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Iron Deficiency Anemia Tips

What Is Anemia?

Dr. Sathish Erra 89% (584 ratings)
BHMS, Diploma in Dermatology
Homeopath, Hyderabad
What Is Anemia?

WHAT IS  ANEMIA :

Anemia is a condition in which you don't have enough healthy red blood cells to carry adequate oxygen to the body's tissues. Having anemia may make you feel tired and weak.

There are many forms of anemia, each with its own cause. Anemia can be temporary or long term, and it can range from mild to severe. See your doctor if you suspect you have anemia because it can be a warning sign of serious illness.

 TYPES OF ANEMIA :

  • Iron deficiency anemia

  • Thalassaemia

  • Aplastic anemia

  • Haemolytic anemia

  • Sickle cell anemia

  • Pernicious anemia

  • Fanconi anemia

Symptoms :

Anemia signs and symptoms vary depending on the cause of your anemia. They may include:

  • Fatigue

  • Weakness

  • Pale or yellowish skin

  • Irregular heartbeats

  • Shortness of breath

  • Dizziness or lightheadedness

  • Chest pain

  • Cold hands and feet

  • Headache

At first anemia can be so mild that it goes unnoticed. But symptoms worsen as anemia worsens.

Causes :

Anemia occurs when your blood doesn't have enough red blood cells. This can happen if:

  • Your body doesn't make enough red blood cells

  • Bleeding causes you to lose red blood cells more quickly than they can be replaced

  • Your body destroys red blood cells

Diagnosis :

To diagnose anemia, your doctor may ask you about your medical and family history, perform a physical exam, and run the following tests:

  • Complete blood count (CBC). A CBC is used to count the number of blood cells in a sample of your blood. For anemia your doctor will be interested in the levels of the red blood cells contained in the blood (hematocrit) and the hemoglobin in your blood.

  • Normal adult hematocrit values vary from one medical practice to another but are generally between 40 and 52 percent for men and 35 and 47 percent for women. Normal adult hemoglobin values are generally 14 to 18 grams per deciliter for men and 12 to 16 grams per deciliter for women.

  • A test to determine the size and shape of your red blood cells. Some of your red blood cells may also be examined for unusual size, shape and color.

Additional diagnostic tests

If you receive a diagnosis of anemia, your doctor may order additional tests to determine the underlying cause. For example, iron deficiency anemia can result from chronic bleeding of ulcers, benign polyps in the colon, colon cancer, tumors or kidney problems.Occasionally, it may be necessary to study a sample of your bone marrow to diagnose anemia.

Eating the right foods :

1. Increase Iron Rich Food:

It is seen that those who suffer from iron deficiency usually exhibit the symptoms of anemia. You could take up:

  • Food that is rich in iron content

  • Vitamin supplements

These steps will ensure that you step up the iron content in the body which is the main element needed to produce hemoglobin

2. Fruits:

Apples are rich in micro nutrients including iron. Thus, if you are anemic you need to intake:

  • Fruits of different kinds

  • Consume more than one apple a day

Consume Citrus Fruits. It is necessary to have citrus fruits which increase the iron content in the body and the absorption of the micro nutrient.

  • Have at least more than one citrus fruit a day

  • Choose between limes, lemons and other fruits

Try Figs

  • Figs are seen to be excellent remedy for anemia

  • One should consume three to four figs daily in order to combat anemia

Try Bananas It is important to incorporate bananas in one’s diet.

  • It is known to be a good source of magnesium

  • Banana combined with honey will surely help one to step up the necessary salt content for increasing hemoglobin in the blood.

3. Honey:

Honey is known to be an excellent source of cure for anemia.

  • A concoction of honey, lemon juice and apple cider vinegar will prove to be ideal to combat the anemic conditions

  • Such a mixture is known to be a powerful antioxidant and will help to address general health issues as well. It is necessary to increase honey intake as it is beneficial for an anemic person. It is rich in iron, manganese and copper. These micro nutrients are known for their necessity to step up the hemoglobin content in the bloodstream

4. Beetroot Juice:

It is imperative that one know the vegetables that are rich in iron content.• Beetroot is one such vegetable which is beneficial for those who have low iron content and suffer from anemia• Beetroot can be had as a cooked vegetable or in the form of beetroot juice which is more effective

5. Currants In The Morning:

One could soak currant and consume them to feel the benefits. About ten currants should be soaked overnight. The seeds should be removed. They should be eaten first thing in the morning. This should be done for a period of three to four weeks.

