Tired of feeling tired all the time?

It’s easy to feel tired all the time in today’s world. With the stress that comes from trying to balance work and family as well as the disruptive influences of technology on our sleep environments, feeling tired all of the time may seem like part of the human condition. But if you are one of the millions of Americans who complain about exhaustion, the problem might not be your lifestyle — it might be your blood.

Understanding Iron Deficiency

Iron deficiency isn’t hard to understand. You are considered iron deficient if you aren’t getting enough of the mineral iron in your diet. Any Lab Test Now can help you find out this critical information. It’s important to know because if you aren’t getting enough iron, then a chain reaction starts:

  1. Lack of iron means fewer red blood cells.
  2. Fewer red blood cells mean less hemoglobin.
  3. Less hemoglobin means less oxygen in your body.
  4. Less oxygen means your body isn’t working properly.

If you’ve reached this point, you might have iron-deficiency anemia.

What is Iron Deficiency Anemia?

It’s estimated that as many as 3 million people in the United States suffer from anemia. That “feeling tired all the time” that we talked about at the start? That’s the most common symptom, but there are a host of others including headaches, shortness of breath, dizziness, rapid heartbeat or palpitations, and even paleness. The National Institutes of Health special Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute even says to watch for brittle nails, swollen or sore tongue, or strange cravings for nonfood items like dirt or paint! Even Restless Leg Syndrome may be linked to iron deficiency. The degree of your deficiency determines just how severe your symptoms are, so if you have a mild case you might not even notice!

A Warning About Self-Diagnosis

So what can you do? Well, self-diagnosis is not recommended because taking iron supplements when they aren’t necessary can cause some unpleasant side effects of their own. Your local Any Lab Test Now can help you get a proper diagnosis and get you on the track to better health with the Anemia Panel.

The First Step to Feeling Better

The Anemia Panel is a comprehensive panel that includes a CBC, Ferritin, Folates, Total Iron Binding Capacity with Iron, Reticulocyte Count, Vitamin B12, and Folic Acid. That’s a lot of test but it will provide you with a lot of important information. The CBC (Complete Blood Count) looks at important parameters of your blood including hemoglobin level, white blood cells, red blood cells and platelets. The Ferritin, Iron and Total Iron Binding Capacity tests all work together to indicate if you have an iron deficiency. The Reticulocyte Count can help determine if you are producing enough red blood cells, which in turn will help determine the cause of your anemia. The Vitamin B12 and Folic Acid levels will show if there is a deficiency there.

Any Lab Test Now; the First Step to Feeling Better

A lot of different factors come in to play when you start talking about complications surrounding your anemia caused by iron deficiency. They can be simple quality of life issues, like the constant fatigue in mild cases. They can be more serious, like unchecked internal bleeding if your iron deficiency anemia is caused by some underlying unknown condition. That’s why it’s important to pinpoint the problem…then get to the root cause. Any Lab Test Now can be your first step in that process. The information our test provides will put you and your doctor on the right track to helping you feel better.

Iron Deficiency

About three million of us suffer needlessly from a condition that seriously and negatively impacts our quality of life. But it doesn’t need to be that way.

The condition is called anemia. It is when your body lacks enough red blood cells to carry oxygen to your tissues. Anemia can sound frightening because it involves your blood. Yet the treatment can be as easy as changing what’s on your plate for dinner. And finding out if you are anemic can be done quickly and easily with a simple test from Any Lab Test Now! The answer to the test can help you and your doctor put you back on the path to feeling better.

Anemia Symptoms

The symptoms can often be so mild that they go unnoticed or seem like they are just “part of life.” Do any of these things sound familiar? Fatigue, weakness, pale or yellow skin, irregular heartbeat, shortness of breath, dizziness or lightheadedness, chest pain, cold hands and feet, headache, irritability — these symptoms of anemia are often dismissed or ignored. Often, the fatigue becomes overwhelming. Dr. Allen Nissenson, nephrologist and professor of medicine at UCLA, says it doesn’t have to be the norm for the millions with anemia.

Nutrition and Anemia

In order to make enough healthy red blood cells, your body needs an adequate supply of iron, folate and vitamin B-12. Of course, not everyone consumes the right quantity of these nutrients. For this reason, the most common type of anemia is caused by poor nutrition, according to Dr. Nissenson. Our increasing obsession with diets — and the growing number of strict vegetarians and vegans — is adding to the problem. That’s why the Anemia Panel from Any Lab Test Now checks not only your blood count, but also your iron, folate and vitamin B-12 levels.

Whether the anemia is iron deficiency anemia or vitamin deficiency anemia, the treatment is likely as simple as supplements and a change in diet. The best sources of iron are meat, poultry and egg yolks. To a lesser extent, you can get iron from eating green leafy vegetables, dried fruits, dried beans and peas, and enriched whole-grain cereals and bread. You need to also eat foods rich in Vitamin C, like citrus fruits, to help your body absorb the iron. The dark green leafy veggies are also your best source of folic acid. You’ll only get vitamin B-12 by eating animal foods — especially meat, fish, eggs and milk. That’s a real challenge to those following a strict vegan diet.

Who is at Risk?

Your diet isn’t the only thing that can put you at risk of an iron deficiency. You may eat all the right foods but have an intestinal disorder — like Crohn’s disease or celiac disease — that keeps you from properly absorbing the nutrients you eat. Other causes of anemia include:

  • Significant blood loss
  • Heavy menstrual periods
  • Possible reactions to birth control
  • Kidney disease

Importance of Treatment

Anemia may not sound threatening, but there can be complications if you don’t treat it. In addition to severe fatigue, anemia can cause pregnancy complications. And if left unchecked too long, it can eventually lead to heart problems because the heart needs to pump more blood to compensate for the lack of oxygen in the blood. That can ultimately lead to an enlarged heart or even heart failure.

Finding out if you have an iron deficiency takes just a few days. The professionals at your local Any Lab Test Now location can help you find out if you need to take the next step with your doctor to boost your iron and change your health for the better.