The World of Pregnancy

Anemia In Pregnancy: How Can You Tell If You`re Anemic?

Anemia in pregnancy is a common problem, even more frequently encountered in pregnant women. If you feel dizzy and weak, you should visit the doctor to perform some tests. It`s possible for you to not have enough iron in the organism, or to miss other nutrients. To have an idea about why you feel weak during pregnancy, you need to know the causes, signs and treatment of anemia. If left undetected and untreated, anemia while pregnant can lead to serious complications.

Anemia In Pregnancy

Causes

During pregnancy, it`s possible to become anxious. If this happens, your blood doesn`t have enough red blood cells for carrying oxygen to the tissues. During pregnancy, your organism produces more blood to sustain the development of the baby. If your organism doesn`t have enough vitamins or iron, he won`t be able to handle the demand. This is how anemia gets installed. During pregnancy, it`s normal to have an easy anemia or to feel weak and tired, but you shouldn`t ignore this issues because they may get more serious.

Causes:

  • Iron deficiency.
  • Folic acid deficiency.
  • Vitamin B12 deficiency.

Iron deficiency is the most frequent cause of anemia in pregnant women. Iron deficiency anemia occurs when the body doesn`t have enough iron to produce proper amounts of hemoglobin. This is a protein of red blood cells. It transports oxygen from the lungs to the rest of the body. In iron deficiency anemia, the blood cannot transport enough blood to the tissues for the entire organism.

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Anemia caused by folic acid deficiency may contribute in a direct manner to certain types of birth defects. Folic acid is considered a type of vitamin B. The body needs folic acid to produce new cells, including healthy red blood cells. During pregnancy, women need additional folic acid, but most of the times their diet doesn`t contain enough folic acid. This is how anemia may occur.

The vitamin B12 deficiency may contribute to the occurrence of birth defects. The organism requires vitamin B12 to produce healthy cells in the blood. A pregnant woman who doesn`t consume enough chicken meat, dairy products and eggs present a high risk of anemia.

The loss of blood during and after birth may also lead to anemia:

The risk of anemia is quite high in the following cases:

  • Pregnancy with twins or triplets.
  • Small distance between pregnancies.
  • Vomiting.
  • Poor iron diet.
  • Iron deficiency before pregnancy.

Signs & Symptoms

The symptoms of anemia during pregnancy:

  • Flaking of lips, skin and nails.
  • Fatigue.
  • Dizziness.
  • More alert heart beats.
  • Concentration issues.

It`s possible at the onset of anemia to confuse the condition`s signs with the ones of pregnancy. You need to make hemoglobin tests to be sure.

Complications

Doctors say that if anemia is left untreated, it may cause serious health issues that concern both the mother and baby. Iron deficiency anemia while pregnant may increase the risk of premature birth, or may lead to a low weight of the baby at birth and postpartum depression when it concerns the mother. If we are talking about acid folic and vitamin B12 deficiencies, they may lead to premature birth or birth defects in the spine or brain (neural tube defects). Vitamin supplements, folic acid and iron might help you have a healthy pregnancy.

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Treatment

If you experience anemia, it`s necessary to take supplements of acid folic and iron. Most of the times, the obstetrician advises even from early pregnancy to take acid folic supplements and prenatal vitamins. After performing the blood tests, he`s able to see if your organism needs iron. The blood tests (hemoglobin and hemacrit) will be repeated in the following trimesters of pregnancy as well because the risk of anemia increases along with pregnancy. – Read this!

It`s healthy to consume lots of rich foods in folic acid and iron:

  • Red meat, fish and chicken meat.
  • Green vegetables (cabbage, spinach and broccoli).
  • Nuts and seeds.
  • Dairy products
  • Cereals rich in iron.
  • Eggs.

Foods rich in vitamin C may help the organism absorb more iron. You can add to your diet tomatoes, pepper, strawberries and kiwi. Try to mix foods rich in iron with foods rich in vitamin C. For instance, at breakfast you could drink a glass of orange juice and eat some cereals rich in iron.

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Also, in the pregnant woman`s diet should be included more foods that contain folic acid, such as:

  • Green vegetables.
  • Citrus,
  • Dry beans.
  • Bread,
  • Cereals rich in folic acid.

Anemia during pregnancy needs to be treated and the doctor is the only one able to tell you what vitamins and doses of iron you need to take. You should follow the instructions of specialists and you`ll be able to enjoy your pregnancy quite a lot.

Research on Anemia

According to a study performed recently, 2 out of 10 young women have never done their analyzes by determining the level of iron in the organism, while less than 10% of the interviewed people have done this set of analyzes last year.

Iron deficiency anemia is a frequent condition around this category of people, that`s why the recommendation of the doctor is performing these tests every year to establish proper treatment, always recommended by a physician.

According to the results of the research, the interviewed women with the age between 25 and 35 years, know that anemia can be caused by lack of iron in the body and are aware of the importance of an optimal level of iron for their health. Still, although 60% of these women mentioned at their most recent medical consultation that they suffer of lack of energy and performance of their daily activities, and also they show a generally state of physical weakness, only 13% of them said that they would visit a doctor to investigate these signs. – Click here!

The study shows the different perception of women on the medical reality regarding the persons with risk of iron deficiency anemia. Eighty percent of women think that this mostly a state found in older people than in the case of active persons.

Image courtesy of slideshare.net
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