6. Increase Red Colored Fruits And Veggies In Your Diet:

The red colored fruits as well as vegetables contain the necessary vitamins which will enrich the blood of hemoglobin and reduce anemia.

  • Have apples

  • Use tomatoes in your diet

  • Consume beetroot as vegetable or in juice form

7. Consume Green And Leafy Vegetables:

One should consume green and leafy vegetables as that helps to step up the level of micro nutrients in the body.

  • Increase iron content

  • Increase salt content

8. Vitamin B12:

It is seen that anemic patients are usually low on their vitamin B12 content. This can be increased by:

  • Consuming fruits and food items rich in such a micro nutrient

  • Taking up supplements rich in this complex micro nutrient

9. Avoid Caffeinated Drinks:

It is best to avoid coffee as the caffeine increases the heart rate and might not be ideal for anemic patients. Try and consume decaf version. Limit the number of cups of coffee consumed.

10. Stay Active:

The more active one stays the more the capability of the blood to circulate and keep one healthy. Regular exercises should be done. Strength training will increase muscle mass and help keep up strength and keep away fatigue.



 

2 people found this helpful

Unable To Focus - Can It Be A Sign Of Iron Deficiency?

Dt. Shwetha Bhatia 90% (482 ratings)
B.Sc. In Food Science & Quality Control, Post Graduate Diploma In Dietetics
Dietitian/Nutritionist, Pune
Unable To Focus - Can It Be A Sign Of Iron Deficiency?

As per the latest statistics published by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, about 9% women suffer from a deficiency of iron. Though the proportion is relatively low, iron deficiency can lead to various diseases, which can be very difficult to cure.

So, look out for these telltale signs of iron deficiency and check whether you suffer from any of them.

  1. Fatigue: Your internal system uses iron for the production of hemoglobin, which is a component in the red blood cells, responsible for carrying oxygen to all parts of the body. So when the iron content is low, there is not enough hemoglobin production and all organ do not receive oxygen in the required quantities. This is bound to make you feel tired at most times.
  2. Inability to focus: People with iron deficiency often suffer from alteration in the synthesis of neurotransmitters. This can lead to decreased functionality and focusing abilities. This may also lead to the development of apathy towards all things, including family, friends, books, music or anything that you loved and enjoyed doing.
  3. Breathlessness: Without a proper supply of iron, there could be an oxygen crunch in the body, compelling you to feel breathless. This may happen anytime when you are working out or walking or reading a book.
  4. Paleness: Do you think your skin has lost luster and become pale in the last few days? That’s definitely not a good sign and may be a symptom of decreased flow of blood and reduction in the RBC count.
  5. Trouble doing your daily chores: Low levels of iron in the body can cause your endurance level to suffer. Thus, you may find it difficult to run up the stairs or catch a vehicle or swim for a while.
  6. Soreness of muscles: Even if you could push yourself to reach the gym, you would experience the burns last longer than normal. Lack of right amount of iron prevents your muscles to recover at the right pace. As a result, you are likely to suffer from aches in the muscles.
  7. Brittle nails: If there is a recent a development of spoon-shaped or concave depression in the nails, it could be a sign of possible deficiency of iron.

Often people tend to ignore the warning signs that the body gives to inform about the problem that’s cropping up. But you can’t take chances with your health and so, check for these signs without any delay.

3 people found this helpful

Iron Deficiency - What Are The Possible Signs And Symptoms?

Dr. Arijit Nag 89% (191 ratings)
MBBS, MD - Internal Medicine, MRCP (UK), DM - Clinical Haematology
Hematologist, Kolkata
Iron Deficiency - What Are The Possible Signs And Symptoms?

Iron deficiency anemia is a type of anemia, which occurs due to deficiency of iron. Iron is the main component of hemoglobin. So, a decrease in the hemoglobin level results in iron deficiency anemia.

