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Information on this and linked website does not necessarily infer endorsement by the Fibromyalgia Support for Worthing and West Sussex.
Any advice or recommendation of a medical or legal nature must always be discussed with a qualified professional.

Registered Charity 1042582

affiliated with FMA UK

webmaster Pete MacKean

January 2014

Self Care


Anaemia and Fibromyalgia

Many fibromyalgia patients suffer from other illnesses that appear alongside their fibromyalgia. These conditions can often worsen the symptoms of fibromyalgia syndrome and make daily responsibilities much more difficult to complete. If you have been feeling particularly exhausted lately, it is possible that fibromyalgia isn’t the only culprit behind your fatigue. Many fibromyalgia patients also suffer from Anaemia, a blood disorder that can cause extreme fatigue and a variety of other complications.

What is Anaemia?

Anaemia is a very common blood disorder. It occurs when you don’t have enough healthy red blood cells in your bloodstream. Everyone’s blood is comprised of three types of cells: red blood cells, white blood cells and platelets. Red blood cells help to carry oxygen from your lungs to various parts of the body. It is your red blood cells that give your body the necessary energy to carry out various different biological tasks. Sometimes, people stop producing enough red blood cells, leaving them tired and weak.

What are the causes of Anaemia?

There are many different types of Anaemia and each is thought to be caused by a different factor. Some common causes of Anaemia include:

  • Iron deficiency due to poor diet or blood loss.
  • Vitamin deficiency due to poor diet.
  • Chronic disease including cancer, HIV/AIDS and kidney disease.
  • Genetic disorders like sickle cell Anaemia.

Who gets Anaemia?

Because there are so many types many different people suffer from the illness. It affects men, women and children from all cultures. Certain people are at increased risk of developing it.

Risk factors

Being female. 1 in 5 women develop iron deficiency Anaemia.

  • Having heavy menstrual periods.
  • Having a poor diet.
  • Being pregnant.
  • Having a chronic disease
  • Having an intestinal disease
  • Having a family history of Anaemia

What are the symptoms of Anaemia?

The sign of Anaemia tends to creep up slowly on most sufferers. Symptoms begin mildly before developing into more persistent problems. For the reason, many people suffering from Anaemia are never. diagnosed or treated for the condition. The most common sign and symptom of Anaemia are:

  • Fatigue
  • Weakness
  • Shortness of breath
  • Dizzy spells & fainting
  • Loss of concentration
  • Feeling cold
  • Pale skin
  • Depression

Do you have Anaemia and Fibromyalgia?

Many patients suffering from Fibromyalgia also have concurrent Anaemia because symptoms like fatigue and loss of concentration are the same. Many patients are not diagnosed with Anaemia when they need to be. If you are suffering from extreme fatigue it is a good idea to get tested. Anaemia will only complicate your fibro symptoms and make life even more difficult.

Diagnosing Anaemia:

If you are experiencing severe fatigue or other Anaemia symptoms it is important that you get diagnosed. Anaemia is very common and can be discovered through a simple blood test. It will be measured for the amount of red blood cells.


Anaemia is a condition that should not be left untreated. If it is allowed to progress for a long period of time it can become quite dangerous to your health. It can result in the development of an irregular or rapid heartbeat (tachycardia) or an enlarged heart muscle (left ventricular hypertrophy). These conditions can increase your risk for heart disease or a stroke. Anaemia can also leave you feeling terribly exhausted, making it difficult to enjoy work, school or social events.

Treating Anaemia:

This treatment is based upon the cause of the particular type of Anaemia it can be managed through careful medication or dietary supplements. Commonly vitamins injection or iron supplements are enough to rectify the blood disorder. Other Anaemia like sickle cell have no cure and can cause serious physical damage. Sickle cell is most common among people whose ancestors come from Africa; Mediterranean countries such as Greece, Turkey, and Italy; the Arabian Peninsula; India; and Spanish-speaking regions in South America, Central America, and parts of the Caribbean.