Anemia means ‘lack of blood’; it occurs when the concentration of the red blood pigment, hemoglobin, falls below normal levels. Hemoglobin is found inside red blood cells and carries oxygen around the body.
Anemia is defined as a medical condition where the hemoglobin or red blood cell count is less than normal. Men are called anemic if the hemoglobin level is less than 13.5 gm/100 ml, while women are termed as anemic if the hemoglobin content is below 12 gm/100ml of blood. Hemoglobin is the pigment that is responsible for giving red color to the blood. It carries oxygen from the lungs to the various tissues and organs of the body.
In simple words, anemia can be regarded as a condition when your blood lacks an adequate amount of hemoglobin or red blood cells. The main part of red blood cells(RBCs) is hemoglobin (Hb), and this is needed for carrying oxygen to different parts of the body.
Pregnancy is a time when anemia is quite common. A pregnant lady is required to take 14.8gm of iron per day. There are many types of anemia, but iron-deficiency anemia is usually the one seen during pregnancy. Iron is mandatory for the synthesis of hemoglobin, which in turn is required for red blood cell production in the human body.
The causes of anemia when you are expected are categorized into three types.
During pregnancy, the volume of blood in your circulation increases by as much as a third. The usual form of Anemia is due to a lack of iron. Iron is essential to produce hemoglobin in the body. Overall, an extra 550 mg of iron is needed throughout pregnancy—300 mg for your baby, 50 mg for the placenta, and 200 mg to offset the blood lost during childbirth. Iron supplements are no longer given routinely, however, as the body becomes more efficient at absorbing and using iron during pregnancy, and also your losses decrease as menstruation has temporarily ceased. Anemia can also occur in pregnancy owing to a lack of folic acid or vitamin B12.
Here are the common and frequent symptoms that are seen during iron-deficiency symptoms.
When Anemia occurs, body tissues may not get enough oxygen for their needs and symptoms of paleness, dizziness, tiredness, lack of energy, shortness of breath on exercise, head¬ache, and even palpitations can occur.
A common symptom of iron deficiency during pregnancy is a craving for strange foods such as soil or cola. This is known as pica. If it happens to you during pregnancy, start taking a supplement containing iron immediately. Ask your pharmacist or doctor for advice on dosage. Your doctor may also want to perform a blood test to check your iron stores.
Here are some common types of Anemia seen during pregnancy.
Anemia can be seen in any pregnant woman, but the following conditions can aggravate the chances or vulnerability to developing Anemia:
If you experience tiredness or difficulty in breathing, immediately consult your doctor. Do not neglect it as it can be an alarming sign of a falling hemoglobin level.
You can make up for iron deficiency by consuming plenty of iron-enriched foods. Well, there are two kinds of iron-rich food items:
The doctor will prescribe iron and folic acid tablets, but there are some side effects associated with them, such as:
Blackish stools are seen with iron tablets. So do not be panicky.
A healthy intake of iron helps to prevent iron deficiency anemia.
Anemia during pregnancy can amplify your chances of the following:
The prognosis of Anemia is very good and depends upon treating the underlying cause. Diet is very crucial, so make sure you consult a nutritionist and take it appropriately.