Anemia is one of the most common problem of girls and women and how to get rid of anemia is one of the frequent question usually search out. As, we go through monthly periods, pregnancy and bleeding afterwards. So, I find it really important to discuss this very common pregnancy and health issue with all of you. I have mentioned everything in very easy and simplistic way and I hope you find it very beneficial…
Anemia: Condition in which number of our red blood cells or haemoglobin in these red cells are reduced.
Haemoglobin: It is a type of protein in our red bloods cells that is responsible for transporting oxygen from our lungs to the whole body and brings carbon dioxide back from our body parts to lungs to exhale out.
Most common type of Anemia in adult girls and women is Iron Deficiency Anemia. It can be corrected by including iron rich diet in our daily menus. If it cannot be corrected by food, then iron and folic acid supplements are prescribed by doctors. Best thing to do is to eat balanced diet along with multivitamins/supplements that covers most of essential nutrients we need.
What is Folic Acid & Folate?
In anemia and iron deficiency, doctors do advise us to have folic acid. Well, Folate and folic acid are B vitamins. We can get folate from diet and folic acid is its synthetic form.
Recommended daily intake of folate: 400 micrograms
Role of Folate & Folic acid in iron deficiency anemia: When we are diagnosed with iron deficiency anemia, have you mummies noticed that we are always given Folic acid supplements by our doctors. Well, the reason is that, B Vitamins helps in Production or red blood cells in our body and helps correcting anemia and blood cell depletion.
Causes of Iron Deficiency Anemia:
- Lack of balanced diet: While busy with home, kids, work and everything we super mums do, sometimes we ignore ourselves and we don’t bother about having a balanced diet.
- Blood loss during Menstruation:
- Average blood loss in every menstrual cycle each month: 30-40 ml
- Blood loss in Heavy menstruation each month: 60-80 ml
- Pregnancy: our body needs more and more iron when we are pregnant, as it is our little baby’s need as well and because more and more blood cells are needed to supply oxygen to mem as well as to baby via placenta through umbilical cord.
- Blood loss during labour and 40 days after giving birth: Blood loss during Vaginal Birth: 450-500 ml and bleeding for 40 days after that loss is separate. Some mums to have light bleeding after some days of giving birth some have heavy. If we breast feed our baby, there are chance to have no menstruation for some months of until we stop breast feeding our babies but some mums even if they breast feed experience regular menstruation straight after finishing 40 days bleeding.
How much Iron do we need daily?
- Women of age 19-50 needs 18 mg of iron/day.
- Pregnant woman need 27mg/day.
Most common symptoms of Iron Deficiency Anemia:
- Pale Skin
- Fatigue and tiredness
- Brittle nails
- Loss of appetite
When to Consult a Doctor?
Anemia cannot be diagnosed just by looking at pale skin along with other symptoms mentioned above. It is only diagnosed by a blood test that a doctor can do or refer you to phlebotomy department. After looking at blood results and your haemoglobin and iron levels, you doctor can prescribe you some supplements to correct the deficiency. So, if you are experiencing any of the symptoms mentioned above, go and see your doctor. If you are pregnant or even trying to get pregnant, then good levels of folic acid and iron are very important. Anemic mothers do have chances of having low birth weight babies. So, it is very crucial to see a doctor for getting advice and proper check-ups.
Iron Rich Food:
- Good sources of iron include:
- Meat, fish and tofu
- Iron-fortified cereals & bread
- Beans & Pulses
- Dried apricots, dates, prunes and raisins
- Wholegrains e.g., brown rice
- Most dark-green leafy vegetables – such as watercress and curly kale
- Fruits like Pomegranate, mango, berries, apple, apricot and banana are also very rich in iron.
Vitamin C Rich food: As, folic acid and folate helps in production of red blood cells, Vitamin C helps in absorption of iron in our body cells and tissues. So, it is very important to have vitamin C rich food items in our daily diet as well. Vitamin C rich food that we can have every day and is very commonly available are oranges, strawberries, kiwifruits, broccoli, green leafy vegetables, peppers, papaya, apricot and brussels sprouts etc.,
Tips for Busy Mums:
If you are busy but at the same time want to keep yourself and kids healthy, then encourage your kids to have fortified cereals and ask them to make a smiley face with honey or chocolate sauce over their cereal bowl.
Involve them in salad preparations and talk to them in about the reasons of using specific food items in your salad and tell them about their benefits. Like Milk makes us strong or green vegetables, strawberries, apples or bananas makes our blood healthy. Encourage them to be creative in decorating their salads. This way they will be doing their job and the same time they also use their creativity and interest in it.
If you are super busy, just grab a banana or few berries or apple and have it with milk or any juice your like. You don’t need to make a salad out of these fruits.
I hope you like this article. I tried my best to make this pregnancy and health issue of women very simplistic, so that, everyone can understand. After all, health of a mother should be the top most priority, as a healthy mother will keep her family healthy and happy as well and we mums do work very hard, so, for us being healthy and active is very important….What do you think????