Anemia: the Facts you should be Aware of
Anemia is one of those silent conditions that doesn’t get nearly as much attention as it deserves. If you are often struggling with fatigue, do not be too quick to blame your imperfect sleep cycle. Sure thing, fatigue is a little too vague of a symptom capable of pointing to all sorts of ailments. However, more often than not, anemia is the cause. If you are one of many people living in ignorance about anemia, understanding the following facts could help you better recognize its manifestation or even manage its symptoms.
Anemia is a symptom
Anemia is not a disease in the strictest sense. The condition manifests in individuals who either do not have enough red blood cells or whose red blood cells simply do not have enough hemoglobin.
Red blood cells are critical to the operations of the human body, responsible for transporting oxygen throughout the body.
The manifestation of anemia normally points to the presence of an underlying condition that is causing a malfunction in the way your red blood cells work. Anemia can be caused by all manner of health problems, and understanding this should compel you to seek immediate medical attention once you start showing signs of the condition.
Even something as simple as iron-deficiency (one of the most common causes of anemia) can attract all sorts of health problems if left untreated.
Anemia often goes unchecked
Headaches, dizziness, pale skin – these and more are symptoms of anemia that most people either ignore or impute to other illnesses.
Left untreated, anemia will worsen over time. Patients usually grow progressively weaker, and even then, rarely do they consider the possibility that they might have anemia.
Anemia is very dangerous in men
This ailment is a very common problem for women. There are various reasons for that (childbirth, periods etc.) and resolving anemia in women is relatively straightforward.
The presence of the ailment in men, however, often alarms physicians because men do not have to deal with such common triggers for anemia as childbirth or periods. As such, the manifestation of an iron deficiency in men is very worrying, often symptomatic of serious diseases like colon cancer.
Vegetarians are not at higher risks of anemia
Despite common assumptions, a vegetarian diet doesn’t automatically doom you to get anemia. Red meat, eggs, dairy products and fish are not the only sources of iron in the world, and vegetarians do not have to adopt a carnivorous diet for the sake of avoiding anemia.
Lentils, beans, cereals, dried fruits – all these food items and more are very effective sources of iron and should allow vegetarians to live anemia-free lives.
Caffeine can contribute to anemia
Caffeine is known to debilitate the absorption of iron from food. As such, excessive consumption of coffee and other sources of caffeine could put you at higher risk of iron-deficiency anemia.
The worst thing you could do once you realize that you have anemia is to try and treat yourself. As has been mentioned above, anemia is a symptom of an underlying illness. Taking steps to treat just symptoms is always a bad course of action that will not help you overcome the underlying disease.