What are the Signs and Symptoms of Iron Deficiency Anemia?

Signs and symptoms appear when anemia is moderate to severe. In the mild stage, iron deficiency anemia often goes unnoticed. The signs and symptoms of iron deficiency anemia are:

  1. Extreme fatigue (weakness)
  2. Pale skin and brittle nails
  3. Reduced  appetite
  4. Headache, dizziness, or lightheadedness
  5. Cold hands and feet with tingling numbness
  6. Chest pain, palpitations, or shortness of breath
  7. Inflammation or soreness of the tongue
  8. Unusual cravings for indigestible substances, such as ice, dirt, or starch. 

What are the Causes of Iron Deficiency Anemia? 

  1. Inadequate iron intake: Your body gets iron from the food you eat. If you consume too little iron, then your body may become iron deficient. Hence, resulting in anemia.
  2. Inability to absorb iron: Iron is absorbed into your bloodstream from the food in your small intestine. In conditions like an intestinal disorder, this absorption of iron is hampered which results in iron deficiency anemia. Also, when your small intestine is bypassed or removed surgically, absorption of iron is hampered.
  3. Blood loss: Red blood cells in your blood contain iron, and if the blood loss is severe, you can end up having iron deficiency. Conditions, such as bleeding hemorrhoids, colorectal cancer, and heavy menstruation can result in iron deficiency anemia.
  4. Pregnancy and lactation: During pregnancy and lactation period, the iron requirement of the mother is more, and when it is unfulfilled, she may end up having iron deficiency anemia.

Which Group is at Risk?

  1. Vegetarians
  2. Women
  3. Infants and children 
  4. Frequent blood donors

How is it Diagnosed?

Diagnosis is made with the help of: 

  • Patient’s history   
  • Blood tests, such as CBC and serum ferritin
  • Some additional tests, such as colonoscopy, endoscopy, and sonography to diagnose the underlying cause

Treatment

Treating the underlying cause is the primary step.

  1. Severe cases: When the iron level is too low, blood transfusion and even intravenous iron is given
  2. Mild to Moderate Cases: Iron and vitamin C supplements are given in mild and moderate cases of iron deficiency anemia.

Can you Prevent Iron Deficiency Anemia?

Yes. You can prevent iron deficiency anemia by including iron-rich foods in your diet, such as:

  1. Dark green leafy vegetables, such as spinach, peas, and beans
  2. Dry fruits, such as raisins and apricots
  3. Red meat, pork and poultry, and seafoodIron-fortified ceconsult an expertreals, bread, and pasta
  4. Include vitamin C-rich foods in your diet to enhance iron absorption. Vitamin C is found in Grapefruit, oranges, strawberries, lemons, and melonsLeafy greens, broccoli, peppers, and tomatoes

In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!

2601 people found this helpful

Iron Deficiency: 7 Signs You Have an Iron Deficiency

Dr. Ashwini J 87% (124 ratings)
Bachelor of Ayurveda, Medicine & Surgery (BAMS), M.Sc - Dietitics/Nutrition
Dietitian/Nutritionist, Bangalore
Iron Deficiency: 7 Signs You Have an Iron Deficiency

As per the latest statistics published by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, about 9% women suffer from a deficiency of iron. Though the proportion is relatively low, iron deficiency can lead to various diseases, which can be very difficult to cure. So, look out for these telltale signs of iron deficiency and check whether you suffer from any of them.

