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Health >Anemia


Anemia is having less than the normal number of red blood cells or less hemoglobin than normal in the blood. Anemia can be a temporary or long-term disease, and can range from mild to severe. If you have mild anemia, there may be no symptoms or only mild symptoms, but severe anemia can result in a major impact on the quality of life. Anemia is usually detected or at least confirmed by a complete blood cell (CBC) count.

Normally its occurs after the body has been low in iron or lost a lot of blood (such as in women who have heavy menstrual periods). Iron deficiency is often related to an inadequate diet. Iron is found in meat and poultry, egg yolks, and, to a lesser extent, green leafy vegetables, dried fruits, beans, and whole grain and enriched cereals and breads. Vitamin C helps the body absorb iron. Foods rich in vitamin C, are citrus fruits, strawberries, mustard greens, cauliflower, and green peppers.

A vitamin that is important in the formation of red blood cells. Vitamin B12 deficiency can lead to anemia. Vitamin B12 deficiency is found most often in older persons and in vegetarians. Food sources of Vitamin B12 include meat, eggs, milk, and yeast.

Symptoms of Anemia

The symptoms of anemia can include headache, fatigue, weakness, difficulty in thinking. With severe anemia, other symptoms, such as shortness of breath and rapid heartbeat, may be experienced.

Causes of Anemia

  • Blood loss: excessive bleeding such as hemorrhages or abnormal menstrual bleeding
  • Chronic illness secondary to refractory anemia: inflammatory GI/GU diseases, malignancies (cancer), arthritis, kidney or liver failure, and acute and chronic infections
  • Cancer therapy: surgery, radiotherapy, chemotherapy and/or immunotherapy
  • Infiltration (replacement) of bone marrow with cancer
  • Hemolysis: Breakdown or destruction of red blood cells
  • Decreased red cell production due to low levels of erythropoietin (a hormone produced by the kidney {90%} and liver {10%}) which promotes red blood cell production

Treatment of Anemia

First step of treatment is finding the cause. The successful treatment of anemias depends on identifying and treating the underlying cause: blood loss, a nutritional deficiency, cancer, bone marrow infiltration, chronic illness, inflammation. Through laboratory test results and a physical examination, a physician can determine the cause of your anemia and identify the best approach to treating it.

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