Anemia has affected over 3 million individuals in the United States, which makes it one of the most common blook conditions in the country. However, despite its commonness, many people do not have much knowledge about this medical condition. This often leads them to ignore symptoms of anemia, which further makes them suffer severely from this condition in the long run.
Here is some important information about anemia that every individual must be familiar with.
Symptoms of Anemia
The symptoms of anemia are often very mild. For this reason, they often go unnoticed. The symptoms mainly develop when the blood cells are decreased to an alarming level.
Depending on the particular causes, symptoms of anemia can include:
- Lightheadedness, dizziness, or feeling as if you’re about to pass out
- Unusual or fast heartbeat
- Problems with body growth, mainly in children and teenagers
- Pain in different body parts including bones, joints, chest, and belly
- Shortness of breath
- Pale or yellow skin
- Weakness or tiredness
- Loss of appetite
- Cold feet and hands
- Pounding sound in the ear
Following are some of the factors that can place you at risk of anemia:
- A diet not rich in vitamins and minerals: A diet that is consistently low in vitamin B-12, iron, copper, and folate can increase the risk of anemia, mainly macrocytic anemia.
- Menstruation: Notably, a great deal of red blood cells is lost because of menstruation. For this reason, women who go through menstruation have a greater risk of anemia as compared to men and women who have had menopause.
- Intestinal disorders: If you have an intestinal disorder that might be affecting the absorption of nutrients in the small intestine, such as celiac disease and Crohn’s disease, there can be a high risk of you having anemia.
- Pregnancy: Pregnant women who don’t take a multivitamin with iron and folic acid can be at serious risk of developing anemia.
- Family history: Individuals from families with a history of inherited anemia, like sickle cell anemia or thalassemia, are at a high risk of developing anemia.
- Chronic conditions: Individuals suffering from chronic conditions, like cancer and kidney failure, can be at a high risk of developing anemia, mainly normocytic anemia.
- Age: People who have reached the age of 60 are also at risk of anemia.
- Other factors: Various other factors can put you at risk of anemia like certain infections, autoimmune disorders, blood diseases, alcoholism, use of certain medications, and exposure to some toxic chemicals.
When left untreated, anemia can lead to various health complications, including:
- Extreme fatigue: A severe condition of anemia can cause you to feel tired and exhausted even after doing the usual tasks.
- Heart problems: Anemia can cause a fast or irregular heartbeat, further leading to an enlarged heart or even heart failure.
- Pregnancy complications: Anemia can cause pregnant women to have various complications, including miscarriage and premature birth.
- Death: Some types of anemia that are inherited, like sickle cell anemia and thalassemia, can cause life-threatening health complications.