  1. Fatigue: Your internal system uses iron for the production of haemoglobin, which is a component in the red blood cells, responsible for carrying oxygen to all parts of the body. So when the iron content is low, there is not enough haemoglobin production and all organ do not receive oxygen in the required quantities. This is bound to make you feel tired at most times.
  2. Inability to focus: People with iron deficiency often suffer from alteration in the synthesis of neurotransmitters. This can lead to decreased functionality and focusing abilities. This may also lead to the development of apathy towards all things, including family, friends, books, music or anything that you loved and enjoyed doing.
  3. Breathlessness: Without a proper supply of iron, there could be an oxygen crunch in the body, compelling you to feel breathless. This may happen anytime when you are working out or walking or reading a book.
  4. Paleness: Do you think your skin has lost lustre and become pale in the last few days? That’s definitely not a good sign and may be a symptom of decreased flow of blood and reduction in the RBC count.
  5. Trouble doing your daily chores: Low levels of iron in the body can cause your endurance level to suffer. Thus, you may find it difficult to run up the stairs or catch a vehicle or swim for a while.
  6. Soreness of muscles: Even if you could push yourself to reach the gym, you would experience the burns last longer than normal. Lack of right amount of iron prevents your muscles to recover at the right pace. As a result, you are likely to suffer from aches in the muscles.
  7. Brittle nails: If there is a recent a development of spoon-shaped or concave depression in the nails, it could be a sign of possible deficiency of iron.

Often people tend to ignore the warning signs that the body gives to inform about the problem that’s cropping up. But you can’t take chances with your health and so, check for these signs without any delay.

In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!

6216 people found this helpful

7 Signs to Help You Spot Iron Deficiency!

Dr. Indu Saini 87% (20 ratings)
Ph.D In Food & Nutrition, MSc In Food & Nutrition
Dietitian/Nutritionist, Ajmer
7 Signs to Help You Spot Iron Deficiency!

As per the latest statistics published by the 'center for disease control and prevention', about 9% women suffer from the deficiency of iron. Though the proportion is relatively low, iron deficiency can lead to various diseases, which can be very difficult to cure. So, look out for these telltale signs of iron deficiency and check whether you suffer from any of them.

  1. Fatigue: Your internal system uses iron for the production of hemoglobin, which is a component in the red blood cells, responsible for carrying oxygen to all parts of the body. So, when the iron content is low, there is not enough hemoglobin produced and all organs do not receive oxygen in the required quantities, which is bound to make you feel tired at most times.
  2. Inability to focus: People with iron deficiency often suffer from alteration in the synthesis of neurotransmitters. This can lead to decreased functionality and focusing abilities. This may also lead to the development of apathy towards all things, including family, friends, books, music or anything that you loved and enjoyed doing.
  3. Breathlessness: Without a proper supply of iron, there could be an oxygen crunch in the body, compelling you to feel breathless. This may happen anytime like when you are working out or walking or reading a book.
  4. Paleness: Do you think your skin has lost luster and has become pale in the last few days? That’s definitely not a good sign and may be a symptom of decreased flow of blood and reduction in the RBC count.
  5. Trouble doing your daily chores: Low levels of iron in the body can cause your endurance level to suffer. Thus, you may find it difficult to run up the stairs or catch a vehicle or swim for a while.
  6. Soreness of muscles: Even if you could push yourself to reach the gym, you would experience that the burn lasts longer than normal. Lack of required amount of iron prevents your muscles to recover at the right pace. As a result, you are likely to suffer from aches in the muscles.
  7. Brittle nails: If there is a recent development of spoon-shaped or concave depression in the nails, it could be a sign that your body is iron deficient.

Often people tend to ignore the warning signs that the body gives to indicate the problem that’s cropping up. But you can’t take your health for granted. So, check for these signs without any delay get help from a doctor in case you notice them. In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!

5512 people found this helpful

Anaemia And Hair Loss - What Should You Do?

Dr. Rohit Shah 88% (376 ratings)
Bachelor of Ayurveda, Medicine and Surgery (BAMS)
Ayurveda, Surat
Anaemia And Hair Loss - What Should You Do?

Anemia, as known to many, is a medical condition triggered by low hemoglobin levels. More than often, iron deficiency acts as a catalyst giving rise to anemia. While fatigue, headache, palpitations, skin pallor, and dizziness are characteristic of anemia, many people also suffer from hair loss. Here too, the iron deficiency acts as contributing factor interfering with the healthy growth cycle of the hair. In some cases, the hair loss may mimic the male and female pattern baldness as observed in the case of Alopecia. While anemia and the related hair loss can affect anyone irrespective of their age and sex, women of reproductive age, as well as teenagers, are more susceptible to this. In this article, we will discuss the anemia and iron deficiency induced hair loss in brief and the preventive measures to deal with the situation.

