Our red blood cells contain haemoglobin, a protein which is responsible for carrying oxygen around the body. Anaemia occurs when there is either a reduction in red blood cells or they aren’t working efficiently enough and therefore they aren’t transporting oxygen sufficiently around the body. Without enough oxygen to our muscles and tissues, our body cannot work at optimum level. This is why those suffering with anaemia often feel exhausted and drained of energy.
Other symptoms of anaemia include:
- heart palpitations
- loss of appetite
- feeling faint
- shortness of breath
There are three different types of anaemia:
- Iron deficiency anaemia
- Megaloblastic anaemia – this includes B12 deficiency anaemia and folate deficiency anaemia
- Sickle-cell anaemia – this is hereditary and therefore a nutritionist may not be able to assist
Eating correctly may help relieve some of the symptoms of anaemia and optimum nutrition can also play a part in the prevention and management of the condition. A nutritionist or nutritional therapist could improve the quality of life of an anaemic person by providing support and expert knowledge. An eating plan devised by a nutritionist can greatly relieve the pressure of choosing food and researching what is best for you – both of which can be a strain when coping with anaemia.