A viewer asks The Doctors if her heavy periods could make her anemic. OB-GYN Dr. Millie Behera answers her question, “Absolutely!”
Anemia represents when iron or hemoglobin levels are too low and there are two ways that can happen: not enough intake with diet or by losing too much. Signs of anemia include:
- Extreme fatigue
- Shortness of breath
- Pale skin
- A change in exercise tolerance
- Higher heart rate
Dr. Behera shares that 10 – 15% of women have heavy periods and of those women, 20% of them have anemia. The Doctors encourage women to speak to their OB-GYN if they are bleeding beyond the average 3-5 day period, are having heavy clots, or symptoms of anemia. There are simple tests to check iron or hemoglobin levels.
To treat her patients with heavy bleeding and anemia Dr. Behera will supplement natural things first into the patients' diets to increase iron levels. Good foods for increasing iron include:
- Dark leafy greens
- Red meat
- Dried fruits
Other options include giving patients NSAIDS, birth control pills, or other medications to address the underlying causes of bleeding.
Plastic surgeon Dr. Andrew Ordon sums it up best, “Don’t ignore heavy bleedings and heavy periods. You may be suffering needlessly!”