Anemia-related Hair Loss
In anemia, there is a significant fall in the hemoglobin level. Hemoglobin acts as an oxygen carrier to different body cells and tissues, including those of the hair follicles to ensure healthy cell growth and repairment. Low hemoglobin levels result in inadequate oxygen supply, one of the prime factors responsible for hair loss.

Ferritin, a storage protein (cellular protein) for iron contributes significantly towards a healthy growth cycle of the hair (stimulates the anagen or the growth phase). In the case of anemia, to meet the iron requirements of the vital organs such as the heart, the body starts utilizing the ferritin stored in hair bulb and other non-essential tissues. This dip in the ferritin level affects the hair growth. A ferritin blood test often helps in the diagnosis of iron deficiency and anemia.

Preventive measures to deal with anemia related hair loss
With the iron deficiency and the associated symptoms being taken care of, the anemia triggered hair loss can be controlled and reversed. In addition to the medications and treatment, one also needs to take care of their general health and lead a healthy lifestyle.

  1. Never go for self-medication. It will only worsen the situation. Two individuals can have the same medical problem but triggered by different factors. Always consult a doctor before trying any medicines.
  2. Follow a healthy diet: People dealing with anemia and iron deficiency should enrich their diet with foods rich in iron such as lean meat, liver, spinach, beetroot, nuts and dry fruits (walnuts, almonds), prunes, parsley, broccoli (the florets), to name a few. Foods rich in vitamin C, almonds, are known to promote hair growth.
  3. Avoid drinking tea between meals as this unhealthy practice is known to interfere with the absorption of iron.
  4. Maintain a healthy hair care routine
    • Oil massage your hair at least twice a week.
    • Be gentle while combing the hair.
    • Try and use a mild shampoo (or as the doctor recommended).
    • Avoid excessive use of hair styling products and chemicals.

In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!

5866 people found this helpful

Iron And Its Efficacy In Human Body

Dr. Akanksha Tayal 92% (3190 ratings)
BHMS
Homeopath, Delhi
Iron And Its Efficacy In Human Body
IRON:

Daily requirement: Children: 10-15 mg/day
Adults: 10 mg/day
Premenopausal women: 15 mg/day
Pregnant women: 30 mg/day
Iron is required for
i) Formation of haemoglobin in blood.
ii) For muscular activity.

Sources of Iron:
Red meat.
Chicken
Sea food.
Animals products (eggs).
Green leafy vegetables.
Grains.
Nuts.
Dry fruits, like dates and raisins.
Human milk, which contains about 1 mg/litre

Iron deficiency causes:
Anaemia.
Fatigue.
Paleness
Dizziness.
Irritability.
Palpitation.
Recurrent infections.

Iron in excess causes:
Diarrhoea.
Constipation.
Vomiting
Headache
Dizziness
Stomach cramps.
2 people found this helpful

Anaemia - Problems It Can Lead To!

Dr. Arunesh Dutt Upadhyay 93% (318 ratings)
MBBS, MD - Aerospace Medicine, Eular Certification in Rheumatology
General Physician, Pune
Anaemia - Problems It Can Lead To!

The lack of red blood cells or hemoglobin in the blood is termed as Anemia. You may also be diagnosed as anemic is your red blood cells do not have a high enough hemoglobin count. Since hemoglobin is responsible for the amount of oxygen in our blood, being anemic results in a decreased flow of oxygen in the blood. 

There are 5 different types of anemia. These are:

  1. Iron deficiency anemia: When the iron levels of the blood are lower than normal. 
  2. Sickle cell anemia: When the red blood cells are shaped like a 'sickle' and hence more fragile. This is an inherited condition. 
  3. Thalassemia: When the body does not produce enough red blood cells or hemoglobin. This is also an inherited condition.
  4. Megaloblastic anemia: When the blood does not have enough vitamin B12 and hence cannot transport hemoglobin through the body. 
  5. Hemolytic anemia: When the red blood cells are rapidly removed from the blood due to an infection, medication or disease. 

