Posted on: 27.06.2022 Posted by: Drlark Comments: 0

June 13, 2004


Fatigue & Low Energy

Are You Anemic?

An estimated 20 percent of

all American women suffer from anemia. Anemia occurs when you don’t

have enough red blood cells, or enough of the oxygen-carrying protein

in red blood cells (hemoglobin). Thus, your cells don’t get enough

oxygen, critical for turning food into energy. Without enough energy,

critical processes, such as muscle activity and cell building and

repair, slow down and become less efficient. Bottom line: you feel

exhausted. But anemia carries with it a wide range of symptoms beyond

fatigue, including:


General weakness


Loss of appetite

Brittle and ridged nails


Abdominal pain

Sour tongue

Yellowish skin

Loss of coordination

Tingling in hands and feet

Causes of Anemia

The most common cause of anemia is iron deficiency.

If you don’t get enough iron, either through diet or nutrients,

your red blood cells don’t mature properly and remain small and

pale. Other causes include:


The average woman loses about 6 mg of iron per day of bleeding during

her period. As a result, women who are still having regular periods

need twice as much iron as men.


If you experience unusually heavy periods, your need for iron increases

even more. This is common particularly in the few years just before



Elderly women are more likely to develop anemia because they tend

to eat less, and less healthily, often because they live alone on

fixed incomes.

Pregnancy and lactation

When you’re pregnant, the increased blood supply in your body requires

increased iron. And when you’re nursing, you lose iron through your

breast milk. That’s why physicians and midwives often recommend

that nursing mothers continue to take a prenatal vitamin.

Iron absorption problems

Even if you’re consuming sufficient iron, it won’t do you much good

if your body can’t absorb it. Certain nutrients, including B-complex

vitamins and vitamins A and C, as well as the minerals copper and

zinc, are essential for iron absorption. Vitamin B12 is particularly

important, and vegans who don’t supplement with this vitamin may

become iron-deficient. If you have chronic diarrhea, use laxatives,

or have a malabsorption disease such as celiac sprue, you may also

not be absorbing the iron you take in through food or nutrients.


Certain ethnic groups are more prone to certain types of anemia.

For instance, African Americans are more likely to have sickle-cell

anemia, in which the red blood cells are sickled, unable to carry

enough oxygen and often clogging small blood vessels. People of

Mediterranean or Southeast Asian heritage are prone to thalassemia,

which causes a low red blood cell count.


Certain drugs, such as oral contraceptives, alcohol, and anticonvulsive

medications like Dilantin, as well as exposure to bone marrow-damaging

chemotherapy, radiation, or pollutants, may also result in anemia.

Read More on Fatigue & Low Energy:

Getting Started

Acid Overload

Stress Can Wear You Out

Conquering Fatigue: A True Tale

Keep it SIMPLE Energy tip — Chamomile


Nutritional Therapies

Anti-Fatigue Diet

Nutrients for Boosting Energy

Mighty Minerals that Fight Fatigue

Foods Rich in Potassium and Magnesium

Complementary Therapies

Energizing Soup Recipes

Acupressure for Fatigue Relief



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