If you have iron-deficiency anemia, get ongoing care to make sure your iron levels are improving. At your checkups, your doctor may change your medicines or supplements. He or she also may suggest ways to improve your diet.
Take iron supplements only with your doctor's approval, and only as he or she prescribes. It's possible to have too much iron in your body (a condition called iron overload). Too much iron in your body can damage your organs.
You may have fatigue (tiredness) and other symptoms of iron-deficiency anemia until your iron levels return to normal, which can take months. Tell your doctor if you have any new symptoms or if your symptoms get worse.
Living With and Managing Iron-Deficiency Anemia05/18/2011
This video—presented by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, part of the National Institutes of Health—shows how Susan, a full-time worker and student, has coped with having iron-deficiency anemia. Prior to her diagnosis, Susan had symptoms such as tiredness, poor skin tone, dizziness, and depression.
After her doctor diagnosed her with iron-deficiency anemia, Susan got counseling on how to improve her health and well-being. She began taking iron supplements and multivitamins to improve her iron levels. Susan also made changes to her diet, such as focusing more on green leafy vegetables, red meats, nuts, dried fruits, and beans. Other lifestyle changes, such as getting enough sleep and exercising, also have helped Susan feel better.
To further improve her condition, Susan had a minor surgical procedure to stop her monthly periods. By following her treatment plan and making smart lifestyle choices, Susan continues to feel better and see the benefits of treatment.
For more information about living with and managing iron-deficiency anemia, go to the Health Topics Iron-Deficiency Anemia article.