Iron Deficiency, Anemia & Sores

Blood collection
A blood test can determine if you have iron-deficiency anemia. (Image: JPC-PROD/iStock/Getty Images)

Anemia can cause sores around the mouth as well as tenderness and dryness in the mouth, tongue and throat. Iron-deficiency anemia occurs when there is not adequate iron to form enough healthy red blood cells or erythrocytes. When the body’s red blood cell count drops, oxygen transport to all the cell’s of the body slows down causing fatigue, weakness and other symptoms. There are several types of anemia, which can be caused by low levels of nutrients such as vitamin B-12 and folic acid. MayoClinic.com notes that iron-deficiency anemia is the most common type. There are several ways to treat this type of anemia.

Step 1

Consult your primary care physician about the sores around the mouth that you are experiencing. Discuss all other symptoms you may have such as fatigue, shortness of breath, headaches and a sore tongue. Get a diagnosis through a physical exam by the doctor, which may also involve a blood test. Discuss treatment methods with your doctor.

Step 2

Take over-the-counter iron supplements to reverse iron-deficiency anemia. This will treat the anemia and its symptoms. Take prescription ferrous sulphate iron tablets if recommended by your doctor. Iron supplements should effectively treat the anemia if there are no other reasons for blood loss such as heavy menstrual bleeding. Take the tablets with food to prevent stomach irritation; in some individuals intramuscular iron injections may be necessary instead.

Step 3

Talk to your doctor or dietitian about eating a balanced diet with adequate sources of iron. Plan meals that contain good sources of iron such as wholewheat bread, cereals, eggs, leafy green vegetables, beans, dried fruit, shellfish, liver and beef, as advised by the National Institute of Health.

Step 4

Take vitamin C supplements and eat foods high in this nutrient. Vitamin C is facilitates the absorption of iron in the body and low levels can cause insufficient amounts of iron to be absorbed. Add foods rich in vitamin C such as citrus fruits, kale, peppers and kiwis to the diet.

Step 5

See your doctor if symptom of anemia persist. You may need to take iron for several months or more to replenish adequate stores of this nutrient. However, if symptoms do no diminish, the underlying cause may be other reasons such as Crohn's disease, celiac disease or irritable bowel syndrome that affects nutrient absorption. Record all symptoms and discuss them with your doctor.

Things You'll Need

  • Doctor's appointment

  • Blood test

  • Iron supplements

  • Vitamin C supplements

  • Iron-rich food menu guide

Tip

Take iron supplements two hours before or four hours after taking an antacid, which can interfere with iron absorption in the gastrointestinal tract.

Warning

Iron supplements may cause the stools to become black and cause constipation or diarrhea. Your doctor may recommend a stool softener while you are on the iron supplements. The National Institute of Health advises pregnant women to take iron supplements for the duration of their pregnancy

REFERENCES & RESOURCES
Load comments
PARTNER & LICENSEE OF THE LIVESTRONG FOUNDATION

Copyright © 2019 Leaf Group Ltd. Use of this web site constitutes acceptance of the LIVESTRONG.COM Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Copyright Policy. The material appearing on LIVESTRONG.COM is for educational use only. It should not be used as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. LIVESTRONG is a registered trademark of the LIVESTRONG Foundation. The LIVESTRONG Foundation and LIVESTRONG.COM do not endorse any of the products or services that are advertised on the web site. Moreover, we do not select every advertiser or advertisement that appears on the web site-many of the advertisements are served by third party advertising companies.