Anaemia is the deficiency of haemoglobin in our blood – the red cells that carry oxygen throughout our bodies. Not having enough oxygen is never a good thing. And if we didn’t already have enough to worry about, women have a higher risk of being anaemic than men.
Some common symptoms of Anaemia, according to the Health Promotion Board, are:
- Pale skin
- A fast or irregular heartbeat
- Shortness of breath
- Chest pain
- Cognitive problems
- Numbness or coldness in your extremities
- Yellowing of the skin in anaemia due to increased red cell destruction
Recently, someone close to me had it (she’s in her teens) and I had my date with Anaemia when I was 16 – it’s not one I want to go on again. Ever since then I’ve tried to make small changes to keep it away.
5 Tips to Prevent Anaemia
Getting your iron through natural foods is better for your body that taking iron supplements (though those can help, too). Examine your diet to determine whether your iron intake is low. Eating these iron-rich foods can help prevent Anaemia:
- Red meats, such as lean beef or beef liver
- Shellfish, such as clams, oysters and shrimp
- Beans and legumes, such as lentils and green peas
- Leafy greens, such as spinach and collards
Studies have shown that using cast iron cookware is a good way to get iron. Small amounts of iron get into the food as it cooks, giving you a healthy dose that doesn’t affect the taste of your meals. It’s a useful trick if you don’t like eating red meat. A good cast iron skillet will last the rest of your life, so it’s worth the small investment.
Vitamin C helps the body absorb iron more efficiently. Make sure you are getting the recommended daily dose of vitamin C – 250 mg. Like iron and other vitamins and minerals, it’s better to get your vitamin C in the form of healthy foods instead of supplements. Incorporate more of the following foods into your diet:
- Brussels sprouts
- Broccoli and Cauliflower
To make especially sure that you’re getting enough iron, you might want to take over the counter iron supplements. Adding a multivitamin to your routine will help ensure that you take in an adequate amount of vitamin C, too. However, you do not want to have too much iron in your diet either. Too much of anything is not good. Consult your doctor if you want to take supplements.
If you’re already on medication, some can make you more prone to getting Anaemia. If you’re on medications that may put you at risk, ask your doctor whether there’s another medication that will do the job without causing you to become Anaemic. The following medications may lead to Anaemia:
- Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) -especially if used frequently
- Penicillin and its derivatives
- Phenazopyridine (pyridium)
More Information on Anaemia
If you do have any of those symptoms for a prolonged period it’s a good idea to visit a doctor and get it checked out cause Anaemia can develop because of an underlying condition. Here’s a few places to get more info from:
- Health Promotion Board (Singapore)
- American Society of Hematology
- Better Health Channel (Victoria, Australia)
- World Health Organisation (WHO)
This article was originally published on JustSaying Asia.