Anaemia and Women: The Most Common Condition in Women

October 9, 2019 Manpreet Yomed No Comments

Anaemia is more common in Indian women, with around 50% of women having low haemoglobin levels. There are many reasons for iron-deficiency among women in India. Bad eating habits and not having a balanced diet and inaccessibility to healthcare facilities are among the main reasons for the higher prevalence of anaemia among Indian women. The risk of anaemia is also common in pregnant women and who suffer heavy menstruation bleeding. Apart from them, infants, teens and small children are also common victims iron-deficiency anaemia.

What are Anaemia and the Cause of Anaemia?

Anaemia is a condition in which the body has a lower number of red blood cells. In simple words, your body lacks sufficient iron. Anaemia is caused by the lack of red blood cells or haemoglobin in the body. The body requires iron to make haemoglobin, which carries oxygen through the blood to all organs of your body. in the body.  

What are the Symptoms of Anaemia?

It is vital to detect anaemia timely so you get proper treatment. In the initial stages, it may show little signs and symptoms. However, when the condition is progressed, you may notice these symptoms. 

  • Feeling lethargic 
  • Weakness and Fatigue
  • Shortness of breath
  • Dizziness and lightheadedness
  • Fast or irregular heartbeat
  • A headache
  • Cold feet and hands
  • Pale or yellow skin
  • Chest pain
  • Severe hair fall
  • Low body temperature
  • Pica (cravings for ice, cold thins, cardboard or dirt)
  • Brittle nails

What are the Causes of Anaemia?

Many reasons account for anaemia. 

1. Poor Diet

In India, poor eating habits are prevalent. Some of these eating habits include inadequate consumption of fruits, not having enough vitamin C, and not eating legumes such as and beans and peas.

2. Pregnant Women Need Higher Iron than Normal

During pregnancy, a mother’s body needs more iron than usual to support the growing baby. They need to have proper nutrition intake to prevent anaemia in that period.

3. Blood Loss

Internal bleeding (intestinal bleeding) in adults, can develop iron-deficiency anaemia due to blood loss. In this condition, the amount of blood loss is higher than the body’s ability to replace the blood cells.

4. Impact of Medical Conditions

A person who has health conditions such as diabetes, cancer, vitamin B12 and other diseases are at the risk of anaemia. These diseases can hinder in RBC production.

5. Inability to Absorb Iron

Medical conditions like celiac disease or gastric bypass surgery for weight loss can interfere with the process of absorbing iron from food.

6. Older People

The chance of anaemia increases with old age. People who are over the age of 65 years are at risk of developing anaemia.

7. Eating a Low-Iron Diet

Consuming a diet that is consistently low in iron, folate and vitamin B12 increases the chances of anaemia. 

Diagnosis of Anaemia

If you are feeling that you may have iron-deficiency anaemia, you must contact the doctor. A doctor might ask you to undergo some tests to detect anaemia conditions. Here is a list of some of the tests that your doctor may ask to undergo:

1. Complete Blood Count

The complete blood count (CBC), is done to measure many parts of your blood. 

2. A blood test to study the amount of iron

Iron studies is a test that is performed to measure the iron levels in your blood and confirm that you have iron-deficiency anaemia.  

3. Folic acid

The test measures levels of folic acid (folate). Folic acid is vitamin B and plays a vital role in DNA synthesis and producing red blood cells. 

4. Vitamin B12 Cyanocobalamin

This test measures vitamin B12 levels in the body. B12 is necessary for the proper functioning of the central nervous system, and red blood cell production. 

5. Hemoglobin Hb

A haemoglobin test may be done to assess the amount of haemoglobin in your blood. Haemoglobin is a protein found in your red blood cells. It carries the oxygen through your blood to your body’s organs.

Your doctor may also want to do some other tests to determine the cause of anaemia.

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