Anemia Types, Symptoms and Causes of Anemia

By: John mathew

Blood is actually a liquid made up of several different cell types. One of the most important and most numerous cell types is the red blood cell. The purpose of the red blood cell is to deliver oxygen to the body. Anemia describes the condition in which the number of red blood cells in your blood is low. For this reason, doctors sometimes describe someone with anemia as having a low blood count. A person who has anemia is called anemic.

Anemia is a condition where there is a lower than normal number of red blood cells in the blood, usually measured by a decrease in the amount of hemoglobin. Hemoglobin is the oxygen-carrying part of red blood cells. It gives these blood cells their red color.

A person with anemia will feel tired and weak because the body's tissues are being starved of oxygen. In fact, fatigue is the main symptom of most types of anemia. The severity of symptoms is in part related to the severity of anemia. Mild anemia can occur without symptoms and may be detected only during a medical exam that includes a blood test.

Anemia Symptoms

Other signs and symptoms of anemia include:

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Anemia Causes

Anemia is caused by a deficiency of Hemoglobin. Hemoglobin is a pigment made up of protein and iron. Hemoglobin's main job is to pick up oxygen from the lungs and deposit into the red blood cells, which in turn carries the oxygen throughout the body. Without Protein and Iron you have a loss of Hemoglobin, which means you have a lost of oxygen for the red blood cells.

Insufficient iron in the diet is the most common cause of anemia worldwide. There tends to be a lack of vitamin B12 and folic acid in the diet as well. These deficiencies are less common in North America, but still do occur. People likely to have dietary iron-deficiency anemia are infants, pregnant women, and teenagers going through a growth spurt. Slow bleeding can also cause iron-deficiency anemia.

Types of Anemia

Some types of anemia occur because the body cannot make enough hemoglobin, as is the case with iron deficiency anemia and pernicious anemia. Other types of anemia occur when the body makes sufficient hemoglobin, but it doesn't function properly.

Iron Deficiency Anemia

The body needs iron to produce the hemoglobin necessary for red blood cell production. In general, most people need just 1 milligram of iron daily. Menstruating women need double that dose.

Pernicious Anemia

Anemia due to deficiency of Vitamin B12, known as Pernicious Anemia This is less common, generally affects people over 40 and results due to Vitamin B12 deficiency.

Sickle cell anemia

Sickle cell anemia is a serious blood disorder and is characterized by the red blood cells taking a crescent - or sickle - shape. It is a hereditary chronic condition. It is caused by the presence of an abnormal type of hemoglobin in the red blood cells and is passed via genetic factors from parents to children.

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