Anemia is the condition of having less than the normal number of red blood cells or less than the normal quantity of hemoglobin in the blood. The oxygen-carrying capacity of the blood is, as a result, decreased. People with anemia may experience the following symptoms and signs:
- Feel tired or lightheaded (sometimes with fainting)
- Fatigue easily
- Have decreased energy
- Appear pale
- Develop palpitations or rapid heart rate
- Experience shortness of breath
Children with chronic anemia are prone to infections and learning problems.
In general, anemia has four basic categories of causes. Sometimes more than one of these problems are causing the anemia:
- Bleeding (hemorrhage)
- Excessive destruction of red blood cells (hemolysis)
- Underproduction of red blood cells (such as from bone marrow disorders)
- Not enough normal hemoglobin
Women are more likely than men to have anemia because of the loss of blood from menstruation. Iron-deficiency anemia is common and in adults is most often due to chronic blood loss. This can be from menstruation or from gastrointestinal bleeding (which can be very subtle). Anemia in children is due mainly to inadequate iron in the diet. Anemia is common from gastrointestinal bleeding caused by medications, including such common drugs as aspirin and ibuprofen (Advil or Motrin).
Other causes of anemia
- Bone Marrow Disorder
- Folate Deficiency
- Medications (Both Prescription and Nonprescription)
Causes of Anemia
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Alcoholism and Alcohol Abuse
Alcoholism is a disease that includes alcohol craving and continued drinking despite repeated alcohol-related problems, such as losing a job or getting into trouble with the law. It can cause myriad health problems, including cirrhosis of the liver, birth defects, heart disease, stroke, psychological problems, and dementia. Counseling and a few medications can be effective for alcoholism treatment.
Amebiasis (Entamoeba Histolytica Infection)
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Beta Thalassemia is the most familiar type of thalassemia. Thalassemia is not just one disease but rather a complex series of genetic (inherited) disorders all of which involve underproduction of hemoglobin. Beta thalassemia major symptoms include pale skin, irritability, growth retardation, swelling of the abdomen, and jaundice. Beta thalassemia treatments include directly relieving the symptoms of the illness.
Cancer is a disease caused by an abnormal growth of cells, also called malignancy. It is a group of 100 different diseases, and is not contagious. Cancer can be treated through chemotherapy, a treatment of drugs that destroy cancer cells.
Celiac disease is a condition in which a person has inflammation of the small intestinal mucosa when exposed to gluten in the diet. Symptoms of celiac disease include bloating, nausea, diarrhea, and abdominal discomfort. Treatment is a gluten free diet. Some individuals may have refractory celiac disease in which they do not respond to a gluten free diet.
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Connective Tissue (CT) Disease
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Diverticulitis (Diverticulosis, Diverticular Disease)
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Epstein-Barr Virus (EBV)
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G6PD deficiency (Glucose 6-phosphate dehydrogenase) leads to a condition called hemolytic anemia. Causes of G6PD deficiency is an abnormal gene located in the X-chromosome, therefore, it is more common in males. Hemolytic anemia caused by G6PD deficiency generally occurs after exposure to malaria medications, antiitching drugs, and fava beans. Pneumonia and other infections can also precipitate hemolytic anemia in individuals with G6PD deficiency. Treatment is generally discontinuing the drug or compound treating infection. Blood transfusions are necessary in some individuals.
Gastroesophageal Junction Adenocarcinoma
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Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome
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How Do You Fix Anemia?
Anemia describes a condition in which you have a low red blood cell count and low hemoglobin levels. This is a serious condition as red blood cells and hemoglobin carry oxygen to all your cells, allowing them to burn energy. If you’re anemic, you’ll likely feel fatigued and short of breath, lacking physical stamina. You may have heart problems and appear pale. Anemia is often a symptom of some other disease or condition, so treatment varies widely depending on the root cause.
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Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD)
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Menstruation (Menstrual Cycle)
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Peptic Ulcer (Stomach Ulcer)
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Sickle Cell Disease (Anemia)
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