Anemia – Causes, Symptoms, Diet and Treatment

Most people have occasional bouts of fatigue, but if you’re often tired even after getting a good night’s rest, there may be something behind your fatigue. Much of your energy depends on the oxygen you breathe, which is carried by red blood cells. These cells require iron, and if you have low iron levels, you might also be short in red blood cells. If your red cell count is low enough, you could have iron deficiency anemia.

Anemia: What is it?

Anemia is a very common blood disorder in which your blood has lower than the normal number of red blood cells. This condition can also occur if your red blood cells don’t contain enough haemoglobin. Hemoglobin is a complex protein found in red blood cells that contains an iron molecule and gives blood its red colour. It is this protein that helps the red blood cells carry oxygen from the lungs to the rest of the body.

Severe or long-lasting anemia can damage your heart, brain, and other organs in your body. Very severe anemia may even cause death.

For men, anemia is typically defined as haemoglobin level of less than 13.5 gram/100 ml, and in women as haemoglobin of less than 12.0 gram/100 ml.

Types Of Anemia?

1.Folic acid deficiency anaemia

2.Vitamin B12 deficiency anaemia

3.Pernicious anaemia

4.Sickle cell anemia


6.Aplastic anaemia

What causes Anemia?

Anemia is not a disease. It is an indication of presence of an underlying condition that is either causing deficiency in the formation of production of red blood cells or destroying the red blood cells quickly.

Following conditions can cause anemia

  • Arthritis
  • Hormonal disorders
  • Chronic inflammation in the body
  • Infections
  • Peptic ulcers
  • Hemorrhoids
  • Heavy menstrual bleeding
  • Pregnancies in quick succession
  • Thyroid disorders
  • Bone marrow disease
  • Diverticular disease
  • Cancer
  • Surgery

The following dietary deficiency can also cause anemia

  • Iron
  • Folic acid
  • Vitamin B6
  • Vitamin B12

Number of genetic disorders such as Sickle Cell disease and thalassemia can also cause anemia.

The most common type of anemia is caused by Iron deficiency. Iron has a very important function in the body to reduce hemoglobin do that transports oxygen to the same. This happens either because the person is not taking in a iron in the food or the iron is not getting episode by the body. It mainly affects women who suffers heavy menstrual bleeding due to hormonal imbalances, fibroid tumors or uterine cancer.

Symptoms Of Anemia?

Initial symptoms of anemia can easily go unnoticed as these symptoms are very common for many other conditions. They include

Once anemia progresses and gets established, it produces distinctive signs and symptoms indicating anemia.
They are

  • General weakness
  • Fatigue
  • Dizziness
  • Depression
  • Cold hands and feet
  • Pale and brittle nails
  • Pale lips and eyelids
  • Sour mouth

Anemia can induce cessation of menstruation in certain women. It also reduces sexual desires.

How Much Iron Do You Need?

Women usually suffer from iron deficiency if they are in their childbearing years due to iron lost during the menstrual cycle. Also during pregnancy iron is lost due to the need for iron in fetal development. Girls in their teens need about 15 milligrams per day and pregnant women need around 27 milligrams per day. Children also need iron for growth and development. Typically, children ages one to three need 7 milligrams a day.

Diagnosis and Tests

Your doctor will review your symptoms and order a complete blood count (CBC) to look at your hemoglobin levels and the percentage of red blood cells (hematocrit). These tests reveal your iron level. If the results point to anemia, your doctor may conduct more tests to rule out certain causes, such as chronic internal bleeding from an ulcer or cancer.

Anemia Treatments

Iron deficiency treatment should only be started after confirming the diagnosis. After confirming the diagnosis of iron deficiency, you need to make sure you do not have excessive blood loss leading to the iron deficiency. In women this could be related to heavy menstrual bleeding.

In both men and women, any unexplained iron deficiency anemia warrants cancer screening and screening for possible internal bleeding. After ruling out secondary causes of Iron deficiency, you may treat iron deficiency with iron supplements and iron deficiency treatment foods.


If the anemia is caused by nutritional deficiencies, a change to an iron-rich diet can help alleviate the symptoms. The following foods are high in iron:

  • iron-fortified cereals and breads
  • dark-green leafy vegetables, for instance, curly kale and watercress
  • pulses and beans
  • brown rice
  • white and red meats
  • nuts and seeds
  • fish
  • tofu
  • eggs
  • dried fruits, including apricots, raisins, and prunes

The outlook for a person with anemia depends on the cause. Many cases of anemia can be prevented or solved through a change in diet. Some types can last for a long time, and some can be life-threatening without treatment.

Anyone who feels persistently weak and tired should see a doctor to check for anemia.

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