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The information contained on this site is for informational purposes only, and should not be used as a substitute for the advice of a professional health care provider. Please check with the appropriate physician regarding health questions and concerns. Although we strive to deliver accurate and up-to-date information, no guarantee to that effect is made.
What is Anemia?
Anemia is a condition in which the body lacks enough red blood cells to carry enough oxygen to the rest of the body 1. There are many causes of anemia, including the most common form, iron deficiency anemia 1. Iron deficiency anemia occurs because iron is necessary to create hemoglobin, which aids in creating healthy blood cells 1. Without iron, the blood cells are not able to bring enough oxygen to the body, including the brain.
Anemia and Menstruation
Does Vitamin B12 Make You Lose Weight?
Regardless of its cause, anemia causes a lack of oxygen to the body, which can cause irregular menstruation, and even skipped menstruation 1. Types of irregular menstruation that can be caused by anemia include a very heavy flow, an absent flow, frequent spotting, or skipped periods 1. Because of the blood loss that a heavy menstruation can cause, symptoms of anemia can worsen during your period 1. Your doctor can give you iron supplements if you have iron deficient anemia or other supplements that tailor to your specific anemia diagnosis 1.
Other Symptoms of Anemia
Your doctor can give you supplements to prevent the symptoms of anemia 1. If you have any of these symptoms and think you might be anemic, contact your doctor as soon as possible. He or she can prescribe you with supplements that will help your particular deficiency.
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- Mayo Clinic: Anemia
- Rabel A, Leitman SF, Miller JL. Ask about ice, then consider iron. J Am Assoc Nurse Pract. 2016;28(2):116-20. doi:10.1002/2327-6924.12268
- Schnuelle P, Oberheiden T, Hohenadel D, et al. An unusual case of severe iron deficiency anaemia. Gut. 2006;55(7):1060. doi:10.1136/gut.2006.094680
- Robinson KJ, Sanchack KE. Palpitations. StatPearls Publishing. Updated March 26, 2019.
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- Park MY, Kim JA, Yi SY, Chang SH, Um TH, Lee HR. Splenic infarction in a patient with autoimmune hemolytic anemia and protein C deficiency. Korean J Hematol. 2011;46(4):274-8. doi:10.5045/kjh.2011.46.4.274
- Rodriguez NM, Shackelford KS. Pernicious Anemia. StatPearls Publishing. Updated April 10, 2019.
- Pittman RN. Chapter 7, Oxygen Transport in Normal and Pathological Situations: Defects and Compensations. In: Regulation of Tissue Oxygenation. San Rafael (CA): Morgan & Claypool Life Sciences; 2011.
- Moore CA, Krishnan K. Aplastic Anemia. StatPearls Publishing. Updated May 14, 2019.
- Alder L, Tambe A. Acute Anemia. StatPearls Publishing. Updated April 24, 2019.
- American Society of Hematology. Anemia and Pregnancy.
- Kumar KJ, Asha N, Murthy DS, Sujatha M, Manjunath V. Maternal anemia in various trimesters and its effect on newborn weight and maturity: an observational study. Int J Prev Med. 2013;4(2):193-9.
- Andres E, Serraj K. Optimal management of pernicious anemia. J Blood Med. 2012;3:97-103. doi:10.2147/JBM.S25620
- Wassef A, Nguyen QD, St-andré M. Anaemia and depletion of iron stores as risk factors for postpartum depression: a literature review. J Psychosom Obstet Gynaecol. 2019;40(1):19-28. https://doi.org/10.1080/0167482X.2018.1427725
- Hurtado EK, Claussen AH, Scott KG. Early childhood anemia and mild or moderate mental retardation. Am J Clin Nutr. 1999;69(1):115-9. doi:10.1093/ajcn/69.1.115
- Anemia | MedlinePlus. Medlineplus.gov.
- Anemia and Pregnancy. American Society of Hematology.
- Your Guide to Anemia. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute.
- Iron-Deficiency Anemia | National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI). Nhlbi.nih.gov.
- Pernicious Anemia | National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI). Nhlbi.nih.gov.
- Sutherland S, OʼSullivan D, Mullins J. An Association Between Anemia and Postpartum Depression [35C]. Obstetrics & Gynecology. 2018;131:39S. DOI:10.1097/01.aog.0000532975.79181.b6
Megan Smith has been a freelance writer and editor since 2006. She writes about health, fitness, travel, beauty and grooming topics for various print and Internet publications. Smith earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts in writing from New York University.