Is Anemia A Diabetes Complication?

diabetes and anemia

Many studies have been made to investigate the connection between anemia and Type 2 diabetes. Anemia is the lack of red blood cells and the lack of hemoglobin as well. But is there really a link between anemia and the chronic metabolic disease?




Fremantle Diabetes Study

In April 2017, a group of experts conducted a study which suggested that there is a higher prevalence of anemia among diabetic individuals than non-diabetic individuals.

The Fremantle Diabetes Study, which comprises of about 1,500 participants who were diabetic and with an average of 66 years old. The results of the study are:

  • 11.5 percent of the participants have anemia.
  • 163 out of 178 had one or more risk factors of anemia.
  • Most participants have low level of iron and suffering from kidney disease.

Importance of Vitamin B12

The study also showed that Vitamin B12 is important for producing healthy red blood cells. Inadequate blood level can led to anemia, more specifically, megaloblastic anemia. Megaloblastic refers to the red blood cells that are too large due to an inability to divide to its final mature stage. Therefore, vegetarians that are diabetic are usually advised to eat foods that are rich in Vitamin B12.




Busselton Diabetes Study

Another study conducted to determine the link between anemia and the chronic metabolic disease is the Busselton Diabetes Study. This study looks into 186 people suffering from Type 2 Diabetes that are more than 70 years old and compared them to 186 individuals who are healthy. The results of the study are:

  • About 17.8 percent of the diabetes participants and 5.4 percent of the healthy participants are anemic.
  • Hence, from this result, scientists concluded that Type 2 Diabetes can increase the risk of developing anemia to at least 2 times. However, other changeable factors can also affect this.

Anemia Signs and Symptom

Among the signs and symptoms of anemia are:

  • Chest Pain
  • Cold hands and feet
  • Difficulty in Breathing
  • Dizziness or Lightheadedness
  • Irregular Heartbeat
  • Pale or Yellowish Skin
  • Tiredness
  • Weakness
  • Brain fog

If you suspect that you may have anemia, make sure to consult your doctor and get professional help.


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