Anemia is caused by a deficiency of red blood cells or haemoglobin in the blood. Red blood cells are responsible for carrying oxygen to the body's cells and are therefore essential for survival. As for haemoglobin, it is a protein that is found in red blood cells that carries oxygen.
Anemia is often the result of an underlying problem.
Haemorrhage: Significant blood loss may lead to anemia.
Deficient Red Blood Cell Production:
Generally speaking, the symptoms are the same regardless of the underlying cause or type of anemia:
Anemia is a condition that requires a medical diagnosis. A full blood count is ordered to establish whether a person is anemic. These blood tests will look at the number, size and shape of the red blood cells. Other blood components are also analysed in an effort to provide the physician with a clearer idea of what may be causing the anemia.
Treatment varies and is based on the type of anemia. Iron supplements may be useful, particularly for those with iron deficiency anemia. In cases where there are vitamin B12 or folic acid deficiencies (megaloblastic anemia), supplements may also prove helpful. Improving one's diet by increasing one's intake of foods that are high in iron, folic acid and vitamin B12 may also be an option.
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