Anemia occurs when the red blood cells don’t have enough hemoglobin to carry oxygen from the lungs throughout all parts of the body. Without oxygen, organs and tissues cannot work as well as they should.
Some types of anemia may be life threatening if not diagnosed and treated. Anemia takes time to develop, but as the condition worsens, a person may experience symptoms of:
- Fatigue, weakness, dizziness, headache, difficulty concentrating and irritability; accompanied by
- Cold or numbness of the hands and feet,
- Low body temperature and paler than normal skin, as well as
- A Rapid or irregular heartbeat, shortness of breath, and chest pain
If you are experiencing symptoms of Anemia, make an appointment with your doctor for a simple blood test called a CBC. If the results of the test are positive, your doctor may want to do other tests to find out the cause, and the treatment prescribed will depend on the type of anemia that is diagnosed. Most cases of anemia can be remedied with simple changes in diet and medications combined with the addition of certain supplements. Severe forms of anemia might require a blood transfusion or surgery.
To help prevent some of the most common types of anemia:
- Avoid drinking coffee or tea with meals.
- Avoid fasting, or dieting fads, and
- Increase your intake of foods high in iron such as: beans, oysters, fish, liver, tofu, spinach, lean red meat, and dried fruits. Foods high in vitamin C, folic acid, and vitamin B12 have also been proven to contribute positively toward the prevention of anemia.
- Mayo Clinic: http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/anemia/DS00321/DSECTION=treatments-and-drugs
- U.S. National Library of Medicine: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMH0001586/
- Women’s Health.gov: http://womenshealth.gov/publications/our-publications/fact-sheet/anemia.cfm