Anaemia is a condition that develops when you have fewer red blood cells or a lack of haemoglobin in these cells. Haemoglobin plays a crucial role in delivering oxygen throughout the body, and low levels indicate anaemia. Our body needs iron to produce sufficient haemoglobin. While there are many types of anaemia, low iron levels are a common cause of being anaemic.
You may be iron deficient if you are low on energy, have difficulty concentrating, have pale skin, feel lightheaded or dizzy, or experience breathlessness.
Research has shown that thousands of New Zealanders are at risk of being anaemic with an estimated 1 in 14 women being anaemic nationally. The most at risk groups include menstruating women, women who are pregnant or breastfeeding, athletes, and people on fad diets.
If your iron levels are low, your body is unable to produce enough haemoglobin to carry oxygen to your cells. Iron also helps to maintain the immune system’s function and plays a role in producing energy via the body’s chemical reactions. This means that if your iron levels are low, you could be more prone to infections and your body may not be utilising your energy efficiently.
We offer a new anaemia screening service at the pharmacy. This involves a simple blood prick on one of your fingers using our HemoCue machine, which measures the amount of haemoglobin that is present in your blood. Through our service, we measure your haemoglobin levels and recommend an appropriate course of action. This could include recommending to increase your dietary intake of iron, starting iron supplements, or referring you to your GP to rule out any other conditions.
To get your iron levels tested, just come and see us at the pharmacy - no bookings required.