Trusted Regina Health care experts!
Here they share a tip on Anemia:
My personal experience with anemia; what you need to know:
Over the last six months I’ve noticed some changes in my health. I was scheduled for my annual checkup, and I was actually looking forward to it as I wanted to find out what was going on. That’s when I learned I had become anemic – iron-deficient anemia is my official diagnosis. In just one year, my health status had changed – this is why I always recommend that everyone visit their family doctor or health-care practitioner on an annual basis.
I thought I was just getting old and out of shape, but it was more than that. Once I’d learned that my hemoglobin and iron levels were low, I needed to understand why. After undergoing a few blood tests, my doctor wasn’t too concerned. But I was! Since this is my first illness, I wanted to find out the cause and to share my findings. As I began my research, I realized anemia is a very common condition and there are many of us living with it in some form or another. Anemia is the Greek word for “lack of blood” and is defined as a decrease in the number of red blood cells (RBC), or fewer than the normal level of hemoglobin in one’s blood. Here’s what I learned; take note and make some wise future choices:
What Is Anemia?
Anemia is a commonly missed condition that develops when your blood no longer has adequate healthy red blood cells or hemoglobin. Hemoglobin is a main part of a red blood cell and carries oxygen, which is necessary for our bodies to function. If you don’t have enough RBC or hemoglobin, the cells in your body will not get enough oxygen. The most common symptoms of anemia are fatigue and feeling winded during exertion. That means our vital organs, like our lungs and heart, aren’t getting the oxygen they require to function properly.
What Causes Anemia?
Some of the research I found claims there are more than 400 types of anemia. So, in order to pinpoint exactly what caused a person to become anemic is a challenge, to say the least. According to the experts, anemia is categorized into three main causes: blood loss, decreased or faulty red blood cell production, or destruction of red blood cells. And there are multiple reasons of each of those causes.
Blood loss can be easily missed or undetected since it may have occurred over a long period of time, for example, gastrointestinal conditions like an ulcer or hemorrhoids. Other reasons could be the use, or overuse, of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS) such as, aspirin or ibuprofen, which cause ulcers and irritation of the stomach wall. And menstruation, childbirth and menopause are fairly common culprits, especially if menstrual bleeding is heavy.
Faulty red blood cell production may occur if the RBC production is decreased or abnormal. Red blood cells have to be complete in order to work properly. Some conditions that cause abnormal cells are sickle cell anemia, iron-deficiency anemia, vitamin deficiency, bone marrow and stem cell problems.
Damage to red blood cells occurs if they are fragile and cannot withstand the routine strain of the circulatory system – sometimes they can rupture prematurely causing hemolytic anemia. Other causes can be due to inherited conditions, traumatic injuries, chemical exposures, chronic illnesses, acute diseases or an inappropriate attack of our immune system on our body – forcing the cell to be incomplete and inefficient.
Anemia is one of the most common blood conditions and women are vulnerable to developing it throughout their lives. This exhausting condition can drain you of energy with little warning, and can linger until you correct it.
We’ll often simply dismiss the symptoms of being tired and run down, or of having paler than normal skin because it’s winter. Or we’ll reason that we’re feeling short of breath because we’re out of shape; experiencing dizziness because we forgot to eat; having cold hands and feet (a common symptom of anemia), because we’re not dressed appropriately. Warning signs paint a picture we should pay attention to. We’re good at making excuses about our health as opposed to investigating what’s really going on.
Pay attention to what your body is telling you. Make sure you know the results of your routine tests, and monitor them year after year. Anemia can be easily treated and is reversible. I’m a prime example, as my levels are increasing quite nicely and I’m feeling 100 per cent better.
Prevention is always the best path to take as we go down our aging journey. Choosing a vitamin-rich diet can help with many of the more commonly diagnosed types of anemia. I have iron deficiency anemia and vitamin deficiency anemia, so I have started taking supplements and eating a diet rich in iron, folate, and vitamins B12 and C. And it’s helping.
Here are some foods that will help you ward off anemia or correct it:
• Iron-rich foods including: beef and other meats, beans, lentils, iron-fortified cereals, dark green leafy vegetables, and dried fruit.
• Folate: in synthetic form, folic acid can be found in citrus fruits, juices, bananas, dark green leafy vegetables, legumes and fortified breads, cereals and pasta.
• Vitamin B-12: is a vitamin naturally found in meat and dairy products. It’s also added to some cereals and soy products, like soy milk.
• Vitamin C: is a vitamin found in citrus fruits, melons and berries and is vital in the absorption of iron.
Discussing with your health-care practitioner which supplements you should include in your daily routine, as well as knowing the naturally enriched foods you should be eating, will make a positive impact on maintaining a healthy blood count.
Trusted Regina Health Care Experts!