My battle with fitness and anaemia!

I am 38 and understand the importance of fitness and a good diet to keep the body fit and healthy. Sometimes though things happen, that are out of our control and we have to push harder, to achieve the same results as other people. I have folate deficiency anaemia and take medication daily to try and help the abnormal and low red blood cells, try and function properly and ensure that the bone marrow remains healthy. I also, try to eat a diet high in vitamin b12 and b9. This diet consists of green vegetables, fish, eggs, fortified cereals, skimmed milk, cheese, yoghurts and lots of meats. This is a simple thing to do everyday to produce a constant flow of red blood cells around my body, the only downside is the daily side effects, which can take time to feel better.

The side effects of folate deficiency anaemia are extreme tiredness, lack of energy, pins and needles, swelling of the tongue and throat, muscle weakness, vision problems, depression and confusion, headaches, reduced appetite, brittle nails, dry skin and hair, memory problems with understanding and judgement.

The symptoms can often be hard for other people to understand, they can judge and criticise you for not being as happy as you usually are because they don’t understand how you are feeling. Sometimes these deficiencies can be treated by medications, injections and a diet high in vitamins b12 and folate and other times the damage already done, is irreversible. If anyone has any symptoms they should discuss this with their doctor as it’s important to get it treated straight away, it is usually diagnosed through blood tests.

We need vitamin b12 and folate for many reasons, they perform vital functions in our bodies to keep the nervous system healthy. These deficiencies are more recognised in people over 65 but can occur in anyone. Folic acid is also, vital during pregnancy, as it helps the unborn baby fully develop and have a healthy immune system.

Complications that can arise with folate or b12 deficiency include problems with the immune system, infertility, heart conditions, birth complications or defects or heart failure. Reasons for the deficiencies can include a lack of vitamins in diet eg a vegan diet, long history of a poor unhealthy diet, your immune system attacking the healthy cells in the stomach preventing vitamins being absorbed properly and lots of medications.

When dealing with this it can be a daunting task, mainly due to the tiredness but lots of people deal with it. Many athletes have been dealing with this and have taught themselves how to alter their lifestyle to feel better and push through it.

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