Illinois Medical Center  •  1001 Main Street - Suite 500A  •  Peoria, Illinois 61606



Anemia is defined as the condition of having less than the normal number of red blood cells or less than the normal quantity of hemoglobin in the blood. As a result, the oxygen-carrying capacity of the blood is decreased.

Click on the statements/questions below to reveal the answers to the causes, symtoms and signs of this particular disease.

There are many different causes of anemia. For the purposes of this website, we’ll focus on those related to the gastrointestinal tract. This can include:

As described above, iron-deficiency anemia decreases oxygen delivery to the entire body. Therefore, symptoms are related to this reduced oxygen delivery and may include:

  • Being pale or having yellow “sallow” skin
  • Unexplained fatigue or lack of energy
  • Shortness of breath or chest pain, especially with activity
  • Unexplained generalized weakness
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Pounding or “whooshing” in the ears
  • Headache, especially with activity
  • Craving for ice or clay (picophagia)
  • Sore or smooth tongue
  • Brittle nails or hair loss

Iron-deficiency anemia is diagnosed by blood tests. If anemia is suspected or determined, your gastroenterology specialist may recommend one of the following tests to determine the source of blood loss:

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Illinois Gastroenterology Institute

Illinois Medical Center  •  1001 Main Street – Suite 500A  •  Peoria, Illinois 61606  •  Phone: (309) 672-4980  •  Fax: (309) 671-2931

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