Anemia is a condition in which you lack enough healthy red blood cells to carry an adequate level of oxygen to the body’s tissues. Anemia, also known as a low hemoglobin level, can make you feel tired and weak.
There are many forms of anemia, each with its own cause. Anemia can be temporary or long-lasting and can range from mild to severe. In most cases, anemia has more than one cause. See your doctor if you suspect you have anemia. It can be a warning sign of serious illness.
Treatments for anemia, depending on the cause, range from taking supplements to undergoing medical procedures. You could prevent some types of anemia by following a healthy and varied diet.
The signs and symptoms of anemia vary depending on the cause and severity of the anemia. Depending on the causes of anemia, you may not have symptoms.
Signs and symptoms, if present, could include:
- Soft spot
- Pale or yellowish skin
- Irregular heartbeat
- Difficulty breathing
- Dizziness or lightheadedness
- Chest pain
- Cold hands and feet
At first, the anemia may be so mild that it is not noticeable, but symptoms get worse as the anemia worsens.
When to see a doctor
Make an appointment with your doctor if you feel fatigued and don’t know why.
Fatigue has many causes besides anemia, so don’t assume that if you are tired, you are anemic. When they go to donate blood, some people find out that their hemoglobin is low, indicating anemia. If you are told that you cannot donate blood because you have a low hemoglobin level, make an appointment with your doctor.
Anemia can be due to a condition present at birth (congenital) or a condition that develops (acquired). Anemia occurs when the blood does not have enough red blood cells.
Esto puede suceder si:
- The body does not make enough red blood cells
- Bleeding causes you to lose red blood cells faster than they can be replaced
- The body destroys red blood cells
Many types of anemia cannot be prevented. But you can avoid iron deficiency anemia and vitamin deficiency anemia by eating a diet that includes a variety of vitamins and minerals, including:
- Iron. Iron-rich foods include beef and other meats, beans, lentils, iron-fortified cereals, dark green leafy vegetables, and dried fruits.
- Folate This nutrient, and its synthetic form of folic acid, can be found in fruits and fruit juices, dark green leafy vegetables, green peas, kidney beans, peanuts, and fortified grain products, such as bread, cereals, pasta, and rice.
- B12 vitamin. Foods rich in vitamin B-12 include meat, dairy products, and fortified cereal and soy-based products.
- Vitamin C. Foods rich in vitamin C include citrus fruits and juices, bell peppers, broccoli, tomatoes, melons, and strawberries. These also help increase iron absorption.