Diabetes Self-Management Articles

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Anemia
When “Tired Blood” is Slowing You Down

by Joy Pape, RN, BSN, CDE, WOCN, CFCN

Foods high in vitamin B12 include all animal products, including eggs, dairy products, and meat. People who follow a vegan diet are at risk of vitamin B12 deficiency and should take a vitamin B12 supplement.

If your nutrient deficiency is found to be a consequence of having celiac disease, you will need to follow a strictly gluten-free diet for the rest of your life to allow your small intestine to heal and remain healthy.

Anyone diagnosed with a nutrient deficiency should meet with a registered dietitian or nutritionist to discuss healthy food choices and how to prevent such a deficiency from happening again. Meeting with a dietitian may be particularly helpful for people diagnosed with celiac disease, since switching to a gluten-free diet can be a challenge.

Feeling better
As many as 25% of Americans with diabetes also have anemia, so if you feel fatigued or weak, get it checked out. Don’t diagnose yourself with anemia, however. There are many reasons you might feel tired and weak, and trying to treat yourself for anemia when you don’t have it could create or worsen other problems.

If your doctor does diagnose you with anemia and prescribes a treatment, you should get regular blood tests to track your progress. In time you should notice that you feel much better.

Resources
For a listing of anemia organizations and resources, see “Anemia Resources.”

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Anemia Resources

 

 

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