Anemia is caused by a lack of red blood cells or hemoglobin, the part of red blood cells that binds oxygen, in the body. Abnormal or a low supply of red blood cells, or low levels of hemoglobin can cause your body to not get enough oxygen.

Symptoms of anemia include:

  • Fatigue and loss of energy
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Shortness of breath and headache
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Dizziness
  • Pale skin
  • Leg cramps
  • Insomnia

The Role Gastroenterologists in Anemia Treatment

Many patients with an iron deficiency or anemia are often referred to a gastroenterologist because the root cause is typically gastrointestinal. Those who suffer from a gastrointestinal disorder that inhibits the absorption of iron will not benefit from oral iron replacement supplements or increasing iron intake in the diet. Treating the underlying GI disorder will help treat secondary anemia. 

GI Causes of Iron-Deficiency Anemia (IDA)

  • Reflux esophagitis
  • Duodenal ulcer
  • Cameron lesions
  • Meckel’s diverticulum
  • Crohn’s disease
  • Ulcerative colitis
  • Whipple’s disease
  • Celiac sprue
  • Gastric ulcer
  • Erosive gastritis
  • Tuberculous enterocolitis
  • Ascariasis
  • Hemoptysis
  • Amebiasis
  • Strongyloidiasis
  • Factitious
  • Portal hypertensive lesions
  • Watermelon stomach
  • Hemangiomas
  • GI Polyps
  • Carcinomas

To get to the root of your IDA, schedule a consultation with your gastroenterologist at AGH of Greater Washington.