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Anemia – Treatment

May 20, 2021


Anemia is treated is dependent on the underlying cause. The most common cause of iron deficiency anemia is blood loss. So in addition to getting iron supplements and increasing iron rich foods in your diet, the source of bleeding has to be determined. For vitamin B12 or folate deficiency, modify your diet and take dietary supplements. Anemia from hereditary causes such as thalassemia or sickle cell disease will not improve over time. A folic acid supplement is usually recommended as these types of hereditary anemias have an increased turnover of red blood cells. If your anemia is due to a chronic illness, treating the underlying illness will often improve your anemia. For anemia due to chronic kidney disease, your doctor may prescribe a medication called an erythropoietin stimulating agent to promote the production of red blood cells in the bone marrow. For hemolytic anemias, treatment is determined by the cause. If it is from a heart valve problem, you will need a heart or vascular specialist. If the anemia is due to infection, antibiotics will be used. Medications to suppress the immune system may be used to decrease the rate of red blood cell destruction if it is from an autoimmune cause. Aplastic anemia may be due to bone marrow failure, or sometimes due to a side effect of some medications. Your doctor may refer you to a hematologist and a bone marrow biopsy is usually done to determine the exact cause of your aplastic anemia. Medications and blood transfusions may be used to treat your aplastic anemia.

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