Santa Barbara
76° F
Santa Maria
70° F
San Luis Obispo
68° F
75° F

Seniors: know signs, symptoms of anemia

Published On: Mar 05 2012 10:58:24 AM CST   Updated On: May 13 2013 09:58:28 AM CDT

(NewsUSA) - It is estimated that one in 10 people over the age of 65 is anemic. Anemia is the most common blood disorder and a serious medical condition, although many patients may mistake its symptoms for daily fatigue and stress. In fact, many patients do not realize that they are anemic until they take a blood test.

Because anemia occurs when your body lacks sufficient healthy red blood cells to transport oxygen to your organs and tissues, it can make you feel tired and weak. Other symptoms include shortness of breath, pale or yellow skin, dizziness, cold hands or feet and headaches.

As people age, the risk of developing anemia increases. "While anemia can sometimes be the result of poor nutrition, it can also be a sign of a more serious underlying medical condition, such as cancer or kidney disease," says Nancy Berliner, M.D., president of the American Society of Hematology. "It is very important to consult your doctor if you suspect you are anemic, because even mild anemia may be linked to other diseases requiring treatment. Furthermore, in order to properly treat the anemia, it is important to understand what is causing it."

Nutritional anemia (when you do not have enough vitamins like folic acid in your diet) can be prevented by healthier eating habits. Look for iron-rich foods, like beef, dark green leafy vegetables, dried fruit and nuts. In addition, good sources of folic acid include citrus juice, legumes and fortified cereals. However, Dr. Berliner cautions that older adults should not take iron supplements unless instructed by a doctor.

"Iron deficiency anemia is almost always the result of blood loss, and it is important to understand the cause of the blood loss. Taking iron may temporarily fix the anemia, but it will also delay proper diagnosis of the real problem. Although iron deficiency is the most common cause of anemia worldwide, it accounts for less than one-third of anemia in elderly patients, and delay in seeking a doctor's opinion may delay the diagnosis of a more serious condition. The sooner you talk with your doctor, the sooner you can find out what is wrong and how to treat it," said Berliner.

If you are diagnosed with anemia, your doctor can determine your treatment and, depending on your condition, may refer you to a hematologist, a doctor who specializes in blood disorders.

For more information, visit


The views expressed are not those of this company or its affiliated companies. Please note by clicking on "Post" you acknowledge that you have read the Terms Of Service and the comment you are posting is in compliance with such terms. 
blog comments powered by Disqus
  • Nevada College Student Goes Missing in Santa Barbara

    A young woman visiting the Santa Barbara area from Sierra Nevada College in Nevada, has gone missing.

  • Teen With Ties To Santa Barbara Arrested In Bay Area Killings

    NewsChannel 3 has learned one of three drifters accused of gunning down two people in the Bay Area is from Santa Barbara.

  • Neil Young could face fines for playing overtime

    Rocker Plays Past Bowl Curfew

    A conditional use permit requires musicians to stop performing at the Santa Barbara Bowl by 10 p.m, but that didn't stop Neil Young on Saturday night.

  • Los Olivos Woman Killed in Murder-Suicide Mourned

    The woman killed in a murder-suicide in Los Olivos Thursday morning is being remembered as a "great" sister, daughter and devoted mother of three children.

  • New Ice Rink Opens With Fanfare

    Goleta Ice Rink Opens With Fanfare

    A long awaited ice rink opened its doors to the public on Saturday.

    Goleta's Ice in Paradise held a ribbon cutting for the soft opening of the facility at 6985 Santa Felicia Drive.

    There were plenty of smiles and cheers as people skated on the NHL-sized hockey rink for the first time.

    "I've been waiting over thirty years for this," said Tina Kerrigan of Santa Barbara.

    Jack Norqual, a long-time hockey player and retired businessman, was instrumental in turning the ice rink into a reality.

    "We did not compromise. We could have compromised and done something to a lesser degree but we felt that people waited long enough," Norqual said.

    Norqual also brought in Philadelphia Flyers owner Ed Snider who helped finance the project.

    "This is going to be a tremendous asset to the community for all the kids that need so many things to do.  I am just thrilled we are going to be able to have it," Snider said.

    The $15 million dollar facility, which broke ground last November will provide a place for local figure skaters and hockey players to train closer to home.

    "It's so much nicer, I can't even tell you. It feels like you are playing in a college stadium. We're hoping we get some students at games and hoping for success with that now that we are 2 and 0," said Will Hahn of the Santa Barbara Royals hockey team.

    "I'll be able to skate more times a day," said figure skater Valentina Juricek of Santa Barbara.

    Former LA Kings hockey player Luc Robitaille said hockey is a fast-growing sport in sunny California.  

    "Kids love to skate. There's something about it right now. There's been tremendous growth and there's a lot of kids playing in the NHL who are from California," Robitaille said.

    Norqual said this facility has something for everyone, including adaptive athletes and people who just want to have fun.

    There will also be a place to kids to do their homework after school.

    There are still some finishing touches that need to be completed before the official grand opening in November.

  • Brush Fire Burning Along Freeway Near Los Alamos

    Firefighters found themselves battling a brush fire along the center divider of U.S. 101 about two miles south of Los Alamos.

  • Heat Causes Santa Maria High Schools To End Two Hours Early

    The Santa Maria Joint Union High School District said this is the first time in years that school was shortened because of warm weather.

  • Firestone Anniversary Beer

    Firestone Walker Brewery Celebrates 19 Years Launching Anniversary Beer "XIX"

    The Firestone Walker Brewery in Paso Robles is celebrating 19th years in business.  In a tradition that started 10 years ago, the brewmasters came up with a unique blend for the limited edition anniversary beer known as "XIX".

  • Randy Quaid mugshot

    Vermont State Police via CNN

    Celebrity mug shots

    Actor Randy Quaid, best known for movies like "Kingpin" and "Independence Day," was arrested Friday trying to cross from Quebec into Vermont. Take a tour of our gallery of celebrity mug shots, featuring familiar faces dating back to 1938.

  • Angelina Jolie, Brad Pitt at Maleficent premiere

    Frazer Harrison/Getty Images

    Celebrities: Where were they born?

    When it comes to the birthplaces of celebrities, they're all over the map. See which celebrity was born where.