Lack of oxygen can have a serious effect on the organs of the body. Hence the symptoms of anemia are also the effects of the disease. 
Some of these are: 

Anemia can also lead to a number of major health problems such as:

  1. Heart disease: Anemia is directly linked to heart disease. When the blood carries less oxygen, the heart needs to work harder to pump it to the rest of the body. Thus, people who are anemic are at a higher risk of having a heart attack than a non anemic person. Anemia can also lead to arrhythmia or a condition where the person suffers from an irregular heartbeat.  
  2. Pregnancy complications: One of the first and most vital supplements prescribed to a pregnant woman is iron. Iron is essential not only for a healthy baby, but also for your own body. Anemia caused by a lack of iron can result in premature birth and a number of other complications at the time of pregnancy. 
  3. Increased risk of infections: Lack of oxygen in the blood can affect your immune system by lowering its ability to fight infections. This makes the body vulnerable to diseases. 
  4. Cognitive damage: Anemia in children can result in a greatly reduced attention span and weaken their memory. Sometimes, even when treated, this can result in permanent scarring and reduced IQ levels. 

In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!

6812 people found this helpful

Did You Know, Vitamin C Aids in Iron Absorption!

Dr. Prabha Acharya 91% (106 ratings)
PGDM In Cosmetology, Trichology & Weight Managmen, MD, BHMS
Homeopath, Mumbai
Did You Know, Vitamin C Aids in Iron Absorption!
  • Iron is a major component of hemoglobin that carries oxygen to all parts of the body.
  • Women need more iron than men to makeup for the amount of iron they lose in their menstrual period. 
  • Iron deficiency is the most common nutrient deficiency in women. Insufficient iron can lead to anaemia. Common symptoms of anaemia include tiredness and breathlessness. Iron is especially important during pregnancy.
  • Iron absorption can be impaired by alcohol, the tannic acid in tea,etc. Hence avoid drinking tea while consuming any iron source food.
  • Sources of iron:  Red meat, chicken and fish, Fortified cereals, nuts, leafy green vegetables.
  • Role of Vitamin C: Drinking citrus juice or eating other foods rich in vitamin C at the same time that you eat high-iron foods, enhances the iron absorption.
  • Vitamin C food sources: Broccoli, Kiwi, Leafy greens,Oranges,Tomatoes, etc.
2 people found this helpful

Anemia During Pregnancy

Dr. A.A Khan 93% (1028 ratings)
MBBS,CCA,DCA,AASECT,FPA,AAD,F.H.R.SM.I.M.S
General Physician, Gorakhpur
Anemia During Pregnancy

Anemia during pregnancy is a common condition and a worrisome one. Therefore, understanding the details of anemia, its causes, symptoms and potential treatments is important.

What is anemia during pregnancy?

Anemia is a condition that can affect anyone and is defined as a deficiency in iron, an essential mineral in our body. Anemia during pregnancy is a common affliction of pregnant women, due to many physical and hormonal changes that occur during pregnancy.

Any deficiency in nutrients can be fatal and leaves your body without the key resources it needs, but this can be a dangerous concern during pregnancy. Iron is an essential mineral in the production of red blood cells and hemoglobin, which is necessary to carry oxygen and other nutrients to different areas of the body. Expecting mothers contribute a large amount of their nutrient intake to their growing fetus ;which makes it even more important for them to ensure that their nutrient levels are adequate.

Unlike traditional anemia, which can affect anyone during pregnancy, it is risky, especially during the first and the third trimester.

During third trimester

In the third trimester, the final three months of a pregnancy term, there is a particular risk of anemia. Even if you aren’t anemic at the start of your pregnancy, the chances of being anemic get high by the end of your term. Approximately 15-20% of women experience anemia during pregnancy. Having anemia during the third trimester can increase the risk of a pre-term baby or a low birth weight of the baby.

Having anemia during your late pregnancy term will also increase the risk of fetal anemia, which is rare, but extremely dangerous, and can even lead to heart failure or death of the fetus.

