables and nuts. Or your doctor may recommend adding iron supplements if adding iron-rich foods will not be enough. Your body has an easier time absorbing the iron from pills with a little help from some Vitamin C, so have a glass of orange juice with each pill. One common side effect of taking iron supplements is constipation. If you experience this problem, your doctor can provide you with stool softeners.

2. Get Iron Replacement Shots

Sometimes iron deficiency anemia is not caused by a lack of iron intake, but by the body’s inability to absorb the nutrient. In this case your physician may recommend iron replacement shots.

3. Treat Some Forms of Anemia With Medication

Sometimes iron deficiency anemia is the result of bleeding problems. If your anemia is caused by heavy menstrual bleeding, you may be prescribed drugs like oral contraceptives to decrease the bleeding. If your anemia comes from peptic ulcers, you may need to take antibiotics or other drugs to correct the problem. Polyps or tumors can also cause bleeding and related anemia, but these require removal by surgery.

4. Your Last Resort Is a Blood Transfusion

If you have a severe case of iron deficiency anemia and other treatment options have failed, you may have to undergo a blood transfusion. The point of a blood transfusion is to get rid of the anemia immediately by replacing your blood and its sick red blood cells with new blood and healthy red blood cells.