Common Symptoms of Anaemia

Anaemia is a condition in which the number of red blood cells or their oxygen-carrying capacity is insufficient to meet physiologic needs, which vary by age, sex, altitude, smoking, and pregnancy status. Iron deficiency is thought to be the most common cause of anaemia globally, although other conditions, such as folate, vitamin B12 and vitamin A deficiencies, chronic inflammation, parasitic infections, and inherited disorders can all cause anaemia (WHO Definition of Anaemia).

Iron rich foods

The most common symptoms of anaemia include:
  • tiredness
  • lethargy (lack of energy)
  • dizziness or drowsiness
  • shortness of breath (dyspnoea)
  • head ache
  • pica
  • hair loss
  • difficulty swallowing
  • feeling itchy

You may also notice changes in your physical appearance like a pale complexion, painful ulcers (open sores) on the corners of your mouth, dry, flaking nails.

Anaemia may be due to
  • Insufficient blood formation when there is inadequate intake, absorption or utilisation of proteins, vitamins, and minerals
  • Due to blood loss in excessive menstruation, bleeding piles, hook worm infestation
  • Inexcessive intravascular blood destruction.

A list of foods suitable for anaemic patients is given below: Whole cereals, legumes, pulses, greens, citrus fruits, dried fruits and nuts, mushroom, mutton, egg yolk, liver, kidneys.

Vitamin C rich foods should be included to aid absorption of iron rich foods.

Iron Rich Foods
 No Food Nutritive value/100 gm 
 Cereals and their products 
2Handpounded rice3.20
3Rice flakes20.00
4Bengal gram whole 4.60
5Bengal gram-roasted9.50
6Green gram whole4.40
7Green gram-dhal3.90
8Cow Pea (karamani)8.60
9Horse gram 6.77
10Peas Dried7.05
11soya bean10.40
Leafy Vegetables
15Paruppu keerai14.80
Other vegetables
16Plantain green6.27
17Sundakkai dried22.20
Nuts and oil seeds
19Cashew nut5.81
20Gingelly seeds9.30
21Mango powder45.20
24Dried dates5.60

Image Credit: Flickr/ USDA


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