Anemia - Treatments

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How is anemia treated?

The treatment of the anemia varies greatly. First, the underlying cause of the anemia should be identified and corrected. For example, anemia as a result of blood loss from a stomach ulcer should begin with medications to heal the ulcer. Likewise, surgery is often necessary to remove a colon cancer that is causing chronic blood loss and anemia.

Sometimes iron supplements will also be needed to correct iron deficiency. In severe anemia, blood transfusions may be necessary. Vitamin B12 injections will be necessary for patients suffering from pernicious anemia or other causes of B12 deficiency.

In certain patients with bone marrow disease (or bone marrow damage from chemotherapy) or patients with kidney failure, epoetin alfa (Procrit, Epogen) may be used to stimulate bone marrow red blood cell production.

If a medication is thought to be the culprit, then it should be discontinued under the direction of the prescribing doctor.

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See what others are saying

Comment from: In Wait, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: December 16

I am 47 years old and have been anemic since my first day on earth. I took iron liquid all through my life till I was 12 and by then the iron had stained my teeth irreversibly. I have had them bleached over and over. I get approximately 5 to 7 iron infusions a year, as my MCHC (mean corpuscular hemoglobin concentration) level is always too low; which means that my red blood cells are not formed correctly. I do usually get about 2 to 3 transfusions a year. My body stopped absorbing iron from foods and supplements about 10 years ago. I have recently got the news that my body is no longer absorbing a lot of other nutrients that everyone's body needs such as calcium and potassium.

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Comment from: Gabby, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: January 13

I have always been anemic and unable to take iron supplements due to severe constipation. The disorder was diagnosed as an inability to absorb iron and I get a series of 5 iron infusions about twice a year, depending on the ferritin levels. I have been able to go almost 2 years at times without my levels being down, but my hematologist keeps a close watch on my levels.

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