All about anaemia:

Anaemia is defined as a low number of red blood cells. In a routine blood test, anaemia is reported as a low haemoglobin or haematocrit. Haemoglobin is the main protein in your red blood cells. It carries oxygen, and delivers it throughout your body. If you have anaemia, your haemoglobin level will be low too. If it is low enough, your tissues or organs may not get enough oxygen. Symptoms of anaemia – like fatigue or shortness of breath — happen because your organs aren’t getting what they need to work the way they should.

Important things to remember about anaemia are as follows:

  • Certain forms of anaemia are passed down through your genes, and infants may have it from birth.
  • Women are at risk of iron-deficiency anaemia because of blood loss from their periods and higher blood supply demands during pregnancy.
  •  Older adults have a greater risk of anaemia because they are more likely to have kidney disease or other chronic medical conditions.

Anaemia Symptoms:

The signs of anaemia can be so mild that you might not even notice them. At a certain point, as your blood cells decrease, symptoms often develop. Depending on the cause of the anaemia, symptoms may include:

  • Dizziness, light headness, or feeling like you are about to pass out
  • Fast or unusual heartbeat
  • Headache
  • Pain, including in your bones, chest, belly, and joints
  • Problems with growth, for children and teens
  • Shortness of breath
  • Skin that’s pale or yellow
  • Cold hands and feet
  • Tiredness or weakness
  • Strange cravings to eat items that aren’t food, such as dirt, ice, or clay
  • A tingling or crawling feeling in the legs
  • Tongue swelling or soreness
  • Cold hands and feet
  • Fast or irregular heartbeat
  • Brittle nails


Inadequate iron intake:

Eating too little iron over an extended amount of time can cause a shortage in your body. Foods such as meat, eggs, and some green leafy vegetables are high in iron. Because iron is essential during times of rapid growth and development, pregnant women and young children may need even more iron-rich foods in their diet.

Pregnancy or blood loss due to menstruation:

Heavy menstrual bleeding and blood loss during childbirth are the most common causes of iron deficiency anaemia in women of childbearing age.

Internal bleeding:

Certain medical conditions can cause internal bleeding, which can lead to iron deficiency anaemia. Examples include an ulcer in your stomach, polyps in the colon or intestines, or colon cancer. Regular use of pain relievers, such as aspirin, can also cause bleeding in the stomach.

Inability to absorb iron:

Certain disorders or surgeries that affect the intestines can also interfere with how your body absorbs iron. Even if you get enough iron in your diet, celiac disease or intestinal surgery such as gastric bypass may limit the amount of iron your body can absorb.


If a woman has endometriosis she may have heavy blood loss that she cannot see because it is hidden in the abdominal or pelvic area.

Iron supplements:

Iron tablets can help restore iron levels in your body. If possible, you should take iron tablets on an empty stomach, which helps the body absorb them better. If they upset your stomach, you can take them with meals. You may need to take the supplements for several months. Iron supplements may cause constipation or black stools.


Diets that include the following foods can help treat or prevent iron deficiency:

  • Red meat
  • Dark green, leafy vegetables
  • Dried fruits
  • Nuts
  • Iron-fortified cereals

Additionally, vitamin C helps your body absorb iron. If you’re taking iron tablets, a doctor might suggest taking the tablets along with a source of vitamin C, such as a glass of orange juice or citrus fruit.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *