General Infomation

What Is Anemia

Anemia is a condition where one has no enough healthy red blood cells to carry adequate oxygen to his tissues. There are many forms of anemia, each with its own cause. Anemia can be temporary or long term, and it can range from mild to severe.

Causes and Complications Of Anemia

Iron deficiency. This common form of anemia affects about 1 to 2 percent of adults . The cause is a shortage of the element iron in your body. Your bone marrow needs iron to make hemoglobin. Without adequate iron, your body can't produce enough hemoglobin for red blood cells. The result is iron deficiency anemia.

Vitamin deficiency. In addition to iron, your body needs folate and vitamin B-12 to produce sufficient numbers of healthy red blood cells. A diet lacking in these and other key nutrients can cause decreased red blood cell production. Additionally, some people are unable to effectively absorb B-12.
Disease Certain chronic diseases — such as cancer, HIV/AIDS, rheumatoid arthritis, Crohn's disease and other chronic inflammatory diseases — can interfere with the production of red blood cells, resulting in chronic anemia. Kidney failure also can be a cause of anemia.

Diseases, such as leukemia and myelodysplasia, a preleukemic condition, can cause anemia by affecting blood production in your bone marrow. The effects of these types of cancer and cancer-like disorders vary from a mild alteration in blood production to a complete, life-threatening shutdown of the blood-making process. Other cancers of the blood or bone marrow, such as multiple myeloma, myeloproliferative disorders and lymphoma, can also cause anemia.

Autoimmune disorders can cause your body to produce antibodies to red blood cells, destroying them prematurely. Certain medications, such as some antibiotics used to treat infections, also can break down red blood cells.

Inherited eg Sickle cell anemia. This inherited and sometimes serious anemia, which more commonly affects people of African, Arabic and Mediterranean descent, is caused by a defective form of hemoglobin that forces red blood cells to assume an abnormal crescent (sickle) shape. These irregular-shaped red blood cells die prematurely, resulting in a chronic shortage of red blood cells.

Contact us if you suspect you have anemia, because anemia can be a sign of serious illnesses. Treatments for anemia range from taking supplements to undergoing medical procedures. You may be able to prevent some types of anemia by eating a healthy, varied diet.

When you're anemic, your body produces too few healthy red blood cells, loses too many of them or destroys them faster than they can be replaced.


Signs And Symptoms Of Anemia.

These vary depending on the cause of your anemia, but may include:
• Fatigue
• Pale skin
• A fast or irregular heartbeat
• Shortness of breath
• Chest pain
• Dizziness
• Cognitive problems
• Cold hands and feet
• Headache
Initially, anemia can be so mild it goes unnoticed. But signs and symptoms increase as anemia worsens.


By Anonymous on 25 April 2011