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  • Dr. Gina Simone

Your Anemia is Trying to Kill You

Updated: May 19, 2020

I bet that title got your attention.

Okay, now slow your breathing down and we’ll start with the basics.

The human body is composed of blood and in the blood there are two components: plasma (the fluid part) and cells. Red blood cells are important, as their job is to transport oxygen from the lungs and supply it throughout the entire body. So, what is needed to help build those blood cells? Iron. When the body lacks iron, it can cause a lower number of red blood cells and ta-dah, you have anemia.

Although there are different types of anemia, iron deficiency anemia is the most common in women of childbearing age. A decreased amount of dietary iron, impaired iron absorption, bleeding, or loss of body iron in the urine can contribute to iron deficiency anemia. Depending on the person, the treatment may include taking iron supplements.

Unfortunately, quite a few women put their iron tablets on the “back-burner” because it does not seem that important.

News flash: your anemia is very serious!

When there are not enough red blood cells, the body can become oxygen deprived. When this happens, a person can experience difficulty breathing, become confused, lose consciousness, experience heart failure, and have severe damage to the brain, liver, and other internal organs; all of which can lead to death. Anemia is a red alert to let you know that something else is happening in your body.

Now some of you may be saying, “I’m not anemic!” Maybe you aren't…or maybe you are and you don’t recognize it. The symptoms associated with anemia are common but somewhat nonspecific. Some symptoms of anemia can include:

Fatigue Dizziness Pale Skin Shortness of Breath Headaches Brittle Nails Lack of Energy

Some people may have these symptoms and just assume something else is wrong with them. For example: lack of energy, shortness of breath, or dizziness can be mistaken for lack of sleep. In some cases this could be true. But if you’re drinking gallons of water, getting good sleep, and exercising regularly, and the symptoms remain, call your doctor.

QUICK NOTE: “Low blood” can be just as bad as no blood.

It is important to have a complete work-up from your doctor to find the cause of the anemia and, even more important, to get the appropriate treatment.


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