If You’re Diabetic, You’re at Risk for Anemia

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If you’re diabetic, you already know what it’s like to live with a whole host of symptoms. Type II diabetes can cause thirst, hunger, weakness, blurred vision, headaches, and weight loss. Type II diabetes can cause numbness and tingling, weight gain, and impotency.

 Now a study published in “Diabetes Care” reports that diabetics are also at risk for anemia.

 In an assessment of 27 patients at King’s College Hospital diagnosed with Type II diabetes, 13 were found to be anemic.

 Anemia is a disorder in which your level of healthy red blood cells becomes too low.

 Those with Type 1 diabetes should monitor their red blood cell count. Red blood cells are very important to your health because they carry oxygen to all of your organs and tissues. Without this energy giving oxygen, your body quickly becomes tired.

 And being tired is the last thing someone with diabetes needs. The body is already using up a lot of energy dealing with insulin highs and lows.

 If you’re diabetic, you can ask your doctor or healthcare provider to perform a blood test. A blood test can tell you how much hemoglobin is in your blood. Hemoglobin is the protein in red blood cells that helps to carry oxygen. Hemoglobin is largely made up of iron.

 You can boost your iron levels by eating iron-rich foods. Here are some of the best sources of iron: — clams — oysters — organ meats — fortified cereal — soybeans — pumpkin seeds — blackstrap molasses — lentils — spinach — beef — sardines There are some foods that interfere with iron absorption. Try to avoid dairy products and egg whites. Coffee, tea, red wine, rhubarb, chocolate, and wheat bran also cause absorption problems. You can eat these foods — just save them for a meal that doesn’t involve your iron foods.

 One more thing to consider, vitamin C can help your body to absorb iron. So eat some broccoli with your beef stir fry. Or have a glass of orange juice with your fortified cereal.

 The RDA for iron is 8 mg for adults aged 51 years and older.