What Is Anemia?

What is anemia? There are many different types explained here, and what can be some of the causes and symptoms?

Anemia is a term which is used for different disorders that are characterized by a deficiency of hemoglobin. Hemoglobin is what picks up oxygen in your lungs and carries it to all the cells throughout the body. That would then make anemia, oxygen starvation.

Some signs of mild anemia might be:

Weakness

Fatigue

Pallor

Brittle/spoon shaped nails

More severe cases:

Shortness of Breath

Fainting

Cardiac arrhythmias

Iron-Deficiency Anemia:

This is the most common type of anemia in the United States. Massive or chronic most generally causes blood loss. This type of anemia is commonly found in surgery patients, accident victims, and people with bleeding ulcers or those with intestinal cancer. Woman with heavy menstrual periods is also at risk.

Hemolytic Anemia:

This type of anemia occurs when red blood cells are destroyed faster than normal. The cause for this one may be hereditary.



Examples: Sickle-cell anemia

Leukemia

Abnormal spleen function

Autoimmune disorders

Severe hypertension

Pernicious and Megaloblastic Anemia:

This is caused by a deficiency in vitamin B12. B12 is necessary to make red blood cells. Pernicious, the most common of the two is due to an intestinal disorder, which prevents absorption of the vitamin. Alcohol abuse or malnutrition causes megaloblastic anemia.

There are also some relatively rare types of anemia. These include thalassemia, which is an inherited condition and aplastic anemia, which may be caused by infection.

EAT PLENTY OF:

Organ meats, poultry, fish, and egg yolk, which are rich iron and vitamin B12.

Dried beans, peas, tofu, and other soy products.

Eat dates, raisins, and dried apricots.

Iron-enriched bread

Citrus foods and others high in vitamin C

Green leafy vegetables.

Cut Back On:

Zinc and calcium supplements

Antacids, coffee, and tea which can also slow down the absorption of iron

© High Speed Ventures 2011