Lately, I feel more anemic than I was before. From a powerful horse who could run at least 5km everyday and sweat buckets come rain or shine 7 days a week, I have now reduced on my running. I do more brisk walking (outdoor) and air-walking in the gym 5x a week. Running zaps up too much of my energy and causes shortness of breath and lightheadedness. I was chatting with my friend the other day and realized that my aggravated lethargy is most likely caused by heavy and prolonged menstruation every month caused by the fibroid in my uterus. My friend had uterine fibroids too and she had gone through 2 surgical procedures to have the most problematic fibroid removed. As for me, I think my situation is not as bad as my friend. I will continue with the bi-yearly vaginal ultrasound scans to monitor the fibroid, speaking of which, I am due for my first check up for this year anytime now!
To beat iron deficiency anemia, I am now taking Sangobion (iron tablets) everyday. I also eat 2 free range chicken eggs a day and try to include red meat and red beans in my diet everyday.
Anemia symptoms vary depending on the cause of your anemia but may include:
A fast or irregular heartbeat
Shortness of breath
Cold hands and feet
I can tick 8 of the above symptoms for my own anemia.
Causes and Complications of Anemia
Causes of Anemia
Iron deficiency anemia occurs when your body doesn’t have enough iron to produce hemoglobin. Hemoglobin is the part of red blood cells that gives blood its red color and enables the red blood cells to carry oxygenated blood throughout your body. If you aren’t consuming enough iron, or if you’re losing too much iron, your body can’t produce enough hemoglobin, and iron deficiency anemia will eventually develop.
Causes of iron deficiency anemia include:
Blood loss. Blood contains iron within red blood cells. So if you lose blood, you lose some iron. Women with heavy periods are at risk of iron deficiency anemia because they lose blood during menstruation. Slow, chronic blood loss within the body — such as from a peptic ulcer, a hiatal hernia, a colon polyp or colorectal cancer — can cause iron deficiency anemia. Gastrointestinal bleeding can result from regular use of some over-the-counter pain relievers, especially aspirin.
A lack of iron in your diet. Your body regularly gets iron from the foods you eat. If you consume too little iron, over time your body can become iron deficient. Examples of iron-rich foods include meat, eggs, leafy green vegetables and iron-fortified foods. For proper growth and development, infants and children need iron from their diet, too.
An inability to absorb iron. Iron from food is absorbed into your bloodstream in your small intestine. An intestinal disorder, such as celiac disease, which affects your intestine’s ability to absorb nutrients from digested food, can lead to iron deficiency anemia. If part of your small intestine has been bypassed or removed surgically, that may affect your ability to absorb iron and other nutrients.
Pregnancy. Without iron supplementation, iron deficiency anemia occurs in many pregnant women because their iron stores need to serve their own increased blood volume as well as be a source of hemoglobin for the growing fetus.
Mild iron deficiency anemia usually doesn’t cause complications. However, left untreated, iron deficiency anemia can become severe and lead to health problems, including the following:
Heart problems. Iron deficiency anemia may lead to a rapid or irregular heartbeat. Your heart must pump more blood to compensate for the lack of oxygen carried in your blood when you’re anemic. This can lead to an enlarged heart or heart failure.
Problems during pregnancy. In pregnant women, severe iron deficiency anemia has been linked to premature births and low birth weight babies. But the condition is preventable in pregnant women who receive iron supplements as part of their prenatal care.
Growth problems. In infants and children, severe iron deficiency can lead to anemia as well as delayed growth and development. Additionally, iron deficiency anemia is associated with an increased susceptibility to infections.