You could be anemic
The red blood cells circulating in your body have an important job. They contain hemoglobin, a protein that carries oxygen from your lungs to every body part of your body and then returns to the lungs with carbon dioxide to be exhaled. Your blood gets its red color from hemoglobin. When your red blood cells aren’t able to carry adequate amounts of oxygen to your body, you can develop a condition called anemia.
One of the main symptoms of anemia is fatigue. This occurs because your organs don’t have enough oxygen to do their jobs efficiently and can be brought on by a variety of reasons. A common condition, anemia is most common in women and those with certain diseases.
There are more than 400 known forms of anemia, and they’re all brought on by three main causes. Learn to recognize the symptoms of anemia and what you can do to treat and prevent this condition.
See the Symptoms
The most common symptoms of anemia include fatigue, dizziness, pale skin, shortness of breath, irregular heartbeat, cold, headache, and irritability. Symptoms usually start out mild. You may not even know you you’re being affected by anemia. But as time goes on and the condition worsens, symptoms may become severe.
Catch the Causes
There are three reasons people develop anemia. Most commonly known is if they lose a lot of blood. This could be slowly over time or a lot at once. This could be through injury, surgery, polyps, ulcers, cancer, gastritis, childbirth, or during a woman’s monthly menstrual period.
Secondly, anemia can occur when red blood cell production slows down or the cells don’t function as they should. Often this is the result of a lack of essential vitamins and minerals (iron, vitamin B12, and folic acid) in your diet, a lack that prevents red blood cells from doing their job properly. Sickle cell anemia, other inherited diseases, and bone marrow problems lead to this type of anemia.
The third common cause of anemia is having red blood cells that are weak and die easily, leading to hemolytic anemia. This may occur at birth or later in life.
Such a condition may be caused by an inherited condition, infections, venom from spiders or snakes, certain foods, toxins from kidney or liver disease, immune system disease, tumors, clotting disorders, chemicals, or severe burns.
If you’ve been feeling low on energy for no apparent reason, make an appointment to see your doctor. Treatment of anemia will depend on what form of anemia you have. Your doctor will determine this through a physical exam and various blood tests.
Test positive for anemia, and your treatment may be as simple as taking an iron supplement or changing your diet. However, as you read above, anemia may be a sign of a more serious condition. In the event this occurs to you, your doctor must focus on treating the underlying cause of your anemia.
Sometimes, there’s nothing you can do to prevent anemia. But you can reduce your risk of anemia that’s caused by a deficiency in vitamins or minerals deficiency. All you have to do is eat a nutritious diet. Iron, folic acid, and vitamin B12 are all needed to help your body make red blood cells, so eat a diet rich in these vitamins and minerals.
Get iron from meat, beans, cereals, dried fruit, and leafy greens. Eat plenty of vitamin C also, as it helps your body absorb iron. Find it in foods such as citrus fruits, berries, and melons. You should also consume the recommended daily amounts of folic acid, found in citrus fruits, leafy greens, bananas, legumes, and fortified cereals and breads. Lastly, eat foods high in vitamin B12, such as dairy products, meat, and certain cereals.
A quick way to determine if you’re a bit anemic is to pull out your bottom eyelid and look underneath it. Pale eyelids indicate you may be anemic.
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