Family Medicine Healthcare | Primary Care Physician | Family Doctor | Hampton Roads, Portsmouth, Chesapeake and Suffolk, VA.

What is Anemia?

Anemia occurs when blood does not have enough hemoglobin, according to WebMD. Hemoglobin is a protein in the blood that carries oxygen from the lungs to the rest of the body. Normocytic anemia is the most common type of anemia. Normocytic anemia can either be congenital or acquired. Meaning it could be something a person is born with or developed later in life. It usually starts slowly.

People with anemia typically get tiered easily, look pale and may feel dizzy or weak. Most often this type of anemia is found in routine blood tests.

Red Blood Cells


Anemia could also be caused by not having enough iron in the body. A number of factors can cause low iron: Lack of iron in the diet is mostly a problem for children and young women. Children who drink lots of milk and don’t eat enough iron rich foods and young women who follow diets are susceptible too. Growth spurts in children under 3 where their little bodies are growing so fast that the bodies are not able to keep up with the growth spurts. Pregnant women or those who are breast feeding need two times more iron than men. That’s why pregnant women may need to be tested for anemia and eat more iron rich foods. Blood loss is also a common reason for iron deficiency in adults. Heavy periods, internal bleeding, stomach ulcers, cancer or taking aspirin for a long time may cause bleeding in the stomach or intestines.

Therefore, it is important to check the reason for the anemia.

Anemia may have no symptoms OR some of these:

  • paleness
  • tiredness
  • shortness of breath during exercise
  • fast heartbeat
  • cold hands and feet
  • brittle nails
  • headaches

Some types of anemia can be prevented by diet by eating iron rich foods such as:
• Liver and other meats
• Seafood
• Dried fruits like apricots, raisins, and prunes
• Nuts
• Beans, such as lima beans
• Green leafy vegetables such as spinach and broccoli
• Blackstrap molasses
• Whole grains
• Iron Fortified bread and cereals

Some foods block the absorption of iron. These include coffee, tea, egg yolks, milk, fiber, and soy protein.

If you suspect you may be anemic, call our office today at (757)-488-3333, and we can schedule a routine blood test to determine your iron level. With treatment, you will be feeling much better!

~Dr. Samir Abdelshaheed

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