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My haemoglobin is very low, am I anaemic?

Q: I am a 27 years old female of ht 5.2 and weight 51 kgs. My problem is my that my haemoglobin is 8 and has never gone beyond 10.5 in my life despite all efforts of eating and taking medicine. I have heavy bleeding during periods right from the day these have started. Now I have pain in my legs too and I feel weak after little work. I take dexaorange and iron tabs but nothing substantial has happened. Can I have normal delivery and baby after marriage and can I have a normal sexual life?

A:The normal hemoglobin of non-pregnant women should be 12g/dl, so you are quite anaemic. Blood loss during periods and diet are the 2 most common factors responsible for iron deficiency anaemia in Indian women. Please get a complete blood count done (which should include the red cell indices like RBC count, MCV, MCH & MCHC), examination of a peripheral blood film and estimation of serum iron and total iron binding capacity (TIBC). These would give an idea of the degree of anaemia and its type. In case it is iron deficiency (which is most likely), you need to take adequate dose of iron (100 mg elemental iron per day) till hemoglobin becomes normal and then continue for another 4 months so that iron stores of the body are replenished. You also need a gynaecology consultation so that the cause of increased blood loss is rectified or else the anaemia will recur. Once the hemoglobin begins to rise all your symptoms will show a marked improvement. There should be no problem at all in having a happy married life and a normal pregnancy.

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