Feeling tired and weak? Have you lost the on-the-go energy you once enjoyed? You may have anemia, a common, treatable condition. George M. Halow, MD, PA, in El Paso, Texas, is a gastroenterologist and nutrition specialist who diagnoses and treats anemia. He performs procedures like capsule endoscopy to find potential sources of your anemia. Get the expert care you deserve today by calling or booking a consultation online.
If you’re anemic, your body has too few red blood cells. Red blood cells contain hemoglobin, an important protein molecule that delivers oxygen from your lungs to different parts of your body. With anemia, your blood doesn’t carry enough oxygen. As a result, you feel tired and look pale, among other symptoms.
The most common cause of anemia is too little iron, which is essential to produce new red blood cells. In women, this is usually due to a monthly menstrual cycle.
Your symptoms vary depending on how quickly the anemia develops and its severity. A slowly developing case of anemia may cause no symptoms at all. With mild anemia, you may experience:
Your symptoms tend to be more severe when anemia develops rapidly, such as with bleeding from a ruptured blood vessel. Severe anemia may produce:
Your symptoms provide Dr. Halow with clues about the source of your anemia. For example, blood in your urine or bowel movements or black, tarry stools may mean internal bleeding is causing your anemia.
Dr. Halow asks about the onset of your anemia and other symptoms and may perform a physical exam. He usually recommends a blood test to evaluate your blood for red blood cells, as well as white cells and platelets. The test also may measure whether you have enough iron, folate, and B12 in your blood.
He may suggest tests to examine your intestines and other organs for signs of internal bleeding. This can be done with a:
Depending on your results, Dr. Halow may suggest further tests or recommend a treatment plan.
In some cases, changing your diet and taking iron supplements can help you feel much better. Dr. Halow provides nutrition services to make sure your meals are rich in folic acid, iron, and vitamin B12.
In other cases, if he finds internal bleeding, Dr. Halow recommends appropriate treatment to help you feel like yourself again.
If you have signs of anemia, Dr. Halow provides specialized diagnosis and treatment. Call today or book a consultation online.