Anemia is the medical term for a low level of hemoglobin in the blood.
Hemoglobin is responsible for carrying oxygen in the blood. A low level of hemoglobin reduces your ability to carry oxygen, causing weakness, fatigue and several other symptoms.
This reduces your ability to perform physical activities, because the muscles, lacking oxygen, have less power.
Symptoms of Anemia
Mild anemia can be hard to detect. The greater the deficiency in hemoglobin, the greater the symptoms.
Someone with anemia may have some or all of the following symptoms:
- Fatigue (sometimes only during exercise)
- General malaise
- Poor concentration
- Cold intolerance
- Behavioral disturbances, especially in children
- Pallor (pale skin, mucosal linings and nail beds)
- Brittle or rigid fingernails
- Pica (eating non-food items such as wax, paper, dirt, hair, ice, grass etc.)
More Severe Anemia Symptoms
- Dyspnea (shortness of breath) on exertion.
Very Severe Anemia Symptoms
Severe anemia causes the body to pump more blood, putting great strain on the heart.
- Heart failure
The best treatment for anemia is to deal with the root cause.
Dietary Supplements to Treat Anemia
- Iron (rarely required. Too much is toxic,)
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin B-12
- Folic acid
- Celiac disease