Uterine Fibroids are a form of noncancerous tumor that forms in the uterus. While they can be asymptomatic, they can also appear with painful and debilitating symptoms. One of the most frequent symptoms is excessive bleeding during menstruation. This bleeding can be severe enough that it creates life-threatening anemia. One symptom of anemia is significant exhaustion and weakness. This fatigue can impact the ability to function normally and maintain a career. A lack of energy also makes it difficult to maintain relationships and social life. Effective treatments are available to address anemia and heavy menstrual bleeding from fibroids.
Recognizing The Symptoms Of Anemia
When your body has insufficient red blood cells to transport oxygen throughout your body, it’s a condition known as anemia. This condition results not just from a lack of blood but from the lack of hemoglobin in your blood. Hemoglobin is an iron-rich protein that plays an essential role in our metabolism and the transport of oxygen. Common Causes of Anemia Include: the destruction of red blood cells, poor production of red blood cells, and blood loss.
There are different types of anemia, including:
- Iron deficiency anemia: This type of anemia results from the low availability of red blood cells and hemoglobin.
- Pernicious anemia: When the body is producing an insufficient amount of an important protein known as intrinsic factor, pernicious anemia occurs. This factor is necessary for binding vitamin B12 so it can be absorbed easily in the small intestine. Without sufficient intrinsic factor, the production of RBCs is reduced.
- Hemolytic Anemia: This condition is the result of RBCs dying before they reach four months. Alternately they may be being destroyed by this time. This makes it impossible for the bone marrow to produce enough RBCs to replace those lost. The result is insufficient ability to transport oxygen.
These represent a small collection of the most commonly encountered forms of anemia. While the source of the anemia may differ, the actual symptoms tend to be similar. Some common indicators you may be suffering from anemia include:
- Low energy and fatigue
- Shortness of breath
- Pale or yellowing skin
- Hands or feet that are cold
- Unusually rapid heartbeat
Testing for anemia resulting from fibroids involves performing a complete blood count test, known as a CBC. This test checks your levels of hematocrit and hemoglobin. Hematocrit is a measure of the number of red blood cells in your blood. When these numbers are below normal, it can be a sign of anemia. Anemia can result from fibroids in cases where very heavy blood loss occurs during menstruation.
Contact Your Fibroid Specialist For Concerns about Anemia
If you’re concerned that heavy flows from fibroids are causing anemia symptoms, reach out to your fibroid specialist. They’ll discuss your fibroid symptoms with you and determine if a CBC is necessary. If they believe you’re at risk of anemia, they’ll schedule the test to determine if you’ve developed anemia. Anemia can be life-threatening, so be certain to get checked today if you’re experiencing symptoms.