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Anemia: Know the Signs

We all get "bone" tired every now and again, but have you ever been "blood" tired? Tired blood is an expression used to explain anemia — a condition in which there isn't enough healthy red blood cells to carry adequate oxygen to your tissues — can make you feel tired. Women are more prone to suffer from anemia from men due to menstruation, pregnancy and breastfeeding.

While there are many types of anemia, iron deficiency anemia is the most common form of the problem in the U.S. affecting 1 in 5 women. Being deficient in folate and vitamin B12 can also interfere with the production of red blood cells and create anemia.

Fatigue is the primary symptom along with pale skin, irregular heartbeat and shortness of breath. If you think you might be anemic check the insides of your lower eyelids - they should be a healthy pink. If they are not, try upping your intake of iron or you can ask your doctor to give you a blood test.

Simple ways to combat anemia are eating foods rich in iron, like: red meat, fish, chicken, green leafy veggies, dried fruits (like apricots, prunes, and raisins) and lentils or beans. Up your iron intake by cooking tomato based sauces in a cast iron skillet, since acidic foods absorb the mineral from the pan. You can always try an iron supplement; just make sure it bears the United States Pharmacopeia Seal (USP).

Fit's Tip: Veteran mid-distance runner Ceci St. Geme had her last kid over 8 years ago and she still takes pre-natal vitamins because they contain iron. So keep your friends and loved ones guessing and start taking prenatal vitamins if you tend towards anemia.


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