Anemia is a condition in which your body doesn’t have enough red blood cells. Blood cells carry oxygen to your entire body, and when your body doesn’t get the oxygen it needs, feeling tired is one of the most common symptoms. Other typical symptoms of anemia include:
- Feeling weak
- Experiencing dizziness, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
- Having headaches or trouble concentrating
- Pale skin
If you are experiencing several of these symptoms, it may be worth checking out with your doctor … especially if you have diabetes or chronic kidney disease.
Anemia, diabetes and chronic kidney disease are what is called “comorbidities,” meaning that more than one condition co-occurs with another. In this case, they are somewhat causal:
- Diabetes can lead to chronic kidney disease because of the impact of high blood sugars on kidney function, which can diminish over time.
- And chronic kidney disease can lead to anemia because having fewer red blood cells make it difficult for the kidneys to function properly.
If you’re being treated for one or both of these conditions – or even if you aren’t being treated for another chronic disease – and experience anemia symptoms, the best thing you can do is to go to your doctor. A physical exam and blood work will usually be ordered to confirm or rule out anemia.
If anemia is confirmed, your doctor may recommend iron supplements and/or an iron-rich diet to help overcome these symptoms. If you’ve been treating for anemia, you may also consider looking into a clinical research study to see if you qualify to participate. Clinical research trials use volunteers to see if a treatment under development is safe and effective. They play a critical role in advancing available medical treatments. It’s important to discuss this with your doctor.
Whatever you choose to do, it’s important to get a diagnosis and get treated – so you can feel like the enthusiastic energetic you!