Many women complain of fatigue and low energy. It has become a hallmark of modern lifestyle. While there can be many reasons for fatigue, all of them worthy of investigation by your trusted health care provider, anemia is a common problem causing a woman to feel exhausted no matter how much rest she has had. Anemia is a common cause of weakness, fatigue and shortness of breath.
Anemia is defined by a deficiency of red blood cells or haemoglobin in the blood. These important elements carry oxygen to all the tissues of the brain and body. There are different types of anemia but a common one for women in the perimenopausal years (35-55) is iron deficiency anemia. This means that your red blood cells cannot carry a sufficient amount of oxygen to your brain and body leading to fatigue.
If you know you have anemia, it’s important to know what type of anemia you have so that you may supplement your diet accordingly. Your last lab tests will give the clues about what kind of anemia you are experiencing. For example: you may have a deficiency of B12 or folate (vitamin B9) which can easily be supplemented with a high quality vitamin like we carry in our AST dispensary.
Iron should be replenished by our diet. Dark green leafy veggies, lentils, liver, red meat, and fish are good sources. If you are eating a veggie-forward diet, please be sure to consume foods high in vitamin C with your meals to help with absorption of iron. Cooking in a cast iron pan will also impart iron into the foods you consume.
It helps to understand that a woman loses iron monthly with her menstrual bleed, so you must be replenishing this lost iron continuously. If she has fibroids or endometriosis or short cycles or is bleeding heavily, then this loss of resources can be difficult to keep up with requiring an iron supplement daily. There are many types of iron supplements, please speak to you practitioner to get the best one for you.
Want to know more about how to feel better and have more energy? Please tune into Episode 086 of the Not Your Mother’s Menopause podcast for tactical tools on how to correct anemia below.