While many people are feeling tired, often those symptoms are a sign of a work schedule, demanding schedule, and too much screen time. However, there can often be an underlying condition as well and if you feel that you have no energy or motivation, the answer may be something like anemia.
Anemia is a condition in which an individual lacks enough healthy red blood cells to carry oxygen to tissues within the body. There are more than 400 types of anemia which are divided into three groups, blood loss, decreased red blood cell production, and destruction of red blood cells.
A simple blood test can be used to diagnose anemia. Symptoms include fatigue and weakness, dizziness, fast or unusual heartbeat, shortness of breath, cold hands and feet, pain in bones, skin that’s pale or yellow, and problems with growth for children and teens.
There are an estimated 5 million people in America who have an iron deficiency that can be treated with oral supplements, but in some cases, IV infusions are needed, because iron supplements can cause issues. Treatment can be brief or ongoing. Trisha Clevenger, RN for oversees infusion services with OSF Health Care in Alton says that especially for women, most are only treated on an as-needed basis.
Some genetic anemias such as sickle cell anemia are caused by cells that are shaped incorrectly and don’t function properly in the body.
Symptoms of sickle cell disease can result in painful episodes when cells stick together and cause severe pain in the chest, stomach, arms, and legs. Sometimes it can lead to infection, acute chest syndrome, and stroke. The only cure for sickle cell disease is a bone marrow or stem cell transplant.
The second most commonly treated anemia related to red blood cell production happens when a person doesn’t get enough vitamin B12, folate, or both. Sometimes the body doesn’t absorb enough B12. The condition can be treated with B12 supplements but it has to be monitored to make sure the body is using it right.
Anemia treatment plans often include diet changes.
Before taking any supplements, or if you are feeling tired or listless, contact your primary healthcare physician.