Anemia occurs when your red blood cell count and hemoglobin levels are low. When you breathe oxygen in, your red blood cells carry it around your body by attaching it to the protein hemoglobin and the mineral iron. There are many causes of anemia including: blood loss, red blood cell damage, nutrient deficiencies (including iron and B vitamins), chronic disease, and blood disorders. The most common cause is iron deficiency anemia where iron levels are so low that the red blood cells have a decreased capacity to carry oxygen. Symptoms of anemia include extreme fatigue, dizziness, heart palpitations, heavy periods, chest pain, headaches, pale colouration, cold hands and feet, etc. Have your levels checked if you are experiencing any of these symptoms. I prefer my patient’s to have hemoglobin levels well above the range considered to be anemic as I do not want them to get to this point.
What is considered anemia in pregnancy?