Does anemia cause weight loss? Should you be worried if you lose a few pounds? Is anemia dangerous after all?
There is little knowledge in the population about the relationship between weight loss and anemia. In this article you will know everything you should know about the relationship between these two pathological processes.
There are multiple causes that can lead to anemia, as well as a multitude of causes that can also lead to weight loss. Furthermore, there is a relationship between anemia and weight loss.
There are multiple forms of anemia, each with different origins. This can happen temporarily, or can last over time, ranging from mild to severe.
Like every sign in our body, weight loss can be indicative of a multitude of pathologies, and it is important that they be ruled out and studied by healthcare professionals.
In this space you will be able to know everything you should know about the relationship between anemia and weight loss.
What is anemia?
Anemia is defined as the presence of low hemoglobin levels in our red blood cells. Red blood cells are responsible for supplying oxygen, thanks to the fact that the hemoglobin they contain transport it to the rest of the body.
Hemoglobin is a protein rich in iron, to which oxygen binds to be transported. In addition, this substance is what gives our blood red color. Generally speaking, normal hemoglobin levels are:
Women: greater than 12 grams per deciliter.
Men: greater than 13 grams per deciliter
As you can see, anemia is a very common disease in which there is a deficient amount of hemoglobin. This can lead to our tissues and organs not having an adequate supply of oxygen, and hence the symptoms.
Symptoms of anemia
Apart from the fact that the symptoms that characterize anemia are characteristic of the different varieties, it should be known that the way in which anemia occurs depends on conditioning factors. These factors are:
Speed at which it occurs: The slower it is, the later the signs will appear.
Previous state of health: anemia is not the same in previously healthy people as in an oncology patient, for example.
Due to these factors, the symptoms anemia causes are very nonspecific, that is, they vary greatly between each person and are not repeatedly active. The most characteristic symptoms are:
- Fatigue and weakness
- Difficulty breathing
- Dizziness from hypotension
- Palpitations or tachycardia: in very severe cases, intense chest pain, heart attack and danger of death may appear if not acted on time
- Pale skin and mucosa with cold skin
- Menstrual disturbances
- Loss of libido: decreased sexual desire, especially in men
- Gastrointestinal symptoms: lack of appetite, indigestion or nausea
Does anemia cause weight loss?
There is a link between anemia and weight loss, which makes the latter a symptom of the former.
Knowing the symptoms that anemia causes, we can see that it can cause gastrointestinal involvement. Lack of appetite can cause significant weight loss, which in extreme cases worsens the state of health. Weight loss would be due to the lack of absorption of the necessary nutrients for our body.
Also, just as anemia can lead to weight loss, there is a possibility that it could be the other way around: weight loss can lead to anemia. This is due to the deficit of nutrients necessary for the normal functioning of red blood cells.
The main cause of anemia due to weight loss, by decreasing food intake, is the deficiency of vitamin B12, iron and folic acid, which are part of our red blood cells.
Unfortunately, there are countless diseases that lead to weight loss from multiple causes, thus worsening the anemia situation. An example of this are intestinal diseases that prevent the absorption of vitamins and minerals and that end in pernicious or iron deficiency anemia.
The need for further research
There is a relationship between anemia and weight loss, but they do not have to go hand in hand. On numerous occasions, the appearance of these pathological processes are signs of other diseases, of which the cause must be ruled out. When there are signs of anemia or involuntary or excessive weight loss,healthcare professionals should make a thorough examination.
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