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Burton High Stories: Anemia

Chelsey Pingul, a senior at Burton High School
Chelsey Pingul, a senior at Burton High School

Students studying health sciences at Phillip and Sala Burton Academic High School in San Francisco worked with KALW radio to share their perspectives on health issues and solutions. Chelsey Pingul, a senior at Burton, is passionate about increasing awareness about anemia, where people lacking iron and healthy red blood cells can feel tired or weak.

My name is Chelsey Pingul. I'm a senior and I attend Burton High School.

Do you ever feel tired, fatigued, and weak? You could be in loss of red blood cells and lacking iron. It’s possible you have anemia.

The lack of oxygen can make you feel tired or weak. Other symptoms could be shortness of breath, dizziness, headaches, or an irregular heartbeat.

Anemia is a condition in which the body does not have enough healthy red blood cells. Red blood cells provide oxygen to body tissues. Many people have this condition but don't know it.

Anemia is something that has affected many of my family members. I am passionate about increasing awareness of anemia because my cousin was diagnosed with this condition. She shared with me that before getting treated for anemia her body felt weak. She would become dizzy fast. She didn’t know she was anemic till she went to the hospital. for a healthy individual hemoglobin level is a 13 but through a blood draw my cousin found out her level only at .3 

Other symptoms of anemia are hair loss and a craving for ice. This is called pica, when a person craves things with no nutritional value. This can often lead to losing weight. Treatment for anemia could consist of blood transfusion. This is  where you take another person’s blood and it goes through your vein. Other alternatives are iron supplements and changing your diet and implementing more red meat.

These treatments can make a difference making you feel better. Anemia could come back but you can go through remission 

Once you get the treatment your hemoglobinas will get higher.

Anemia is just one of the health conditions that people may have. Overall it's important to listen to your body, and prioritize your health. You know your body best be sure Take care of it and you'll have a better chance to live a longer and healthy life.