What is anemia from heavy bleeding?

Anemia from Heavy Bleeding
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Anemia from heavy bleeding: Overview

Anemia means that your body does not have enough red blood cells. Red blood cells carry oxygen around the body.

When you have anemia, you may feel dizzy, tired, and weak. You may also feel your heart pounding. For some people, it's hard to focus and think clearly.

One common cause of anemia is bleeding. Bleeding from ulcers, heavy menstrual periods, cancer, or other problems can cause anemia.

Your treatment will depend on what is causing the heavy bleeding. It may also include iron pills. Iron helps your body make hemoglobin. Hemoglobin is the part of the red blood cell that carries oxygen. If you have severe anemia, you may need a blood transfusion to give you red blood cells as quickly as possible.

Sometimes it takes several months to get iron levels back to normal.

How can you care for yourself when you have anemia from heavy bleeding?

  • Be safe with medicines. Take your medicines exactly as prescribed. Call your doctor if you think you are having a problem with your medicine.
  • Your doctor may recommend eating more foods that have a lot of iron in them. These include red meat, poultry, and eggs. They also include beans, raisins, iron-fortified cereals, whole-grain bread, and leafy green vegetables.
  • Iron pills can cause constipation. If you take them, there are things you can do to avoid constipation. Drink plenty of fluids, eat foods with a lot of fiber, and exercise every day.

Anemia from heavy bleeding: When to call

Call 911 anytime you think you may need emergency care. For example, call if:

  • You passed out (lost consciousness).
  • Your stools are maroon or very bloody.

Call your doctor now or seek immediate medical care if:

  • You are short of breath.
  • You have new or worse bleeding.
  • You are dizzy or light-headed, or you feel like you may faint.

Watch closely for changes in your health, and be sure to contact your doctor if:

  • You feel weaker or more tired than usual.
  • You do not get better as expected.

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The content above contains general health information provided by Healthwise, Incorporated, and reviewed by its medical experts. This content should not replace the advice of your healthcare provider. Not all treatments or services described are offered as services by us. For recommended treatments, please consult your healthcare provider.