Anemia is a condition that develops when your blood lacks enough healthy red blood cells or hemoglobin. Hemoglobin is a main part of red blood cells and binds oxygen. If you have too few red blood cells or you hemoglobin is low, the cells in your body will not get enough oxygen.
What causes Anemia?
There are many types of anemia but all of these are divided into three groups;
- Anemia caused by blood loss
- Anemia caused by decreased red blood cell production.
- Anemia caused by destruction of red blood cells
- Anemia can be caused by an iron-poor diet
- The metabolic demands of pregnancy and breastfeeding that deplete a woman’s iron stores
- Frequent blood donation
- Certain drugs, foods and caffeinated drinks
- Vitamin B12 or folates are deficient
- Advanced kidney disease
- Old age
What are the symptoms?
- Fatigue easily
- Appear pale
- Develop palpitations
- Short of breath
- Hair loss
It is worth noting that if anemia is longstanding (chronic anemia), the body may adjust to low oxygen levels and the individual may not feel different unless the anemia becomes severe. On the other hand, if the anemia occurs rapidly (acute anemia), the patient may experience significant symptoms relatively quickly.
The treatment of anemia varies greatly; the underlying cause of anemia should be identified and treated. Surgery is often also recommended to remove colon cancer that is causing chronic blood loss and anemia. Iron supplements are also needed to correct iron deficiency. In severe anemia, blood transfusion may be needed. Vitamin B12 injections may be needed for people suffering from anemia.
Hemoglobin has the important role of delivering oxygen to all parts of the body for consumption and carries back carbon dioxide to the lung to exhale it out of the body. If the hemoglobin levels are too low, this process may be impaired, resulting in low levels of oxygen in the body.
Anemia generally has a very good prognosis and it may be curable in many cases. The overall prognosis depends on the underlying cause of anemia, it’s severity and the overall health of the patient.