There are many facts about anemia that may be of interest to you if you or someone you know has one of the many types of anemia. Anemia is a blood disorder. When a person has anemia they have a lower than normal number of red blood cells.
They may also not have enough hemoglobin in the blood cells. Hemoglobin is an iron-rich protein. The body utilizes red blood cells to carry oxygen from the lungs to the rest of the body and also to carry waste products away from the body.
There are many types of anemia including iron-deficiency anemia that are very common and often affect children as well as women of all ages. Women who are menstruating are especially prone to anemia. Another type of anemia is Sickle cell anemia; also well known it affects those of African descent, Middle Eastern descent or those of Mediterranean or Indian descent.
Then there is the Aplastic anemia, which is an anemia in which the bone marrow stops the production of blood cells. Children and adults can contract aplastic anemia. Chronic diseases can product the condition of anemia and those diseases most often connected with anemia are HIV, cancer, kidney and liver diseases, rheumatologic disorders, and tuberculosis.
Perhaps the cause that most people are familiar with for anemia is blood loss. Poor diet that lacks proper nutrients that would help replace monthly blood loss in menstruating females can also be a contributing factor for anemia.
Illnesses like colon cancer, colitis, diverticulitis, and ulcerative colitis can lead to the condition of anemia.
Individuals taking certain medications may experience anemia. Medications that may lead to anemia include acetylsalicylic acid (ASA), and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications and medications prescribed for GI bleeding. Other conditions that may lead to bleeding and anemia are gastric ulcers, the condition known as hemophilia, hemorrhoids, and also hookworms.
A poor diet in which there is a lack of vitamin B12 or folic acid can lead to anemia. Individuals most likely to be lacking in vitamin B12 or folic acid are teenagers, pregnant women, and infants.
It does not take much blood loss to cause anemia. Individuals can lose approximately 1 mL of blood when they have stool or hemorrhoid problems.
When there is a rapid destruction of blood cells such as in inherited diseases such as Sickle cell anemia or thalassemiaare or when the individual has cancer or severe kidney or liver disease.
How do you know if you are suffering from anemia?
The symptoms of anemia include fatigue, pale skin, a weakness, feeling dizzy especially when you go from a sitting or lying position and go to stand up. Shortness of breath can also be a symptom of anemia especially if you have cancer.
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