Tag Archive | red blood cell

More Side Effects – Anemia and Dizziness

 

Anemia means you have a low red blood cell count or your red blood cells don’t have enough hemoglobin. Hemoglobin is an iron-rich protein found in red blood cells that carries oxygen from your lungs to the rest of your body. If you’re anemic, you might experience the following:

You may bruise easily and may bleed more or longer than normal. You also might have frequent nosebleeds.

Anemia can be caused by breast cancer treatments:

Managing anemia

Medications like Epogen (chemical name: epoetin alfa),Aranesp (chemical name: darbepoetin alfa), and Procrit (chemical name: epoetin alfa) can help your body make more red blood cells. Talk to your doctor to see if a medicine like that might be right for you. You can also ask your doctor if an iron supplement would help you.

To help increase your body’s iron levels and ease anemia, try to eat foods that are rich in iron:

  • spinach
  • peanuts, peanut butter, or almonds
  • lean beef
  • eggs
  • fortified cereal
  • lentils

Also try to eat foods that are rich in vitamin B12:

  • liver (cooked)
  • clams (cooked)
  • vitamin-fortified cold cereal
  • wild caught rainbow trout (cooked)
  • sockeye salmon (cooked)

Dizziness

If you’re dizzy, you may feel lightheaded or lose your balance. If you feel that the room is spinning, technically you have vertigo, a related condition.

Dizziness can be caused by a sudden drop in blood pressure or from being dehydrated. If you get up too quickly from a sitting- or lying-down position, you might feel lightheaded. Some women feel dizzy while they’re having a hot flash.

Several breast cancer treatments can cause dizziness:

In addition, some antihistamines, antiseizure medications, antidepressants, and tranquilizers can cause dizziness. Many pain medications can also make you dizzy.

Managing dizziness

In most cases, dizziness caused by medicine to treat breast cancer usually goes away by itself after you’ve received the medicine a few times. If it doesn’t, talk to your doctor. You may be able to take another medicine. If your dizziness is caused by something else, you may be able to do exercises or change your diet to help.

Other tips to manage dizziness:

  • Sit or lie down immediately when you feel dizzy.
  • Ask for help if you need to be somewhere and feel dizzy.
  • Avoid rapid changes in position, especially from lying down to standing up or turning around from one side to the other.
  • Avoid moving your head quickly, especially from side to side, or moving it as far as it will go up or down or from side to side.
  • Remove clutter from areas where you spend the most time.
  • Avoid driving a car or operating heavy machinerywhen you feel dizzy.
  • Keep areas well-lit so you can see clearly. It’s especially good to have a bright lamp near your bed in case you have to get up at night.
  • Use a cane or walker for stability.
  • Wear sturdy shoes to avoid tripping and slipping.
  • Avoid using caffeine, salt, alcohol, and tobacco. These substances all can restrict your blood vessels and worsen any feelings of dizziness you may have.
  • Carry a cell phone or cordless phone with you in the house in case you fall and need help.

Extracted from BreastCancer.Org

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