I love to write and talk about heart disease but thought I’d take a break from that topic this week and delve into other waters. You know – just stir the waters a little bit and give you some variety. So, what to talk about this week? And then, it hit me – Anemia!
Of course! How perfect! After all, most women are anemic at some point in time in their life. How many of you have ever been so tired that you could barely drag yourself out of bed in the morning - or through the day for that matter – and it wasn’t because you were up all night rocking a crying baby or dancing under the stars with that cute guy with the 6-pack abs?
Yes, anemia seemed the perfect topic for a change of pace this week. Then, there it was - right there in black and white – one of the complications of anemia is “heart problems.” Heart problems? From being anemic? Yes, I had the same reaction. How in the world can anemia lead to heart problems?
To find out, let’s take a closer look at what anemia is and how it could possibly relate to your heart health. You have three different types of blood cells: red, white and platelets. Red blood cells are the ones charged with the job of carrying oxygen to your tissues. When you don’t have enough red blood cells to do the job, you’re anemic. Most people who are anemic are going to experience an abnormal or unusual fatigue or tiredness. This is because you aren’t getting enough oxygen to your tissues, organs and muscles in your body. Besides fatigue, a person who is anemic might also experience headaches, cold hands and feet, pale skin, a fast or irregular heartbeat, chest pain, dizziness, shortness of breath or cognitive problems.
Now, this is where it gets interesting ladies. Did you notice that one of the symptoms of anemia could be an irregular heartbeat? Another name for an irregular heartbeat is an arrhythmia. According to the Mayo Clinic, one of the complications of anemia is heart problems – specifically an arrhythmia. Anemia can also lead to congestive heart failure!
An arrhythmia occurs when something about the rate or rhythm of your heart beat is off.