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I am always tired and look pale. Is this anaemia ?

Yes, you may be deficient in iron. Iron is need in the body to make haemoglobin -  a key part of blood responsible for the delivery of oxygen and other nutrients to your tissues, brain, muscles and organs. If you are low in iron you cannot make enough red blood cells, hence the pale appearance; and with fewer red blood cells, your brain and body do not get the levels of oxygen and other nutrients they need. The result ? You feel perpetually tired.


Red meat is a well-known source of iron, and a good source too. The problem is that it is also rich in saturated fat, so go for an alternative: eggs, spinach and other greens, beans, lentils, prunes, dried apricots, molasses and pumpkin seeds. Two simple tests of your iron status involve your eyelids and fingernails. The area under your lower eyelids should be a rich pink/red colour; and if you press on the end of your fingernail, turning the bed white, and then release it, it should turn red again quickly, not stay pale.


Anaemia can also be caused by B12 or folic acid deficiency. A blood test can determine if you have either of these. Just in case, it is recommended that you supplement a B complex or a multivitamin containing B vitamins.

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