Athlete anemia is not a rare condition. But before going into the specific problem of athletes, let’s briefly see what anemia is.
Anemia, what is it?
Blood is made up of a liquid part and a corpuscular part composed of red blood cells, white blood cells and platelets. When the hemoglobin (Hb) contained in red blood cells falls below 13 g / dl in men and 12 g / dl in women, we speak of anemia, a condition that involves a reduced availability of oxygen in the tissues.
Anemia can be acute or chronic:
- acute anemia when massive blood loss occurs, such as a hemorrhage.
- chronic anemia when Hb values drop, even by a lot, but without significant symptoms.
As we wrote previously, anemia is the decrease in hemoglobin in the blood, a protein present in red blood cells, inscribed in our genome, whose genetic variability distinguishes each individual. Hemoglobin is a protein that needs hormonal signals (EPO or erythropoietin) that induce its transcription but, to form hemoglobin and fight anemia, a diet with good amounts of essential amino acids is absolutely necessary. HISTIDINE, an amino acid scarcely present in foods.
To bind oxygen, iron is also needed, a mineral often at the base of many anemias due to reduced income or reduced assimilation.
Sport can cause stress and inflammation and can lead to excessive iron consumption when excessive and prolonged training loads are added to the unbalanced diet.
Unfortunately, the athlete’s anemia often goes unnoticed in the presence of mild symptoms such as fatigue, general malaise and difficulty concentrating. A more alarming sign may be exertional dyspnea (shortness of breath) or a pale skin and mucous membranes.
If the athlete’s anemia becomes more severe, the heart compensates for the lack of oxygen by increasing cardiac output, perceptible with excessive palpitations.
The decrease in hemoglobin in the blood forces the heart to work harder and causes a decline in sports performance. In the healthy athlete, mild anemia is not a danger but it is certainly a problem not to be overlooked that can be stemmed by listening to your body and knowing your limits.
Finally, if necessary, it will be useful to supplement your daily diet with both iron-based products and appropriate mixtures of essential amino acids. Even in chronic diseases, such as heart failure or kidney failure, the metabolism of iron and hemoglobin is significantly compromised, inducing anemia and compromising essential metabolic pathways. To improve these conditions, dietary supplementation of essential amino acids may be effective but, since not all formulas are the same, we recommend MYTHOXAN HD a balanced product and above all rich in histidine.