Information On Types And Causes Of Anemia

What is anemia? Why am I so tired all the time? What are the causes? Read on to find the answers to these questions and more.

What is anemia? Why am I so tired all the time? What can be done? What do I have to eat? These are just a few of the questions you may have surrounding anemia. First let's define anemia.

Anemia is not a disease, but a condition or symptom of many different diseases. With anemia, the blood has a decreased number of red blood cells (which carry oxyegen), thus they carry less oxyegen. If you feel tired, you may suspect that you are anemic.

The symptoms of anemia are:

-light headedness

-pallor (pale skin)

-weakness, tiredness, fatigue

-shortness of breath with minimal activity less frequent symptoms include:


-chest pain

Anemia is a symptom of hundreds of diseases. Cancer, hepatitis, TB, AIDS, Lupus, Rheumatoid Arthritis and kidney disease are common causes of anemia. Treating the disease, and improvement in the disease will cause improvement in the symptom of anemia in these cases. There are also different types of anemia, such as hemolytic anemia, iron-deficiency anemia, pernicious anemia, thalassemia, and sickle cell anemia.

The most common type of anemia is iron deficiency anemia. This anemia occurs when there is a low iron intake or poor absorbtion of iron from food. Iron deficiency anemia can also be caused by colon cancer, bleeding ulcers and even very heavy menstrual periods. This type of anemia can be corrected with an improved diet, iron pills or injections of iron from your doctor. The source of the blood loss has to be identified and corrected to correct the anemia, however.

The other common type of anemia is vitamin deficiency anemia. This occurs in people who lack vitamin B12 and folic acid in their diet, malnutrition, or from chronic alcoholism. These vitamins help the body form red blood cells and hemoglobin, which carries the oxyegen in the blood. This can be corrected by eating foods high in B12 and folic acid and cessation of drinking alcohol. Foods high in B12 and folic acid include: fish, dairy products, meats, legumes, dark green leafy vegetables, oranges, whole grains.

Testing is a blood test. The doctor will then establish the cause and type of anemia, then treatment accordingly.

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