What all teenage girls should know to prevent nutritional anaemia?
Recently I met a friend of mine, who was complaining about how her teenage daughter fell ill too often and was tired to perform any extracurricular activities after her college hours. She even mentioned that her daughter started menstruating the previous month and looks really pale these days. I advised her to get a blood test done and the result was as expected- a low haemoglobin level of 8.3. Her daughter was finally diagnosed as having nutritional anaemia and was prescribed a few iron supplements along with an iron rich balanced diet.
Like my friends daughter, many other teenage girls suffer from nutritional anaemia, due to iron deficiencies in their bodies. Iron is required for the formation of haemoglobin in the new red blood cells and as iron is utilized for the haemoglobin content present in our red blood cells the body stores get used up and one has to consume healthy food that will replenish our blood levels of iron.
Symptoms of nutritional anaemia
Teenage girls who are facing nutritional anaemia exhibit symptoms gradually as the growth spurt happens. At initial stages there may not be any symptoms, but the developing deficiency can hinder body growth. So identifying the symptoms at the earliest and providing them the needed timely nutrition becomes a must.
Pale skin due to decrease in red blood cells and fatigue, due to low amount of oxygen and iron supply, are usually the first major signs of anaemia. Anaemic girls also show symptoms like frequent headaches, feeling of breathlessness while running or climbing stairs, faster pumping of heart (tachycardia) for more regular oxygen supply, which in turn leads to higher pulse rate and lack of concentration and interest in day to day activities.
Overall any girl having an issue of nutritional anaemia will feel weak both physically and mentally, in the due course of time.
Precautions that will help teenage girls fight against nutritional anaemia
Teenage girls, who usually lose huge quantity of blood either during their menstrual cycles or due to an accident and those who stay in paying guest accommodations where a proper balanced meal is not available on time, can follow these precautions to avoid nutritional anaemia.
- If you’re a non-vegetarian, consume red meat, pork or sea food regularly, as these food items are like a store house of iron and will keep you fit.
- For vegetarians, green leafy vegetables like spinach or regular vegetables like beans, broccoli and peas will do the magic. Even fruits which have vitamin c in them like kiwi, melons, grape fruit, orange etc., will help in absorbing more iron, needed for your body.
- Even dry fruits like raisins and cereals and breads which contain iron in them are helpful.
Small home remedies for nutritional anaemia
Though supplements help to increase the iron levels, these home remedies can also perk up your nutrition.
- Make a juice of apples, beetroot and orange and drink it at least thrice a week.
- Soak sesame seeds for a few hours and make it into a paste with honey and warm water and take a spoon full of this mixture.
- Include spinach to your regular diet in the form of soups, curries or salads.
- Soaking dates and raisins in milk overnight and drinking it the next day also helps.
Nutritional anaemia is not a major disease but is very common in adolescent girls and can be treated very well with little monitoring, care and good food. So, recognize the symptoms early and follow these useful remedies, to get back your lost energy.