Can Anemia Or Low Iron Levels Cause High Blood Pressure?

What is Anemia or Low Iron Levels?

Anaemia is a medical condition that occurs when there is a deficiency in the number of red blood cells or a decrease in the amount of haemoglobin present in the blood. Hemoglobin is the protein in red blood cells that carries oxygen to tissues throughout the body.

Anaemia can be caused by various factors such as blood loss, inadequate production of red blood cells, or the destruction of red blood cells. Iron deficiency is one of the most common causes of anaemia. Iron is essential for the production of haemoglobin, and inadequate iron intake can lead to a decrease in haemoglobin levels and the development of anaemia. 

Iron deficiency anaemia can result from insufficient dietary iron, poor absorption of iron in the digestive tract, or chronic blood loss.

What are the symptoms of Anemia?

Symptoms of anaemia can differ based on the underlying cause and the severity of the condition. Some of the common symptoms include fatigue, weakness, pale skin, shortness of breath, dizziness, and headaches. In cases of iron deficiency anaemia, additional symptoms may include brittle nails, hair loss, and cravings for non-food items such as ice, dirt, or starch.

How to treat Anemia?

  • Iron Supplements: Iron deficiency anaemia can be treated with iron supplements. Oral iron supplements are usually used to replenish the iron stores in the body. In some cases, intravenous iron may be necessary if oral supplements are not well absorbed or tolerated. Iron infusion is a medical procedure where iron is delivered directly into the bloodstream through a vein. It is used to treat iron deficiency anaemia when oral iron supplements are ineffective or cannot be tolerated. Iron infusion is typically recommended when iron levels are severely low and need to be replenished quickly.
  • Vitamin supplements: Recommended to treat anaemia caused by vitamin deficiencies, such as vitamin B12 or folate deficiency. The supplements can be taken orally or injected to correct the deficiency.
  • Dietary changes: Help improve iron levels in the body. Increasing iron-rich foods in the diet such as red meat, poultry, fish, beans, and leafy green vegetables can be helpful.
  • Treating underlying conditions: If anaemia is caused by an underlying condition, treating that condition may help improve anaemia. For example, chronic kidney disease or inflammatory disorders can cause anaemia.  In severe cases of anaemia, a blood transfusion may be necessary to quickly increase the number of red blood cells in the body.
  • Erythropoiesis-stimulating agents (ESAs): Medications that stimulate the bone marrow to produce more red blood cells. They are used to treat anemia in certain conditions such as chronic kidney disease or cancer.

In some cases, additional tests may be required to identify and address the underlying cause of iron deficiency or anaemia. It’s important to consult with a healthcare professional for an accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment for anaemia or low iron levels.

What is Hypertension?

Hypertension, commonly referred to as high blood pressure, is a long-term medical condition characterized by high blood pressure in the arteries. It is a significant risk factor for cardiovascular disease, including heart attacks, strokes, and heart failure. Even though hypertension often has no symptoms, it can cause severe health complications if not treated.

Blood pressure is measured in millimetres of mercury (mmHg), and it is represented as two numbers: systolic pressure (the pressure when the heart beats) over diastolic pressure (the pressure when the heart is at rest between beats). Typically, normal blood pressure is considered to be less than 120/80 mmHg.

Hypertension is classified into two categories: primary (essential) hypertension and secondary hypertension. Primary hypertension is the most common type and does not have a specific cause, but it is thought to be influenced by factors such as genetics, diet, lifestyle, and age. Secondary hypertension, on the other hand, is caused by an underlying condition such as kidney disease, hormonal disorders, or certain medications.

Factors that increase the risk of hypertension include age, family history, obesity, unhealthy diet, lack of physical activity, smoking, and stress. Hypertension is usually diagnosed using a blood pressure cuff, which is placed around the upper arm and inflated to measure blood pressure.

Treatment for Hypertension

Hypertension, or high blood pressure, can be managed through a combination of lifestyle changes and medication. A healthy diet, regular exercise, maintaining a healthy weight, reducing salt intake, limiting alcohol consumption, and quitting smoking are recommended lifestyle changes. In some cases, medication may also be prescribed to further lower blood pressure.

Regular monitoring of blood pressure is crucial in avoiding complications and managing hypertension effectively. It’s important to seek a proper diagnosis and consult with a healthcare professional for an appropriate treatment plan for hypertension.

Anemia and Hypertension

Anaemia and hypertension are two separate medical conditions, but they can be related in some cases. Anaemia occurs when there is a shortage of healthy red blood cells to carry sufficient oxygen to the body’s tissues, which can lead to symptoms like weakness, fatigue, and shortness of breath. Meanwhile, high blood pressure or hypertension happens when the force of blood against the walls of arteries is consistently too high, which can result in severe health issues like heart disease and stroke.

Although anaemia itself doesn’t cause hypertension directly, there are several ways in which the two conditions can be linked:

  • Increased Heart Rate: In severe cases of anaemia, the heart may need to pump more blood to compensate for the reduced oxygen-carrying capacity of the blood. This increased workload can cause a temporary increase in blood pressure.
  • Chronic Stress on the Cardiovascular System: Chronic anaemia can cause long-term stress on the cardiovascular system, which can contribute to the development of hypertension over time.
  • Underlying Causes: Some conditions that can cause anaemia, such as chronic kidney disease or certain types of cancer, are also risk factors for hypertension.
  • Medication Side Effects: Some medications used to treat anaemia, such as erythropoietin-stimulating agents, can raise blood pressure as a side effect.

It’s worth noting that not all people with anaemia will develop hypertension, and the relationship between the two conditions can vary depending on the underlying cause and individual health factors.

Iron patches for anemia does it work?

Iron patches are often a convenient option for treating iron deficiency anaemia. However, their effectiveness in this regard is not well-supported by scientific evidence. The absorption of iron through the skin is less efficient than through the gastrointestinal tract. This may limit the patch’s ability to provide enough iron to correct anaemia. Therefore, it’s crucial to consult a healthcare professional before using iron patches for anaemia treatment. They can recommend other effective options based on your individual needs.

How to test for iron deficiency at our Iron Clinic?

If you are experiencing symptoms of iron deficiency or have concerns about your iron levels, our iron clinic at Chelsea Pharmacy Medical Clinic in London can help. Our team of experienced healthcare professionals specializes in diagnosing and treating iron-related disorders, including iron deficiency anaemia.

To schedule an appointment or learn more about our iron clinic’s services, please contact us at 0207 838 6180. We offer personalized care and tailored treatment plans to help improve your iron levels and overall health. Don’t let iron deficiency hold you back – reach out to us today for expert care and support.

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