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Beth Battaglino, RN-C, CEO of HealthyWomen

Beth brings a unique combination of sharp business expertise and women's health insight to her leadership of the organization. Beth has worked in the health care industry for more than 25 years helping to define and drive public education programs on a broad range of women's health issues. She launched and has expanded the brand. As a result of her leadership, HealthyWomen was recognized as one of the top 100 women's health web sites by Forbes for three consecutive years, and was recognized by Oprah magazine as one of the top women's health web sites. HealthyWomen now connects to millions of women across the country through its wide program distribution and innovative use of technology.

Beth is responsible for the business development and strategic positioning of HealthyWomen. She creates partnerships with key health care professionals and consumer groups to provide strategic, engaging and informative award-winning programs. She serves as the organization's chief spokesperson, regularly participating in corporate, non-profit, community and media events. She also is a practicing nurse in maternal child health at Riverview Medical Center- Hackensack Meridian Health, in Red Bank, NJ.

In addition to her nursing degree, Beth holds degrees in political science, business and public administration from Marymount University.

To stay sane, she loves to run and compete in road races. She enjoys skiing and sailing with her husband and young son, and welcoming new babies into the world.

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Battling Fatigue? You Could Have an Iron Deficiency

Battling Fatigue? You Could Have an Iron Deficiency

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

This article has been archived. We will no longer be updating it. For our most up-to-date information, please visit our iron deficiency anemia information here.

Feeling sluggish and tired is something women often learn to live with. With monthly hormonal swings, the physical demands of caregiving, and the mental tax of trying to do it all, very often women fall into bed at the end of the day and awaken with the same heavy burden when they open their eyes the next morning.

Let's face it—we've all had those moments.

But what if your fatigue seems to be ongoing? And no matter how much water, caffeine or exercise your incorporate to counter the weakness, you still feel like you can't go on another minute.

There may be a more tangible cause than the rigorous demands of work, home and family.

Iron deficiency anemia is a common form of anemia in women of menstruating age that can often be overlooked by women or unnoticed by members of the medical community because its symptoms are so mild. But the symptoms tend to intensify until it's hard not to notice the insidious condition and its prolonged side effects.

According to the Mayo Clinic, iron deficiency anemia is a condition in which blood lacks adequate healthy red blood cells. It is the red blood cells that carry oxygen to the body's tissues, giving your body energy and your skin a healthy color.

Try, for a moment, to hold your breath and see what lack of oxygen can do to a body!

As the name implies, iron deficiency anemia is due to insufficient iron. Without enough iron, your body can't produce enough hemoglobin, a substance in red blood cells that enables them to carry oxygen. As a result, iron deficiency anemia may leave you tired, weak and pale.

For women with heavy to lengthy menstrual periods, the body cannot keep up production to create enough blood and will eventually turn to iron stores within the bone marrow to make up for the loss each month.

Though iron deficiency anemia is a logical explanation for many common fatigue symptoms, it is not something women should ever self diagnose because slow, chronic loss of blood can be a symptom of a peptic ulcer, nonmalignant tumor or cancer. Depression also may cause chronic fatigue, so you should always talk to your health care provider.

Feeling tired is normal for us gals and even frequent fatigue is common for still the toughest of superwomen. If your low energy levels have been ongoing for at least six months or are accompanied by loss of concentration, decreased sexual desire and function, or an aching feeling in the bones, HealthyWomen encourages you to visit your health care provider and request a simple blood count.

This routine test will help your health care provider determine whether something as seemingly natural as your period is to blame. If so, you can choose from several management options like over-the-counter iron supplements or newer treatment procedures like one-time endometrial ablation.

Search the HealthyWomen database for more comprehensive materials and thoroughly researched articles on iron deficiency anemia.

But in the meantime, take a deep breath and listen to your body and maybe you'll find that you just need a break—because sometimes the only prescription we need is the permission to put ourselves first!

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