Anemia


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Admittedly, I'm known to be a little bit of a complainer, and maybe I sometimes milk my illnesses. Case in fact: in High School, I was diagnosed with anemia and since then I have blamed a lot on it. When I'm cold, it's my anemia...when I'm tired, it must be the anemia...when I bruise easily, it's definitely the anemia.

So I decided to look into what exactly COULD be a result of the anemia, and what is just me making excuses.

Now, back to the start: in high school, we always had red cross blood drives, and every year I would make an appointment to go, being the good citizen that I am (and maybe because it got me out of class), and I would wait in the long line and read all the packets and sit down and answer all the questions that the lady with the suspicious eyes asked me..."Were you born a female?"

Patiently, I would answer each question and the lady would take my heart rate and then she would prick my finger to test my iron and then (EVERY TIME) she would tell me that my iron levels were not high enough to register on the machine, but maybe it was a fluke and she would prick my other finger (OUCH!). The next finger's results would come back the same, and I would hang my head as I walked out of the blood drive, without giving blood, but with very sore middle fingers.

When the blood drive came and went during my senior year (without me being able to donate), I asked my mom to take me to get tested for anemia. I had it, but what exactly was IT?

According to Women's Health, "occurs when you have less than the normal number of red blood cells in your blood or when the red blood cells in your blood don't have enough hemoglobin." The site says that hemoglobin is a protein that is used to carry oxygen throughout your body, and without that oxygen, your body is not working as well as it should. Women and people with chronic diseases are at greatest risk.

There are a few different types of anemia including Iron Deficiency Anemia, Vitamin Deficiency Anemia, Anemia caused by underlying diseases, and Anemia caused by inherited blood diseases.

I have iron deficiency anemia, which is when your body does not have enough iron, and you need iron to product hemoglobin. The most common symptoms for all types of anemia are similar and include:

  • feeling grumpy
  • feeling weak or tired
  • headaches
  • problems concentrating or thinking

After reading up on anemia, I have found that most of my problems COULD be attributed to my anemia, luckily though, there are ways to treat it, the most common being adding more iron to your diet, through foods (like spinach, chicken, tuna, watermelon, etc.) or through vitamins (such as a B-12 or iron supplement). Personally, I took a prescribed iron supplement in high school, but I could never remember to take it every day; from now on, I will definitely have to try to incorporate more iron rich foods in my diet.


Have you ever had anemia? Do you have the same symptoms as me? What do you do to treat it?


PS. Maybe I'm not such a complainer after all. ;)




2 Comments

If you're a complainer, then I am too! I am also anemic. I swear it has to be at least in the 80's for me to feel warm. I'm constantly tired, have always had a major issue with migraines and headaches as well as a very difficult time keeping myself engaged in what I am doing at the time. I farther researched anemia to see what some of the possible causes are for anemia and what I found made sense for my case. I saw that taking excessive amounts of painkillers (which I do since I have migraines multiple times a week) can enhance your chances of contracting anemia. One reason these medicines are known to bring on anemia is because certain painkillers are known to cause ulcers in your stomach which may lead to blood loss and in that case, a loss of red blood cells.

yeah,After reading your blog I realized that I am a totally anemic. I am sometimes feel grumpy, weak or tired
and,always headaches.And, almost every time I want to concentrate on some problems, I feel the headache much more heavier, and it is hard for me to focus on something. Am I because of the iron deficiency as you..? I am not sure, cuz' I never treat these symptom as a gather of anemia. I've learned that anemia is divided into 3 groups 1- caused by blood loss
2- caused by decreased or faulty red blood cell production 3- caused by destruction of red blood cells.
And I find a lot more information about anemia, it helps me a lot in the treatment of anemia. Hope it can add something else to this issue.
http://www.webmd.com/a-to-z-guides/understanding-anemia-basics

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