What is Anaemia?
If the count of red blood cells (also called erythrocytes) in your blood or the haemoglobin level is too low, you suffer from anaemia. It is a condition in which blood is deficient in the substance responsible for its red colour. As a result, your blood transports less oxygen, necessary for proper function of all cells. Therefore, the symptoms of anaemia are very dangerous in the case of your heart and brain, the organs particularly vulnerable to insufficient oxygen supply.
Symptoms of Anaemia
The typical symptoms can be easily mistaken for the results of overworking and general weakness. They include fatigue and tiredness, which persist even after rest. Apathy, drowsiness, irritability and mood swings are also symptoms of anaemia, accompanied by a sudden deterioration of general health. If climbing stairs or running to catch a bus results in a very fast pulse and shortness of breath, anaemia may be the cause.
In order to recognise anaemia and avoid mistaking it for a common overstrain, look in the mirror. Warning signs include excessively dry skin and pale mucous membranes – most prominent on the lips and conjunctiva. Normally, when you pull your lower eyelid down and look at the membrane, it quickly becomes deep red. But in anaemia it remains very pale, eventually turning pinkish. Anaemia also manifests through the health of your hair – their brittleness and loss. Other typical symptoms include frequent dizziness, memory and focusing problems, as well as lowered mood.
What causes anaemia?
Anaemia is much more frequent in women than in men, because it often results from the significant loss of blood during menstruation. The risk grows with iron deficiency or the insufficient absorption of the mineral by the body. Another cause of the condition is vitamin B12 deficiency, so women with heavy menstrual periods should frequently take blood tests. In order to avoid anaemia, make sure your diet is well balanced and varied, rich in iron and vitamin B12. If you notice any worrying signs that could be anaemia symptoms, take necessary tests as soon as possible in order to avoid complications.