Causes

  • The causes of anemia during pregnancy include loss of blood, natural fetal development, poor diet and pre-existing chronic disease.
  • Loss of blood: if you suffer from heavy menstruation or have a bleeding disorder, you are at a much higher risk of anemia during pregnancy. This basic loss of blood will require the body to produce more hemoglobin and red blood cells, putting a strain on your iron reserves.
  • Fetal development: as the fetus grows within the womb, it will require its own supply of blood, independent of the mother. This is a large sink for iron intake, and is the primary reason for anemia during pregnancy, albeit an unavoidable one.
  • Unique pregnancy: for women who have recently had a pregnancy, or if you are carrying multiples (twins, triplets etc.), the risk of anemia during pregnancy is considerably high.
  • Poor diet: the main source of iron in your body comes from dietary choices. A diet that is low in protein or high in sugars and fats can unbalance your nutrient levels, leading to anemia.
  • Chronic disease: certain chronic diseases, such as cancer, diabetes, crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis and other inflammatory conditions can decrease your body’s ability to produce hemoglobin, leading to anemia.

Types

Contrary to popular belief, anemia is not exclusively caused by a deficiency in iron. While a lack of iron causes 80-95% of anemia cases, deficiencies in other essential compounds can also result in anemic symptoms.

1. Iron-deficiency anemia

This is the most common form of anemia caused by a lack of iron in the body. It limits your body’s ability to produce hemoglobin and deliver oxygen to the necessary organ systems and tissues.

2. Folate-deficiency anemia

Folic acid is a part of the b family of vitamins and is closely linked to metabolic processes and the risk of neural tube defects in a fetus. While rarer than iron-deficiency anemia, it still requires specialized treatment to bring folate concentration back to a healthy level.

3. Vitamin b12 deficiency anemia

Pernicious anemia is a rare form of anemia in which your body attacks the cells in the stomach that are required to absorb vitamin b12. Without this essential vitamin, similar to a lack of iron, your body is unable to produce red blood cells.

Symptoms

Some of the most common symptoms of anemia during pregnancy are fatigue, shortness of breath, irritability, dizziness, muscle weakness, preeclampsia and irregular heartbeat, among others.

1. Fatigue:

Exhaustion is one of the first and most notable symptoms of anemia, making you feel physically sluggish and cognitively slow.

2. Muscle weakness:

Without proper oxygenation, muscles are unable to function properly, leading to muscle aches, soreness, and general weakness.

3. High blood pressure:

Preeclampsia, high blood pressure duringpregnancy, can be a very serious symptom of anemia during pregnancy, and will often require additional treatment to keep under control.

4. Breathing problems:

The physical exhaustion caused by anemia and the lack of oxygen to organ systems can make normal respiration a struggle. This can also cause dizziness in some pregnancies.

5. Irregular heartbeat:

Tachycardia is a potentially life-threatening symptom of anemia during pregnancy, in which your heart “skips” beats. This can lead to more complicated cardiovascular issues during pregnancy.

Tests

If you suspect that you are experiencing anemia during pregnancy, a visit to the doctor is highly recommended. They can perform a simple blood test to determine your levels of hemoglobin. This is the most reliable and rapid means of determining whether you are experiencing anemia during pregnancy.

Treatments

Given, how common it is for women to experience anemia during pregnancy, there are a number of formal treatments, as well as home remedies and natural therapies that can prevent or effectively treat this condition.

1. Iron supplements

This is the easiest and most common recommendation for addressing anemia during pregnancy. Though iron supplements may increase the concentration of iron in the body, the greater issue may be an inability to absorb iron, which can be mitigated by vitamin c intake.

2. Prenatal vitamins

Considered a preventative measure, more than a treatment option, prenatal vitamins can ensure that your iron levels remain adequate throughout pregnancy.

3. Iron-rich diet

Your dietary choices will have the largest impact on the amount of iron in your body. Within the boundaries of your pregnancy diet, add foods like spinach, red meat, legumes, high-starch foods and dried fruit.

4. Vitamin c intake

Ascorbic acid is critical to iron absorption in the gut. By ensuring that you have proper levels of vitamin c, you can effectively avoid anemia during pregnancy. Include foods like citrus fruits, leafy green vegetables and bell peppers in your diet for better results.
 

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