If you’re feeling constantly exhausted or sluggish, you may have
a common blood disorder called anemia. Anemia is a condition in which
your body doesn’t have enough healthy red blood cells or they are
lacking in an iron-rich protein called hemoglobin.
When the number of red blood cells is too low, your body doesn’t
get all of the oxygen it needs, and that can make you feel tired. You
may also have other symptoms, such as shortness of breath, dizziness,
headaches, pale skin, or cold hands and feet.
The good news is that anemia can often be prevented or easily corrected
by getting enough iron. The best sources are red meat (especially beef
and liver), poultry, fish, and shellfish. Other foods high in iron include
peas, lentils, beans, tofu, dark green leafy vegetables such as spinach,
and dried fruits.
While anemia itself is usually not dangerous until it gets quite severe,
being anemic can be a red flag for other serious health issues. Many people
living with anemia may not realize they have it. They might have mild
symptoms or none at all. A doctor can determine whether you have anemia
by a simple blood test. Be sure to get checked every 1-2 years if you’re
a woman of child-bearing age who has heavy menstrual periods or a previous
diagnosis of anemia.
Dr. Rachael Kermis
Baton Rouge Family Medical Center
Phone: (225) 763-4900