Dealing with anaemia

Dealing with anaemia

Most common in women between the ages of 14 and 55 dealing with aneamia is a difficult and tiresome process. Learn more about this disease, how to identify its symptoms and how you can treat it.

What is anaemia?

Anaemia is a medical condition in which the red blood cell count or haemoglobin is less than 12,0 gram/100ml in women. Anaemia is caused by a decrease in production of red blood cells or by a loss of blood. Iron is the major component of haemoglobin and essential for its proper function.

This is why aneamia is often evident in menustruating women or people with a diet low in iron. The first step in dealing with anaemia is identifying the signs and symptoms of it.

The most common symptoms of anaemia are:

  • Tiredness
  • Weakness
  • Pale skin
  • Lack of appetite
  • Dizziness
  • Increased heartbeat
  • Cold hands and feet
  • Brittle nails
  • Hair loss
  • Forgetfulness
  • Shortness of breath when exercising or climbing stairs.

How is anaemia diagnosed?

Anaemia is usually diagnosed by a complete blood cell count. This blood test counts and examines the different types of cells in the blood including red blood cells, white blood cells, platelets and haemoglobin. The test is usually done in a lab or your doctor's office.

Dealing with anaemia

The first method of treating anaemia is through your diet. Increasing your iron intake through iron-rich foods like liver, beef, lamb and venison. Other sources which contain some iron, but are not as rich as red meats, include chicken, eggs and some fortified breads and cereals.

If you are vegetarian, you can boost your iron intake through vegetable sources, like green leafy vegetables, dried fruits and pulses. Try taking these with vitamin C as it helps your body absorb iron. For tips on increasing the iron in your diet read The 411 on vitamins: what you should be getting from your diet and Health benefits of raisins.

The second method of treating anaemia is with iron supplements

The daily recommended amount for women is between eight and 14mg. Depending on how low your levels are your doctor will decide what course of treatment you need.

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Author : Serisha Singh

BIO : Johannesburg Editor Serisha Singh is loving fun and fab big city life! A fashionista at heart, she brings you the lowdown on what’s taking the fashion world by storm and practical advice on how to make trends work for you. A go-getter with extreme energy levels and a positive attitude, she's intrigued by everything from gender empowerment to legal developments and health and beauty. A fan of old school glamour and classy elegance, she’s a strong believer of the power of accessories: shoes, bags, earrings, rings – they can take your outfit from drab to fab! Follow @Serisha_S on Twitter or drop her a mail at serisha@all4women.co.za.