Aishat is a middle age mother of two growing children. Lately, she has been feeling extreme weakness and experiences shortness of breath more because she is a few weeks pregnant with her third baby. Aishat is confused about her state of health because she is not a first-time mom and she feels weaker with the onset of every pregnancy. Her doctor has informed her that she needs to take her health and that of her unborn child more seriously by adhering strictly to his advise because she is suffering from Anaemia. Although, some of these symptoms could be normal in pregnancy, excessive feelings of the symptoms can be dangerous.
What is Anemia?
Anemia is a medical condition where there is not enough level of healthy red blood cells (haemoglobin) to carry oxygen to the tissues of the body. When the tissue do not receive an adequate amount of oxygen, many organs and functions are affected. Anaemia during pregnancy is especially a concern because it is associated with low birth weight, premature birth and maternal mortality. Certain forms of anemia are hereditary and infants may be affected from the time of birth.
Women in the childbearing years are particularly susceptible to iron-deficiency anemia because of the blood loss from menstruation and the increased blood supply demands during pregnancy. Older adults also may have a greater risk of developing anemia because of poor diet and other medical conditions. such as cancer, HIV/AIDS, rheumatoid arthritis, kidney disease and other chronic inflammatory diseases that can interfere with the production of red blood cells.
According to a 2005 WHO report, the highest prevalence of anaemia is in Africa with a (67.6%), where preschool-age children is 47.4%, and it is affecting 293 million children globally. The risk of anemia increases as people grow older. Weakness or fatigue, dizziness, shortness of breath, rapid or irregular heartbeat, chest pain, pale skin, lips, and nails, cold hands and feet, trouble concentrating are signs or symptoms of anaemia in severe cases.
Anaemia In Pregnancy
The importance of good haemoglobin concentration during pregnancy for both the woman and the growing foetus cannot be overemphasized.
Women who are pregnant are at a higher risk for developing anaemia due the excess amount of blood the body produces to help provide nutrients for the baby.
The most common cause of anemia is low iron levels in the blood which is iron deficiency anemia. Without iron, the red blood cells may become low in a protein called haemoglobin, which carries oxygen from the lungs to the rest of the body and an individual canessentially begin to suffocate from within.
Most common anaemia during pregnancy are:
- Iron deficiency anemia. This is the most common type of anemia worldwide. Iron deficiency anemia is caused by a shortage of iron in your body. Your bone marrow needs iron to make hemoglobin. Without adequate iron, your body can’t produce enough hemoglobin for red blood cells.
Without iron supplementation, this type of anemia occurs in many pregnant women. It is also caused by blood loss, such as from heavy menstrual bleeding, an ulcer, cancer and regular use of some over-the-counter pain relievers, especially aspirin.
- Vitamin deficiency anemia. In addition to iron, your body needs folate and vitamin B-12 to produce enough healthy red blood cells. A diet lacking in these and other key nutrients can cause decreased red blood cell production.
Additionally, some people may consume enough B-12, but their bodies are not able to process the vitamin. This can lead to vitamin deficiency anemia, also known as pernicious anemia.
- Folate deficiency anaemia: folate refers to folic acid which is a water soluble vitamins that can help prevent neural tube defects during pregnancy. Folic acid is a common supplement taken by pregnant women and it can also be found in fortified food such as vegetables, cereals, banana, melons and legumes.
Eat Vitamin-rich diet: iron deficiency anemia and vitamin deficiency anemias can be avoided by having a diet that includes a variety of vitamins and nutrients, including:
- Iron. Iron-rich foods include beef and other meats, beans, lentils, iron-fortified cereals, dark green leafy vegetables, and dried fruit.
- Folate. This nutrient, and its synthetic form folic acid, can be found in fruits and fruit juices, dark green leafy vegetables, green peas, kidney beans, peanuts, and enriched grain products, such as bread, cereal, pasta and rice.
- Vitamin B-12. Foods rich in vitamin B-12 include meat, dairy products, and fortified cereal and soy products.
- Vitamin C. Foods rich in vitamin C include citrus fruits and juices, peppers, broccoli, tomatoes, melons and strawberries. These items help increase iron absorption.
Consider a multivitamin: If one is concerned about getting enough vitamins from the food they eat, they should ask their doctor whether a multivitamin may be right for them. But a trusted supplement like FEROBIN is a complete everyday blood builder that can be used to treat and prevent folic acid deficiency anaemia. It can also be used to hasten recovery from ill health, poor nutritional status and other conditions where there is need for quick restoration of haemoglobin (blood) levels. It is also used to promote healthy growth of the growing baby’s brain and spinal cord while in the womb (prevention of neural tube defects).
- Helps prevent birth defects of the brain and spinal cord when taken during pregnancy
- Provides adequate Vit. B1, B2, B6, B12, Folic Acid, Iron and Zinc.
- Improves physical and mental performance
- Supports Immune system thereby reducing infection rates
- Rapidly produces red blood cells that supplies oxygen needed by cells for optimal performance.
- Prevention of anaemia in pregnancy
- Treatment of anaemia in pregnancy
- Recovery from illness
- Poor nutritional status
- Other iron deficiency conditions
- Raises Haemoglobin levels in antenatal patients rapidly
- Effectively tackles anaemia in pregnancy
- Prevents megaloblastic anaemia in pregnancy
- Rapid formation of blood in blood donors
Prevent Malaria: Anemia can be a complication of malaria. If you plan on traveling to a place where malaria is common, talk with your doctor beforehand about taking preventive drugs. In areas where malaria is common, prevention involves reducing exposure to mosquitoes, for example, by using bed nets treated with insecticide.
Consider genetic counselling: If you have a family history of an inherited anemia, such as sickle cell anemia or thalassemia, talk to your doctor and possibly a genetic counsellor about your risk and what risks you may pass on to your children.