Anemia is a medical condition where your blood lacks a healthy amount of red blood cells called hemoglobin. If the count of red blood cells in your body is too low, you will not receive the proper and healthy amount of oxygen.
When I was 17, I was diagnosed with iron and vitamin deficiency anemia because of my reckless eating habits and faulty nutrition program. I saw my doctor after experiencing long bouts of fatigue, leg cramps, and insomnia and he diagnosed me with one of the many types of anemia after testing. Although many types are permanent mine was not. Here are the things I learned from dealing with this condition.
Anemia can include any and all of these symptoms:
- Pale Skin
- Shortness of Breath
- Chest Pain
- Poor Appetite
- Brittle Nails
- Chest Pain
- Tingling in Extremities
Iron and vitamin deficiency anemia cases are common and if caught early rarely lead to a serious health complication. I was lucky and managed to get to the doctor in time to prevent any lasting damage to my body. Iron is key to producing healthy blood cells in your body and carrying oxygen to the body’s muscle tissues. Because I wasn’t getting enough oxygen I was often short of breath and tired, but at the same time could not sleep through a full night. While I was lucky and had myself diagnosed before any damage was done since this type of anemia, untreated, can lead to internal bleeding.
I also learned that there are certain risk factors that could make a person more susceptible to this type of anemia. Women, children, vegetarians, and frequent blood donors were at a higher risk of developing this condition. At the time I was on a strict diet and practicing vegetarian. This style of eating was keeping me from getting the needed amount of iron and other vitamins and nutrients I should have from red meat. I also found that if left untreated not only could this issue cause internal bleeding but heart problems, pregnancy issues in women, and growth problems in younger ages.
After receiving the blood test results and going over them with my doctor, I was diagnosed with anemia. My doctor prescribed me high dose iron pills for one month that I had to take daily and he strongly suggested that I discontinue my vegetarian diet. Two months later after beginning to eat meat again all of my symptoms had gone and I was left feeling better than ever.
If you think you have an iron deficiency or any other symptoms of anemia you should see a doctor as soon as possible to prevent further complications. Luckily, I saw a doctor fast and was able to receive the help I needed before any complications arose.
Iron Deficiency Anemia- Mayo Clinic
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