Individuals that suffer from anaemia have low levels of haemoglobin, which is the oxygen carrying chemical in the blood stream. When most people refer to anaemia it is usually associated with iron deficiency. But believe it or not, there are other types of anaemia. Some of these include chronic lead poisoning, vitamin B12 deficiency, chronic red blood cell destruction and aplastic anaemia.
That being said, iron deficiency anaemia is the most common. According to the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (NIH), “signs and symptoms of iron deficiency may include brittle nails, swelling or soreness of the tongue, cracks in the sides of the mouth, an enlarged spleen, and frequent infections.”
Some risk factors of anaemia include “a history of certain infections, blood diseases and autoimmune disorders, alcoholism, exposure to toxic chemicals, and the use of some medications can affect red blood cell production and lead to anaemia.”
If you are experiencing a combination of the symptoms on this list it may be wise to schedule an appointment with your doctor and get a blood test.
- Fatigue: Fatigue is said to be the most common symptom of anaemia. According to the NIH, “fatigue occurs because your body doesn’t have enough red blood cells to carry oxygen to its many parts.” That being said, as the levels of haemoglobin fall, there is a drop in the level of blood being delivered to your brain. This ultimately results in less energy and fatigue.
- Rapid heartbeat: According to Mayo Clinic, “anaemia can lead to a rapid or irregular heartbeat (arrhythmia). When you’re anaemic your heart must pump more blood to compensate for the lack of oxygen in the blood. This can lead to an enlarged heart or heart failure.”
- Insomnia: Iron deficiency anaemia has been associated with restless legs syndrome. Individuals with this syndrome suffer from insomnia. If you are worried you may be suffering from anaemia try eating foods rich in chlorophyll, which is thought to improve sleep.
- . Difficulty concentrating: Lack of fresh oxygen in the blood can cause difficulty concentrating. The brain will become fatigued and disrupt its important functions. According to The Health Site, “since concentration on a task is not of top priority to the brain, a person with anaemia finds it difficult to concentrate on tasks at hand”
- Headache: Individuals that suffer from anaemia have red blood cells that aren’t functioning properly. This causes lack of oxygen to the brain which results in headaches.