Tired, pale and powerless – you may have anemia (anemia).
Read more what it depends on and what you can do.
What is anemia
Anemia, anemia, low blood value – same but different names. The implication is that there are too few red blood cells circulating in the blood. The purpose of the red blood cells is to carry oxygen to all parts of the body. In anemia, the red blood cells are too few, the body then does not get enough oxygen, which makes you feel tired and powerless.
How does anemia occur?
Anemia usually occurs due to a lot of blood loss. The causes can be several. In younger women, this may be due to heavy menstruation. Other causes may be gastric ulcer, bowel disease or accidents where a lot of blood is lost. But anemia can also occur if you have iron deficiency, vitamin deficiency, illnesses or any infection.
Women and the elderly are more often affected
Anemia is more common in women and in the elderly. In women, it is usually due to the monthly menstruation that causes the body to lose the iron found in the red blood cells. In pregnancy and breastfeeding, anemia can also occur because the body needs extra iron for the fetus to grow. As you get older, your body becomes more difficult to form new blood cells, which can cause anemia. In older people, it is also more common with different disease states that can cause anemia.
Disease can cause anemia
Some diseases can cause anemia. It can be, for example, kidney or tumor diseases. In connection with cancer, it is also not uncommon for anemia to occur. Cell poisoning and radiation can reduce the number of red blood cells.
That’s how it feels
The first sign of anemia is that you feel tired and look pale. Blood levels do not need to have dropped so much before the feeling is felt. In the case of more extensive anemia, when the blood value is below 100 g per liter, you can feel dizziness, shortness of breath, palpitations, headaches and ear ache. It is important to seek help from your health care center if you suspect anemia.
With a simple blood test you can detect anemia. A normal blood value should be above 120 grams per liter in women and 130 grams per liter in men. If you are over 80, the limit is 115-120 grams per liter for both men and women.
Mild anemia usually causes the body to recover itself. If anemia is more severe so that it affects daily life you can treat. The treatment that is relevant is determined after an investigation has been done about the cause of anemia.
If anemia is due to iron deficiency, supplementation of iron tablets may work well. Similarly, supplements of vitamins and folic acid may be appropriate if anemia is due to a deficiency of these substances. In case of severe anemia, a blood transfusion may be required.
What can you do yourself?
To prevent anemia, a varied diet is best. A daily need for iron, folic acid and vitamin B12 is necessary. Suitable foods to eat to meet the need are, for example, meat, black pudding, liver, raw green vegetables, whole wheat bread, milk and eggs.