What is Anaemia?
Anaemia refers to the condition of having low blood levels and specifically low red blood cell Haemoglobin levels. Being anaemic can make you feel tired, fatigued and short of breath. It can also make other conditions worse such as heart and lung disease.
Causes of Anaemia
- Blood loss or bleeding from the gastrointestinal tract (gut)
- Poor absorption of iron/ vitamin B12/ folate from the gastrointestinal tract (e.g. Coeliac disease)
Anaemia is detected by checking routine blood tests. There are many causes of anaemia but gastrointestinal causes are amongst the most common. Investigations for anaemia include examining the lining of the gastrointestinal tract with endoscopy with the first line tests being a gastroscopy and colonoscopy. Routine endoscopy biopsies can check for causes of poor iron absorption. Persistent unexplained anaemia may require video capsule endoscopy to check the small bowel lining for disease.
Treatment options include treating the underlying cause such as endoscopy treatment of ulcers, a course of iron tablets or dietary advice for coeliac disease. Severe anaemia can be serious and may require a blood transfusion.
If you think you may be anaemic, you can book a consultation with Dr Goel to discuss investigation and treatment options best suited to you.