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Canadian TV host Keltie Knight had her uterus removed after 'stubborn' blood disorder. What is microcytic anemia?

The Canadian TV personality admitted recovery has been tough after having her uterus removed.

This article is for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Contact a qualified medical professional before engaging in any physical activity, or making any changes to your diet, medication or lifestyle.

Keltie Knight at the 81st Golden Globe Awards held at the Beverly Hilton Hotel on January 7, 2024 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Gilbert Flores/Golden Globes 2024/Golden Globes 2024 via Getty Images)
Edmonton-born TV host Keltie Knight has been living with a chronic illness for almost a decade. (Photo by Gilbert Flores/Golden Globes 2024/Golden Globes 2024 via Getty Images)

Keltie Knight opened up about her recovery after having her uterus removed due to a long battle with microcytic anemia, a rare blood disorder. The Canadian TV personality shared a post-surgery update on Sunday, thanking her followers for their "messages and love."

Knight shared a photo of a red heart-shaped cake that read "Goodbye flo," marking the end of her menstruation after having a hysterectomy (a surgical procedure to remove the uterus). She shared a photo of her abdomen, showing several post-surgery bandaged scars, and all the flowers, cards and a singing telegram she received from friends.

"Recovery has been tough," Knight, 42, penned in the caption. "I'm blown away by all your messages and love. I've been totally spoiled."

The post comes after Knight, in an essay for E! News, revealed she's been living with microcytic anemia, a blood disorder that occurs when the red blood cells are smaller than usual. The E! News co-host said she would be undergoing a hysterectomy in an attempt to alleviate some of the symptoms she's been living with for "most of the last decade."

"I have a very stubborn type of blood disorder called microcytic anemia. Typically, healthy ferritin levels are around 120 to 200. Mine is at five. In basic terms, I have smaller and less blood cells than a normal person, which means my body carries less oxygen to my tissues and it messes up everything," Knight explained.

Canadian TV host Keltie Knight announced she's undergoing a hysterectomy. (Image via Getty Images)
Canadian TV host Keltie Knight announced she's undergoing a hysterectomy. (Image via Getty Images)

Knight, who also co-hosts the podcast "The Ladygang," said she "can barely function" most days and currently sleeps between 13 and 16 hours a day. In addition to constant dizziness and body aches, Knight said she often feels "detached" from her body and is in a "confused state" trying to "remain present."

"I've tried eastern and western medicine, acupuncture, iron infusions, hormone replacement and the help of a nutritionist. The last resort is removing my uterus so that I can keep as much of my precious healthy, oxygen rich blood as possible," she said. Knight said she used to feel as though her "debilitating health issues" were her fault. "I'm being honest with you because my hope is that as women, we stop feeling like we need to pretend everything is OK when it's not," she said.

My hope is that as women, we stop feeling like we need to pretend everything is OK when it's not.Keltie Knight, via E! News

As a former professional dancer, Knight found success as a Radio City Rockette and dancing for artists like Taylor Swift and Beyoncé. Throughout her career, Knight says she felt like "garbage all the time" and worried how it would impact her performance at work.

"Living with a chronic disease silently takes over your entire life. There is guilt of not being a good wife or a good friend and the shame of never getting better leads to deep depression. It's hard to keep fighting for yourself," she said.

But what exactly is this rare illness and what causes it? Here's what you need to know.


What is microcytic anemia?

Microcytic anemia causes red blood smells to be smaller than usual. (Image via Getty Images)
Microcytic anemia causes red blood smells to be smaller than usual. (Image via Getty Images)

Microcytic anemia occurs when red blood cells don't have enough hemoglobin, a protein that helps red blood cells carry oxygen throughout your body. According to the Cleveland Clinic, microcytic anemia diagnosis could refer to a group of anemias or blood disorders.


What causes microcytic anemia?

Microcytic anemia can be caused by inherited blood disorders like thalassemia, chronic infections like HIV/AIDS or inflammations from certain cancers, kidney disease, diabetes, Crohn’s disease, lupus or rheumatoid arthritis. However, the most common cause of microcytic anemia is iron deficiency. Iron deficiency can be caused by blood loss, nutrient deficiencies or chronic conditions that prevent the body from absorbing iron.


What are some common symptoms of microcytic anemia?

Symptoms of microcytic anemia can include:

  • fatigue

  • dizziness

  • fast heartbeat

  • weakness

  • dry/pale skin

  • skin that bruises easily

  • irritability

  • pica, the compulsion or desire to eat things that aren't considered food like ice, clay or dirt.


How do you treat microcytic anemia?

Treatment plans for microcytic anemia vary, but can include iron supplements, hormones, iron or blood transfusions, oral medications or surgery.

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