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Anaemia is a result of lack of red blood cells in your body. Iron-deficiency anaemia is the most common type of anaemia and is caused by the body losing blood quicker than it can be replaced.

Iron can be lost in sweat, in cells that fall from your skin and while you’re having your period in your menstrual blood. If you have heavy periods it is advisable to take an iron tablet daily. If you do not eat meat, you may be lacking in iron.

Causes of anaemia include:

  • A diet low in iron and vitamins, especially B12
  • Heavy periods
  • Stomach ulcers or tumours
  • A lack of folate
  • Bone marrow or other blood diseases such as leukaemia

Symptoms of anaemia include:

  • Shortness of breath
  • Feeling tired all the time
  • Pale and pasty appearance
  • ?Palpitations
  • Dizziness

Anaemia can lead to:

  • Chest and leg pain
  • Headaches
  • Pale skin
  • Weak flaky nails
  • Weight loss

Anaemia can affect growing children and teenagers, usually because their diet doesn’t contain enough iron, vitamin b12 and folic acid.

Food rich in iron includes red meat, green vegetables, eggs, dried apricots, sardines, spinach, wholemeal bread and fortified breakfast cereals.

Pregnancy is also a time when the body can lack iron and develop into anaemia.

There are other types of anaemia but these are less common.

If you experience any of the symptoms mentioned, make sure you get in touch with your doctor.

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