ANEMIA

Modified: February 3, 2020

Dear @[email protected],

Your doctor has discussed the following subject with you: anemia. Here is some additional information. Let us know if you have any questions regarding this information.

People with Crohn's disease or ulcerative colitis are at risk for anemia. If you have anemia, you have less blood to carry oxygen to the rest of your body. Approximately one in three people with Crohn's disease or ulcerative colitis have anemia. The most common symptom is feeling tired. Other symptoms can include dizziness, headaches, cold hands or feet, pale skin, and shortness of breath.

The most common cause of anemia is low iron. With inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), long-term irritation and swelling (inflammation) in your intestines can interfere with your body's ability to use and absorb iron properly. Other causes include slow blood loss from intestinal bleeding, poor absorption of vitamins and minerals (like vitamin B12 and folic acid), or from medications.

Not everyone experiences symptoms, so it is important that you get tested with a simple blood test to find out if you may have anemia. Iron deficiency, or low iron levels, can be serious, but treatable. Individuals with Crohn's disease or ulcerative colitis that are in remission (or those without symptoms and without inflammation of the intestine) can take oral iron supplements. If you have Crohn's disease or ulcerative colitis that is not in remission, or you cannot tolerate oral iron, then you may need intravenous (IV) iron. Other important factors in treatment include whether your IBD is under control, if you have other nutritional needs or deficiencies, and other medical problems you may have. You can discuss what options are best for you with your doctor and come to a mutual agreement.

Please be sure to follow up with your provider with any questions.

Your provider can also discuss the Crohn's & Colitis Foundation's IBD Anemia Care Pathway with you at your visit. The pathway uses guideline recommendations to identify and manage anemia. This resource is supported by Luitpold Pharmaceuticals

For further information, please check out https://www.crohnscolitisfoundation.org/diet-and-nutrition/supplementation or follow this link:

PDF https://www.crohnscolitisfoundation.org/sites/default/files/2020-03/anemia.pdf