Everyone bleeds red, but some blood-related conditions affect more women than men…
Suffering from anaemia can be a reason why women feel wiped out while on their periods. Losing iron-rich blood can starve the body of oxygen, causing fatigue, dizziness and headaches. Untreated, long-term anaemia can lead to a heart attack.
Your move: Get 18g of iron every day. That’s roughly the amount in one cup of iron-fortified cereal, plus a half cup of lentils and one cup of spinach. Skip supplements unless prescribed by your doc.
2. Blood clots
Sluggish blood flow and high oestrogen levels can lead to these congealed globs that typically form in the arms or legs, causing swelling or pain. Worst-case scenario: A clot breaks free and travels to your lungs, where it can get lodged and become fatal.
Your move: Expectant and new moms (oestrogen!) and women who are rooted in one spot for hours on end have heightened odds. If you’re a desk jockey, take a 10-minute walk every two hours. Birth control users with added risk factors (smoking, a family history of clots): Ask your doc about progesterone-only forms.
Run-ins with ill-placed furniture can injure blood vessels, which spill their contents into nearby tissue. Thanks to our thinner skin (only physically!), women get black-and-blues more easily.
Your move: If marks regularly show up in spots you haven’t banged up, call your doc to rule out a bleeding disorder.
4. Varicose veins
When your veins are taxed by pregnancy, excess weight or lots of prolonged inactivity, blood can pool, causing the purple lines that plague women.
Your move: Walking or jogging can head off the lumps by boosting circulation and strengthening your legs. Too late? Ask your physician about laser treatments or injections that can get rid of the veins.
This article was originally published on www.womenshealthsa.co.za
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