HealthCareMagic is now Ask A Doctor - 24x7 |

Get your health question answered instantly from our pool of 18000+ doctors from over 80 specialties
159 Doctors Online

By proceeding, I accept the Terms and Conditions

Dr. Andrew Rynne
Dr. Andrew Rynne

Family Physician

Exp 50 years

HCM Blog Instant Access to Doctors
HCM BlogQuestions Answered
HCM Blog Satisfaction
Article Home Women's Health Anemia in women

Anemia in women

Anemia is condition where there is lack of healthy red blood cells in the human body. This is more common in women because of physiological process called Menstruation. Women in developing countries like India are also prone for this condition because of poor nutrition, lack of education, no regular health check up. The condition can lead to many more complications and reduce the work capacity in the women.

Causes of anemia

  • Anemia caused by blood loss: Like gastrointestinal conditions like ulcers, hemorrhoids etc.
  • Use of non steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs like aspirin.
  • Menstruation, child birth, multiple pregnancies.
  • Anemia due to decreased or faulty red blood cell production like sickle cell anemia, iron deficiency anemia, vitamin B12 deficiency etc.
  • Anemia causes by excessive destruction of red blood cell as in malaria.

Symptoms of anemia


  • Easy fatigue and loss of energy.
  • Palpitations: Rapid heartbeat.
  • Difficulty in concentrating.
  • Dizziness. Pale skin.
  • Leg cramps.
  • Insomnia (difficulty in sleeping).
  • Hunger for strange substance like paper, dirt (called pica).
  • Soreness of the mouth with cracks.
  • Headache.

Risk factors for anemia

  • Poor diet: Taking diet low in iron, vitamins, folic acid.
  • Intestinal disorders like crohn’s disease which affects absorption of the nutrients.
  • Menstruation.
  • Pregnancy: There is increased risk of anemia in pregnancy due to increased blood volume of the mother as well as source of hemoglobin for the growing fetus.
  • Chronic conditions like cancer, kidney, and liver failure.
  • Alcoholics: Alcohol interferes with absorption of folic acid.
  • Strict vegetarian diet may not get enough iron or vitamin B-12 in their diet.

Diagnosis and treatment


  • Medical history.
  • Physical examination.
  • Laboratory tests: Like complete blood count, blood iron levels, levels of vitamin B-12, serum folate levels, serum ferritin levels, peripheral smear to know the morphology of red blood cells.

Treatment for anemia caused by blood loss


  • It is treated with fluids, blood transfusion, oxygen and iron to help the body to build the new red blood cells.
  • Chronic blood loss is treated with identifying the source of bleeding, stopping bleeding.

Treatment of anemia caused due to decreased in red blood cell production

  • With iron deficiency anemia treated with iron supplements, vitamin B-12 and folic acid supplements.
  • Intake of iron rich foods like:

                 1. Poultry
                 2. Red meats.
                 3. Liver.
                 4. Dried beans.
                 5. Dried fruits like raisings, prunes, and apricots.
                 6. Dates.
                 7. Leafy green vegetables.
                 8. Eggs.
                 9. Sea food.