Anemia can affect anyone, but it turns out there are more cases of anemia in women than men. According to Riskesdas data in 2013, cases of anemia in Indonesian women reached 23.9% compared to anemia in men which amounted to 18.4 percent. The incidence of anemia in female adolescents in Indonesia is even high, at 22.7 percent.
Why does anemia attack women more?
If you have anemia, your body doesn't have enough red blood cells. The tendency of a person to have anemia is measured by low hemoglobin and hematocrit levels. Hemoglobin is an iron-rich protein that helps blood carry oxygen from the lungs throughout the body. Hematocrit is the percentage of the number of red blood cells per 100 ml of blood volume.
Women have lower hemoglobin and hematocrit levels than men. In healthy men, the normal hemoglobin level is around 14-18 g /dL and the hematocrit is 38.5 to 50 percent. Well, in healthy women, the normal level of hemoglobin can be around 12-16 g /dL and the hematocrit is 34.9 to 44.5 percent. This difference makes women more prone to anemia than men. If you have anemia, your body does not get oxygen-rich blood to maintain all its functions.
In addition, women basically need higher iron intake compared to men. Conditions that are specifically experienced by women, for example menstruation, pregnancy, breastfeeding, and menopause then demand a woman's body to get more iron. Even young women who are in puberty need more iron intake than puberty boys. If not sufficient, these conditions make women at risk of developing iron deficiency, which can develop into anemia.
Another factor that causes anemia in women is when labor and the puerperium. Maternity makes women lose a lot of blood, making it more vulnerable to anemia than men. The more often you get pregnant and give birth, the more likely women are to experience chronic anemia.
How to prevent anemia in women?
Anemia can be caused by unmet iron requirements. Therefore, to prevent anemia, you are advised to multiply eating food sources of iron. Expand also eat and drink which helps the body absorb iron. For example orange juice, strawberries, broccoli, or other fruits and vegetables that contain vitamin C. Avoid drinking coffee or tea as a drink while eating. These drinks will make it difficult for the body to absorb iron.
Take anemia medication if necessary, but consult your doctor first. In addition, also talk to your doctor about problems around menstruation (for example, mens blood that comes out a lot) or digestive problems, such as diarrhea, if you experience it.
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