From The Straits Times    |

 You may be suffering from more than burn-out

If you’ve been pulling all-nighters in the office churning out reports for your boss, you may chalk up your constant fatigue as being part and parcel of life in the concrete jungle.

But here’s the thing. Feeling constantly cold and looking sickly and sallow may occasionally point towards something more sinister – anaemia.

 Let’s talk about the A-word

Anaemia essentially means that you have fewer red blood cells or lower haemoglobin levels than normal, which in turn affects the amount of oxygen being circulated around your body. And because oxygen is absolutely essential for the proper functioning of the various cells in our bodies, anaemic women tend to feel exhausted all the time.

 Are you anaemic? Let’s find out

Alarm bells should start ringing if you’re experiencing constant lethargy, headaches, dizziness, an irregular heartbeat, ringing in the ears and shortness of breath. Then there are certain telltale habits to look out for, like the sudden and inexplicable urge to chew on ice or even clay – this bizarre craving may be your body’s way of telling you something’s amiss.

Here’s another DIY diagnostic method: Use a clean fingertip to press gently on your lower eyelid to inspect the hue of the inner rim; if the inner lid is pale alongside your palms and nails, you may be a ‘candidate’ for anaemia.

Of course, it bears emphasising that if you do suspect that you may be anaemic, seek medical advice immediately.

 Ironing out the causes of anaemia

Anaemia is most commonly attributed to insufficient iron in your body, as the metal is required in the production of red blood cells. Iron is also a crucial component of haemoglobin, the pigment in red blood cells that is fundamental in facilitating the ferrying of oxygen to cells throughout the body. Your individual need for iron can increase depending on your lifestyle and personal circumstances: Generally, you’re going to need more iron if you’re pregnant or if you’re experiencing chronic bleeding via heavy menstrual flow, peptic ulcers or hemorrhoids.

 The solution is simple

Making adjustments to your diet is a good place to start: try incorporating more iron-rich stuff – think leafy greens, lentils, beans, lean meat and fish – into your meals. Bear in mind, however, that an average adult requires a daily dose of 18mg for a fully functioning immune system, and you may need to consume many times the regular amount of iron-rich foods, as only about 10 percent of dietary iron is absorbed.

Which is where supplements come into play. A well-balanced iron supplement like Sangobion may help alleviate all of the unpleasant side effects associated with anaemia and a lack of iron in your diet. The formulation is fortified with seven other important elements, and also includes vitamin C to improve iron absorption.

Bottomline: Simple lifestyle tweaks can make all the difference in preventing and treating signs of anaemia and iron deficiency, so make an appointment with your doctor to discuss your new dietary regime, stat, and cheers to living a healthier and fuller life.