This article will discuss what is the connection between anxiety and anemia. It will also explain what anemia is, how it is diagnosed, and what is possible to do if you have been diagnosed with anemia and anxiety.
Is there a relationship between anemia and anxiety?
There seem to be some possible links between anemia and anxiety. The first one centers on how these may be symptoms that are similar in both conditions.
Aside from that, having anemia can be something that causes you to become more anxious, and finally, the lack of some vitamins, that can happen when someone is anxious, can lead to anemia. So let’s discuss these links.
The symptoms can be similar
When a person is anxious, it can easily lead them to worry about their health, and if they have developed any other conditions. If someone is dealing with anxiety, and observing their symptoms, sometimes they may believe they have anemia. That is because the two of them have symptoms that can be similar.
Some of the symptoms that are similar in the two are shortness of breath, heart palpitation, tingling of the hands or feet, fatigue, or even weakness. Those can be extremely common when someone is having a panic attack, but also when the person lives with anemia.
But what the person needs to have in mind, to help them differentiate one from the other, and look for proper treatment, is that, in anxiety, especially in panic attacks, these sensations can be intense, but fleeting. But when you have anemia it will last a lot longer, and it will also lead to more serious symptoms.
Anemia can make you more anxious
Anemia can be a condition that will severely affect your life. It will not only put your body through a lot of stress but can make you anxious. But it also leads to a lot of changes in your life that can lead you to develop anxiety or make your anxiety worse.
A study done with students in China showed that once the anemia was better treated, the anxiety levels of the students also went down, showing how they can be intimately related.
Dealing with some symptoms of anemia such as the digestive problems that can come with it, be it constipation, or bloatedness, can make you worry about how you will behave in public, making you more anxious.
On the other hand, if you experience the shortness of breath that is caused by anemia, you can also become more anxious because you can begin to fear that you are experiencing something more severe, like a heart attack.
Because of all that, you must look for proper care. So you can be diagnosed, and treated based on the symptoms you have.
There is a chance that anxiety is making you anemic
Anemia happens when a person has a lack of some vitamins in their body. Although normally it is related to the lack of iron, it can also be related to the lack of vitamin B12 or Magnesium. It is also known that anxiety leads the person to have low levels of Magnesium as well.
And when they go through panic attacks, it can consume even more of it, since it will cause the person to hyperventilate. If the person experiences this for a long period, it can be that, at some point, anxiety can lead them to develop anemia as well.
Aside from that, anxiety can also affect the person’s immune system. It tells your body to not defend itself so well as it should, to save up energy so you can deal with the danger you are facing. And this disturbance in your immune system can also lead you to develop anemia as well.
Finally, anxiety can affect your eating pattern. It can prevent you from having a healthy diet, and that, in the long hall can cause you to develop anemia as well.
Even though there is a need for further studies to set those patterns, these seem to be the connection between anemia and anxiety. But in case you need to learn how to differentiate them better, let’s understand better what anemia is.
What is anemia?
Anemia is a condition that affects your blood and causes many consequences to your body. Having anemia means that you are not producing enough red blood cells. Those are the ones responsible to transport the oxygen through your body, so not having enough of them, means your body is not getting all the oxygen it needs.
Because of that, anxiety can cause you to experience fatigue, weakness, pale skin, cold or tingling of the hands and feet, shortness of breath, chest pain, headaches, dizziness, constipation, and bloating.
To be diagnosed with anemia, it is required that you would do blood work that would analyze the levels of iron, vitamin B12, or serum ferritin. You may also need blood work that will check your complete blood count, and a folate test.
Because anemia can be caused by a deficiency in all of those vitamins, there can be different types of anemia that will be treated differently.
But mostly, the treatment for anemia will center on changing your diet, you can also use injections to stimulate the production of the vitamins you are lacking, and in more serious cases, it may be necessary that you get a blood transfusion.
How do cope with the link between anemia and anxiety?
If you feel that anxiety and anemia have been walking hand in hand in your life, you must look for professional help. Treating your anemia properly may help you to become less anxious.
You should also look for mental health professionals that will surely help you cope with anxiety. In that, you can look for a therapist, with whom you will be able to discuss your emotions, and understand what triggers your anxiety, and the root of it.
You may also benefit from going to a psychiatrist, which is a doctor that specializes in mental health and may prescribe you medication if it is necessary. Having a healthy lifestyle, in which you avoid having too much sugar, caffeine, and alcohol can also help.
Exercising that can often help reduce your stress levels will surely improve your anxiety. Trying to live a calmer life, and doing some breathing exercises will also give you some relief from it.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ): Is there a relationship between anemia and anxiety?
What are the most common symptoms of anxiety?
Anxiety can affect you in many ways. Although each person may feel it differently, from the frequency to the intensity of it, there are many common symptoms of anxiety. Those can be physical, or even emotional ones.
Physically anxiety can make your heart beat faster, and your breathing will change, it can be faster, or even become shallow. Aside from that, it can make you start to sweat, begin to tremble, shake, feel weak, or tired.
Anxiety will likely make it difficult for you to sleep, and can often lead you to experience gastrointestinal problems. Aside from that, on the emotional helm, anxiety can make you constantly worry about things. And the fear of impending doom that often comes with it, will make you feel afraid, or even panic.
Because you are constantly thinking about what is worrying you, and you feel like you can’t control that, it may be hard for you to focus on something else. With time, anxiety can become so uncomfortable that you will likely begin to avoid being in places or doing things that will trigger your anxiety.
Does anxiety have a cure?
No, there is no cure for anxiety. Because it has a genetic factor to it, it is impossible to say that someone won’t develop another anxiety disorder during their lifetime. But even though it is a condition that doesn’t have a cure, it can be treated.
Untreated anxiety will likely be worse, but with the proper care, at some point, you may feel that your anxiety symptoms have disappeared, and you can go back to living your life as before. But at that moment you should keep in mind to still care for your mental health since it is the only way to prevent yourself from relapsing.
Is anxiety all in my head?
No, anxiety is not all in your head. Even though you may experience the worry brought on by anxiety in a more intense manner than you would before, you need to know that the effects of anxiety on your mind, body, and life are real.
Whenever you are anxious and experience a fast heartbeat, know that it is something that is causing you to feel distressed. And even though people around you may find it hard to understand, and can call it drama, or overreaction, anxiety is a serious condition that requires proper treatment.
What causes anxiety?
Anxiety can be caused by multiple factors. First, it can be a reaction to dealing with something. It can be that you have discovered an illness, or just went through a traumatic experience, and those can make you feel stressed.
It can also happen because you have been exposed to too much stress lately, and at some point, it begins to be detrimental to your mental health. Anxiety can also happen because you have a family history of it, indicating the genetic aspect of anxiety.
Aside from that, some people have personality traits that are more susceptible to anxiety. Or it can also happen as a reaction to other mental disorders, such as depression, or even the abuse of alcohol, or drugs.
How can I prevent myself from becoming anxious?
Since many factors can lead to anxiety, and some of them are beyond our control, the most important way to prevent anxiety is by living a balanced, and healthy life. Exercising, and managing the use of stimulants, alcohol, and drugs, can make you feel good.
Aside from that, having a life with which you feel fulfilled, and that whom you have positive relationships can also help. But if at any moment you begin to feel anxious, know that it is through looking for treatment early that you will be able to prevent it from getting worse.
This article explained the possible connection between anemia and anxiety. It also showed what anemia is, how it is diagnosed, and treated, and how to cope with the link between anxiety and anemia.
If you have any questions or comments about this article, feel free to write them in the section below.