What is anemia?
Anemia is a health condition that develops when your red blood cell (RBC) count is lower than normal. It is one of the most common conditions where fatigue is one of the major symptoms. In this case, fatigue is a direct effect of the lack of red blood cells in your blood. Red cells carry oxygen to your body cells, and oxygen is important in any metabolic activity that releases energy. Aside from weakness and fatigue, you could also experience dizziness if you are suffering from anemia.
Causes of Anemia
The most common causes of anemia are iron or vitamin deficiency, blood loss, chronic diseases and in some cases genetic conditions like sickle cell anemia. Iron deficiency occurs due to a lack of iron in your body – which can be caused by one's diet (vegetarians and vegans are more likely to be low on iron), pregnancy and breastfeeding, menstruation or by certain digestive conditions such as Crohn's disease. Other chronic conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis or cancer can also cause anemia.
Your doctor can diagnose whether you have anemia or not by performing a complete physical exam and a thorough blood test that includes a red blood cell level check. If you are experiencing fatigue and weakness, you should consider scheduling an appointment with your doctor. A more serious symptom, dizziness, can cause more problematic health situations like affecting your ability to drive, your balance and potentially causing you to fall, which can lead to more damage – such as concussion, bone fractures or worse.