Dr. Sunil Shah, Obstetrician, Gynecologist, and Infertility Specialist
If you are feeling constantly tired or unable to concentrate on your daily work, it’s time to get your blood test done. You have most likely developed anemia. Other obvious signs of anemia include
- Pale skin
- no active participation in the routine activities
- Breathing difficulty,
- Rapid heartbeat,
- Headache, chest pain, and low temperature of hands and feet than the rest of the body.
Around one-third of the total world’s population is living with anemia, a common blood disorder condition due to insufficient hemoglobin or RBC count. In that case, there will be a shortage of oxygen supply to other parts of the body.
Anemia can also occur due to abnormal RBCs. Other risk factors that contribute to anemia among the women include poor consumption of nutritious foods, iron deficiency, vitamin B12 and folate (B9) deficiency, heavy menstruation, continuous work both at the office and at home without proper rest, pregnancy, childbirth, genetic predisposition, alcoholism, infections like malaria, and chronic diseases that may lead to a reduction of red blood cells.
Few such common diseases include cancer, rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes, liver diseases, kidney diseases, clotting disorders, etc. In anemic cases, the hemoglobin level will be lesser than 12 g/100 ml.
This condition may become severe if the hemoglobin level goes lesser than 8 g/100 ml. In that case, you may undergo long-term health issues such as the reduction in your immunity level, followed by increased exposure to the infections, as well as the retarded physical and mental growth. If left unnoticed, anemia may also contribute to a higher rate of infection rate and death rate.
If diagnosed and treated promptly, anemia can be reversed successfully. Between 1990 and 2016, there was a remarkable decrease in anemia rate from 40 percent to 33 percent considering both sexes from all age groups. By 2025, the World Health Organization (WHO) aims to decrease anemia rate globally among the younger women by 50 percent.
Since women are at higher risk of anemia compared to men, WHO specifically targets women. The treatment strategy depends on the type of anemia and the underlying cause. Treating the underlying cause can normalize the hemoglobin level, in the case of illness.
For genetic disorders such as sickle cell anemia and thalassemia, blood transfusion and bone marrow transplantation are recommended. Basically, women should take good care of themselves by taking proper rest and consuming a well-balanced healthy diet.
For nutritional deficiency anemia, consume a balanced diet rich in vitamins, iron, and folic acid. For iron, include foods like fruits, dates, almonds, beans, lentils, beetroot, raisin, prunes, dark green vegetables, meat, and liver in your diet. Include legumes, beans, and pulses varieties for proteins. Consume green leafy vegetables for folic acid. Animal sources like eggs, meat, milk, and fish are good sources for Vitamin B12. If you are opting for the iron and multivitamin supplements, consume them as prescribed by your physician.
Better late than never! Get your blood count checked. If you have been diagnosed with anemia, start including fruits and green vegetables in your daily schedule. Let’s globally achieve the WHO 2025 objective by working together to keep the anemia at bay.