Anemia and Fatigue- Exploring the connection

Anemia and Fatigue- Exploring the connection

Are you constantly feeling tired? The reason might be your workload or stress. But another possible reason could be anemia, which is a common yet often overlooked condition. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), anemia is a major public health concern and has the potential to become the next epidemic. The 2019 WHO survey revealed alarming statistics, with 40% of children aged 6–59 months, 37% of pregnant women, and 30% of women aged 15–49 affected by anemia globally. 


Anemia can profoundly impact daily life, manifesting as persistent weakness and fatigue in affected individuals. In children and adolescents, intellectual abilities may suffer, growth can be stunted, and academic performance may decline. Similarly, adults grappling with anemia may endure fatigue, diminished physical performance, and reduced work capacity, consequently influencing economic productivity and national development. 


The underlying mechanism of anemia lies in its impact on blood cells, specifically a decrease in Red Blood Cell (RBC) count and the corresponding reduction in hemoglobin levels. Hemoglobin, housed within RBCs, plays a pivotal role in transporting oxygen to every cell of the body, ensuring the seamless functioning of our internal systems. A decline in hemoglobin levels disrupts the efficient distribution of oxygen, culminating in fatigue and a consequential impairment of overall bodily functions.

What is Fatigue? 


People with fatigue face a lack of energy and motivation, which happens both physically and emotionally. It is not like sleepiness or drowsiness because these problems can be solved with proper rest and adequate sleep. However, fatigue does not get better with sleep. Fatigue-affected people may experience a lack of motivation. They will get tired easily and experience mental fatigue. They might even have problems with concentration or memory. But, fatigue is a symptom and not a specific disease or health condition. With the help of a doctor, people who are facing fatigue can detect the cause of it. 


How Anemia and Fatigue Share an Intricate Connection: 


In 2019, Delhi-based The Center of Healing (TCOH) did research on the Indian population who were facing fatigue. In that study, they found out that 74% of Indians were suffering from stress, and 88% from anxiety, both of which can lead to feelings of fatigue. A survey conducted in 2022 found that about 38% of employees in India reported frequent signs of burnout, which can include fatigue. Another survey says that nearly a quarter of women complain of feeling weak or tired constantly. These people can face fatigue for multiple reasons like stress or other health conditions. Anemia can be one of them. So, we can say precisely that anemia and fatigue are deeply connected. Let's explain how. Human blood comprises plasma, white blood cells, platelets, and red blood cells. The cytoplasm of an RBC is rich in hemoglobin, an iron-containing biomolecule that binds oxygen. Anemia reduces hemoglobin count in the human body, which is responsible for transporting oxygen to every cell, including the brain and heart. Consequently, anemic individuals feel fatigued, experiencing a drop in energy levels. This lethargy is not laziness; it's caused by anemia. However, it can be prevented by timely intervention and treatment. 



Anemia has various causes, including inadequate nutrient absorption, infections, inflammation, chronic diseases, gynecological and obstetric conditions, and inherited red blood cell disorders. Iron deficiency is also a common nutritional cause of anemia. Individuals with iron deficiency anemia feel tired and dizzy, with fatigue being the most common symptom. Now, the question is: How can iron deficiency lead to fatigue and anemia? Iron, absorbed by the gastrointestinal tract and stored in the liver, helps in red blood cell production. However, in iron deficiency anemia, the body cannot produce healthy RBCs, leading to fatigue. This condition is curable through a balanced diet, medication, and medical guidance. 


Anemia, Fatigue, and Depression: 


Anemia can make patients fatigued. If not treated, the situation can become very critical as it can potentially impact mental health. According to PsychCentral, in the case of an anemic patient, hemoglobin count lowers. So blood cannot transport enough oxygen to the brain. This affects the way of thinking, leading to depression.  



A person who is suffering from anemia will face tiredness and fatigue. This situation can be very challenging as it affects daily life severely. But it is also treatable. For that one needs to check the root cause of his or her fatigue. Firstly, monitoring hemoglobin levels is a must. However, traditional or invasive methods of blood testing are tricky. It needs pricking also. In this case, people can use a non-invasive hemoglobinometer like EzeCheck. If someone gets diagnosed with iron deficiency anemia, then he or she can have iron-rich food. Patients can also consume iron supplements. But with the help of a doctor. 




Fatigue is the primary symptom of anemia, which can make day-to-day life challenging. Anemic individuals cannot overcome fatigue with rest alone. If you are experiencing symptoms such as fatigue, do not ignore them. It is crucial to see a doctor promptly to develop a treatment plan. If left untreated, anemia can have serious consequences. Non-invasive hemoglobin screening devices like EzeCheck can help spot anemia quickly and conveniently, allowing for timely intervention.