What is anemia?

September 24, 2022

What is anemia?
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Anemia develops when there are not enough healthy red blood cells to supply oxygen to your body’s organs. Colds and signs of fatigue are frequent—Iron-deficiency anemia is prevalent. Increasing your iron intake can reduce symptoms of this kind of anemia.

Anemia is diagnosed through a standard blood test by a low hemoglobin level. Your red blood cells’ primary protein is hemoglobin. Your hemoglobin level will be low if you have anemia.

“Anemic” is a term used to describe someone who has anemia. You may be anemic if your skin appears overly pale or feels more exhausted or cold than usual. This results from your organs not getting the oxygen they require to function. Some people learn that they are low in iron.

Types of Anemia

There are lots of types of anemia, but they all decrease the quantity of red blood cells in circulation. One of the following factors may be the cause of low red blood cell levels:

  • Hemoglobin production by your body is insufficient (low hemoglobin).
  • Although your body produces hemoglobin, it doesn’t function properly.
  • Your body does not have enough red blood cells.
  • Red blood cells too quickly.
  • Iron deficiency and sickle cell anemia are two examples of anemia that you may be familiar with.

Symptoms of Anemia

Anemia symptoms differ depending on the type, underlying cause, severity, and any underlying medical conditions like hemorrhaging, ulcers, menstrual issues, or cancer. However, the first signs of various issues can be isolated symptoms.

Additionally, the body is remarkably capable of making up for early anemia. You might be symptom-free if your anemia is mild or has been present for a while.

The following are signs of anemia that are present in many different types:

  • Easy fatigue and energy loss
  • Rapid heartbeat, especially when exercising.
  • Headache and shortness of breath, especially after activity,
  • Difficulty paying attention
  • Dizziness
  • Leg pains and pale skin
  • Insomnia

Causes of Anemia

Anemia brought on by a lack of iron

The following signs of an iron shortage include:

  • Hunger for unnatural materials like paper, ice, or dirt (a condition called pica)
  • The upward curvature of the nails
  • Cracks around the corners and soreness in the mouth.

A lack of vitamin B12 can cause anemia

These signs may appear in people whose anemia is due to a vitamin B12 deficiency:

  • A “pins and needles” tingling or numbness in the hands or feet
  • Reduced sensation of touch
  • Wobbly gait and trouble walking
  • Arms and legs that are awkward and stiff.
  • Dementia

Chronic Red Blood Cell Destruction-Induced Anemia

These signs of anemia brought on by ongoing red blood cell deterioration include:

  • Jaundice (yellow skin and eyes)
  • red or brown urine.
  • Leg sores
  • lack of growth during infancy
  • Gallstones signs and symptoms

How does anemia affect the body?

In addition to making you feel cold or worn out, anemia can also affect your body. You may also lose hair and have brittle or spoon-shaped nails if you are iron deficient. In addition, you might notice that your sense of taste has changed or your ears are ringing.

Various anemias can result in more severe issues. For example, sickle cell anemia frequently experiences heart and lung problems.

Untreated anemia can cause heart arrhythmias (irregular heartbeats), enlarged hearts, and heart failure. Additionally, you run a higher chance of contracting illnesses and developing depression.

You may have heard that iron deficiency and chewing ice are related, which is true. Ice chewing is a symptom of pica, a disorder that involves consuming non-food items like chalk or dirt. Pica is a symptom of iron insufficiency, therefore. It frequently occurs in kids who have anemia.

Risk factors for Anemia

The following elements enhance your risk of anemia:

  • A diet deficient in some minerals and vitamins: Your risk of anemia rises if you consume a diet persistently inadequate in iron, vitamin B-12, folate, and copper.
  • Intestinal problems:  You risk developing anemia if you have an intestinal condition like Crohn’s disease or celiac disease that interferes with the absorption of nutrients in your small intestine.
  • Menstruation: The risk of iron deficiency anemia is generally higher in premenopausal women than in postmenopausal women and men. This is because red blood cell loss occurs throughout the period.
  • Pregnancy: Your risk of anemia increases if you are pregnant and do not take a multivitamin with folic acid and iron.
  • Chronic diseases: You may be at risk for anemia or chronic disease if you have cancer, kidney disease, or any chronic ailment. The absence of red blood cells can result from these circumstances.
  • Your body’s iron reserves can be depleted by slow, persistent blood loss from an ulcer or another internal cause, resulting in iron deficiency anemia.
  • Family background: You may also be more susceptible to the disorder if your family has a history of inherited anemia, such as sickle cell anemia.


1. What can I do to avoid anemia?

Some anemias cannot be cured, like those that are inherited. However, by eating a healthy diet, you can avoid anemia from iron, vitamin B12, and vitamin B9 deficiency. This entails consuming a diet rich in foods that are a good source of iron, these vitamins, and food sources of vitamin C to aid absorption. Also, make sure you have enough water to drink.

2. How should I manage anemia?

While some are mild, transient anemias, others can persist for a lifetime. Anemia can be managed in a number of ways, including:

  • Eating a wholesome diet.
  • Maintaining hydration by consuming enough water.
  • Doing regular exercise. However, you should start exercising gradually if you have been weak. Consult your healthcare physician for advice on safe workout techniques.
  • Limiting exposure to substances that cause anemia.
  • Wash your hands frequently to prevent infection.
  • Maintaining proper oral hygiene and routinely visiting the dentist.
  • Informing your doctor of any altered symptoms.
  • Logging your symptoms is vital.

3. What other effects does anemia have on kids?

Kids must have enough iron and other minerals in their meals to avoid anemia and its associated issues with attention deficit disorder, delayed motor skill development, and learning difficulties. More attention should be paid to anemia symptoms in older children during growth spurts and menstrual cycles.

4. How does anemia impact senior citizens?

Anemia may contribute much more to disorientation or sadness in elderly persons. Walking could be more challenging if you’re weak. If you have anemia and are older and it is not treated, it could reduce your longevity.

Disclaimer: We recommend consulting a Doctor before taking any action based on the above shared information.



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