You might know Carrie Ann Inaba as a host on The Talk or a fierce judge on Dancing with the Stars, but you might not know that she is a huge advocate for healthcare research.
On Tuesday, she partnered up with Japanese biopharmaceuticals company, Daiichi Sankyo, to raise awareness for Iron Deficiency Anemia (IDA).
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I’m so excited to announce my partnership with Daiichi Sankyo and #GetIronInformed to help spread awareness of Iron Deficiency Anemia (IDA).✨🙏🏼 After going to various doctors’ visits, not having enough energy to get through my day, and taking multiple tests, I was finally diagnosed with IDA. Prior to being diagnosed I had no understanding of what IDA was but soon learned that IDA affects 5 million Americans and how certain medical conditions can put people at risk. Six years ago, I wish I would have been aware of what IDA is and its effects on our bodies. So, I’m spreading the word to reach those that might be at risk and encourage everyone to ask their doctor to check their iron levels.❤️🙌🏼 Go to GetIronInformed.com to learn more about IDA and my personal journey! Link is in my bio!! #ad #health #irondeficiencyanemia
Inaba grew up with the same condition experienced by nearly 5 million other Americans. IDA is characterized by low iron levels which leads to insufficient production of red blood cells, causing patients to feel tired and weak, taking a toll on their quality of life.
Because IDA signs and symptoms are non-specific – fatigue, shortness of breath, headaches, dizziness, cold hands and feet, etc. – the condition often goes undiagnosed.
To raise awareness for IDA, Daiichi Sankyo launched Get Iron Informed, a website offering educational resources and information regarding risk factors, diagnosis and treatment strategies to the public. Inaba’s social media reach enables her to share how IDA affected her life.
“As a dancer, it was tough when I found myself not having enough energy to get through the day. I went to my doctor because I was feeling different, and knew something was wrong,” said Inaba. “My doctor gave me a blood test and found that my iron and hemoglobin levels were very low,” she continued. “He told me that my fibroids caused Iron Deficiency Anemia to develop, which I learned is common.”
Some common risk factors for IDA include abnormally heavy blood loss during menstruation or having inflammatory bowel disease, cancer, kidney disease or heart failure. Nearly 20 percent of women of childbearing age have IDA. People who are at heightened risk for IDA and who are experiencing any symptoms are encouraged to speak with their healthcare provider.
“Patients with medical conditions that can put them at risk for IDA should talk to their doctor to find out if a blood test to check their iron levels is right for them,” said Dr. Stephanie Martin, OB/GYN. “IDA can be a manageable condition by working with your doctor to determine the most appropriate treatment plan for you.”
The Get Iron Informed website also features a discussion guide outlining how patients can talk to their doctor.
“Since then, I’ve been working with my doctor on a treatment plan to manage my iron levels, which is so important for my overall health,” added Inaba.
Inaba is also the spokesperson for Drea’s Dream, a charity that raises funds for dance therapy for pediatric cancer patients. When diagnosed with an autoimmune disease that causes chronic pain and fatigue in 2016, she partnered with the Sjögren’s Syndrome Foundation to raise awareness.
The partnership with Inaba will support Daiichi Sankyo’s five-year business plan to expand its US subsidiary, Luitpold Pharmaceuticals (now known as American Regent), which offers a suite of iron injection products. Injectafer (ferric carboxymaltose injection) received US Food and Drug Administration approval in 2013.
In Q3, Daiichi Sankyo reported a 703.08 billion yen in revenue in 2018, down 5 percent from the previous year. Their 2019 projections are generous, however, at 910 billion yen.