What Is Anemia?
Anemia is diagnosed when your body does not have enough healthy red blood cells or when your blood does not contain enough hemoglobin. Hemoglobin is a protein rich in iron that helps your blood carry oxygen from the lungs to other areas of the body. There are many different types of anemia…over 400 actually. But they are divided into 3 categories.
- from blood loss
- from destruction of red blood cells
- from decreased or faulty production of red blood cells
In my last post, I talked a lot about my struggles with eating. Also, about the lightheadedness, fatigue, etc. that I had been battling. After much suffering I finally scheduled an appointment with my GP. I had a brief discussion with her, and a few simple blood tests. And what do you know, I am anemic! I fall into the “anemic due to faulty or decreased production of red blood cells” category. I have what is known as Iron-Deficiency anemia.
Never in all of my research had this ever dawned on me. Not in a million years would I have ever came to that conclusion. But seriously, why wouldn’t I?? Here are some of the most common symptoms of iron-deficiency anemia…
- Extreme Fatigue
- Fast or irregular heart beat
- Pale skin
- Chest pain
- Shortness or breath
- Cold hands and feet
- Brittle nails
- Low blood pressure
- Heart palpatations
I fit the bill on most all of these! Wow! Goes to show that we can never know enough. 😉 So very thankful to have figured out what has been causing all of this horrible stuff. So many times, it has just been dismissed as “the MS”…So thankful that once my levels are back in line, a lot of this “MS stuff” will have subsided! 😀
My doctor prescribed me 325mg of iron to be taken once a day. Many of the other people that I have talked to with the same issue, have had to take 2 or 3 pills of that amount per day. So I am incredibly grateful that I can knock this out with just one.
There are also some dietary changes that can help with anemia. These were all very important for me because of my lack of caloric intake. I had to increase my calories and the diversity of my foods. Here are just a few good foods to add that are great at elevating iron levels…
Foods to Increase Iron Levels
- Beef or chicken liver
- Clams, mussels, oysters
- Turkey, chicken
- Halibut, salmon, tuna
- Pumpkin, sesame, or squash seeds
- and many more
The first few days were hard. There wasn’t much change in the dizziness, so it was a bit discouraging. But I am a week or so in now, and many of the symptoms have mellowed A LOT! I’m slowly starting to feel like I am alive again…and there is no way for me to express how wonderful of a feeling that is!
Praise the Lord for His lessons in trust, and praise Him for always standing with me, even when I’m going or looking in the wrong direction! Despite my fears and hesitations, He always manages to speak to me in a way that I can hear…even if that happens to be very blunt and scary. lol I am quite hard headed. But He knows that too. 😉 And He loves me anyway!
If you are suffering from any of the symptoms listed above, please make sure and ask your doctor their opinion. You never know, relief may be just an iron pill away! 🙂
Have any of you ever struggled with anemia? I have found through this research that it seems to be very common during pregnancy.