Anemia - Living with anemia

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Anemia - Living with anemia

Post  Hummingbird on Sun Aug 09, 2009 7:03 pm

Anemia is a condition in which you don't have enough healthy red blood cells to carry adequate oxygen to your tissues. If you have anemia, you probably feel tired a lot.

There are many forms of anemia, each with its own cause. Anemia can be temporary or long term, and it can range from mild to severe.

See your doctor if you suspect you have anemia, because anemia can be a sign of serious illnesses. Treatments for anemia range from taking supplements to undergoing medical procedures. You may be able to prevent some types of anemia by eating a healthy, varied diet.

Signs and symptoms vary depending on the cause of your anemia, but may include:

* Fatigue
* Pale skin
* A fast or irregular heartbeat
* Shortness of breath
* Chest pain
* Dizziness
* Cognitive problems
* Cold hands and feet
* Headache

Initially, anemia can be so mild it goes unnoticed. But signs and symptoms increase as anemia worsens.

When to see a doctor
See your doctor if you're feeling fatigued for unexplained reasons, especially if you're at risk of anemia. Some anemias, such as iron deficiency anemia, are common. But don't assume that if you're tired, you must be anemic. Fatigue has many causes besides anemia.

Some people learn that their hemoglobin is low, which indicates anemia, when they go to donate blood. Low hemoglobin may be a temporary problem remedied by eating more iron-rich foods or taking a multivitamin containing iron. However, it may also be a warning sign of blood loss in your body that may be causing you to be deficient in iron. If you're told that you can't donate blood because of low hemoglobin, see your doctor.
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