Also called: Iron poor blood

If you have anemia, your blood does not carry enough oxygen to the rest of your body. The most common cause of anemia is not having enough iron. Your body needs iron to make hemoglobin. Hemoglobin is an iron-rich protein that gives the red color to blood. It carries oxygen from the lungs to the rest of the body.

Anemia has three main causes: blood loss, lack of red blood cell production, and high rates of red blood cell destruction.

Conditions that may lead to anemia include

Anemia can make you feel tired, cold, dizzy, and irritable. You may be short of breath or have a headache.

Your doctor will diagnose anemia with a physical exam and blood tests. Treatment depends on the kind of anemia you have.

NIH: National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute

Symptoms of Anemia

The following features are indicative of Anemia:
  • weakness or tiredness
  • shortness of breath
  • dizziness
  • headache
  • coldness in the hands and feet
  • pale skin
  • chest pain
  • intermittent claudication of the legs
  • symptoms of heart failure
  • palpitations
It is possible that Anemia shows no physical symptoms and still is present in a patient.

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Common Causes of Anemia

The following are the most common causes of Anemia:
  • blood loss
  • increased red blood cell destruction
  • hypervolemia
  • impaired red blood cell production

Risk Factors for Anemia

The following factors may increase the likelihood of Anemia:
  • people on low iron diet
  • blood loss from an injury or surgery
  • suffering from serious illnesses
  • family history of inherited anemia

Prevention of Anemia

No, it is not possible to prevent Anemia.
  • genetic mutations in the HBB gene

Occurrence of Anemia

Number of Cases

The following are the number of Anemia cases seen each year worldwide:
  • Very common > 10 Million cases

Common Age Group

Anemia can occur at any age.

Common Gender

Anemia can occur in any gender.

Lab Tests and Procedures for Diagnosis of Anemia

The following lab tests and procedures are used to detect Anemia:
  • Complete blood count: To count the total number of blood cells
  • Red blood cell size test: To examine the size of red blood cells

Doctor for Diagnosis of Anemia

Patients should visit the following specialists if they have symptoms of Anemia:
  • Pediatricians
  • Family doctors
  • Gynecologists
  • Obstetricians
  • Internal medicine specialists
  • Hematologist
  • Gastroenterologist

Complications of Anemia if untreated

Yes, Anemia causes complications if it is not treated. Below is the list of complications and problems that may arise if Anemia is left untreated:
  • severe fatigue
  • pregnancy complications
  • heart problems
  • can be fatal

Procedures for Treatment of Anemia

The following procedures are used to treat Anemia:
  • Blood Transfusion: Blood is given to the patient through an intravenous (IV) line in one of patient's blood vessels
  • Blood and Marrow Stem Cell Transplant: Replaces patient's faulty stem cells with healthy ones from a donor
  • Surgery: If you have life-threatening or serious bleeding that causes anemia

Self-care for Anemia

The following self-care actions or lifestyle changes may help in the treatment or management of Anemia:
  • Eat a vitamin-rich diet: Take a diet that includes a number of vitamins and nutrients
  • Genetic counseling: Talk to a genetic counselor about your risks and pass on of the risks to your children
  • Prevent malaria: Reduce exposure to mosquitoes

Alternative Medicine for Treatment of Anemia

The following alternate medicine and therapies are known to help in the treatment or management of Anemia:
  • Eat vitamin-rich diet: To treat anemia

Time for Treatment of Anemia

While time-period of treatment for each patient may vary, below is the typical time-period for Anemia to resolve if treated properly under an expert supervision:
  • In 3 - 6 months

Last updated date

This page was last updated on 2/04/2019.
This page provides information for Anemia.
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