Is there a specific cause of weight loss in anemia?
The general answer to that question is that the causes of anemia are complex – one may have anemia simply because of a low serum amount of the hormone thyroxal or it may be associated with specific disease states. Some studies have shown that anemia may worsen weight loss in patients with type 1 diabetes because of reduced production of insulin from the pancreas (or glucose levels). Insulin resistance (high blood glucose levels in the blood) is also often associated with anemia because it causes the body to resist the effects of blood glucose on the organs.
However, a number of studies have shown that weight may be reduced in patients with anemia when it is treated with an iron supplement. The following explanation of the process of weight loss in anemia has been provided by the British Heart Foundation and the British Dietetic Association:
“The body responds better to iron-rich foods such as fish, eggs and poultry. If anemia is present, it is due to an imbalance of two hormones, T4 and T3, which together control levels of red blood cells (RBCs). T4 controls red blood cell production, while T3 controls the number of RBCs in the blood – the more RBCs, the higher blood pressure. When anemia and high RBCs are present, a woman’s body cannot produce enough T4 and T3 to effectively lower blood pressure. A deficiency of either of these hormones causes anemia. If the body is not making RBCs, it is unable to lower blood pressure by regulating blood sugar levels that are too high. For this reason, anemia is not an indicator for an underlying metabolic imbalance.
The reason that iron supplements may lower blood pressure in some patients is because of the way in which the iron in various foods is absorbed in the body. Foods containing iron and nutrients such as iron tablets take around 24 to 48 hours to absorb the dose. However, iron supplements are taken longer to take effect and may have a longer half-life as well. A high dose taken once a week for several months may lower blood pressure. However, if the amount taken is too low for the person to make effective use of it, blood pressure may not be lowered sufficiently during the next few years and may have serious implications.
As a result of the high absorption, any iron that is taken in is absorbed in a form that will not allow it to be absorbed in the same quantities in
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