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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.


Join The Conversation
libs1dlab libs1dlab 9 years
I have been so tired lately and have been turned away from giving blood because of anemia. I talked to my doc and she just said to take a multi-vitamin once a day. I had to laugh when she asked me if I was under a lot of stress. I live in a constant state of stress but this is nothing new. Just wanted to know if anyone had any other suggestions.
SU3 SU3 10 years
If you are taking iron supplements, it's best to take with a multivitamin or fruit juice because vitamin C helps in increasing absorption. Do not take with milk or antacids because they will decrease absorption.
vane554 vane554 10 years
My mother mentions my hairloss as a symptom . I tend to bruise easily but I do keep healthy iron intake in my there a genetic predisposition to anemia?also is mom right?
Hope5 Hope5 10 years
Good advice FitSugar!
LaLaLaurie06 LaLaLaurie06 10 years
Walgreens has a decent OTC brand of iron supplement pills. You get a lot for $6 or $7. I started using those and have gradually stopped out of "I could care less" syndrome. oops. Never had any trouble with constipation or upset stomach, though. I always took them with food.
LesleyP825 LesleyP825 10 years
Just be warned if anyone decides to take iron supplements. They make you really constipated. Not to be gross but thought I'd share.
susanec susanec 10 years
I could never find an OTC that had a reasonable amount of iron, plus the calcium hinders absorption so I prefer to take a tablet. I like vegetarian formula tablets over powdered capsules, there's no metallic aftertaste. And take them with a vitamin C source to increase absorption.
smarler smarler 10 years
I was anemic in high school and was prescribed pre-natal vitamins, which made me extremely sick to my stomach. Now I just make sure to keep a balanced diet and a regular multi-vitamin to keep healthy.
Feesje Feesje 10 years
That's weird, I ate icecubes as well for about two years! I stopped because I didn't want to ruin my teeth anymore. Had no idea it was related to anemia though.
jhuck jhuck 10 years
One of my friends thought I was anemic because I was always tired, pale, and had a habit of regularly chewing on ice. Apparently that's a sign too. I'm in the process of reading up on all sorts of vitamins and supplements so I can choose the right one for me.
Feesje Feesje 10 years
Yup, I have anemia. The problem with me is that I can eat as much food rich in iron or take as much iron supplements as I want, my body doesn't 'absorb' the iron. I guess I just have to live with the fact that my hemoglobin levels will be low for the rest of my life...
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