Senior anemia is a relatively misunderstood condition, showing up as a lowered red blood cell count.
As we age, anemia becomes more common and can be caused by many health conditions. It may be mild and barely bother the elderly or senior anemia can cause a health emergency.
Anemia can show up with the following symptoms:
- frequent headaches
- shortness of breath
- constant tiredness
- feeling weak and sometimes dizzy
- lower blood pressure
Sometimes these symptoms are barely noticeable as the body adapts to the drop in red blood cells but if they should drop quickly, symptoms can show up within several days.
What causes senior anemia?
The body may have problems producing red blood cells due to chemotherapy or medications that have been prescribed. Iron deficiency and low levels of folate or vitamin B12 can also be a cause. Illnesses which lead to inflammation in the body, or bone marrow disorders interfere with the production of new red blood cells.
Senior anemia can also be caused by blood loss due to the following:
- Injuries or trauma during surgery
- Chronic bleeding caused by ulcers, cancer or medications
Your doctor can easily check for anemia and if you have any of the symptoms listed above you should discuss causes with your doctor and have tests done to determine the reason for the symptoms.
Tests can include:
- Checking vitamin levels
- Checking stool samples for blood loss
- Urine tests and other tests which will show if you have any blood disorders
Just remember that senior anemia is quite a common condition and can be addressed by your doctor in a number of ways. Most cases of anemia are caused by iron deficiency or stomach problems and by changes in diet and medication, can be managed quite easily. For more information, see original article that inspired us Anemia in the Older Adult: 10 Common Causes & What to Ask
This article is intended for informational purposes. If you are experiencing any symptoms mentioned, please consult your health practitioner.