Anemia & stomach pain

Written by nicole murray
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Anemia is a condition that can strike anyone at any time. Stomach pain can be a symptom of certain types of anaemia. Anemia can be a long-term or temporary condition. It also can develop into a more severe illness if it is not treated properly. A healthy diet and exercise are the best ways to prevent anaemia.

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Facts

You can develop anaemia if there are not enough red blood cells or haemoglobin in your blood. Haemoglobin is a protein that carries oxygen to your red blood cells; it also gives red blood cells their colour. Anemia also can be a life-threatening disease. Causes of anaemia include: chronic disease, pregnancy, alcoholism, external bleeding, a bleeding disorder and a poor diet. Anemia also can be genetic.

Types

There are more than 400 known types of anaemia; the types that commonly cause stomach pain are blood-loss anaemia and vitamin B12 anaemia. Stomach pains can also be a symptom of chronic bleeding. Gastrointestinal conditions, such as ulcers, gastritis, haemorrhoids and cancer, also can cause stomach pains that indicate anaemia. Anti-inflammatory drugs can cause stomach pain and blood loss leading to anaemia. Vitamin B12 anaemia occurs when the digestive track cannot absorb the vitamin.

Identification

Anemia symptoms can include fatigue, pale skin, rapid heart beat, irregular heart beat, shortness of breath, dizziness, chest pains, headaches and cold hands. Symptoms of anaemia may go unnoticed until the anaemia worsens. Stomach pain as a symptom of anaemia is typically seen in patients with an ulcer or stomach bleeding.

Consideration

Consult your physician if you cannot donate blood because of low haemoglobin. Anemia is not always the cause of stomach pain or fatigue, People on vegan diets or any diet that does not include eggs, dairy products, meat and fish, are at a higher risk of developing anaemia. Diabetic patients are also at a higher risk.

Prevention/solution

A healthy diet that contains iron and B-complex vitamins can help to prevent anaemia. It may take up to 8 weeks of a healthy diet to restore the body's normal red blood cell count. A lifelong schedule of B12 injections is required to treat vitamin B12 anaemia. Saline, dextran, albumin and plasma injections are commonly used to treat anaemia caused by blood loss.

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