“Iron deficiency anemia is not a disease in itself, it is a symptom of not being all right in the body,” explains Susan McClure, MD, Ph.D., associate professor of hematology and oncology at the University of Texas Medical School in Galveston. It is important to get to the bottom of the cause. In most women, such anemia develops as a result of too much blood loss during menstruation and insufficient iron in the diet to compensate for its loss. But, if you don’t have your periods, your doctor should do some research. ”
Severe iron loss can be caused by a number of diseases, ranging from bleeding ulcers or hemorrhoids to more serious cases, such as cancer of the gastrointestinal tract, although it is less common.
Iron deficiency anemia does not always show three warning signs, as Cheryl did. You may not even be aware of its presence until another blood test finds it, says Dr. McClure. In fact, you may have a reduced level of iron without severe anemia.
“Anemia can develop very slowly,” says Dr. McClure. Every month you lose a little blood, once or twice you go through pregnancy, and your body's iron stores gradually decrease. Or you are all unloading, unloading, unloading, constantly refusing certain types of food, such as meat, which are absolutely necessary.
If you are not very active, and if you have a healthy heart and lungs, you will not feel a loss of hemoglobin until the iron content becomes very low, she notes. It's amazing how much the body is able to compensate for the lack of iron.
On the other hand, if you are used to leading a lifestyle that requires a lot of physical effort, for example, you regularly go jogging or swimming, you may notice a breakdown much faster, says Dr. McClure. Or if anemia starts suddenly as a result of rapid blood loss, such as a bleeding ulcer, or after very heavy menstruation, its symptoms will be more pronounced. ”