Anaemia – Everything You Should Know About It
Anaemia is a health condition in which a person has a lower haemoglobin concentration or a number of red blood cells. Enough haemoglobin concentration is essential for carrying adequate oxygen to different body parts.
As per the World Health Organisation, it is a serious public health issue and affects pregnant females and young children. Around 40% of pregnant women and 42% of children under 5 across the world are anaemic. Having an iron test in greater Delhi or your locality can help you detect it. Keep going through this post to know more about anaemia.
What is anaemia?
Also acknowledged as low haemoglobin, anaemia is a common health issue that makes a person have a lack of healthy red blood cells. The red blood cells are responsible for carrying adequate oxygen to the body tissues of a person.
Types of anaemia
Anaemia has several forms and each has its own causes. It can be mild to severe and lasts for a few days or longer. In general, anaemia has many causes. And a doctor can confirm what causes of anaemia you have. Being anaemic can be a warning sign of severe illness. Here are common types of anaemia:
- Aplastic anaemia
- Iron deficiency anaemia
- Sickle cell anaemia
- Vitamin deficiency anaemia
Symptoms of anaemia
Anaemia symptoms are different for different persons based on its severity and cause. As an anaemic person, you may have no symptoms or notice the following signs:
- Yellowish or pale skin
- Breath shortness
- Irregular heartbeats
- Chest pain
- Lightheadedness or dizziness
- Cold feet and hands
In the early days, when your anaemia is mild, you do not notice any sign. With time, you can experience one or all of the above-mentioned signs.
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You can have anaemia due to an acquired condition or a condition present at your birth. It happens to you when you do not have red cells in your blood. This happens if:
- Your body is unable to produce adequate red blood cells
- Bleeding makes you lose more red blood cells in comparison with their replacement
- There is destruction of red blood cells in your body
You are at a higher risk of anaemia if you have a bad lifestyle and certain health conditions. Here are some common factors that can increase your risk of having anaemia:
- A lack of vitamins and minerals, especially iron, folate, vitamin B12, and copper
- Intestinal disorders
- Chronic health conditions like kidney, cancer
- Age, especially in people above 65
- Family history
- Other factors like toxic chemicals, alcoholic beverages, autoimmune disorders and blood diseases
Ignoring anaemia symptoms and severity can create several health issues for you. Some common health complications you might have are as follows:
- Extreme fatigue
- Pregnancy complications like preterm birth
- Heart problems
When to consult a doctor
You should immediately contact a respective doctor when you notice visible symptoms and your symptoms are getting worse with each passing day. Your doctor recommends you a few tests such as iron tests and vitamin tests to know the levels of vitamins and minerals in your body. After going through the test reports, the doctor prescribes medications and suggests dietary changes to get the requisite vitamins and minerals.
In general, you may not safeguard yourself from having certain types of anaemia. However, you can avoid having vitamin deficiency anaemia and iron deficiency anaemia. To get the requisite vitamins and iron, you should include the following food items in your diet:
- Dark green leafy vegetables
- Dry fruit
- Fruit juices
- Green peas
- Dairy products
Anaemia, as a common health issue, can be problematic for you if you ignore addressing it. Having an idea about anaemia symptoms, causes, risks, and complications with prevention will help you go through it well if it occurs to you.