Iron Deficiency Anemia in Seniors Is Common 

Iron deficiency anemia in seniors is very easy to treat with supplements so there is no need to check with our doctor—correct?

The answer to this question is a resounding no for several reasons and leading the list is the potential for iron poisoning that can become life threatening.

If you think you may be suffering from it, the first thing you need to do is to have it tested and checked by a professional—do not diagnose it on your own.

Iron Deficiency Anemia in Seniors 

Iron deficiency in anemia seniors is the 2nd most common anemia, and it is not that far behind the vitamin deficiency form.

The major reason you should have a professional test for it is very simple; it may by the result of a serious underlying condition.

Just like the most common form, this form also slows done our production of red blood cells which are the key players in transferring oxygen to most of our tissues.

If this process becomes compromised, you may begin to feel a shortness of breath.

However, there are several other symptoms and they include the following:

  • A sudden or slow development of extreme fatigue and weakness
  • A sudden change in heartbeat rhythm
  • Shortness of breath as well as slight chest pains
  • Sudden headaches as well as dizziness
  • A strange feeling on the tongue that turns into “sore tongue”
  • A change in your finger and toenails
  • A sudden or slow developing sensation of cold hands and feet.

Unlike some of the other anemia conditions, this one is a bit different for a couple of reasons.

The first is that it can go unnoticed for a long period of time because the symptoms can be so mild at first that you may not really notice them

However, as your body supply of iron continues to diminish, the symptoms will intensify and this is the reason they may “become sudden” in nature,

The Major Causes of Iron Deficiency Anemia in Seniors

If you have this condition, and really step back and think about it, you will remember feeling some of the symptoms.

However, in the majority of us, especially as we hit our 60’s, we have had most of these symptoms at one time, but they would go just as fast as they came.

There are four major causes of iron deficiency anemia in seniors, but at our age, one of them, pregnancy, is no longer a concern.

However, these three are still a major concern for all of us as we get older, especially women.

  • A loss of blood
  • Low levels of iron in our body
  • The inability to absorb iron from food

With this deficiency, our body lacks the key ingredient to make hemoglobin.

Hemoglobin not only makes our blood red in color, it is the key ingredient that triggers our red blood cells to transport the oxygen to all parts of our body.

If our body is not being fed enough of this key nutrient, or worse yet, losing it, several of these symptoms will begin to affect you.

The first of the common causes, blood loss, is what places women at a higher likelihood of developing it then men, especially as we age.

Grandparents At The Beach With Their GrandchildrenGrandparents At The Beach With Their Grandchildren

Women have for years gone through the menstrual cycle process, and as a result, have lost a lot of blood over their lifetimes.

Men have not. 

If these cycles have led to larger than normal blood lose, this menstruation process naturally puts women at a higher degree of risk.

However, there are several other factors that put all of us in our age group at a higher degree of risk, and this includes colon polyps, which are more common to men than women.

Peptic ulcers and hiatal hernias can also cause blood loss, as well as the single biggest cause, Gastrointestinal bleeding. 

If you take OTC, over the counter drugs, that include most pain medications, especially aspirin, you are inviting gastrointestinal bleeding

From personal experience, I have taken one aspirin a day to help my heart. Aspirin is known as “the wonder drug” and indeed can help your heart.

However, (1) one tablet does the job.

I decided not to listen to my doctor and started taking (2) two a day and within two weeks I started to have nose bleeds completely out of the blue—or was it.

Be Real Careful With Aspirin

As soon as I stopped taking two, the nose bleeds stopped.

Stop and think about that for a minute. What are these drugs doing to us internally, especially as we age. Are we bleeding internally and do not know it.

The lack of iron in your daily diet is next on the list of Iron deficiency anemia in seniors and here are some great foods to add it to our daily diet.

  • Squash and Pumpkin Seeds
  • Liver—especially chicken liver
  • Oysters and Mussels
  • Nuts—all kinds
  • Beef and Lamb
  • Spinach and Swiss Chard
  • Dark Chocolate and Cocoa Powder

The final of the major causes is the inability to absorb this key nutrient and the most common causes of this is Celiac disease, as well as any type of small intestine issues including surgery.

Tips on How To take Them

Iron deficiency anemia can be easily controlled by taking iron supplements, however, again do not take them unless you have consulted your doctor.

The last thing you want is iron toxicity or poisoning.

However, once you have consulted with a professional and they have advised iron supplements, there are a few helpful tips

  • Always take them on an empty stomach
  • Do not take them with antacids
  • Take them with Vitamin C

Iron will absorb into our system much easier on an empty stomach-period. However, as we age, this can upset our stomachs, but still give it a try.

If you take antacids or any kind of acid reflex medications like that vast majority of us past 60 years of age do, try to wait at least 2 hours before you take your iron supplement.

The final tip with iron deficiency anemia in seniors is to take a Vitamin C supplement in a pill or powder form.

Personally, I like to take mine with the powder form of Vitamin C mixed in water, as this helps our body to absorb iron.

You could substitute orange juice instead if Vitamin C bothers you, but you get a much bigger impact with the real thing.

References

http://www.webmd.com/a-to-z-guides/tc/iron-deficiency-anemia-topic-overview#2

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