Common misconceptions and myths around Anaemia

 Contributed by Rachana Arya

Anemia is an ailment which is very common these days. You will find many people who unknowingly suffer from it since its symptoms – light-headness and fatigue — can be very mild and vague. It is a blood condition which is characterized by difficulty in the production of hemoglobin, an essential ingredient in the formation of red blood cells. Anaemia is a disease with various causes. Iron deficiency, folic acid or vitamin B12 can cause multiple categories of illnesses which reduces the number of hemoglobin i.e. red blood cells in your body resulting in declined oxygenation of cells.

  • There are several myths associated with anaemia. One of the most popular myths is that if you are a vegetarian then you are more prone to anaemia. If you don’t consume meat, then you are at a higher risk of developing anemia but this is not true. If you are a vegetarian, then you can utilize the plant sources with combinations that improve iron absorption.

 

  • Another myth says that children and anaemic adults are prohibited from practicing sports. However, there are some prohibitions but they vary from case to case. It all depends on your degree of anaemia such as your heart and the intensity of exercise.

 

  • Some people think that only children are likely to have this disorder but the truth is that you can suffer from anaemia at any age. Apart from this, insufficient nutrition as well as those women who have fibroids in their reproductive systems due to which they face very high menstruation blood loss might also suffer from anaemia. However, the risk of anaemia rises when you are pregnant, breastfeeding or in the case of elderly people.

 

  • Another myth says that all types of anaemia are genetic which is not correct. Most of the cases of anaemia are not genetic but are acquired. Some of the examples include anaemia due to iron deficiency, lack of vitamin B12 and inflammation.

 

  • Another myth includes that anaemia does not allow you to practice of physical activities. In severe cases, you might get more tired which will make you disinclined towards exercising but that does not mean that you have to stop yourself from any physical activity.

 

  • One of the funniest myths says that anaemia if not treated turns into Leukemia. However, both these diseases have absolutely nothing to do with each other. It is true that both diseases occur in the blood but a poorly cured anemia never transforms into leukemia which is a category of cancer. However, a person suffering from leukemia can also suffer from anaemia since bone marrow does not appropriately produces red blood cells, white blood cells and platelets.

 

  • Some people believe that if you are suffering from diabetes then you will suffer from anemia. However, anaemia is not a byproduct of diabetes. One category of anaemia is associated with a chronic disease such as diabetes. Although the truth is that it occurs if your system cannot fully utilize iron present in your body. This is also not true that anaemia is always the result of a poor diet as there are other factors which are also responsible for the disease. For example, sickle cell anaemia which is a hereditary condition where your body produces an altered category of haemoglobin that damages the transport of oxygen through the blood. However, poor diet is typically a key reason of anaemia in children. In adults, it is seldom caused by dietary factors and often indicates inflammation, kidney disease, infection, cancer or bleeding gastritis.

 

The bottom line

Hence, we can say that there are numerous causes of anaemia which are not related to one’s choice of dietary intake. So, if you are a vegetarian then it is time to give up your uncertainty about the benefits of your vegetarian diet. You can exercise if you are anaemic and are in no way more probable than your non-vegan friends of developing anaemia with a proper healthy green diet.

 

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