Anemia is a medical condition in which a person lacks enough healthy red blood cells to carry adequate oxygen to the body tissues. It is also referred to as low hemoglobin. Anemia usually makes one feel tired and weak.
Anemia comes in many forms, each with a unique cause. Anemia can be mild to severe and can be short-term or long-term. It typically has multiple causes.
There are different causes for different types of anemia. They include:
During the diagnosis of anemia, the doctor is likely to inquire about your medical and family history, perform a physical examination, and conduct the following tests:
Treatment for anemia typically depends on the cause. The following treatment methods can be used to treat anemia:
Anemia can have multiple causes, including: Iron deficiency: The most common cause of anemia worldwide, often due to inadequate iron intake or absorption. Vitamin deficiency: Deficiencies in vitamin B12 or folate can lead to anemia. Chronic diseases: Certain chronic diseases, such as kidney disease, cancer, or autoimmune disorders, can cause anemia. Blood loss: Excessive bleeding from menstruation, gastrointestinal bleeding, or trauma can result in anemia. Inherited disorders: Some individuals may have genetic disorders affecting the production or structure of red blood cells, such as sickle cell anemia or thalassemia.
The treatment of anemia depends on the underlying cause and severity. Some common treatment options include: Iron supplementation or dietary changes to address iron deficiency anemia. Vitamin supplementation, such as vitamin B12 or folate, for anemia caused by deficiencies. Treating the underlying cause, such as managing a chronic disease or stopping excessive bleeding. Blood transfusions in severe cases of anemia or in emergencies. Medications or procedures to stimulate the production of red blood cells, such as erythropoietin-stimulating agents or bone marrow stimulants.
Yes, anemia can affect individuals of any age, from infants to the elderly. However, certain types of anemia, such as iron deficiency anemia in infants or vitamin deficiency anemia in older adults, may be more common in specific age groups. Anemia can also be more prevalent in populations with poor nutrition or certain medical conditions.